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What type of spacing is required for rubber trees in Thailand?

RRIT consultants suggests that 3m between trees x 7m between rows is optimum for healthy trees and yield per rai, thats about 76 trees per rai.  Also it allows for interplanting when trees are young and allows a tractor to pass easily between trees and 4 passes (two up and two down each row for ploughing and scraping off grass with a blade or 7 disc attachment.  Closer than that and yield would be adversely affected by overlapping crowns and soil degradation. 

I have planted this way on 50 rai in Nakhon Phanom province and will start tapping next year. So far it looks good.  We have neighbors who have planted 5m x 3m and 6m x 2.5m but the trees seem smaller and not so happy.

However, the 3m between trees does not allow for tractors to pass between trees, so the next section of land that I plant, I'm seriously considering doing a 4m x 6m spacing.  This would allow for better tractor movement between the trees, as well as down the rows.  This spacing would still allow for a nice canopy when the trees mature, and should not adversely effect yield.
Start-up Costs

This discussion about costs excludes money expended to purchase land.

These prices are as of the date of this post.

First, you need to prepare the land for planting.  The land needs to be clear of all other trees and vegetation.  The land should have a slight slope to it to allow for excess water run-off so you do not get any water stagnation.  The costs of this will vary based on how much clearing needs to be done.  A tractor usually charges about 225 baht a rai to plow the land.  A very large tractor for clearing trees, etc can be as much as 500 baht a rai.

The initial purchase of trees currently are at about 50 baht each.  Rows are generally about 6 or 7 meters apart with trees spaced at about 3 meters in the row.  This may seem like wide spacing, but when the trees mature they will form a canopy to cover the land.

You will need to pay workers about 200 baht per day to plant and fertilize the trees.  A worker can plant about 150 trees a day. Plus, you are expected to provide lunch and water for the workers each day. Initial fertilizing of the trees will cost about 2 baht per tree at the time of planting.

Let's assume you are planting 2,000 trees on 25 rai of cleared land, here are some estimated rounded costs:

Tractor: 6,000 baht
Trees: 100,000 baht
Workers: 3,000 baht
Fertilizer: 4,000 baht

So your initial costs are about 113,000 baht - not including the cost of land.

It is normal to have several defective trees that will die.  Out of your 2,000 trees, you should have a 90% survival rate.  Plan on buying and replanting about 200 trees a few months after the initial planting.

After planting, you have about 7 years of maintenance before the trees are mature enough to produce rubber.  So let's calculate the cost for these 7 years.

Annual costs:
Fertilize 3 times a year (2,000 x 7baht): 14,000 baht
Workers to apply fertilizer: 4 workers, 2 days, 3 times = 6,000 baht
Workers to control weeds around the trees: 2 workers, 3 days, 3 times = 4,500 baht
Fertilizer: 5 bags @ 650 baht, 3 times = 9,750 baht
Tractor to plow between trees, 25 rai @ 220/rai, 2 times = 11,000 baht
Pruning the trees - you can do yourself so no cost

Annual total = 45,250 baht x 7 years = 316,750 baht
Plus initial planting costs 113,000 baht

Total estimated costs = 429,750 baht to get the farm to the point of production and starting a revenue stream.
Requirements for a Thai Non-Immigrant visa for purpose of Retirement

This is often incorrectly referred to as a Retirement visa.  The correct terminology is Thai Non-Immigrant visa for purpose of retirement.  Or Non-Immigrant "O" visa with a retirement extension.

First you must have a Non-Immigrant visa, which is good for 90 days.  Then you add a 12 month retirement extension to it.  The first time you do this, you will end up with a 15 month visa, then each year you renew it, it is good for 12 months.

The retirement extension is much easier to get than the marriage extension.  Much less paper work, however, it requires twice as much money as income or deposited into a bank account.

There are also a couple of additional requirements that do not exist for the marriage extension such as the police report and the health certificate.

