Jump to content

News Forum - More than 100 foreigners in Phuket swindled by visa agency


Thaiger
 Share

Recommended Posts

More than 100 foreigners in Phuket enlisted the help of a non-profit organization and a class action lawyer after they were swindled out of thousands of baht by visa agents. Asia Titan Group ATG, and Phuket Siam Corporation Service, are 2 of the visa agencies named by foreigners who were lured into handing over cash for a visa extension. The travellers later found out the agencies had scarpered with the money and their status showed they had overstayed their welcome. The non-profit organisation, Help Crime Victim Club, on Sunday poked fun at the Phuket police on its Facebook page for […]

The story More than 100 foreigners in Phuket swindled by visa agency as seen on Thaiger News.

Read the full story

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Immigration never saw an overstay fee that they didn’t like and the police never saw a foreigner complaint about visas that they didn’t like. A class action lawsuit is just money down the drain. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

serious question- what's the deal with using an agent when you can diy in less than an hour/2K baht?

  • Like 5
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, TSS said:

serious question- what's the deal with using an agent when you can diy in less than an hour/2K baht?

The deal is the agents obtain your extensions when you can't legitimately meet the financial requirements, for a fee, of course. A minority use an agent for convenience.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

The Help Crime Victim Club reported that the status of all foreigners in the group showed they had overstayed. The tourists who overstayed by less than 90 days were lucky and could still process a visa extension by themselves. But there were some foreigners who had overstayed the 90 days. They admitted they are scared to report to the police.

I don't think the Crime Victim Club understands why the majority were using an agent in the first place, because they couldn't process the extensions by themselves.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, TSS said:

serious question- what's the deal with using an agent when you can diy in less than an hour/2K baht?

As Faz says: many cannot keep 400k/800k in their banks or transfer the required 40/65k monthly so pay around 15/20k yearly to an agent to “ bypass “ the financial requirements.

A friend of mine paid, for many years, 14k directly to an accommodating Officer at immigration to stamp his passport at extension time ……. he even bought a pack of brown envelopes for this “ transaction “.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, TSS said:

serious question- what's the deal with using an agent when you can diy in less than an hour/2K baht?

Any one or combo of :- 


Guaranteed Result 

Object in Principle to Financials

Unwilling to Tolerate Immigration Humiliation ( “Changes” / Wrong Bank Account Type/ Interpretation/ Fault Finding / “Come Back Tomorrow”/ Long Waits).

Avoidance of Stress 

Unable to provide Financials 

Mobility and/ or Distance 

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, DwizzleyMatthews said:

many cannot keep 400k/800k in their banks

If you cannot afford to keep this amount money in a Thai bank, then honestly you are not ready to retire with a Non-Imm-O visa in Thailand.   Financial and personal responsibility is necessary in life

What if you had a medical emergency?  No agent for that

  • Like 4
  • Angry 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Faz said:

The deal is the agents obtain your extensions when you can't legitimately meet the financial requirements, for a fee, of course. A minority use an agent for convenience.

Then expect some risks as you are also doing something not legit using an agent.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, ExpatPattaya said:

If you cannot afford to keep this amount money in a Thai bank, then honestly you are not ready to retire with a Non-Imm-O visa in Thailand.   Financial and personal responsibility is necessary in life

What if you had a medical emergency?  No agent for that

Don’t shoot the messenger, only stating the facts , it is not my situation.
Would also add that many can afford to keep the money money in a Thai bank but choose to run the risk of using an agent to benefit from higher interest rates in their home country or offshore accounts etc. Their decision their risk.

The 400/800k held in a Thai bank is useful for medical emergencies but I wonder what would happen if withdrawn monies caused the amount to drop below the financial requirements threshold ?, would immigration be lenient in this matter ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, oldschooler said:

Any one or combo of :- 


Guaranteed Result 

Object in Principle to Financials

Unwilling to Tolerate Immigration Humiliation ( “Changes” / Wrong Bank Account Type/ Interpretation/ Fault Finding / “Come Back Tomorrow”/ Long Waits).

