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Thai Immigration "Do Not Follow The Law" On Retirement Visas?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggest, we are discussing Thai Retirement Visas yet again. I thought of making this video after reading a recent comment on our channel, quoting directly: "I went to extend my Non-immigrant O Visa several days ago. I have more than the required amount of funds in my bank account yet they wanted 12 months of bank statements instead of the 6 months I submitted. They said it was the new manager requiring the additional 6 months of statements. This is not right. I had to return to the bank and pay for an additional 6 months of statements which takes 1 week to receive from the bank. How can they get away with changing the regulations and not follow the law?" A couple of things here. They can do that because there isn't a law that explicitly creates the Retirement Visa. As we have discussed in other videos, the Retirement Visa operates under the miscellaneous category which is the O category. Now it may fall under the O standard or it may be the O-A which stands for annual which generally those O-A Retirement Visas are issued at Embassies and Consulates outside of Thailand. 

But let's be clear, there isn't a law insofar as within the Immigration Act of 1979, there isn't a provision specifically in there that says retirement status. What there is, is there is a catch-all category which basically is a miscellaneous category with simply says something to the effect of: "or otherwise dictated by Ministerial Regulation." So Thai Immigration themselves created the retirement category internally by creating the regulations. As a result of the regulations, and on top of that and because of the regulations, they have, let me actually go back. The regulations were created. They created the Retirement Visa under the miscellaneous category, but their discretion to decide what the criteria are to get that visa, it is unfettered. Their discretion is essentially unfettered. So look if the Adjudicating Consular Officer wants to see more of something, they have the power to request that documentation and information. 

I can very much understand how this can frustrate people. I get it. It is kind of it is almost clichéd folks talking about having to make multiple trips to Immigration. Now I am not going to sit here and tell you that the solution, the catch-all solution is you need to use somebody, have somebody help you. Obviously there is a promotional element to this channel so yes we do assist people with Retirement Visas but you can also do it on your own; it is up to you. That said, at the end of the day, look, this is a headache for us just as much as anybody else. We have to deal with the fact that they do have discretion and from time to time they will make requests pursuant to that discretion. I say it is not all that unlike what are called 221g refusals for visas through the Visa section at the US Embassy here in Bangkok; it is very analogous to this. We often times will put cases through the Embassy and we think is pretty well documentarily qualified but the Adjudicating Consular Officer wants to see something more, they want to see some other document, some other thing that they want to see before they are going to be satisfied that the applicant meets the requirements and therefore issue the Visa.

Again I am not here trying to act as an apologist or anything for this but I think when people understand it, it allows people to sort of on one level sort of get past it that "hey it is what it is", but also frankly, I think it puts you in a better mood when you have to deal with this kind of thing because you sort of see it coming. Again requesting an extra 6 months on top of 6 months to my mind seems a little bit over the top but that said, I am not the adjudicator, I wasn't the one looking at the case and maybe it is a new person, they are a little more stringent or they want to do things more by the book or they just want to get their job right, I don't know but at the end of the day the thing to remember when it comes to Thai Retirement Visas is it is a creation of Thai Immigration itself and Thai Immigration has the discretion to dictate the requirements associated with retirement status here in the Kingdom of Thailand.