Another Year - Retirement Extension Approved

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2lz2p
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Another Year - Retirement Extension Approved

Post by 2lz2p »

Well, it was painless this year as all documents in order for using the 65k monthly income method and quick - in at around 9:30am and out by 9:45am.

Last year was my first using the monthly income method without an Embassy certification letter. I had a hitch as I had obtained the required "bank letter verifying the account & balance" along Bangkok Bank certified bank statements for the preceding 12 months to support my monthly transfers from USA from the Bangkok Bank customer service counter in Tesco Lotus South (had to wait one week for them to get statements from Bangkok HQ). BUT, Immigration wanted a letter from the bank listing all foreign deposits rather than statements. I think I posted then that the Immigration Officer provided me an example and told me to get it from the branch where I opened the account as other branches could not do the full 12 months -- I left Immigration, was able to obtain the "letter" from my Branch bank (500 baht for them printing out "credit advice" for each deposit and 100 baht for preparation of the letter - they used the Credit Advice printout for the source).

So, last week, I went to my Branch (Phratamnak Road Branch located opposite VC Hotel) and requested the letter listing deposits along with a 2nd letter that I also would need (same one used by those doing the 800k which verifies account & balance) -- BUT, this year they said cannot provide immediately, now the request has to go to Bangkok HQ and to come back in one week to pick it up - also, fee would be 900 baht, with a 200 baht deposit. The wait was not a problem as I always start early - my extension expires on 10 July. It was still handled by the Foreign Exchange/Western Union window just inside the main doors and the lady there seemed to be fully aware of what was needed.

So, I went back on Tuesday morning about 8:45am again parking right in front of the bank (Security guard opened the barricade to allow) and as last week, either scan the Thai Chana QR Code or sign in on the log book. Again, no one ahead of me and the lady remembered me and had everything ready - both letters plus a stack of Credit Advice print outs - and collected the 700 baht balance. Upon leaving, I did a quick ATM withdrawal of 500 baht and updated my passbook as I had seen several reports that Jomtien Immigration wants it to have a transaction on the day of application.

Arrived at Immigration about 9:30am, temperature checked on entry (I was wearing mask of course). There was no line at info desk and picked up queue #805 - this time they didn't ask to go over paperwork in advance. When I got to desk 8, they were already calling my number but only one seat at counter available which was occupied. However, the Immigration Officer at the adjoining chair motioned for me to sit in the waiting area (chairs are marked for sitting & no sitting to maintain social distancing) and took my paperwork including original passport & bank passbook. After about 5 minutes going through them, she came back to me to sign additional documents (usual ones regarding acknowledgement of requirement to report any changes in status that may occur and the penalties for overstay). A few moments later, she asked me to lower my mask for photo and collected the 1,900 baht fee. A fee moments later, she handed me my claim check to pick up the passport the next day after 2pm.

When I went back to pick up my passport, there was no photo as in the past, so apparently they are now doing when you apply rather than when you pick up the passport. I then obtained a queue number for 90 day reporting (which was originally due 28 April but I delayed because of current amnesty to 31 July) - I wanted to go ahead and do it for convenience as I was there and it will avoid the crush when the amnesty is over. Three people ahead of me so not a long wait - no problems, the usual scan of bar code, print out of new receipt, and on my way.

For those that may be interested, my document package consisted of the following (all photocopied pages /s/ by me):

- TM.7 Application for Extension of Stay with telephone number included after /s/ on page 2
- Photograph
- Original – Passport
- Photo Copy of passport
--- Identification page
--- Non-Immigrant Visa & extension stamps – information transferred from old passport
--- All Extensions of Stay stamps
--- Latest entry into Thailand stamp (for me was 2008)
- Photo Copy of TM.6 Departure Card
- Photo Copy of Bank Passbook(s) pages showing all transactions for previous 12 months.
- Original Bank Passbook (showing the transaction made that morning)
- Original – Bank Letter verifying Account & Balance (picked up that morning)
- Original - Bank Letter showing transfers from source outside of Thailand for previous 12 months showing the minimum of 65k
baht transferred into the account each month (picked up that morning)
- Print out of US Office of Personnel Management Annuity Statement as of 1 June 2020 (downloaded from OPM website)
- Copy Lease Agreement including copy of owner’s House Book and copy of Owners ID

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Gaybutton
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Re: Another Year - Retirement Extension Approved

Post by Gaybutton »

Thank you very much for your detailed report. I recently renewed my retirement visa using the 800,000 baht method. Maybe next time I will do the 65,000 baht per month method if it appears Thailand will not make any significant rule changes.

