Facts... 1. Marriage Visa (let's just call it that) has additional requirements above & beyond the Retirement one, the ease/difficulty in meeting these additional requirements is irrelevant, they're still additional requirements that are required every year, as is the trip to immigration with the wife & (potentially) the home visit. 2. Assuming you meet the criteria for both, there are (currently) no advantages in getting a Marriage Visa over the Retirement one. (*) 3. The chances of getting a PR without being employed/paying tax for several years is zilch (unless you're married to somebody "influential" in which case I could see the Marriage route helping) I've never looked into it, but would have thought that getting Thai Citizenship would require getting PR status 1st, would be interesting to learn more. 4. (Finances aside) The chances of you suddenly becoming no longer eligible for the retirement visa (I.e. Becoming less than 50) & still needing a Visa is zero... The chances of you no longer being eligible for a marriage visa is whatever the divorce rate is (I've no idea, shall we say 10? 25? 50%?) + the chance of your spouse dying before you. 5. You can get a Visa to look after your Thai children if you're the primary carer & they're minors... What are the chances your wife is going to let you keep the kids should things go pear shaped? So why go through any additional hassle to change it (& not every immigration office provides the same services, e.g, converting from a visa exempt to a non-o for retirement within Thailand requires 2 trips to Bangkok), if you don't need to? * Incidentally, I think there should be differences most notably Husband & Wife should be able to buy a certain amount of land together for the family home.
People keep mentioning all these time consuming and inconvenient extra requirements for extensions with marriage. I'm interested in what they are? Last year when we extended mine, we copied our marriage certificate and child's birth certificate (takes a few seconds in a scanner/printer) took some pictures (five minutes?) and spent around ten minutes submitting the application at immigration. By what measure is this time consuming and inconvenient? Yes, the first year is the hard part, maybe an hour while an officer reads and stamps everything, and maybe two immigration officers get to go on a field trip to your abode, once. Oh well. The OP has Thai children, so even if he divorces, he remains eligible for extension of stay based on having Thai family i.e. Divorcing would change nothing. Regarding the red herring of PR, Thai citizenship has become a much more attractive and realistic proposition in recent years for those with Thai children, and costs next to nothing compared to PR. You'll never be on that road and have that choice if you stay on retirement visas. The internet is awash with dud information about everything relating to Thailand. Ultimately, every immigration office has to follow the same rules, and there is nothing preventing the OP choosing to extend based on family. The only information that should guide you with potentially life changing decisions is that from an official source. The above mentioned website you quote from is NOT operated by the Thai government or any overseas mission. It is a 'doorway' site operated by a law company, designed to funnel new customers to their main website, so you to pay them to do what you can easily do for yourself.
As I said, there are extra requirements for the Marriage Visa (extension of stay based on Marriage) you've listed at least some of them & these may be asked for at any extension same with they may decide to visit the family home, from what I've read this is becoming more common in certain places. There's probably little to choose between them, PR is a red herring as you have to work & pay taxes to have the remotest chance of getting one (highly unlikely if you're of retirement age) & if they change the rules they'll grandfather the requirements for both. I've read that some immigration offices don't like to change the purpose of stay (probably because it's more work) so good advice about not meeting the retirement extension requirements but you may find yourself having to go to Laos for a new non-O M if they decide they don't want to play ball... From http://www.thaiembassy.com/faq/convert-a-retirement-visa-to-marriage-visa.php " There are two ways to convert a Retirement visato a Marriage visa. First, you would need to cancel your Retirement visa and apply for an initial non immigrant o visa from the Thai embassy in neighboring countries. Once in Thailand, you would need to meet the financial requirements and all other supporting documents in order to convert your visa to 1 year. Second, conversion from Retirement visa to Marriage visa in Thailand could be done during the time for renewal, but this option may not be applicable to all Immigration offices in Thailand. Requirements may then vary and list of documents needed may differ from every location. At the end of the day, I see no benefit (granted the rules may change but see comment about grandfathering) & more effort but too each his own. One thing not mentioned is if you split from your wife then your extension of stay becomes invalid so you'll need to "convert" back & meet whatever the requirements are at that time.
Has anyone got a recommendation for a lawyer in Singapore. I want to make a Will for my Singapore assets rather than have everything under my UK Will. So a lawyer that can write up the Will for me, hold the Will and, in the event of my demise, execute on behalf of the executors if necessary.
To reiterate my pedantry, you won't be getting a new visa, or changing visa type. The visa you originally used is long gone, long expired, forget it. You'll be getting a new extension of stay based upon having Thai family (previously you were getting new extensions of stay based on retirement). If you are resolved to changing the basis of extensions, I advise you to make sure you don't meet the requirements for retirement, just in case you're faced with a difficult immigration officer (apparently it happens sometimes, so I'm told). Just make sure you have less than 800,000 in the bank, and don't declare your full income.