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Alternatives to Thai Retirement Visa Extension Applications in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai Visa Extensions. We are talking about those that are filed in Thailand but specifically I will be discussing, very briefly, possible alternatives to filing in the Kingdom especially in light of recent changes to the rules regarding Income Affidavits issued by the US Embassy here in Thailand.

For those who are unaware, the United States Embassy in Thailand as well as the UK Embassy in Thailand, have both made it clear that they are no longer going to issue what are called Income Affidavits after January 1, 2019.

 What are these? Well Income Affidavits basically are exactly what they sound like. It is a letter; it is signed by an individual. It is notarized by the embassy and in that letter it basically sets out what that individual’s yearly or monthly income is and then that document, in the past, was utilized by Thai Immigration to go ahead and extend ones retirement visa. Basically you need to show a certain amount of income coming in per month, in the case of a retirement visa 65,000 baht or you need to show 800,000 in a bank account in order to act as a platform for a retirement visa extension.  The Income Affidavits issued by the US and UK Embassies are effectively at an end. We are making this in 2018 but we are looking into the future which is 2019 and beyond and this is no longer going to be issued past Jan 1, 2019

So where does that leave individuals especially those who may have issues with respect to their finances and getting money into the Kingdom. I do know people who have been here for a prolonged period of time or using retirement visas for a prolonged period of time that oftentimes, it is not exactly common but I have seen people that don’t have a bank account.  They do all their banking through the US; they live off their ATM Card. This can be problematic.

What are the alternatives to dealing with an Income Affidavit? Well, one is simply going through the extension process and ensuring that funds are on hand here in the Kingdom to prove up the veracity of the claim that “I have money on hand here in the Kingdom”.

That is sort of straightforward but are there any other alternatives?  Well it may be possible and I can see circumstances where those returning to the United States in this interim period where this Income Affidavit is being phased out or immediately after the phase out where it may behoove an individual to simply go ahead and  get a new retirement visa from the US. The retirement visa can be issued for the US or the UK and in the case where it is issued, one does still need to prove up financials but it is not quite as rigid as Thai Immigration looks to be and the other thing is those without funds in a Thai bank account, because they may not have a Thai bank account, may avail themselves of being able to use their foreign account for example a US or UK account, you can use that as evidence when applying for a retirement visa from abroad. So get a new one year visa, come back in and then use that one year interim if you will to go ahead and reorganize your finances and get your retirement visa house in order for example, to go ahead and set yourself on good footing for a future retirement visa extension in country.

This isn’t particularly a great method of staying forever as again it requires a return trip to the United States or the UK or one’s home country to get the retirement visa issued from abroad, but for those who are kind of caught in between the seams or the tectonic plates of this policy being brought into fruition, for those folks who simply are trying to overcome what amounts to a temporary obstacle, because for example they may have the funds they are just abroad and they may not be able to bring them in at the present time due to  investments, or they have to make certain arrangements to make sure that those funds are brought in, it is time consuming, it doesn’t happen overnight so for those individuals it may be a good idea to seriously consider possibly returning to a home country, getting a new retirement visa from there and then using the one year interval to get ones house in order and move forward with an extension thereafter.