More retirement visa problems - maybe

Anything and everything about Thailand
Post Reply
User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 15532
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 591 times

More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by Gaybutton » Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:56 am

First, I've moved the "New Immigration Requirement" topic off of "Announcements" and set it as a standard topic, which is available on the topics list if you need to refer to it.

I'm posting this message because today I received not one, not two, but three new stories about people who are still getting conflicting information from immigration. Despite the new immigration rules, apparently what is and is not acceptable is still up to each individual immigration office and each individual immigration officer you end up dealing with.

I'm reluctant to post the specific stories, other than to say the problems occurred in Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, and Pattaya, until I have corroboration that the stories I'm getting actually happened.

The best I feel comfortable saying at the moment is the only method I know to be universally accepted without problems at all the immigration offices is the 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account method.

Again I urge those applying for a retirement visa renewal to go to immigration with your documentation as far in advance of the expiration date as you can. You can apply 1 month in advance of the expiration date. That way, if you run into difficulties, at least you'll have a month to deal with whatever they want you to do.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 15532
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 591 times

Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by Gaybutton » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:10 pm

Ok, I've received enough PMs to get me to change my mind and post the stories.

DISCLAIMER: I have no way to confirm any of these stories actually happened or happened the way the stories were related to me. It's "up to you" what to believe.
__________________________________________________

1. Chiang Mai: The story is a farang tried to renew his retirement visa by means of the 65,000 baht per month method. His application was rejected. He said the Chiang Mai immigration officer refused to accept it, saying they do not accept the 65,000 baht method. Seems to me there probably is more to the story, but that's all I have.

2. Pattaya: This story came to me second hand. Someone I know went yesterday to do his 90-day address report. This person often gets things confused, nevertheless this is the story as it was told to me: While he was there he asked a visa officer about how to do the combination method. The officer told him "No combo. Combo already finish." He then went to the person he believes is Pattaya's immigration chief. Again he was told "No combo." He said, "But the law says the combo method is legal." The response he received again was an abrupt "No combo."

3. Hua Hin: This story came to me from Travelerjim. He didn't say where he got this from, but here is the story Travlerjim sent to me in an Email:
___________________________________

FYI...a report from Aussie Expat Hua Hin

"Went to Hua Hin Immigration yesterday to do my retirement extension. I use the regular income method from my super pension and transfer from oz as needed. First went to Blueport weeks ago and told I needed Thai bank statement (not Aust) so I went to Kasikornbank and got a full statement for 14 months (200baht)

New immigration office is a bit of a nightmare compared to old. Old queuing system not installed. Had to sit with Officer just inside door who "checked" all documents and eventually gave me a number. Place was full of waiting people at 3.30pm

After about 30 minutes my number was called. Officer looked at my statement which showed the deposits which exceeded the amount required per month each month. He consulted a fellow officer and then the boss and told me I needed a further statement from Kasikornbank International that showed details of the international transfers. Said it could take 2 weeks.

Headed straight to Kasikornbank with a handwritten note of requirement. Was going good as girl charged me 100 baht for a letter then when gf arrived and explained again what she had been told (and I assume was written on the paper in Thai) I was advised a statement from Kasikornbank International would cost 1500 baht (yes 1500 baht as K had recently raised it's fee for this service) and indeed could take 2 weeks (although I was promised it in I week)

This appears the new requirement as at Immigration I was shown another applicants statement as an example (no privacy in Thailand)

Will be interested to hear costs of other banks for this service.
_______________________________________________________

Again, I have no way to confirm any of these stories, which is why I was reluctant to publish them. If nothing else, this is why I am constantly urging everyone to apply for your retirement as far in advance as you can. To paraphrase Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump - "Immigration is like a box of chocolates. You don't know what you're going to get."

User avatar
Jun
Posts: 2050
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:20 pm
Has thanked: 160 times
Been thanked: 100 times

Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by Jun » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:00 pm

Kasikorn online banking has a facility to download pdf statements.

Do they really not accept these as evidence of the incoming funds ?

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 15532
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 591 times

Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by Gaybutton » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:04 pm

Jun wrote:Do they really not accept these as evidence of the incoming funds ?
If the statements show only the deposits, but do not show that the deposits were international deposits, meaning the deposits came from outside of Thailand, then that may be the reason this person was rejected. My understanding is the 65,000 baht per month method is acceptable to immigration only if it is an international deposit and the banking evidence shows that.

