Yet Another Immigration Question

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#1 Yet Another Immigration Question

Postby RichLB » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:44 pm

Tonight at dinner a new friend authoritatively reported that for those maintaining the 800.000 baht deposit in a Thai bank they must also demonstrate that there has been ongoing activity in that account. I've never heard of this new rule, yet he insisted that is the case. Can anyone confirm this "rule"?

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#2 Re: Yet Another Immigration Question

Postby fountainhall » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:59 pm

I am not sure what the issue is. Does your friend mean that there must be activity in the account prior to the start of the 90 day period? Or during the 90 day period? If during the 90 day period, it seems strange that the government would not also change the requirement to more than Bt. 800,000. After all, if there is going to be activity, it could reduce the balance below Bt. 800,000.

My renewal is not until February and so I regret I cannot help. But it seems strange.

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#3 Re: Yet Another Immigration Question

Postby mahjongguy » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:16 am

Funny how authoritative some people can be.

Well, we know that Immigration officers who are reviewing extension applications can ask for whatever supplemental documentation they wish to see, so probably this has happened at least once somewhere, though I suspect the applicant got his extension in the end.

If a poster made such a statement on the gang there would immediately ask for details.

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#4 Re: Yet Another Immigration Question

Postby Jogger » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:17 am

It seems to be the case that at some immigration offices ( or indeed some immigration officers) are asking to see some recent activity after the deposit of the 800k. i had read about it on Thai Visa forum. So earlier this year when I went to the Bangkok Bank in Pattaya to get my letter confirming the 3-month deposit of 800k letter i asked the bank staff if she could put in the letter the balance on my current account in addition to the 800k. She was aware of this apparent requirement to put in "ongoing activity" so it was agreed to write into the standard letter not only the 800k deposit but the amount in my current account.
And I made copies of not only the 800k deposit but also a copy of the activity in my bank book (current) since that deposit.
When I submitted all the documents at immigration they were accepted without comment.

Obviously the 800k must stay at that amount for 3 months. They are looking to see other activity. Some individuals keep the 800k in a separate account, some keep it in their current account. Does not matter as long as during the 3 monthly period there is no diminution of the 800k.

This may only be a requirement at Pattaya immigration; I have no idea.

So OP, your friend is correct, I can confirm there seems to be this 'rule', but you should have no difficulty getting your bank to make the addition in their letter to immigration.

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#5 Re: Yet Another Immigration Question

Postby Bob » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:08 am

Never heard of that up here in Chiangmai. And, for those of us (quite a few, actually) who somewhat permanently park 800k in a separate term account (spending money for living expenses out of separate account), it's generally impossible to show any "activity" in such an account. I've asked my bank (SCB) in the past if the account book could be "updated" and have been told that it can't be done. And, if one attempts to stick that passbook in the "update machine", it simply spits it back out with no changes at all. And, of course, I can't add or subtract a baht from a typical term account until the maturation date (well, one can withdraw the funds anytime one wants but they would lose all accrued interest).

I do recall reading once or twice over the last 10+ years somebody (who was using a separate "visa/extension" account) saying that Immigration asked them about the source of funds for their daily living expenses. But it's been years since I even heard that. Once in a while, I suppose, an Immigration officer gets kinky about something and asks a given applicant an unusual question or two.....and I suspect that's what happened here.

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#6 Re: Yet Another Immigration Question

Postby odd » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:34 am

All you have to do in Pattaya is deposit 1000 baht in your account just before you get the Bank letter. This ,at least, is what Iwas told to do in Pattaya

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#7 Re: Yet Another Immigration Question

Postby 2lz2p » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:35 am

The following is from the Pattaya City Expats Club Immigration Update page:

We have received reports from members who keeps the 800,000 baht on deposit in a separate Thai bank account for the purpose of meeting Retirement extension requirements have been told by Chonburi (Pattaya) Immigration that:
It must show some recent activity to be acceptable. If this applies to you, we suggest that at the time you get your Bank letter, you deposit/withdraw some funds to the account – BUT be sure not to let the account balance drop below the 800,000. Two reports in March with latest being March 22, 2018, is that this was required by the Immigration Officer even though they had a transaction a few weeks (first report) and a few days (second report) before they made application and they had to go to their bank, make a transaction, update their passbook, and obtain a new Bank letter.

The PCEC uses the Update page (linked from their weekly Newsletter) to alert its readers of changes at Pattaya Immigration, especially when it is not clear if the change is "policy" for the Office or the whim of particular Immigration Officers and not consistently followed.

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#8 Re: Yet Another Immigration Question

Postby Bob » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:49 am

Still makes no sense to me. For those of us who maintain the 800k in a separate term account (e.g., a 13 month or 18 month term), you cannot either withdraw a little or a lot (well, you withdraw all the funds with a loss of accrued interest) and you cannot add 1 satang to the typical term account. So showing "activity" in a term account is almost impossible. [If you maintain the 800k in a regular savings account, you can fiddle with it...up or much as you want but that's not the case with a term account.]

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#9 Re: Yet Another Immigration Question

Postby fountainhall » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:35 am

In Bangkok the procedure is simple. They require a bank letter about the Bt 800,000 having been in the account for 90 days. This usually can only be provided one or two days beforehand. So there is a short gap of a day or two when I suppose in theory something might have happened to some of those funds. For example, they could have been withdrawn as a result of a couple of ATM withdrawals without the bankbook being updated. So Bangkok Immigration insist that a small amount - in my case I use Bt. 100 - is added or withdrawn from the account and shown in the passbook immediately prior to renewal. In the basement of the massive Immigration building there are ATMs and passbook update machines for every bank.

I wonder if this is the "activity" mentioned by the OP's friend.

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#10 Re: Yet Another Immigration Question

Postby Gaybutton » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:43 am

Pattaya City Expats Club wrote:It must show some recent activity to be acceptable.

There is far more than that, regarding immigration, that makes little or no sense to me. I don't think anyone needs me to list it all since it has been discussed so many times before.

The point is if you want to remain in Thailand under a retirement visa, like it or not, whether it makes sense or not, you either have to follow their rules or no retirement visa.

Part of the problem is knowing what all the rules actually are. I had never heard of this 'recent activity' rule until RichLB's post. That's one reason I usually try to renew my retirement visa at least a couple weeks before the expiration date. I would not recommend waiting until the last minute to renew because you could easily end up in trouble if there has been some rule change you didn't know about and now you don't have time enough to fulfill whatever the requirement is before your visa expires. You can argue with them about it all you want. You'll lose.

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