Where To Set Up Your Home Base as an Expat?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by Skins, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Skins

    Skins Head Nigga in Charge Staff Member

  2. dangnomad

    dangnomad Well-Known Member

    Interesting timing ! I have been thinking about this for a while now. Tossing up whether to return to Australia or stay somewhere in Asia. Indonesia is it for me at the moment. However the visa situation still needs to be worked out.
    Currently I'm on a social budaya visa (6 months - initial 60 days then 4 x 30 day extensions).
    This is quite easy but I do want to set up a base so I'm looking into other types of visas. Will keep you posted.
     
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  3. southernallstars

    southernallstars Well-Known Member

    what's a social budaya visa, can you obtain that thing easily? What are the conditions?
     
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  4. dangnomad

    dangnomad Well-Known Member

    No conditions. You just get someone to sponsor you. I got mine at the Indo Consulate in Saigon. They can do it same day if you have $50 US dollars. They will only accept US dollars for payment not VND.
    My Indo girlfriend wrote the letter. The fornat of the letter is available online if you search for "social budaya visa". But you can get a visa agent to do this for you.
    Once you are in the country get in touch with a visa agent for your extensions. Cost me 1.6 million rupiah for the next 2 months. But worth it. On the first extension you will have to go the immigration office for fingerprints and a photo for their record keeping. After that you don't have to go again. The agent handles it all. PM me if you want the details.
    I've done this now in Yogyakarta and Bali with 2 different agents but the process was identical.
    The only drawback to this type of visa is that you cannot leave the country.
    If you do it is cancelled.
    Since I don't want to go anywhere else it is perfect.
     
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  5. southernallstars

    southernallstars Well-Known Member

    Currently I am on the road for six months and home for work for the rest of the year. I would prefer nine months on the road and being home three months.

    A benefit of a home base is learning the language. I think being in a country like VN or Indo and speaking their language must give you further, deeper access to society and girls.

    In Indo their mother tongue is usually some local dialect and Bahasa as a lingua franca is their second language only, so you would be on a similar ground as them if you spoke that language well. They speak no English, so it will get you far if you spoke that instead.

    It is said that you need about 2500 words to express yourself sufficiently in most situations, though sometimes a little awkwardly. A non-educated person like most Indos or Vietnamese speak 5000-8000 words....it's a lot of vocabulary to learn, but viable in perhaps an year or two, if you live there and keep studying.
     
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  6. Fiver Fever Fewer

    Fiver Fever Fewer Well-Known Member

    Malaysia also good. Check out their MM2H programme.
     
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  7. jspill

    jspill Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking 6 months a year Thailand, as you don't need a long term visa for that. They only get an 'alert' apparently if you're a tourist for over that, although many people get away with something like 8-9 months too. But say you wanted to not even be technically classed as a tax resident, and be 100% sure you won't be denied entry and lose your stuff, make it <183 days a year.

    That is pretty much a perpetual traveller, but not a visa run per se, you don't even need visas (2 months visa exemption, 2 months travel, then repeat), and there's no chance of being denied. Or do two tourist visas a year, 3 months each. Wouldn't really call it a visa run you just pick up a new visa somewhere on your 3 months of travelling, e.g. in Vietnam or Bali.

    Can't really own a ton of shit, unless you buy a condo and Airbnb it out half the year, or sublet your lease to a friend half the time.
     
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  8. jspill

    jspill Well-Known Member

    What about living there on day visa exemptions, which G7 passport holders get. I can't find much info online as to whether that's possible or not, apart from this forum where people say it's fine, they've been doing that back to back for years, etc.

    http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=29459

    The only poster who disagrees still says you can do it 3 times a year, so 9 months. Surely you can't do it forever as then the MM2H program would be pointless, but 6 months per year should be ok.
     
  9. brockstar

    brockstar Legendary Member

    So you just do the 30 landing permit and then get it extended at immigration, as opposed to getting a tourist visa?
     
  10. JohnnyB

    JohnnyB Well-Known Member

    You will have a hard time setting up shop in Panama if you have been living off the banking grid and are a US citizen. Banks there require letters of recommendation from both bankers and lawyers as part of the application process to open a simple deposit account, BC they don't want to end up getting sued by the DOJ for their costumer base like UBS.

    Also, Panama City is a big business city. You can have lots of fun there, as you can anywhere. But the city itself is on par with Houston, TX. And not exceptionally cheap. It makes much more sense if you are setting up and running a business in South America with Copa flying to all major cities on the continent.

    If Latin America is your thing, Uruguay has an easy path to residency and citizenship - and the passport gets the EU visa waiver. 3 years of you are married; 5 if single.

    If you have more cash, Malta is selling EU passports for something like ~$550k net, but closer to $1MM upfront. Best deal on the planet if you are a Russian gangster looking not to die of radiation soup.

    I've heard Poland is pretty easy on their residencies - same as Uruguay, population growth has stagnated. And setting up base in a place with 4 seasons appeals to me more than being stuck in the tropics.
     
  11. Fiver Fever Fewer

    Fiver Fever Fewer Well-Known Member

    They give you 90 days in Malaysia! (With the right passport.) It's like HK or Macau.

    I've never spent more than a few days there, but I would imagine staying less than 6 months a year is fine (that's only one visa run, after 3 months).

    Malaysia doesn't tax foreign income and KL is a cool and modern city. Maybe a bit boring compared to other SEA capitals. Some decent P4P too.

