FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

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Gaybutton
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FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Post by Gaybutton » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:48 pm

Once again I thank Travelerjim for alerting me to the information - and it is now official:

https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/10 ... from-2019/

The part significant to most of us is in the third portion of the immigration announcement. Here is a copy of that portion of the announcement, pertaining to the retirement visa:

Image

I have moved the other two retirement visa topics off the Announcements and now they reside among the standard topics in case you wish to refer to them or add posts to them.

My own plan remains the same. When the time comes to renew my retirement visa I will bring the documents specified in the announcement above, but I will also bring along proof of 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account for three or more months - just in case.

I believe immigration's interest is mainly to be certain, via evidence, foreign retirees in Thailand who say they have the means to support themselves financially really do have the means to support themselves financially.

If there are issues and/or complications in your own case, I suggest going to immigration, explain your situation, and see what they tell you - and do so well before your visa is due for renewal.

Meanwhile, I think for most of us - problem solved for retirement visa renewals and also first-time applicants, but don't forget - you must have a Thai bank account.

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ceejay
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Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Post by ceejay » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:32 pm

This still seems to present problems for some. Someone who has used income verification in the past may, like me, only have brought lump sums over once or twice a year. The requirement to have a 12 month history of monthly transfers becomes problematic for someone who has not hitherto had a pension paid into a Thai bank.

Another problem for British pensioners is that the embassy used to verify the gross amount of the pension. Some UK pensions are, by law, subject to withholding tax wherever you are resident. The transfers will only be for the amount net of tax so there will be a reduction in value for visa purposes (to add to the exchange losses over the last 2 years.)

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Gaybutton
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Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Post by Gaybutton » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:38 pm

ceejay wrote:This still seems to present problems for some.
That is why I said I suggest going to immigration, explain your situation, and see what they tell you. Bring whatever documents you have and can get, and see if they will accept your evidence.

If they won't, you can still use the 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account for three months or more option, assuming you are able to do that.

Before immigration made the 65,000 baht per month option official, what were you planning to do about your retirement visa?

If you, or anyone else, still find themselves in an uncertain situation and you do go to talk to immigration, please let us know what kinds of documents you present and what immigration tells you.

I hope it all works out for you.

Dodger
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Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Post by Dodger » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:49 am

The attached Immigration Office Memo does not address the "Combination Method". This will lead to further confusion for sure.

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Gaybutton
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Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Post by Gaybutton » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:10 am

Dodger wrote:The attached Immigration Office Memo does not address the "Combination Method". This will lead to further confusion for sure.
I disagree. I doubt there will be any problem about it at all. The memo also doesn't say anything about the 800,000 baht, but obviously that is still perfectly acceptable to immigration.

The memo addresses the alternatives immigration is now providing for those who wish to use the proof of income method if their embassies no longer issue proof of income affidavits. That doesn't mean the other methods have suddenly become null and void.

But instead of speculating, wondering, or going through sleepless nights worrying, if you have any questions or concerns, once again I suggest going to immigration - well before your current visa expires - and ask. You don't have to live with uncertainty unless you choose to.

I see no reason to think immigration is looking to deny retirement visas. They just want to be sure retirees can financially support themselves so that Thailand doesn't have to worry about foreigners living here illegally via lying, foreigners running up huge bills they can't pay, or skipping the country to avoid paying big bills.

With this memo I doubt it is necessary any longer to worry about approval for the retirement visa as long as you can establish an acceptable amount of money available to you.

Bear in mind what the current chief of immigration has stated what his goal is: "Good people in. Bad people out." As long as you can demonstrate acceptable financial means, then as far as immigration is concerned, financially you qualify as "good people."

Since apparently, at least to me, immigration's concern is making sure retired foreigners have adequate income, then instead of worrying about what you need to do to be approved for the retirement visa, if you want something to worry about, start worrying about a medical insurance requirement if you don't have good medical insurance. At the moment that is only in the proposal stage, but the handwriting on the wall that I'm seeing is sooner or later Thailand will require it.

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Bob
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Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Post by Bob » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:45 am

The actual memo is an amendment to existing police orders and relates only to the "income method" of supporting a marriage or retirement extension. There is no change with respect to the 800k baht method and it would seem that there is no change with respect to the "combo" method (however, with respect to the "combo" method, there might be some issues with how to prove the "combo" income part).