Here are the requirements:
  • A foreign national whose age is 50 years or above. (on the date of submitting the application)
  • Not being prohibited from entering the Kingdom under the Immigration Act. B.E. 2522
  • Having the nationality of or the residence in the country where his/ her application is submitted
  • Having no criminal record against the security of Thailand and the country of his/her nationality, or the country of his/her residence
  • Not having prohibitive diseases as indicated in the Ministerial Regulation No.14 (B.E. 2535) (Leprosy, Tuberculosis [T.B], Elephantiasis, Drug addiction, Alcoholism, 3nd step of syphilis)
Required documents:
  • Visa application form
  • Passport-type photos (Passport-type photo, 4 x 6 cm, color, front-view, taken within 6 months, and write your name and last name on the back of each photo).
  • Copies of the applicant's passport (the picture page) - include the actual passport when submitting the application.  Passport must be valid for at least 18 more months
  • Copies of Personal Data Form
  • Copies of:
    • applicant's bank statement showing a balance in the amount of not less than 800,000 Baht  (When submitting the bank statement, a letter from the bank verifying the account and balance is to be presented) If you are submitting this application to a Thai Embassy in your home country, then the account can exist at a bank in your home country.  If you are living in Thailand and are processing this application at a neighboring country, then the bank account must be at a Thai bank
    • or an income certificate with a monthly salary of not less than 65,000 Baht.  If you are submitting your application in your home country, check with your local Thai Embassy for requirements to show proof of income; if you are living in Thailand, then an affidavit from your country's embassy is required to verify this income.
    • or a combination of a deposit account plus a monthly income totaling not less than 800,000 Baht a year
  • Copies of police verification stating the applicant has no criminal record issued by the authority concerned of his/her nationality or residence.  The verification must not be more than three months old
  • Copies of the completed medical certificate form issued from the country where the application is submitted, showing no prohibitive diseases as indicated in the Ministerial Regulation No. 14 (B.E. 2535) with the name and address of the doctor.  The certificate must be not be older than 3 months.

In the case where the accompanying spouse is not eligible to apply for  the Category ‘O-A’ (Long Stay) visa, he or she will be considered for temporary stay under Category ‘O’ visa.  A marriage certificate must be provided as evidence and should be notarised by notary organs or by the applicant’s diplomatic or consular mission.

Provide three copies of everything.  Sign your name to the bottom of every page.
Requirements for a Thai Non-Immigrant visa for the purpose of visiting family (Type "O") and Supporting a Thai Spouse

These requirements are universal for all Thai Embassies and Consulates, however, there are some slight variations from place to place.  Some locations are more strict than others.

If you have any doubts about what is required, or if you are getting conflicting information about what is required, I suggest you take multiple copies of everything with you to the Thai Embassy.  If you are not sure if it is needed, take it anyway.  If you leave Thailand to go to Laos or Cambodia to get the visa, and you are missing something important, you will only be able to return to Thailand with a 15 day VOA.

First, you need a Non-immigrant visa for purpose of visiting a family member (spouse).  If you are currently in Thailand on a Tourist visa, you must get a Non-immigrant "O" visa for marriage before you can get the extensions.  This is a two-step process, first you must leave Thailand, and get the Non-immigrant "O" visa, which is good for 90 days.  Then after 60 days, and within 30 days of the expiration date (not sooner), go to an Immigration office in Thailand and apply for the 12 month marriage extension.

If you already have a Non-immigrant visa, then you can just go straight to the Immigration office and apply for the marriage extension.  You will need all the documents for both the Non-Imm "O" visa and the marriage extension as described below.

The requirements for just the Non "O" visa are more simple than the marriage extension.  Again, these requirements can vary from embassy to embassy, so it is best to find out in advance what is required, if that is not possible, then take EVERYTHING for both the Non "O" visa AND the marriage extension with you, just to be safe.

Between the 90 day Non "O" visa, then the 12 month marriage extension, you are getting 15 months to begin with.