User avatar
Bob
Posts: 1010
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:03 pm
Been thanked: 20 times

Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by Bob » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:43 am

The Chiangmai story is not accurate (or, perhaps, incomplete). The 65k baht per month method is still alive and well here and people are getting extensions based on that requirement for the retirement extensions. What's not known is how this will evolve.
CM Immigration is still accepting the income affidavits from embassies/consulates that have been issued within 6 months of the date of application for the extension; however, there's some question/confusion as to whether that will still be the case after this Friday (March 1st) when the new rules allegedly are in full force. That's one thing that needs to be sorted out.
Secondly, there's the question of what one's bankbook (or even the bank letter) has to show in the future. The issue is that the bank book in some cases is not reflecting that the funds came from abroad (which happens with some transfers) and how all that gets sorted out is unknown (perhaps some more language in the bank letter which specifically states that "these are the monthly transfers into the account that came from abroad....").
Third, the rules say "every month" for the 65k inflow....well, if somebody has an inflow of 130k baht from abroad every 2 months, will that be accepted? Or will it be accepted if for some reason two of the so-called "every month" transfers happen to land in the Thai bank on the 1st and 31st of the same month? [I'd note that the actual law doesn't necessarily say "every month" but the new police order does say that. More confusion.]
Fourth, it seems that the other roadblock that might crop up is the problem of an individual Immigration officer interpreting things differently than other officers in the same Immigration office. That's happened here in CM before and no doubt will continue.

Then there are totally "unknown" issues. For example only, a good friend of mine got his annual extension based on the 800k bank method the first week or so of this January (2019). No problem with that, the extension was granted as usual; however, not knowing about the new rules as yet, my friend shortly after the extension lowered the bank balance to 500k and that's where it sits today. He is worrying, of course, that he'll be denied his extension next January because he didn't keep 800k for the (new rule) 3-month so-called "after period" even if he increases the account balance to 800k 2/3 months prior to his next extension application date.

Actually, I'd bet a few baht that the "official" or "applied" rules will change within the next 6 months or so as the "new rules" simply won't work well (cause confusion and even interpretation problems for Immigration officers) and, in some cases, make no sense. It may be a bumpy ride for some.

fountainhall
Posts: 2052
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:45 am
Location: Bangkok
Has thanked: 153 times
Been thanked: 464 times

Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by fountainhall » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:10 am

Re Bob’s post and concern about the new 800,000 rules and his friend’s account dipping below 800,000 after the extension, my Bangkok Immigration lawyer has informed me that the old rules do not apply to any extension prior to March 1. My extension is dated 5 February and I am taking no notice of either the 800,000 or 400,000 minima over the next few months until three months prior to the next extension. But as Bob suggests, I expect there will be more changes in the rules.

User avatar
Bob
Posts: 1010
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:03 pm
Been thanked: 20 times

Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by Bob » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:33 am

fountainhall wrote:my Bangkok Immigration lawyer has informed me that the old rules do not apply to any extension prior to March 1.
I'm guessing that you meant to say that the lawyer told you that the new rules won't apply to extensions granted before tomorrow (March 1). That's logical and hopefully will be the case.

The only long-term expats who aren't affected by the new rules or confusion are those who have simply isolated 800k in a Thai bank account and left it untouched.

fountainhall
Posts: 2052
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:45 am
Location: Bangkok
Has thanked: 153 times
Been thanked: 464 times

Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by fountainhall » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:40 am

Thanks for clarifying my error, Bob.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 15532
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 591 times

Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by Gaybutton » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:48 pm

I have seen posts and have heard occasional stories that some people trying to use the combination method have been getting rejected in various immigration offices.

As far as I can tell, the issue is not how much money comes in to a Thai bank account each month, but whether the applicant can prove the money originates from a foreign source.

Apparently it is best to get the letter from the bank and make sure the letter states that along with however much money is in the account, the rest of the money necessary to does indeed come from a foreign source.

Again, I think it is best to try to renew retirement visas as far in advance as possible, usually up to 1 month in advance, so you have plenty of time to take care of whatever unforeseen issues may come up.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 15532
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 591 times

Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by Gaybutton » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:37 am

Travelerjim sent the following to me today. I'm not sure where he found this, but here it is.

For me, none of this is a surprise. It has been made quite clear - 65,000 baht or more each month for a full year from a foreign source or 800,000 baht.

The problems people seem to be having are because they haven't brought enough documents, haven't brought their bank passbook, or are trying to use the "combo method" when Jomtien immigration has already said they are not accepting that.

What is needed is a set of clear, standard rules, that must be followed at all immigration offices. It just is not right, in my opinion, that unless you are using the 800,000 baht method, then when you walk into immigration - any immigration office - you can't be sure whether you will be approved. It is not fair for people to have to live with that kind of uncertainty, especially when they are trying to comply with the rules and really do have the required income.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Just stopped into Jomtien Immigration to show them my bank books to see if it was good enough for this year's extension based on being over 50.

3 guys in front of me had letters from the bank and were turned away for things like one month it wasn’t enough transferred. The guy next to me had his 800k and a letter they made him go get his bank book.

Finally I showed the girl my bankbooks and explained that I have been bringing in more than 65K a month, but did it every 3-4 months for 7 years. Then I showed that I was transferring my pension now every month, but only started two months ago as you stopped the Embassy letters and would this be OK for this year as I’m due in August ?

It was a big NO must be one full year and said either 800k or go to another country and get an O visa. WOW, maybe things will change as we go along, but there were a lot of upset people.

Post Reply