The language of the officially translated version (in post 1 of this thread) referring to money transfers "every month for 12 months" certainly raises some questions, While the source of the funds, I believe, is irrelevant (I think transfers of simple "saved" money will suffice), it's the frequency language that will maybe cause some hiccups. If one believes the language literally, then getting 65k transferred from abroad for 10 months and then getting 65k transferred twice in one month would violate the "every month" language. And, of course, people who transfer a total of 780k baht (12 x 65k) every year but do it quarterly in increments (or even only once or twice in increments) would run afoul of the "every month" language.

And, of course, the language would seem to allow somebody to stay here on essentially nothing, i.e., transfer exactly 65k baht into a Thai bank from overseas every single month on the 1st day of every month and then transfer 65k baht back overseas on the 2nd day of every month. Obviously in violation of the spirit of the regulations but, hey, it might meet the "letter" of the law.

For those who do the 800k deal or can still get an embassy/consulate letter, nothing's changed. For the rest, it'll be interesting to see how Thai Immigration actually applies their new rules (and which province offices do it differently!). Could be (pick your adjective): humorous, exasperating, devastating.

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Gaybutton
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Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Post by Gaybutton » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:21 am

Bob wrote:it'll be interesting to see how Thai Immigration actually applies their new rules
Which is why, once again, for any issues or concerns, all anyone needs to do is go to immigration, explain their situation, and ask. While I understand why for some the memo raises more questions than it answers, it boils down to either ask at immigration or remain uncertain. It's just as simple as that.

It doesn't matter what any of us think or how we create interpretations of the memo. None of that provides any reliable answers. Whatever actually happens is entirely up to immigration. Those who cannot comply with the specifications of the memo as written, then you still don't know what to expect until you stop relying on interpretations posted on message boards and ask at immigration.

Other than what is written on the memo, the only thing we really know is the other methods of meeting the income requirement, including the 800,000 baht, have not changed and remain the same as before.

Until yesterday, January 7, all we knew for sure was immigration would accept the 800,000 baht option. Now that this memo has come out, we know those who can comply with its specifications can now do their retirement visa with the 65,000 baht per month option. That in itself helps a great many people. If it doesn't help everyone, those are the people who need to ask at immigration.

As far as I know, the only thing that really has changed is for proof of income, now that the embassies will no longer provide the affidavits, you will have to actually prove your monthly income - and prove it in a manner acceptable to immigration. If you are still uncertain about whether immigration will accept your personal circumstances, GO TO IMMIGRATION AND ASK. If you're the type who postpones asking as long as possible because you're afraid of what the answer might be - big mistake.

For those who have been using the embassy affidavits and have been telling the truth about your monthly income, and that income meets Thailand's requirements, then I don't see anything to worry about. If you are among those who have been lying and really cannot meet Thailand's financial requirements no matter how you do it, then welcome to Shit Creek - without a paddle.

For those who do inquire at immigration, I ask that you post what your circumstances are and tell us the answer immigration gave you.

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windwalker
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Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Post by windwalker » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:30 pm

Even for the truth-tellers (not liars) the new rules could be a problem. Previously with the income certification letter, someone (not a liar) could indicate their income, from sources within the USA, was equivalent to, at least, 65K Baht ($2000) and be ok, since no requirement that the money had to be deposited in a Thai bank. Now the money must be shown to be deposited in a Thai Bank.

Dodger
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Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Post by Dodger » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:08 pm

Asking a visa question to an officer at a local immigration office would normally be the route to take, although in Thailand the answers you'll receive all depend on which officer you are speaking to and which day of the week it is. It will take them a year ( or more) to start all reading out of the same hymn book.

When I asked an immigration officer about the 800K policy when the chaos first surfaced several months ago I was informed that "yes" this was definitely going to be the new policy and that monthly income would not be considered any more, although arrangements could be made to assist anyone who had less than the minimum 800k in the bank in a private session. All of this of course was hogwash. None of the information I received from Immigration was worth a plug nickle.

Personally, I plan to continue to monitor the Thai Embassy Visa Requirements Section on their website to see what the published changes are, and then watch what's happening to those who are going through the visa renewal process when the new policy is fully implemented. I've felt all along that they had no other option but to accept foreign income as long as it was deposited in a Thai bank and verifiable, but as far as the other nuances, i.e., will the 800k combination method still be applicable, do monthly deposits have to be a minimum of 65,000 THB every month or can this be an aggregate (less frequent deposits) as long as the annual amount of 780,000 THB is deposited. Clarification is still needed and I seriously doubt the immigration office can provide this clarification at this juncture. We'll just have to wait and see.

gera
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Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Post by gera » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:37 pm

windwalker wrote:Even for the truth-tellers (not liars) the new rules could be a problem.
With sinking dollar it may not be a huge problem

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