I definitely want to be able to free up the 800,000 baht, but I would still feel nervous about touching it, just in case. But at least I would know I could touch it if I have to. For me, the only reason I would spend any of it would be in case of emergency.

As for getting the required information from the bank where I originally opened my account, it's been so many years now I don't even remember where I originally opened the account. I suppose any branch could tell me where. But wouldn't it be nice if you could get the same information and letters from any branch of your bank? I don't know why it has to be the original branch since everything is on their computers anyway, but if that's the way it works, I suppose it's either that or stick with the 800,000 baht method.

Once again, your post tells us why it is good advice to renew as early as possible. These days you never know for sure what you're walking into when going to immigration. I think it is best to give yourself as much time as possible to deal with any surprises immigration has in store for farang applicants.

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Re: Another Year - Retirement Extension Approved

Post by Undaunted »

GB...Here in lies the rub! You must keep the money in your account, yes after 3 months draw down to 400,000 and 3 months before renewal increase the amount back to 800,000. If you wish to transition to 65,000 monthly your bank balance must meet the same requirements while awaiting 12 months of deposits of 65,000.
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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Re: Another Year - Retirement Extension Approved

Post by Gaybutton »

Undaunted wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:49 pm
If you wish to transition to 65,000 monthly your bank balance must meet the same requirements while awaiting 12 months of deposits of 65,000.
Thank you. Yes, I am aware of that. Actually I can prove 65,000 baht per month from foreign sources, much longer than just 12 months. I could do that today if I have to, but I know my 800,000 must remain in my bank account until I get the visa renewal using the 65,000 baht per month method and immigration tells me I can withdraw however much I like from the 800,000. But as I said, I don't intend to withdraw a single baht from the 800,000 at any time unless an emergency requires it.

Maybe I'm just creating something to worry about, but I can't help at least feeling a little anxious about it anyway. My anxiety is based on a "what if". What if at some point immigration changes the requirements yet again and will accept only the 800,000 baht method, and I don't have it anymore? I realize that is unlikely to happen, but nobody expected the embassies to do away with the proof-of-income affidavits either until they suddenly threw us to the wolves.

The only reason I'm thinking about going for the 65,000 baht per month method is I'll feel much more comfortable knowing I can use the 800,000 if I need to rather than forced to keep it in the bank account.

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2lz2p
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Re: Another Year - Retirement Extension Approved

Post by 2lz2p »

Gaybutton wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:24 pm
As for getting the required information from the bank where I originally opened my account, it's been so many years now I don't even remember where I originally opened the account. I suppose any branch could tell me where. But wouldn't it be nice if you could get the same information and letters from any branch of your bank? I don't know why it has to be the original branch since everything is on their computers anyway, but if that's the way it works, I suppose it's either that or stick with the 800,000 baht method.
As I understand it, your passbook has identifying information on the Branch where the account was opened. But, that is now a moot point as far as getting the necessary letters. I went to my Branch this year because based on last year, it would provide me the full 12 months without waiting. That is no longer the case. Since it now has to go to Bangkok Bank HQ, then any Branch or Service Counter should be able to request it. Next year, I plan to use the Customer Service Counter at the Tesco Lotus on Sukhumvit as it is much more convenient for me.
Undaunted wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:49 pm
GB...Here in lies the rub! You must keep the money in your account, yes after 3 months draw down to 400,000 and 3 months before renewal increase the amount back to 800,000. If you wish to transition to 65,000 monthly your bank balance must meet the same requirements while awaiting 12 months of deposits of 65,000.
Correct on having to keep the funds on deposit, but the 800,000 in the bank before application is now 2 months. It used to be 2 months for new applications and 3 months for renewals, but when Immigration changed to requiring the 800k for 3 months after and the minimum of 400k after that, it also changed the requirement to be 2 months before application for both initial application and renewals.

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