Required documents for the Non-Imm "O" visa include:
  • Application form (TM87) - This application form also varies from place to place, so I suggest you find the website for the specific embassy or consulate you plan to visit to see if you can get their version of the application form on-line.  Otherwise, you can pick up the application when you get there and fill it out.  It is usually not a long form and can be filled out quickly.
  • Two passport photos of applicant (write your name on the back of each photo)
  • Proof of family relationship - marriage certificate:
    • If the marriage certificate is from a country other than Thailand, then the certificate must be registered with the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).  Which requires that it is first translated into Thai.  Most offices that offer translation services in Thailand can also help you get it registered with the MFA
    • If you are married in Thailand, the marriage must be registered with the Amphur office - a village ceremony alone is not considered a valid marriage.
    • The marital relationship shall be dejure (legitimate) and de facto
  • If any children are involved, including natural or an adopted child, copies of any birth certificates and house registration books must be provided
  • Copies of relevent pages from the alien's passport (picture page, page showing entry and exit stamps, visa page, etc.)
  • Copies of Thai Spouse's ID card
  • Copies of Thai Spouse's house registration book (Blue book)
  • Copies of Thai Spouse's Passport - if one exists, otherwise not required as long as you provide the copy of the ID card
  • Proof that you have at least 20,000 baht in a Thai bank account.

For the marriage extension, you will need all of the above documents, plus the following:
  • Application form (TM7) This is a standard form and can be downloaded.  This is a two page form, however, you cannot submit it as 2 separate pages, you must print it so the 2 pages are printed front to back (duplex) so there is only one piece of paper.
  • In case of marriage with a Thai lady, the husband who is an alien must have an average annual income of not less than 40,000 baht per month OR a money deposit in a local Thai bank of not less than 400,000 baht for the past 2 months for expenses within a year.
    • If you are using a monthly income to satisfy this requirement, then you must obtain a letter from your country's Embassy verifying the monthly income.  Most Embassies do not require any proof of the income, this is just a signed affidavit stating your monthly income.  However, some Thai Embassies or Consulates may require proof of the income in the form of regular deposits going into your bank account.
    • The bank account must be at a Thai bank
    • You can also combine the deposit and monthly income together, for instance, you can show that you have 200,000 baht in a bank account, and an income of 20,000 baht per month.
    • For proof of a deposit, you should not only provide copies of the pages from your bank book, but also obtain a letter from the bank certifying the balance and dates of deposits.  This letter should be dated within a day or two of when you visit the Immigration office.
  • A letter from the Thai spouse verifying that the applicant and the spouse are still married and the purpose of the visit to Thailand - no longer required
  • Map showing the location of the alien's residence
  • Three pictures of the alien and his spouse at his residence
  • Form Sor Tor Mor 2 not older than 6 months (The alien's acceptance of conditions permitting the alien to live in the kingdom) - this can be obtained from the local Amphur office - no longer required

Take three copies of everything, sign your name on the bottom of every page of every copy.
Non-Immigrant Visa / Requrements for a Thailand Non-immigrant Visa
« Last post by USA Expat on July 21, 2012, 07:22:41 AM »
Thailand Non-immigrant visa

The non-immigrant visa is used for many purposes such as doing business in Thailand, study or education, research, making a movie, marriage, retirement, missionary work, skilled or expert worker, etc.

The requirements vary depending on the purpose for the non-immigrant visa you want.  The most common purposes for most expats is for retirement or marriage.

This website discusses all the different purposes in more detail and lists the requirements:

The non-immigrant visa is obtained at a Thai Embassy or Consulate located outside of Thailand.  The initial non-immigrant visa is good for 90 days.  Depending on your purpose for a non-immigrant visa, you can apply for a 12 month extension.

There are different names used for these visas.  For instance, many people refer to a Retirement visa, however, the correct terminology is "Non-immigrant "O" visa with a retirement extension".

This forum will discuss the retirement and marriage extensions in more detail in other topics.  Visit this board to see the various postings related to a non-immigrant visa: Non-immigrant visa Discussions
Tourist Visa / Requirements for a Tourist visa to visit Thailand
« Last post by USA Expat on July 21, 2012, 07:21:42 AM »
Thailand Tourist Visa Requirements

This is NOT legal advice, just my opinion, please see a qualified immigration attorney for legal advice.

You must have a valid passport from your home country which has an expire date more than 6 months from the date you enter Thailand.

