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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawRetirement Visas in Thailand: Retirees "Grandfathered" Into Status

Retirement Visas in Thailand: Retirees "Grandfathered" Into Status

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests we are discussing retirees who are "Grandfathered" in to their retirement Visa system pursuant to their rules when they came into the country.

What are we talking about here? Well, in a recent announcement by Royal Thai Immigration, anybody that has been following this channel knows there have been massive changes to retirement Visa system, these are the regulations as translated and we got this from the Nation via, so many thanks to those folks. This is a translation of Criteria for Consideration of an Alien's Application for Stay in the Kingdom Attached to the order of the Royal Thai Police No. 35 / 2561 dated January, 2019. Interesting stuff here, but one part that I thought was really interesting was section 6. "The alien who entered the Kingdom before 21st October, 1998 and has been consecutively permitted to stay in the Kingdom for retirement shall be subject to the following criteria: 

Must be 60 years of age or over and have fixed income with fund maintained in a bank account for the past three months of no less than 200,000 baht or have a monthly income of no less than 20,000 baht.  

If less than 60 years of age but not less than 55 years of age, the alien must have an annual fixed income with funds maintained in a bank account for the past 3 months of no less than 500,000 baht or have a monthly income of no less than 50,000 baht. 

Again if someone came in before 21st, October 1998 and they have basically been in continuous retiree status, these terms will apply; they are sort of “grandfathered” in to the terms. I am kind of curious what the importance of the 21st, October 1998 is. I am sure that there is a reason for that specific date but I don't know what it is. I suspect it might have been when the enactment of new regulations came in and they "grandfathered" in those folks at that time and then the new provisions came in and sort of changed things, but they didn't really want to throw over the people that had come in and abided by the law under the prior regime so they sort of “grandfathered” those folks in.

That “grandfather” clause remains in the current setup. Again I can't really speak to the policy as to why other that it just is almost kind of an equity argument you know. It's really not fair to just sort of throw people out who are abiding by the laws as they knew them at the time that they came to know them. It seems like presumably those folks are going to remain in the Kingdom under the terms that they came in under. 

Something to keep in mind for folks who did come in that way. Be very mindful of the expiration of your visa because failure to maintain your extension status could result in you having a hole in your status and you essentially break your "grandfathering".  What I mean to say is if you forget to renew your retirement visa extension and you fall out of status and you have to leave the country, presumably you would have to come back in under the new rules. So you would be required to adhere to the 800,000 baht or 65,000 baht income requirement and maintain your status just like somebody today. 

So those folks who are “grandfathered” in, the thing to take away from this video is it looks like you remain “grandfathered” in but be very mindful of your extension of stay expiration, because failure to maintain that could cause you to fall out of “grandfathered” in status and you are going to have to deal with things the way that everybody else is dealing with retirement visa status has to deal with them from this point forward.