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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawNew Rules Regarding Financial Criteria for the Thai Retirement Visa

New Rules Regarding Financial Criteria for the Thai Retirement Visa

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing recent rules regarding the changes to financial criteria associated with the application for a Thai retirement Visa.

So to quote directly from "Khao Sod English, that is khaosodenglish.com.  The article is titled New Retiree Visa Rules Bewilder Thai Immigration: Source Quoting directly "Starting March 1st, foreign retirees must either show a monthly income of at least 65,000 baht or hold a minimum of 800,000 baht in Thai banks.”  That was always the rule but here is where it changes. “They must maintain that amount for 3 months after a visa or extension is granted after which they can only take out half. The new rules also make unclear how long applicants must wait to learn whether their visas or extensions have been approved.”  

Another article from the Nation, nationmultimedia.com, the article is titled Immigration Bureau Cracks Down on “False” Retirement Visa Applications Says Report. Quoting directly, "Thailand's Immigration Bureau has announced a major change regarding the financial requirements for foreigners taking retirement visas, Thai Visa has reported.”  Now the changes to the financials we just went over but this I thought was interesting as well.  “The new requirements are reportedly aimed at ending the practice of Visa Agents falsifying bank statements for foreigners who do not have enough money to meet the financial demands for a retirement visa extension.” 

Okay, so couple of things that are going on here. Apparently these rules come into effect March 1st as of the time of this video.  That means there's a little less than about a month, about three weeks left, before these changes come into effect. That being said, these are pretty significant.  As noted, there was a time when it was possible to simply have the money in one's bank account for a period of approximately a day and then go ahead and seek an extension.  That is coming to an end.  They apparently are heavily scrutinizing or they plan to heavily scrutinize the finances of those who are staying in Thailand in retiree status. 

What are the practical implications of this? Well I think they are going to be significant. Much in the same way that the changes to the Income Affidavit rules had a substantial impact on certain expats living here, especially in retiree status, although this does have ramifications for those who are staying in the Kingdom in O Visa status based on marriage; there is a financial requirement associated therewith. This this is going to hit a number of people rather hard.  For example there was a time when folks primarily just used Income Affidavits so those folks may not have even a bank account here in Thailand. They may be doing all their banking overseas. That simply has to change with the promulgation of these new rules.  

As of now or as of I should say March 1st, it's going to be required that one shows either income coming in to a Thai account or 800,000 or 400,000 depending; 400,000 for O visas but 800,000 for retiree visas. You are going to have to show that in a bank account and it is clear that Thai immigration is going to follow up on that in order to ascertain whether or not you do indeed have that money in the account.

How this actually plays out and you know all the ins and outs of this remain to be seen. We will do another video on this channel to update you with respect to how this is actually playing out as a practical matter, but for now I think it's safe to say that this is going to have major ramifications for those who are in Thailand in retiree status.