Reply To: Non-Immigrant O-A from the Thai consulate in Los Angeles.

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I got my Non-Immigrant O-A from the Thai consulate in Los Angeles. Here is what I did.

Filled in the the visa application and additional information form When I had filled in the forms before, I downloaded them as PDFs, so when filling them in this time, much of the information was already there. Made the process much easier and legible.

I got my medical certificate before I left Thailand from Bangkok Hospital in Phuket Town. 1800 B for the exam. Bonus, I’m healthy!

Got the passport photos from a CVS drug store. SMH, because I had extra ones at home and forgot to bring them with me. $35!

Went to a local Social Security office and got an “award letter” indicating my monthly SS payments. I could have downloaded them from the SSA website, but I decided that an actual original form would be better. Go to the office early and it shouldn’t take much time at all.

Went to my pension plan’s office and got income verification letter. Easy peasy.

Added the total of the SS and pension monthly amounts. Just barely made the 65,000 Baht minimum. Yay! No dealing with minimum balances in a Thai bank, one of the biggest reasons for getting the O-A in your home country (the other being the ability to extend the visa for almost another year without leaving Thailand).

Found a local place that does “Live Scan” verification. CA DoJ has a list of places The same kind of place that does notary services. They did the fingerprint scan and submitted it to the State of California DoJ. The guy said it would take 1 (Yay!) to 3 (Boo!) weeks, depending on if I had stuff on my record. A week later, the records came in the mail. The only thing on it was when I got fingerprinted for a job I had at a school 20 years ago.

Went back to the notary and got the medical certificate notarized. He said that I might need something called an “apostille” for additional verification, but I thought that the one report would be enough. I figured that I still had another week here and that if I needed one, I could come back. Turns out, I didn’t need it (probably because Thailand is not a part of the “1961 Hague Convention”).

Made 3 copies (1 original and 2 copies for consulate and one copy for me) of the visa form, additional form, first page of my passport (signed and dated, of course, because Thailand), return flight airline ticket from webpage, pension plan letter, Social Security letter, medical certificate and accompanying notarization, California DoJ criminal record and cover letter.

Got a money order for $200, made out to “Royal Thai Consulate”.

I went to the consulate. Gave them my package and my passport. One person checked through all of my paperwork to make sure that everything was there, another person checked everything again, then started stamping all over the visa app. I assuming that that was the point that the application was approved. He said to come back the next day. The next morning, I went back and retrieved my passport with my new visa.

All in all, it was a pretty easy task. I allowed 3 weeks in LA to get this done and still have a week to spare. I hope this info will be helpful If you are, or will be in Southern California and want to get your O-A visa here.

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