Immigration and money - in a nutshell

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Gaybutton
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#21 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby Gaybutton » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:04 pm

puan wrote:2. believe the embassy gives a shit? ...NO

I disagree. I think that's exactly what the embassy gives - a shit.

I doubt that flooding the embassy with Emails would have much effect, but considering it would take just about the same amount of time to send an Email as it does to submit a post, it can't hurt anything to try.

I think the embassy needs to be reminded that looking out for American interests is part of its task. The embassy is the only powerful voice we have that can effectively represent us.

According to this web site, over 40,000 Americans are living in Thailand: https://tastythailand.com/how-many-amer ... live-here/

The embassy's evasive responses and "nothing we can do" excuse doesn't cut it with me. Yes there is something they can do and it shouldn't be like pulling teeth to get them to do it. They can at least have a serious discussion with Thailand immigration and inform them they are expected to provide specifics about what foreigners who can meet the 65,000 baht per month rule can do now to prove it.

That's what I think the embassy should do, but I don't hold much hope that it is what the embassy will do.

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#22 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby Gaybutton » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:27 pm

To the best of my knowledge, Thai immigration law still permits proof of a minimum monthly income of 65,000 baht to satisfy the financial requirement for obtaining the retirement visa. Until now, the embassy letters have been more or less a formality, a standard part of the visa application package that is virtually the same for everyone applying on that basis.

However, since that will no longer be the standard, then unless immigration comes up with some other type of standard, then every applicant will have to provide an individual form or proof - different for everybody.

The problem is we still don't know what immigration will accept as proof or even if they will accept anything at all other than the 800,000 baht.

To date, other than Barry Kenyon's letters to the editor in the Pattaya Mail, I have been unable to find so much as one word about any of this in the English language Thai media. Nothing. Nothing about the 800,000 baht. Nothing about any acceptable means of proving the 65,000 baht per month - not even anything about the embassies halting the proof-of-income letters.

I would have thought the news media catering to English speakers would have had at least something to say about it by now, but if it's there, I can't find it.

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#23 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby fountainhall » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:54 pm

Gaybutton wrote:According to this web site, over 40,000 Americans are living in Thailand:

It would be interesting to find out how many are here on work visas and how many as retirees - same with the number of Brits. Presumably only the retirees are concerned about the annual payments.


Gaybutton wrote:I would have thought the news media catering to English speakers would have had at least something to say about it by now, but if it's there, I can't find it.

As far as I know, all the staff reporters working for the Bangkok Post and The Nation are Thai. A handful in the news departments are westerners. Their bosses are all Thai. Given the lack of any kind of investigative journalism, I am really not surprised that this is a dead issue for them. Sadly!

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#24 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby Jun » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:17 am

I may be again missing something here, but when the Thai authorities accepted Embassy letters, was that not simply outsourcing responsibility for checking you actually have the income to the Embassy ?

I am presuming the embassies required some form of proof of income to issue the letters.

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#25 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby Bob » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:54 am

Jun wrote:...I am presuming the embassies required some form of proof of income to issue the letters.

All the embassies/consulates did (and do) require evidence of income....excepting for the USA. The form the embassies/consulates sign (the so-called income affidavit) contains no language saying that income was verified or checked...the signing by the embassies/consulates is simply a verification that the signer is the person listed in the affidavit and swore the information contained in the affidavit was correct. I have no idea what started the practice of requiring proof of income before the embassies/consulates would essentially notarize the form but I suspect it was some form of directive from Thai Immigration.

What puzzles me is what started the current changes by these three (so far) countries. Was it a new directive by Thai Immigration to the embassies? Or simply a method chosen by the embassies to lighten their already meager workload?

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#26 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:15 am

Jun wrote:I am presuming the embassies required some form of proof of income to issue the letters.

I don't know about other embassies, but the USA embassy never required any form of evidence at all, other than your word for it. That is how many American farang who didn't have 800,000 baht and also could not meet the 65,000 baht per month requirement got away with it for all these years - until now.

Thai immigration knew this all along, but now Thailand's new immigration chief is taking a hard line stance and made it clear that if the embassies are going to issue proof of income statements, then they must start requiring actual proof. The embassies say they have no way to do that, although I really don't understand why. If you can bring documented proof with you to the embassy, I don't know what the problem is.

Nevertheless the embassies are going to stop issuing the statements and Thai immigration will soon no longer accept them, if they haven't already stopped accepting them, whether the embassies issue them or not.

Thai immigration law does say that proof of a monthly income of 65,000 baht or more is acceptable for meeting the financial requirement for the retirement visa. They had always accepted the embassy letters. The problem for people who can meet the requirement is what Thai immigration will now accept as actual proof. To date, Thai immigration has not said what, if anything, they will accept.

So, the position those who want the retirement visa are currently in is the only thing we know for sure immigration will accept in order to obtain the visa is 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account for a minimum of three months.

We're getting conflicting reports about whether Thai immigration will accept anything else. So, at this point we simply don't know where things stand on that.

