More retirement visa problems - maybe

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Gaybutton
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Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by Gaybutton » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:59 am

Dodger wrote:Traveler Jim is always a very reliable source of information and I don't question that he received the information as posted above, although I question the reliability of the individuals who described these encounters at immigration.

With all the focus and uncertainty surrounding visa renewal changes you would think that anyone with half a brain would at least carry their bankbook with them when applying (or re-applying). That, in-and-by-itself leaves me with a sense of doubt.

The "Combination Method" is clearly posted on the Royal Thai Embassy Website listing the combination method as being acceptable. This is Thai Law.

I will make sure to have a copy of this with me when it's my turn to re-new....along with my bankbook...duh!
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Regarding the combination method being a matter of Thai law, since when does that matter? A personal friend, one who would have absolutely no reason to make it up or lie, recently asked a Pattaya immigration retirement visa officer about using the combo method and was told they will not accept that. He then went to the immigration chief who told him the same thing. He pointed out that it is a matter of law. Again he was told "no combo!"

Again, I suggest going to immigration and asking - well before your visa is about to expire. I, for one, would not want to rely on anything other than what I hear first hand from immigration or anything I am merely assuming.

You seem totally convinced that the combo method will be acceptable. All I can tell you is you better go to immigration, show them how you intend to use the combo method, and find out - unless, of course, you are willing to deal with an unpleasant surprise when the time comes.

Meanwhile, this came today - also from Travelerjim:
____________________________________________

Robert Lagas....I was too late to chime in into the post about letters from the embassies, but I assure you immigration DOES turn down the affidavits. I had a letter from our Consulate (American) that I got last December, and was turned down by immigration for retirement visa just last month. Luckily we had enough money in the bank to satisfy immigration requirements.

And from Chiang Mai.

A friend of mine was turned down as well last week here in Chiang Mai. He had a valid affidavit.

Dodger
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Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by Dodger » Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:01 am

The Royal Thai Embassy Website has been updated to reflect the changes impacting retirement visa requirements. ( http://ThaiEmbassy.org )

They are now referring to Non-Immigrant O-A Visa's which we commonly refer to as "Retirement Visa's" as "Temporary Residence Visa's".

Bank Statements (Annual Income Summary Reports) and Medical Certificates must now be Notarized.

Monthly income stays the same @ 65,000 THB - supported by bank book showing monthly deposits and a notarized bank statement.
or - 800,000 THB in the bank (length of time in bank not specified) - or - combination of income and bank holdings of not less than 800,000 THB.

The assumption is that once the Royal Thai Embassy approves and announces changes to visa requirements that these are considered Thai Immigration Law, although if people are varying from these fairly broad-brush requirements even a little it can (and apparently is) creating problems.

EXAMPLE 1:

If someone is receiving 800,000 THB per year from their pension (or other sources) although the deposits are being processed quarterly versus monthly this becomes a potential for being denied for the mere fact that the requirements as expressed by the Thai Embassy do not list this as an approved alternative. Anyone with common sense would consider this acceptable - but in Thailand it's entirely up to the immigration officer you're dealing with and you could be denied without a leg to stand on. (High Risk)

EXAMPLE 2:

If someone cannot provide proof of any monthly income, although they have held a minimum of 800,000 THB in their Thai bank account for at least 2 months this should be acceptable based on previous public announcements made by Immigration and of course Big Joke himself, but because the length of time of financial holdings is not expressed in Thai Embassy requirements having 800,000 THB in the bank for less than 2 months could create the potential to be denied. Again, it's entirely up to the immigration officer you're dealing with. (High Risk)

Example 3:

If someone is using the "Combination Method" and have situations which fall into either of the categories described in Examples 1 and 2 they have the potential to be denied. (High Risk)

The only way that I can see to avoid any and all potential for problems during visa renewal time is to either have 800,000 THB in your Thai bank account for at least a 3 months to be safe - or - be able to provide a notarized bank statement showing at least 12 consecutive monthly deposits from a foreign source of at least 65,000 THB. The Combination Method, although considered by the Thai Embassy as an approved alternative has too much risk in 2019 based on the fact that the requirements are not definitive enough...the Thai immigration staff are more confused then we are...and just the plain fact that this is Thailand and legal loopholes like the ones we're being faced with now are just another conduit for the flow of tea money...plain and simple.

Unfortunately, it appears as if those who started direct deposits to a Thai bank account recently as a result of these changes but do not have 12 consecutive deposits on record yet (like myself) they will have to be able to show the 800,000 THB in the bank. The way I see it any alternative to this presents risk.

Wear a clean shirt...try to appear sober...leave your gogo boyfriend in the parking lot...do three hail Mary's...and hope for the best.

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Gaybutton
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Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by Gaybutton » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:15 pm

Bear in mind that Dodger's post above applies to people applying for the visa in their home countries, not within Thailand. You don't need notarized statements within Thailand, but you do need to be in full compliance with what is supposed to be standard rules.

