Immigration and money - in a nutshell

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Undaunted
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#31 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby Undaunted » Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:28 pm

All these questions are useless until as G.B. said there is an official statement of fact!
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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#32 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby RichLB » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:38 pm

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

Fair enough question. I wouldn't rely on anyone's answers. Luckily, I use the 800k option, but I do wonder how Immigration plans to deal with these workarounds - if they've even considered them.

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#33 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby fountainhall » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:47 pm

Gaybutton wrote: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

One way is to obtain the retirement visa in their home country. That is what I did. But I have no idea what the regulations for this are now, other than a brief medical report and a clearance from the police that you have no criminal record.

I did have my own apartment and a Thai bank account. I have no idea if the Thai account was mandatory at that stage but I also provided proof of other income. Anyone considering this route will need to check with the Thai consulates In their own countries.

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#34 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby Jun » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:54 pm

Anyone who does not have 800,000 baht, but can just meet the 65,000 baht requirement has a big problem if the exchange rates move and their USD 2000 a month income no longer buys 65,000 baht, but it gets you 50,000 baht.

The USD has had a good run in recent years. The GBP shows what can happen to exchange rates, particularly for countries where there is a persistent balance of trade deficit and excessive borrowing.

I'm trying to build as much robustness as possible into future retirement plans, within limits.

Proper robustness would be having an extra couple of zeros on my net worth AND spreading the money around various uncorrelated assets.
The couple of extra zeros part is way too optimistic, but I'm going to have to settle for living within my means, with some safety margin and trying to spend money around.

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#35 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:30 pm

Jun wrote:USD 2000 a month income no longer buys 65,000 baht, but it gets you 50,000 baht.

I don't know where you're getting that from. I get my exchange rate information here: https://www.scb.co.th/scb_api/index.jsp

My money always comes in at the TT rate. According to the current rate, US$ 2000 gets 65,720 baht.

I know some farang whose actual income - the only income they get - comes from USA Social Security, and they get US$ 1000 per month, and some less than that. That's what they live on. They have no other source of income. They have been getting away with lying about their income to get the embassy letter and the retirement visa.

Thai immigration is well aware of what has been going on and now they're cracking down on it. I have no sympathy for people who have been doing that because Thai immigration has had enough of putting up with it, but it is causing problems for those of us living in Thailand legitimately, according to the immigration rules.

The cheaters put themselves into this position. Now Thailand is going to root them out. Sooner or later it was bound to come to this. Now that day has come.

I wonder how many of these people are unaware of the changes going on and are in for a nasty surprise when it comes time for them to get their embassy letter. The embassy isn't going to finance a trip home for them. When their visas expire, they're on their own. For their sake I hope they have somewhere to go, enough money to get to wherever that may be, and enough to start a life. But if they are going to remain in Thailand, I have no idea how they're going to do it unless they're stupid enough to try overstaying their visa.

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#36 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby fountainhall » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:55 pm

Gaybutton wrote:I don't know where you're getting that from. I get my exchange rate information here: https://www.scb.co.th/scb_api/index.jsp

My money always comes in at the TT rate. According to the current rate, US$ 2000 gets 65,720 baht.

Jun's comment was qualified by an "if the exchange rate falls."

The fact is the exchange rate between the Baht and most major currencies has gone through quite a wide range over the last 20 years, just as the €/US$, £/US$, A$/US$. ¥/US$ and other rates have. No-one really has a clue what will or might happen over the next 20. In 1998 we thought stock markets would always rise. Then came the dot com crash. Same in 2008 but the crash was so much worse. Interest rates for a retirement pot are another gamble. Who'd have thought we would have had ten years of basically 1% or 2% interest rates when every financial guru had earlier been saying you could bank on 5%?

If I had known there would be such volatility, I would have been more prudent in saving over the course of my career. But I'm stuck with the decisions I made and have to adjust accordingly. What no potential retiree should ever bank on is that one exchange rate will see them through what could be 20 or more years of retirement.

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#37 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby Jun » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:53 am

fountainhall wrote:What no potential retiree should ever bank on is that one exchange rate will see them through what could be 20 or more years of retirement.

Exactly.

The exchange rates are guaranteed to move. We don't know which way, but I would be allowing for at least +/-30% over 10 years, if not nearer 50%.

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#38 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby Gaybutton » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:59 pm

Today I received a PM from someone I know to be in a position to find out what we can expect from Pattaya immigration, directly from Pattaya's chief of immigration.

He said we might have our answers within a week.

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#39 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby windwalker » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:19 pm

I don't believe it is fair to label people as liars, cheaters and possibly stupid when one doesn't know their financial circumstances. With the US Embassy it is only necessary to affirm your income, not prove it. Other Embassies do ask for some form of income proof and yet most of the Embassies are now declining to issue income certification letters. This is a result of the Thai Immigration and not because some people are not being completely truthful.
Even if someone's income is below the required level, they seem to manage their affairs quite well within their own limits and are not a burden on Thai society. For the most part, people who use the income certification letters were being truthful in their responses.
In other words the system was working well until Thai Immigration decided to demand more than the Embassies could or wanted to provided.

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#40 Re: Immigration and money - in a nutshell

Postby Gaybutton » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:44 pm

windwalker wrote:In other words the system was working well until Thai Immigration decided to demand more than the Embassies could or wanted to provided.

And why do you Thai immigration has done that?

You don't have to believe it if you don't want to, but the fact is I do know farang who lie and cheat about their actual income and I believe that is why Thailand has finally decided to put a stop to it. You say it's not fair to label them as liars and cheaters. In my opinion that's exactly what they are. Sorry, but you're not going to get me to agree with you on that one.

The argument that these people are able to live within their means has no validity when it comes to Thai immigration law. The law is the law and if people choose to disobey the law, they put themselves at risk. Now they're going to suffer the consequences.

Something else - What happens if living within their means suddenly is not enough? People lying about their income might be getting away with it, but they can't lie about their age. And none of us are getting any younger. Farang living here with an income of 30,000 baht or less and with no medical insurance - what happens when sooner or later they have a high medical bill to pay or something catastrophic happens?


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