There is an old American saying that when you find yourself in an impossible situation, "You're up Shit Creek without a paddle." However, yesterday Dodger posted that he spoke with a Pattaya immigration officer who told him the 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account for at least three months is now mandatory, BUT for those who can't meet that requirement, but can meet the 65,000 baht requirement, they will be handled on a case by case basis.
See: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9338&p=90794#p90791

Even so, we still know nothing about specifically what immigration will or will not accept, but at least now there is some hope for those who can meet the 65,000 baht requirement, but cannot or simply do not wish to keep 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account.

In other words, if what Dodger was told is indeed correct, now you've at least got the paddle, but you're still up Shit Creek . . .

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#27 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby 2lz2p » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:28 am

Excerpts
Gaybutton wrote:Thai immigration law does say that proof of a monthly income of 65,000 baht or more is acceptable for meeting the financial requirement for the retirement visa. They had always accepted the embassy letters. The problem for people who can meet the requirement is what Thai immigration will now accept as actual proof. To date, Thai immigration has not said what, if anything, they will accept.

So, the position those who want the retirement visa are currently in is the only thing we know for sure immigration will accept in order to obtain the visa is 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account for a minimum of three months.

We're getting conflicting reports about whether Thai immigration will accept anything else. So, at this point we simply don't know where things stand on that.

Even so, we still know nothing about specifically what immigration will or will not accept, but at least now there is some hope for those who can meet the 65,000 baht requirement, but cannot or simply do not wish to keep 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account.

Agree with GB - at the moment, what will be acceptable to Thai Immigration is more or less unknown with conflicting reports from folks that have asked at the Immigration Office. The Pattaya City Expats Club latest Newsletter has this comment:

We will do our best to keep everyone informed of the latest developments based on reliable or authoritative information. To date, we have received no reports of anyone having their Embassy income letter refused. However, there have been reports that Chang Mai and Phuket may be asking to see supporting documents when using the income letter from the US Embassy.

I've also noted that Thaivisa postings, so far, have not had anyone report the income letter is not being accepted at the moment - but there have been postings that Chang Mai (before and after the Embassy announcements) & Phuket (after the announcements) have accepted the letters, but have required additional documents to support the income reported on the letter.

It also possible, but don't hold your breath, that Immigration HQ may send out some guidance by January 1 to their regional offices on what to accept in lieu of an Embassy letter - likewise, whether to continue to accept those dated before January 1 which have previously been good for 6 months.

My renewal is not until July, so hopefully things will be sorted by that time.

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#28 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:18 pm

2lz2p wrote:what will be acceptable to Thai Immigration is more or less unknown with conflicting reports from folks that have asked at the Immigration Office.

I wouldn't say it is more or less unknown. I would say, at least for now, it is completely unknown. Even Thai immigration doesn't know and already we're seeing different immigration offices just making up their own rules. And even then, the only way we're finding out just what those rules are is by people going to immigration and reporting to us what they are told. Nothing in writing. Nothing clear. Everything an arbitrary decision by Thai immigration.

In other words, without the 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account for three months, we really don't know just what the hell we're supposed to do. Dodger was told "good people" probably don't have to worry. What, exactly, does that mean? Who makes that decision and upon what basis?

Let's suppose you are considered a good person and you manage to get your retirement visa renewed. Great. Now you're ok for another year. But with nothing specific coming out of immigration or the embassies, how do you know what will happen the next time, or the time after that? As it stands at the moment, the answer is you don't know.

For people trying to renew their retirement visa via proof of the 65,000 baht requirement rather than the 800,000 baht in a Thai bank, the only thing I can think of to do is to take everything you can come up with as evidence to substantiate the 65,000 baht requirement, go to immigration, and hope for the best.

And another question - what about people trying to obtain a first time retirement visa? If they don't already have a Thai bank account and for whatever reason can't get one, I have no idea how they can do it.

Oh well, if they can't retire in Thailand, there's always Ouagoudougou . . .

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#29 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby RichLB » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:33 pm

For those wishing to use the 65K option, I have questions:

1. How many months before renewing the visa does one have to show the stream of 65K deposits?
2. For how many consecutive months must one show a deposit of 65K?
3. Couldn't someone deposit 65K at the first of the month, withdraw it the next day, and then redeposit it the first of the next month ad infinitum?
4. Related the #3 above, since the purpose of the 65K is to provide for living expenses, is there any requirement for a minimum balance during the month of the initial deposit?
5. Is it required that the 65k be deposited every month or could one vary the deposits (eg, 130k one month, 0K the next month, and then 65k the following month, etc.) making sure the balance does not dip below 65k.

It seems to me that depending on the answer to these questions there might be workarounds to Immigration's potential change in rules.

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#30 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:36 pm

RichLB wrote:For those wishing to use the 65K option, I have questions

I also have a question. On whose answers would you be willing to rely as accurate?

Some probably can tell you how it was, but with everything happening right now, nobody can tell you yet how it is.

As I said, until we get authoritative answers from immigration, all anyone wishing to use the the 65K option can do is to take everything they have that can substantiate 65K per month, go to immigration, hope they'll be approved for the retirement visa, and ask immigration those questions.

Anyone trying to pass himself off as having the current, reliable answers to any of your questions is only guessing.


Perhaps Dodger has something there when he mentioned the most common workaround to deal with many problems in Thailand:

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