“I was wondering if anybody had information or personal experience of living and working in Thailand with a serious criminal record ?” Why?
Isn’t this the same as another recent thread? Why are you asking about serious offences Q3? Yours is of a petty nature and yes IanC obviously wouldn’t be my real name. There will be no fishing for references as to who I am or shortcuts as to how I did it, believe me. I’ll give anybody the basics, but I won’t give information that you couldn’t find out for yourself.
OK, specifically Thailand. DON’T believe that any agency or legal office can get you a visa; they can’t but will gladly put a nice copy one in your passport, (for a price), as you will discover on your way to jail as you try to leave the country, or try to renew it.
There are various types of visas, the most common are retirement or marriage. The retirement one you can get at 50 years old and can change your 12 month tourist ‘O’ into a retirement one (which you get in the UK), whilst in Thailand. You can only do this at the Immigration office – agencies will do this for you, but don’t believe you can bypass Immigration with adverts that companies can ‘fix’ things for you. This is why I often don’t use the internet for info, much of it is misleading at best. You have to have a retirement pension or show proof of income or savings on a yearly basis, currently I believe it’s 800k Baht (16,500 GBP).
No country wants ex-offenders, which is the bottom line anywhere. Some are more strict than others, but if you start declaring anywhere you leave yourself at the mercy of officialdom. Remember that you are a guest in Thailand, there are no human rights laws at every turn and you can be deported on a whim. No courts and no appeal. People in these places will leave you alone as long as you behave yourself and as such it’s like a new start. It’s the opportunity we’d all wish for in the UK. There’s nothing magic about it, you keep quiet, work, behave yourself . . . and that’s it. I believe that if you apply in the UK for a retirement visa you are asked to declare, but not if you apply in Thailand. Not too sure as I'm not on that visa.