Avoidance of Stress 

Unable to provide Financials 

Mobility and/ or Distance 

You forgot to add …. and therefore shouldn’t be in the country as they are residing here illegally. 

Knock knock …
 

 

  • Angry 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, ExpatPattaya said:

If you cannot afford to keep this amount money in a Thai bank, then honestly you are not ready to retire with a Non-Imm-O visa in Thailand.   Financial and personal responsibility is necessary in life

What if you had a medical emergency?  No agent for that

Spot on! 

  • Angry 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, ExpatPattaya said:

If you cannot afford to keep this amount money in a Thai bank, then honestly you are not ready to retire with a Non-Imm-O visa in Thailand.   Financial and personal responsibility is necessary in life

What if you had a medical emergency?  No agent for that

Over a twenty month period admitted to hospital four times,  twice in an ICU.

My 800K retirement ext money spent on the excellent treatment provided by the two private hospitals I was in.

I now have to use the services of a very reliable Sin City agent until my finances improve.

I also have Thai medical policy for many years, (Thai Life). My advice on that is read the small print....

 

Edited by billyburi
Error
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, TSS said:

serious question- what's the deal with using an agent when you can diy in less than an hour/2K baht?

So true. Unless you are gaming the system (because you can't meet the requirements legally), I'd steer clear. Many agents have IOs "on the payroll" and if the IO is ever audited (and it does happen) you could end up loosing your Visa.  Or if you every attempt to stop using the agent and DIY, you might find you can't because your previous Visa was improperly obtained. 

  • Like 1
  • Angry 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Faz said:

The deal is the agents obtain your extensions when you can't legitimately meet the financial requirements, for a fee, of course. A minority use an agent for convenience.

So that's a dodgy deal in the first place, leaving people without a leg to stand on. Complian and you could get accused of visa fraud, if indeed that's an offence in Thailand. At the very least you'll get laughed at. 

  • Angry 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

oh. i thought the applicant had to appear in person or provide a note from mommy or a doctor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, billyburi said:

Over a twenty month period admitted to hospital four times,  twice in an ICU.

My 800K retirement ext money spent on the excellent treatment provided by the two private hospitals I was in.

I now have to use the services of a very reliable Sin City agent until my finances improve.

I also have Thai medical policy for many years, (Thai Life). My advice on that is read the small print....

Sorry to hear that bb. I was compelled to take a Thai Life Personal Accident Policy last month as Chubb would not renew it ( no reason given but others affected even my insurance broker himself !). 10k year gives 300k cover each accident direct from insurer to hospital. 

Could you not have used a good Public Hospital for such expensive treatment ? Govt. Hospital Tariffs typically 25-30% Private Rates ? 

I used Public Hospital for recent minor Skin Cancer treatment including Scalp Surgery & Lab Analysis.Total 6,000 baht which I estimated at 22k Private.

Kind of an experimental “ project” as never used govt. hospital before except painful ear infection here years ago which was fixed at once with injected antibiotics.

Needed plenty of time & patience and waiting in crowded areas full of old sick dying Thais. Covid catchment area.
 

wouldn’t trust for anything critical / complex though. They missed a tooth when checking my root canal situation, X-ray was 1950s level and quoted high costs / long wait. Clearly that service restricted to Thais ! 
 

Disappointing to see the contemptible self- righteous  “ you can’t afford to live here” crowd at work again here. As if Only Money qualifies foreigners to stay here. No Compassionate consideration for Family, Property, Business or Nowhere Else to Go; or your case of Changing Circumstances & Thai Insurers not Paying Out. A common occurrence. 
 

Having an excellent health strategy & record, my medical insurance strategy is PA policy ( motorbike rider) then high deductible ( paid from savings) / low premium health policy with non- Thai Insurer.
 

I can only get low cost / low cover here because of declared conditions like past skin cancer and past fatty liver and now, age ( over 65).
 

