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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration Law1.2 Million Baht Bank Balance Required for Thai Retirement Visas?

1.2 Million Baht Bank Balance Required for Thai Retirement Visas?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the financial requirements associated with Thai Retirement Visas. I have gotten a lot of correspondence on this in the past couple of weeks. I first sort, I won't say dismissed it out of hand but I basically held back on making any videos or commenting on this because I wanted to do a deep dive into the research to try and figure out what is going on here. 

So let's first of all run over here to the Thai Consulate in Los Angeles, California that is, and we are going to go over to their website. Under the heading: Non-Immigrant Visa Category O-A, Royal Thai Consulate General, Los Angeles and under required documents you sort of scroll down here, we are going to go ahead and put this on screen. This is what I am going to refer to within the bounds of this video as the “old version” of the site and I will get into why I will call it the new version. Now to be clear, we have not seen any regulatory changes; we have not seen any announced policy changes with respect to Retirement Visas but multiple people have sent me what they have found with respect to this website, the Thai Consulate in LA which processes a lot of Visa cases including a lot of cases here in our office and after looking at it I thought it was worth making, we are going to make a few videos on this to discuss various aspects of this overall issue but I thought it would be good to go ahead and I am going to go ahead and show you all the pages again and to be clear it is from the Royal Thai Consulate, Los Angeles's website. So this is from a Thai Government website specifically a Consulate that processes a number of cases including a number of Retirement Visa cases. 

If you go down there and you scroll down, this is kind of the “old version” whatever you want to call it or what we have been dealing with to this point and presumably are going to continue to deal with, if you go down there it says: 

Bank statement or evidence of adequate finance showing:

- a deposit of the amount equal to and not less than 800,000 Baht, or 

- an income certificate (an original copy) with a monthly income of not less than 65,000 Baht, or

- a deposit account plus a monthly income totaling not less than 800,000 Baht 

- in the case of submitting a bank statement, a letter of guarantee from the bank (an original copy) is required.

Now for purposes of this video what we are specifically looking at is a deposit of the amount equal to and not less than 800,000 Baht. Obviously bank accounts are not denominated in Baht in the United States, they are denominated in US dollars for the most part, in standard Commercial Banking, that is how it is going to be done. So you are looking for the equivalent of 800,000 Baht. We all know that, that is great. 

This however is what has been sent to me from folks that watch this channel, clients, folks' friends; I have gotten this from three or four sources that have sent me this independently of one another. I am going to go ahead and put up this link. Again, it is Thai Consulate, and as opposed to the other page which was titled: Non-Immigrant category O-A, Royal Thai Consulate General, Los Angeles this one is titled Non-O, Royal Thai Consulate General, Los Angeles and as you can see the title there: Non-Thai Nationals who wish to obtain a Retirement Visa or a long stay visa and they have Non-Immigrant O, O-A, O-X, reentry permits etc. and then we can down here, again we are going to scroll down, this is on the site, we scroll down to Non-Immigrant Visa category O-A (long stay) and in the requirements associated with that under number 7 of the requirements:

7. Applicant must have a bank deposit of:

7.1 no less than 1.2 million Baht, or

7.2 an income certificate

7.3 a deposit account not less than 1.2 million Baht.

In the case of submitting a bank statement, a letter of guarantee from the bank (an original copy) is required. 

I am going to leave that on the screen for a minute. 

So as you can see what we have been dealing with up to this point, what we are all aware of 800,000 but this page it is that is what we are looking at here. I have been trying to wrap my brain around what is going on here but we went ahead and I went to the Google cache of this page because I wanted to verify that I am not being pointed off to some other site or something; there is not some error here and we are viewing something that isn't the actual site. It appears from the cache, we will go ahead and put this on screen from the Google cache that yes this is on their site. Now we had some trouble, I was trying to go through the site map to try and figure out, this thing wasn't immediately accessible. I have been talking to the Thai Attorneys for a couple of days that are working on Retirement Visa cases here in the office and they have said look as a practical matter we haven't seen any change with respect to the financial requirements which then begs the question: why is this up? why is this up on the site? is it going to cause any problems? Thus far, those who are looking to come to Thailand to get an O-A Visa, it might not be a terrible idea to see if financial requirements are going to be a concern, because to be clear we definitely haven't seen any change to the regulatory structure here in Thailand and we may not see a change with respect to abroad. This may have been something that was put up on the website, it might have been spit-balled by that Consulate and it wasn't meant to intentionally go live to the public I should say and it was supposed to remain private and it just didn't; we have seen that happen before. 

So the thing I would say to folks is do not panic right now. This is one Consulate website in one country. To be clear Consulates and Embassies have wide latitude with respect to the requirements that they may impose upon those applicants for visas within their Consular jurisdiction. So it could be real for lack of a better term “real”. This could be what the new requirement is. At the same time we are not seeing this as a practical matter. What I would say is we are not seeing it yet. The fact that this page exists at all with this information would at least imply to me or it would connote to me that this may be a change in the future. I am going to make another video specific to that topic contemporaneously with this one but for now, NO, as a practical matter we are still seeing the same financial requirement of 800,000 Baht equivalent in a bank account. That said, I don't know precisely what this listing of 1.2 million means. I tried to look at it and ascertain that this is genuinely on the website. It does appear to be there. Now why it is there or the circumstances associated with it I can't tell you at this time but it is not in my opinion, I don't think it is a great logical leap to think that possibly we could see requirements like this, at least abroad, in the coming possibly months, foreseeable future, the coming year, I don't know but it is something to think about. A lot of people have contacted me about this so I wanted to go ahead and make this video and just get the information out there to folks. 

To be clear, again practically we haven't seen a change to these requirements. Those who may have concerns about financial requirements, it may not be a terrible idea to go ahead and get your Retirement Visa sorted sooner rather than later. Again I haven't seen anything with respect to a change regarding the requirements in Thailand so once you are here you are dealing with Ministry of Interior, Thai Immigration, as opposed to Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the form of the Thai Consulate. So perhaps those who are looking to come to Thailand who may be concerned about financial resources, it might be a good idea to come sooner rather than later.