I keep seeing reports posted on other sites from people who have been rejected. Of course they were. They were not in full compliance. I don't know why anyone is surprised when that happens.

I don't know how many times it has to be said. The only two ways to be assured of being approved:

1. 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account for 2 months (better 3 months just to be sure)
2. 65,000 baht per month deposited into a Thai bank account, from a foreign source, for a full year - along with proof of the money being deposited from a foreign source.

Take your updated bank passbook, a small deposit to show recent activity dated the same day you apply, and the bank letter when using the 800,000 baht method. Take those, along with any additional evidence you may have of your money coming from a foreign source if using the 65,000 baht per month method.

Those who can comply with either of those methods should be fine. Those who try it any other way are at great risk of being denied.

As always, the best thing to do is go to immigration well in advance of your retirement visa expiration date to give yourself enough time to come into compliance if immigration denies approval. Arguing with them, pointing out the law, what you have done in the past, what other people told you, what you read on a web site, or anything else - the chances of any of that doing you any good are somewhere between zero and none.

A more minor point - whatever became of "Big Joke's" idea of doing away with the 90-day address reports?

Dodger
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Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by Dodger » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:12 pm

Gaybutton wrote:A more minor point - whatever became of "Big Joke's" idea of doing away with the 90-day address reports?
Good question.

Immigration has historically made policy changes on-the-fly without the changes ever being introduced into Law, or for that matter even being accepted by other government agencies which may be impacted by the changes. A good example of this is when they (Immigration) started imposing the requirement that all condominiums start keeping a written log of all visitors that can in-turn be verified by Immigration if they choose to do so. This change in policy was justified as a means of tracking visa overstayers although was never introduced into the Thai Condominium Act...meaning, this change was made mandatory and being enforced with threat of penalty before it was expressed in law, and ironically it still isn't.

Too many departments heads making decisions...shooting from the hip...power struggles all over the place...loopholes galore.

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rocket
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Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by rocket » Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:30 pm

Went much easier this year. The only problem I had was with my bank account. When I received the letter stating I had 800k baht in my account, I asked for an update on my bank book.

I should have looked closer because it only showed a deposit made ten days earlier, I assumed it would show the present date and balance. So I deposited 100 baht on my return and then went back to immigration in Jomtien.

Now I go back tomorrow and receive it hopefully, then get my reentry stamp.

fountainhall
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Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by fountainhall » Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:37 pm

I have used the 800.000 route for years. Always I take out Bt. 100 and then update the bankbook at the passbook update machine at Chaengwattana Immigration just an hour or so before I see the officer. Always works.

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Undaunted
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Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by Undaunted » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:43 pm

I went to Pattaya immigration to renew my one year retirement visa I used the money in the bank option, added to the usual paperwork to sign was an acknowledgment of the penalties for overstaying and one acknowledging basically that the Kingdom can nolify your visa at it’s discretion.
Most are familiar with the new financial rules however, if you have had a retirement visa before Oct. 21, 1998 and are at least 60 the requirements are significantly less, lastly if using the bank money option you are told to return in 90 days to present an updated passbook.....this 90 requirement is in addition to the usual 90 check in. The woman at my bank told me to deposit the 100 baht and informed me that my letter from the bank and the last entry in my passbook was only good for 3 days.
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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Gaybutton
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Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by Gaybutton » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:43 pm

rocket wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:30 pm
So I deposited 100 baht on my return and then went back to immigration in Jomtien.
A standard seems to be they want to see activity on the account, preferably the same day you apply for the retirement visa. I don't understand why if you have 800,000 baht or more in the account and it has been there for the required amount of time, but nevertheless that's what they want.

Undaunted wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:43 pm
if using the bank money option you are told to return in 90 days to present and updated passbook.....this 90 requirement is in addition to the usual 90 day check in.
Apparently that's how they are verifying people did not take money out of the account for the required length of time and also did not let the account fall below 400,000 baht.

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Undaunted
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Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by Undaunted » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:54 pm

Gaybutton wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:43 pm
Undaunted wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:43 pm
if using the bank money option you are told to return in 90 days to present and updated passbook.....this 90 requirement is in addition to the usual 90 day check in.
Apparently that's how they are verifying people did not take money out of the account for the required length of time and also did not let the account fall below 400,000 baht.
I believe this is also an attempt to stop visa agencies from fraudulently depositing required funds and then quickly withdrawing them.
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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Gaybutton
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Re: More retirement visa problems - maybe

Post by Gaybutton » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:07 pm

Undaunted wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:54 pm
I believe this is also an attempt to stop visa agencies from fraudulently depositing required funds and then quickly withdrawing them.
That does make sense. Under the current rules, if visa agencies have to lend the entire 800,000 baht, then it's tied up for 5 months. I don't know how many visa agencies would be willing to do that, let alone even be able to do that.

I can't imagine visa agencies would do that without charging a loan shark size interest rate and would also want some sort of collateral in case the person borrowing the money decides to skip town with it.

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