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ResourcesCorporate and Tax AdvisoryThailand Tax LawThai Retirement Visas: Can a Thai Bank Account be Opened Abroad?

Thai Retirement Visas: Can a Thai Bank Account be Opened Abroad?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are going to be discussing Thai bank accounts. 

I initially was going to do this as a more generalized video but I decided to go ahead and do it in the context of Thai Retirement Visas because that is where this question has arisen in the recent days and months since certain regulatory changes with respect to Retirement Visas was brought into effect in late 2018, early 2019.  

Many people have asked me, "Can I open a Thai bank account from abroad?" Well in theory, I guess it is possible but at the end of the day it comes down to Thai Bank policy and virtually every Thai bank that we have talked to and that is most of them, on this topic, they have all said "no we are not going to open a Thai bank account for somebody that is not in one of our branches or our head office in person" and for this reason I think it's safe to assume it's not going to be possible to open a Thai bank account from abroad.  Therefore, those who are looking to retire in Thailand it is probably a good idea to go ahead and seek a Thai Retirement Visa from a Thai Consulate or Embassy abroad, come into the Kingdom, go ahead and open a Thai bank account and then from there use that bank account to either prove internally the proof of income necessary of 65,000 Baht per month of income being derived from abroad presumably from things like investments and pensions or to show the 800,000 Baht per year necessary in a Thai bank account to show financial ability to support oneself in the Kingdom while in retiree status. 

So again the thing to take away from this video, I don't think bank accounts are going to be possible from the standpoint of someone who has never been to the Kingdom who is looking to come and for example utilize the 800,000 criteria for maintaining a Retirement Visa extension and for this reason I think it is probably wise to go ahead and seek a Thai Retirement Visa from an Embassy or Consulate abroad before coming to Thailand and then utilizing said Visa here in the Kingdom to go ahead and open one’s bank account and then go ahead and prove up one’s financials thereafter using the bank account here in the Kingdom.