Everyone who is not a Thai National must have a visa to enter Thailand.

Do you need a Tourist Visa?
Depending on your country of origin (where your passport is issued) you can enter Thailand via air, and get a "Visa on Arrival" (VOA) at the airport, then stay for up to 30 days without getting a tourist visa.

To see if you qualify for a VOA, check out this website for more information regarding your country of origin:

If you want to stay longer than 30 days, then you need a visa other than a VOA visa.  The easiest visa to get for Thailand is a Tourist visa.

A Tourist visa allows you to stay in Thailand for up to 60 days, plus you can get a 30 day extension on that.  Depending on which country you get the Tourist visa, you can get multiple entries up to 3 entries.  With extensions, a 3 entry Tourist visa will allow you to stay in Thailand for up to 9 months.

Most embassies in neighboring countries around Thailand will issue a 2 entry Tourist visa easily.  The Los Angeles Embassy will do a 3 entry Tourist visa, multiple times.  There are many foreigners living in Thailand on just Tourist visas, getting a new one every few months.  However, the embassies are wise to this and some will refuse to issue a new Tourist visa if you have too many in your passport.  "Too many" varies by embassy, so do your research on-line to see what others are saying.

You must leave Thailand at the end of each entry stamp and return back to get a new 60 day stamp.  Then a few days before the 60 day stamp expires, visit a local immigration office and apply for a 30 day extension.  At the end of the 30 day extension, you must leave Thailand and return to get another 60 day stamp, then to another extension.  DO NOT let the 60 day stamp or 30 day extension expire before getting another stamp or extension.

Here is how it works:
  • Visit this website and download the visa application:
  • Take the application form and required documents to a Thai Embassy or Consulate located outside of Thailand and apply for a 2 or 3 entry Tourist visa.
  • It will take one or more days for the Thai office to process the application.  You can pick up your passport the following day or more, and the visa will be attached to a page in your passport.
  • Arrive in Thailand and enjoy your stay for 55 or so days, then before the 60th day, visit an Immigration office in Thailand and apply for a 30 day extension.
  • Then before the end of the 30 day extension, leave Thailand and visit either Laos, Cambodia, or Malaysia (or any other country) and then return to Thailand to get another entry stamp which is good for another 60 days.
  • Then get another 30 day extension before the 60th day
  • Repeat this process one more time if you have a 3 entry visa
  • Before the end of the last extension, leave Thailand and apply for a new Tourist visa and repeat this process again.
Requirements for a Thailand Tourist visa:
This is a copy and paste from and is current as of the date of this post.  You may want to visit the above website to verify if anything has changed.

    This type of visa is issued to applicants who wish to enter the Kingdom for tourism purposes .
    - Passport or travel document with validity not less than 6 months
    - Visa application form completely filled out
    - Recent( 4 x 6 cm.) photograph of the applicant
    - Evidence of travel from Thailand (air ticket paid in full)
    - Evidence of adequate finance (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family)
    - Consular officers reserve the rights to request additional documents as deemed necessary
    3. VISA FEE   
    1,000 Baht per entry (Los Angeles Embassy is currently charging $40 per entry)
(Visa fee may be changed without prior notice)
    The validity of a visa is 3 months or 6 months.  This means you must arrive in Thailand within 3 or 6 months to activate your visa.  This is NOT the duration you can stay in Thailand.
    5. PERIOD OF STAY   
        Upon arrival, travellers with this type of visa will be permitted to stay in Thailand for a period of not exceeding 60 days.
        Those who wish to stay longer or may wish to change their type of visa must file an application for permission at the Office of Immigration Bureau located on Government Center B, Chaengwattana Soi 7, Laksi, Bangkok 10210, Tel 0-2141-9889 (or at ). The extension of stay as well as the change of certain type of visa is solely at the discretion of the Immigration officer..
        Nationals of certain countries are required to apply for a visa only at the Thai Embassy or Consulate-General in their home/residence country or at the designated Thai Embassy. Therefore, travellers are adivised to contact the nearest Thai Embassy or Consulate-General to find out where they may apply for a visa to Thailand before departure.
Tourist Visa / Single Entry or Multiple Entry Tourist Visa
« Last post by USA Expat on July 21, 2012, 07:20:55 AM »
    Should you get a single entry or multiple entry tourist visa?

