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Income Exchange Rate Issues in Thai Retirement Visa Extensions

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are yet again discussing Thai Retirement Visas.  

For those who are unaware watching this video, there have been some very radical changes made with respect to the enforcement paradigm that is going on with respect to Thai Retirement Visas here in the Kingdom; most notably the balances and the amount of time that a bank balance has to be maintained with respect to retirement visas has pretty radically changed. Where once it was basically a one-day ordeal, it's now basically a 5 month exercise and really there are implications throughout a given calendar year so for the most part it is a matter of having funds on hand throughout the year here in Thailand.

There have been a lot of folks that have sent his questions either through the channel or through our email basically asking us about income issues and a big one that has come up has been questions surrounding exchange rates. So people will say to me, I’ve had like three different questions in the past 2 or 3 days specifically on point with this so I figured a video would probably warrant it.  One person asked me “Well I make x amount Canadian through my pension. Is that going to suffice? “ Somebody said the same thing only they said Australian dollars; somebody even mentioned Danish kroner. The fact of the matter is the it doesn't matter what you're making and whatever foreign currency. Thai regulations dictate you have to show 65,000 baht a month coming in from abroad into a Thai bank account in income again from abroad.  65,000 baht in order to maintain a Thai Retirement visa on a yearly basis using income and I am presuming, especially starting in 2020, they're going to start requesting bank books, bank statements etc. they're going to want to see that monthly history of seeing that 65,000 or more, coming into a bank account here in the Kingdom.  They are not going to care what that amount was in the foreign currency. They don't care if 65,000 baht is 2,000 Australian dollars or whatever it is or how ever many Canadian dollars or US dollars for that matter.  What Thai Immigration is going to want to see is 65,000 baht.  So whatever that is in foreign currency, that amount at that particular exchange rate on that particular day needs to come in, in order to fulfill the 65,000 baht requirement. 

Now one thing that somebody has also asked with respect to income is "what if my Social Security, or my pension comes in and it's 63,000?"  Well you are probably going to have to make arrangements to get some more money wired in in that particular month, in order to keep the income from abroad above the 65,000 mark.  I don't think that Thai Immigration is necessarily going to insist that the income be brought in in 1 lump monthly some.  They are not going to say we want to see it come from one source. No. I think multiple sources will suffice.  For example many people I know from the UK will have a corporate pension from a company they worked for and they will also have their state pension; both of those will be sent into a bank account here in Thailand. I think it is perfectly fine so long as the total amount that comes in from abroad exceeds 65,000 baht. I don't think they're going to care. I mean obviously, outside of illicit activities, I don't think they're going to care where it came from or if it came from one tranche or two or one wire or two wires. They just want to see 65,000. 

But the thing to take away from this video. The exchange rate on the other end is irrelevant. I don't think it's going to be an argument that's going to succeed when going down to Thai Immigration and saying "yeah, but I transferred in this amount in US dollars or I transferred this amount of British Pounds in.  Three days ago the exchange rate would have made that 65,000". I think the response to that it's going to be "look we want to see 65,000 baht.  Whatever that is in a foreign currency, great. We want to see 65,000 baht. 

So again the thing to take away from this video is moving forward, that can have great implications for people during boom times in their home countries and that can have really harsh implications for people when their currency is rather weak but that being said, the rules to me are pretty clear. 65,000 baht is 65,000 baht.