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Thai Retirement and Marriage Visas: Comparing Financial Requirements

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Retirement Visas and comparing these to Marriage Visas. I went ahead and made this video because I received the following comment on this channel. Quoting directly: "Hi Benjamin, in your opinion, why are there different financial requirements for non-O based on retirement as opposed to non-O based on marriage? Again in your opinion, would Immigration look more favorably or be less stringent when accessing an application made by someone who had been married for many years as opposed to someone who had only recently been married?"

Good questions. The first one regarding why are there differences, I think it prioritizes people who are married to Thais. I think if you read the Immigration Act, there is a lot of prioritization for those who are related either by blood or marriage to a Thai National when it comes to their abilities to get a visa to Thailand. There are also ramifications in the context of Thai Work Permits, for example different ratios of Thai employees to foreigners in the context of Work Permit and visa extension applications when you are working for a Thai Company and you have to maintain Work Permit status, there is a different ratio requirement and it is contingent upon, it is different depending on if you are married to a Thai and have a Thai Marriage Visa as opposed to just a standard Business Visa. I think at one level, perhaps you could say at a policy level, they want to encourage marriage; if you were in a relationship with a Thai you get more benefits married to a Thai from an Immigration standpoint. I can't totally say that is what they were thinking for certain, but it would seem that that may have played into things.

With regard to the financial requirements, when you are comparing Retirement Visas to Marriage Visas, actually we see this in the context of Permanent Residence Applications. For example someone who is unmarried, does not have a Thai spouse, does not have Thai family, there may be higher financial criteria to meet in order to apply for Thai Permanent Residence compared to someone who is married to a Thai and has a Thai family or married to a Thai even if they don't have children, there may still be a lower criteria, a lower threshold on finances to meet. I think again it is basically the law or the policy and it is reflected in the law, that those who have a relationship to Thailand, a blood relative or a marriage, a spouse, they are going to get prioritized and I think at a policy level that was deemed to be officially a positive thing they wanted to encourage or at least I should say they wanted to provide priority for those folks compared to someone who did not have those relationships with Thailand or the people of Thailand. 

Quoting further: "Again in your opinion, would Immigration look more favorably or less stringent when assessing an application made by someone who had been married for many years as opposed to someone who had only recently been married?" Candidly, maybe. It has been my experience that frankly I don't really know that they get that deep in their analysis of a given case that way. What I would say is it is more controlling whether or not a person had a Work Permit as opposed to whether or not a person had been married for any length of time. Where we usually see there being more issues with Marriage Visas, especially Marriage Visa extensions or evidence associated with finance in a Marriage Visa context, we usually see that in the context of someone who doesn't have a Work Permit but has been in Thailand a prolonged period of time. I have seen Immigration Officers just straight up ask "Why aren't you working? What do you do?" This can sometimes be problematic, in some cases they are just retirees and it is not a big deal but yes I have seen, especially with younger folks Work Permit may be an issue but I have never seen where longer term marital status has really had a critical impact on the adjudication of an O Marriage Visa.