    @jspill
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  12. the lockmaster

    the lockmaster Well-Known Member

    I've often wondered about Malaysia as a home base for awhile. 90 days visa free for US citizens. After 90 days you could pop into Thailand for 30 days at a time. Then extend that to 30 if you want.

    The only cons people really talk about are it's a little boring and alcohol costs a lot. Not a big deal if you aren't a heavy drinker.

    I wonder what the woman scene is like there though.
     
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  13. the lockmaster

    the lockmaster Well-Known Member

    I know you are burned out on Vietnam.

    But you can do 1 year Business Visas here and not have to do any border runs.

    There seems to be some confusion on this site about what exactly is needed to obtain a Business Visa.

    Personally, I didn't provide any additional documents other than my passport to the Visa Agent. They handled everything. Maybe I got lucky and my agent was "connected", but I simply dropped off my passport and paid the fee. Did my 1 border run to Cambodia and came back with a Business Visa.

    If you can obtain one of these in Vietnam. It makes the Visa process a lot easier. Just do extensions once a year.

    Worth looking into.
     
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  14. LadLife

    LadLife Well-Known Member

    @the lockmaster How much did you pay for your 1 year ? I just got another 3 months on a DN business visa. I paid 230$ and I'm 99% sure that was too much, however due my circumstances at the time I didn't give a fuck, just wanted the visa and to move on with my life.

    I'm only 25 so I haven't thought long term yet, and even though I love my country and it's a super sweet place to live quality wise (New Zealand)
    I simply cannot imagine going back to live there right now and working a 7-5 job with fuck all excitement.

    I think even if my current financial situation changed I would still do the 6 months at home saving away and 6 months abroad thing.

    @southernallstars Highly agree with learning the local language. Even my knowledge of Vietnamese (I'd say somewhere between novice and intermediate, I know about 500-550ish words) has really opened up a fuck load of adventures and experiences that would never of otherwise happened. I'm absolutely frothing to learn more and I start my lessons with a private teacher 4 times a week next week.

    I had the absolute pleasure a couple days ago of having a lovely looking local gal accompanying me to dinner, a walk on the beach and then back to my place for some steamy sexual intercourse. What made this experience so good was that only twice during the whole time we spent together did I ever have to turn to good ol google translate, the rest of the time we spoke entirely in Vietnamese (There were defiantly a few mis understandings but we got there in the end) .

    I literally punched the air and was beating my chest like a gorilla during doggy style. One of the proudest moments of my life, is that strange ? lol meh don't care :)
     
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  15. JohnnyB

    JohnnyB Well-Known Member

    Pound away my friend. I read an article recently regarding a study that showed the harder you fuck SEA girls, the quicker they learn English.
     
  16. Livingthedream

    Livingthedream Well-Known Member

    I considered this for a while, you don't even have to buy any visas; as you say after 30 days in Thailand, pop over the border and just remain in Malaysia upto 90 days (cheap flight from Phuket or BKK, or hop in the overnight train) I just can't get my head round staying in Malaysia that long. I've done a couple of visa runs to Penang; don't get me wrong, nice place but only for a week maximum. I also think having to pack up and move every few weeks is ok for the short-term, but after a while I want a solid base; I hated living in limbo and counting down the days until my next border run...not been, but Lankawi island looks a decent place to hang for a stint; there is Thai boxing gyms, windsurfing, beaches e.t.c there..
     
  17. Fiver Fever Fewer

    Fiver Fever Fewer Well-Known Member

    Cambodia is a great place to get a Vietnam visa. The travel agencies on the riverside are well connected and can get you a proper visa for Vietnam in a matter of days or even hours (for an additional fee).

    By the way, Cambodia is also a great base. Probably the best in SEA. Just pay $300 a year for a multiple entry business visa and renew it indefinitely! Cheap flights and buses to Bangkok and Saigon.

    That's what I do. I "live" in Cambodia. When I get sick of the poverty and scams I travel to another country, then I go back after a month or two. I'm in Thailand at the moment... it's developed and all, but I already miss my Khmer chicks. I'll be back to Phnom Penh soon.
     
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  18. southernallstars

    southernallstars Well-Known Member

    yeah, really considering that myself, though I feel lazy. I go to PI also due to English skills of Filipinas but I am guessing many foreigners have that idea so competition should increase over time. But speaking Bahasa in Indo must open up a whole new world in that country of 250 million! The Tinder girls speak some broken English but basically no one else, yet they like white men.

    The google translator is supposed to become perfect within a decade I heard though...
     
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  19. jspill

    jspill Well-Known Member

    Yes. So 60 days Thailand (30+30), 60 days elsewhere, repeat forever. I use an agent in Sukhumvit for the 30 day extension so I don't have to trek over to immigration myself.

    Or tourist visa would be 90 days Thailand (60+30), 90 days elsewhere, repeat forever. Same agent for the extension.

    I do whichever one I feel like at the time.

    You can get away with being in Thailand way more than 50% of the time, I did 9 months without a visa in 2016. You can push it quite far.

    But just as an example, if someone wanted peace of mind that they definitely wouldn't be denied entry, that they're not even classed as a tax resident, and they didn't want to be in Thailand over 6 months a year anyway... then they could keep it to exactly 50%.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
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  20. Travelt

    Travelt Well-Known Member

    I'm about to get the 6 month METV, which if you time it right allows you to stay 9 months total. The only downside is I have to fly back to NYC to get it. :(
     
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