    This depends on a few things:
    • How long do you want to stay in Thailand? If you want to stay more than 90 days (60 day stamp + 30 day extension) then you should request a Tourist visa with 2 or 3 entries.
    • Most Thai Embassies and consulates will issue single and double entry Tourist visas, some will also do 3 entries.  I know the Los Angeles Thai Embassy will do 3 entry visas, but I don't think the Laos or Cambodia locations do more than double entry.
    [li]How many multiple entry Tourist visas are in your passport? Some locations will not issue additional multiple entry visas if you have too many.  How many is too many? varies from location to location.  You'll need to watch the forums and ask around for more info on this.  I did one 3 entry from Los Angeles, and they processed a second 3 entry Tourist visa for me to return immediately without asking any questions.
    General Info / Is a visa required to visit Thailand? - YES
    « Last post by USA Expat on July 21, 2012, 07:19:13 AM »
    Do I need a visa to visit Thailand?

    This is NOT legal advice, just my opinion, please see a qualified immigration attorney for legal advice.

    The answer is YES, all visitors who do not hold a Thai passport require a visa to visit Thailand.  However, many people can get a 30 day "Visa on Arrival" stamp when they pass through immigration at the airport.  Which means you do not need to do anything in your home country prior to departure to Thailand.

    You must have a valid passport from your home country which has an expire date more than 6 months from the date you enter Thailand.

    Check out this website for more information regarding your country of origin:Visa on Arrival

    When you arrive in Thailand via air, you can get a 30 day visa, by land is only a 15 day visa.

    If you want to stay longer than 30 days, then you must get a Tourist visa, good for 60 days, or a non-immigrant visa which is good for 90 days.  These visas must be obtained from a Thai Embassy or Consulate located outside of Thailand.
    General Info / Where do you get a visa to visit Thailand?
    « Last post by USA Expat on July 21, 2012, 07:18:08 AM »
    Where can I get a visa to visit Thailand?

    With the exception of the "Visa on Arrival", which is issued at the border crossing (airport), all visas must be obtained from a Thai Embassy or Consulate located in a country other than Thailand.  The Thai Embassy or Consulate does not need to be in your home country, with some exceptions.  See your local Thai office to determine if exceptions apply to your country.

    Many people enter Thailand with a "Visa on Arrival" stamp and decide to stay longer than the allowed 30 days.  It is a big business in Thailand taking foreigners to Laos or Cambodia to get a Tourist visa.

    Only extensions can be obtained from an immigration office inside of Thailand.

    If you want to visit Thailand longer than 30 days, you should visit the Thai Embassy or Consulate in your home country PRIOR to leaving and get either a Tourist visa or a Non-Immigrant "O" visa - depending on your purpose for coming to Thailand.
    General Info / Using a 3rd Party for Legal advice for a Thai visa
    « Last post by USA Expat on July 21, 2012, 07:16:47 AM »
    Should you use a 3rd party legal company to help get a Thai visa?

    My opinion is:
    These companies are very helpful and expensive.  If you do not have any experience with getting a visa, then one of these companies can help you get the visa faster with less frustration and hassle. 

    Many of these companies offer a "Money back Guarantee" if they fail to get you a visa.  However, they usually find a loop hole to refuse the refund, and you will not have any legal recourse.  Siam-Legal is famous for messing up a visa application, then not giving the promised refund.  Avoid Siam Legal at all costs.

    Many visas are not that complicated and you can do it yourself.  Do your research on-line, visit the Embassy or Consulate you plan to apply at and ask them for their list of requirements.  The requirements can vary from place to place, so first get their list, then follow it very strictly. 

    Take 3 copies of everything with you, put your signature on everything - sign every page and copy.

    If you want a visa to take a Thai girl back to your home country, then that is a whole different story, and you should use a 3rd party legal company in your home country to help.  Do not use a 3rd party company in Thailand to help with a visa to your home country.
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