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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawDo New Retirement Visa Rules Preclude Visa Conversion in Thailand?

Do New Retirement Visa Rules Preclude Visa Conversion in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing retirement visas.  

Those who are new to this channel, there is another video I recently made with respect to changes regarding Financial Criteria Associated with the Retirement Visa and those who are watching this video are probably well aware that the financial criteria have changed with respect to the retirement Visa. 

But one thing that I thought was interesting to note that sort of is in line with those changes, are changes maybe to the platform visa one needs to have in order to apply for retirement visa here in the Kingdom.  

In a recent article from the Nation, and the article is entitled Immigration Bureau Cracks Down on False Retirement Visa Applications Says Report. Quoting directly "Thailand's Immigration Bureau has announced a major change regarding financial requirements for foreigners seeking retirement visas."  I urge those who are watching this video go check out the video we did specifically on Financial Criteria but I want to go I want to go ahead and quote further because I thought this was interesting. “According to the new police order, the requirements are, and these are requirements for retirement visa extension, Applicants must have been granted a non-immigrant Visa." This is important to note because over the years I have seen personally many people convert Visa status from for example a 30-day exemption stamp issued on arrival here in the Kingdom or from a tourist visa. It appears moving forward, those who are seeking a Retirement Visa need to go ahead and get on a non-immigrant visa before they arrive in the Kingdom in order to go ahead and seek Retirement Visa status in terms of an extension here in the Kingdom.  Now whether or not it's required that the individual seek a non-immigrant retirement visa in order to extend in that status here in the Kingdom or whether one can enter on a B Visa or an O visa and change over, that remains to be seen.  

But that being said, the thing to take away from this video is it looks to me like, and this is in the context of all the other changes that are afoot with respect to retirement visa status, it looks to me as though they are now requiring or they are going to shortly require those who are seeking a retirement visa extension to have entered the Kingdom in non-immigrant status before they will even provide an extension in retiree status.  

So that's something to think about and I think that it significant practical implications for individuals trying to get to Thailand and retire here because as I said over the years I've seen many, many people simply enter the Kingdom on a 30-day stamp and go ahead and convert to a retirement visa which in the past was perfectly acceptable but now it appears as though that is not acceptable in a non-immigrant visa. It looks like it needs to be sought abroad before individuals come into the Kingdom and extend their retirement status.