The self righteous crowd no doubt have had free top quality medical insurance with their pensions after doing boring low paid / high tax Govt work all their lives or high paid / high tax executive private work. Few fit that profile …. or want to. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, dbrenn said:

So that's a dodgy deal in the first place, leaving people without a leg to stand on. Complian and you could get accused of visa fraud, if indeed that's an offence in Thailand. At the very least you'll get laughed at. 

Shows typical self- righteous ignorance re. immigration system here.

Its a BUSINESS. It includes AGENTS. 
There are NO RULES. Except Rule 101 ; All Rules can be WAIVED ( for CASH). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i wasn't being  self righteous- was only asking a question because i recently applied for a visa extension and the pamphlet imm. gave me before hand said must apply in person. no mention of agents. sorry if someone was offended by the question🙏

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Cabra said:

So true. Unless you are gaming the system (because you can't meet the requirements legally), I'd steer clear. Many agents have IOs "on the payroll" and if the IO is ever audited (and it does happen) you could end up loosing your Visa.  Or if you every attempt to stop using the agent and DIY, you might find you can't because your previous Visa was improperly obtained. 

No. Immigration System here is a BUSINESS. It includes AGENTS ….by Design. Visa Issued is NEVER cancelled just because Agent Involved. That’s an Urban Myth. As is the “ bound for life” to single Agent. Both Would be Bad for the Business.
 

Its Extremely Rare and would involve holder seriously breaking visa / stay conditions like Crime / Deportation/  Working Illegally / Mass Language School Non- Attendance etc,  where Cash or Connections cannot solve as too serious or high profile.

Sometimes a new over- enthusiastic IO Chief will “ audit” on whatever basis but then no one is safe and again it’s incredibly rare that farangs suffer.

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, TSS said:

i wasn't being  self righteous- was only asking a question because i recently applied for a visa extension and the pamphlet imm. gave me before hand said must apply in person. no mention of agents. sorry if someone was offended by the question🙏

The Business is not going to be written down on official govt. paper😉

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Benroon said:

You forgot to add …. and therefore shouldn’t be in the country as they are residing here illegally. 

Knock knock …
 

Immigration here is a BUSINESS. 
It includes AGENTS ….by DESIGN.

It is therefore not “Illegal” here to use Immigration Agents. If you have a Immigration Issued Unexpired Stay Passport Stamp you are LEGAL. 😎

Try making your case to the wheelchair -bound expat living 200 kms from his Immigration Office, or to any Agent ! 

Or to the poster here who had to use his 800k for medical bills reneged on by his insurer. Or the Family Guy whose Business Bankrupted, etc.

Tell them all to Leave or Stop, I Dare You 😠I’ll Watch the Outcome!!🤣🤣

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, DwizzleyMatthews said:

Don’t shoot the messenger, only stating the facts , it is not my situation.
Would also add that many can afford to keep the money money in a Thai bank but choose to run the risk of using an agent to benefit from higher interest rates in their home country or offshore accounts etc. Their decision their risk.

The 400/800k held in a Thai bank is useful for medical emergencies but I wonder what would happen if withdrawn monies caused the amount to drop below the financial requirements threshold ?, would immigration be lenient in this matter ?

No, they would not, they might direct you to their own Agency though 🤣👍 Another reason why Agents are part of the “ business”. 😎🤟

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Cabra said:

Many agents have IOs "on the payroll" and if the IO is ever audited (and it does happen) you could end up loosing your Visa

Why do you think, they would ever point themselves on to the visa business opportunities in there Immi system? 

My guess, there are now meetings ongoing, immigration and agents, to find out, how big the damage really is.  Usually, I think, they would just deport the people, quickly, because not in the country, no complain to follow up.

Did we hear a lot about this scam , as follow up, from the Bangkok agents whom got caught, month ago? At least I did not read much about. 

Now with the flashlight from the "victims club" shining on it, they seem already have reacted : they won't deport people, who report themselves. That is news, isnt it?

Perhaps the next step is to get them out without 20k fine and/or no blacklisting?

I am really interested to read the outcome. So many official people have to be involved in this extension business, because it wouldn't be possible without, that I see big resistance coming in the way of any real investigation

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By posting on Thaiger Talk you agree to the Terms of Use