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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawThai Retirement Visas: Bank Statements vs Income Affidavits

Thai Retirement Visas: Bank Statements vs Income Affidavits

Transcript of the above video:

As the title to this video suggests we are going to be discussing retirement visas; specifically we are discussing the pros and cons of so-called income affidavits versus simply the provenance of bank statements.

So what are we talking about here for those who don't have any idea about Thai retirement visas? Most expats who are here in the Kingdom on a retirement visa are going to going to be somewhat, if not well versed in these matters but for those who have never dealt with a Thai retirement visa there are two foundations for obtaining and renewing a Thai Retirement Visa here in the Kingdom. One is based on provenance of a bank statement showing funds in a bank account based on the statutorily requisite amount that has to be in there. Also there's what is called an income affidavit which depending on, if there is multiple retirees involved, the number is going to vary a little bit, but basically the long and the short of it is you are going to make a decision between "Do I go and get an income affidavit or do I go get a bank statement?" 

Well, first of all let's be clear. I am talking about this primarily from the context of an American, although British, it is a pretty similar process for British Nationals getting retirement visas here, which basically it's possible to go down to the US Embassy, make an attested affidavit regarding one's income; so that can be income from things like US Social Security, US Pensions, US Investments, on-going  businesses outside of the Kingdom of Thailand etc. can be attested to in an affidavit from the embassy. That affidavit then needs to be translated and legalized and provided to Thai Immigration in order to basically provide proof of the requisite ability to financially support oneself in the Kingdom and therefore be granted a retirement visa. The income affidavit, in many people's opinion, is a more straightforward endeavor because it doesn't require the transfer of bulk amounts of funds into a Thai bank account so for various reasons folks can consider that to be a benefit. But that being said, in my opinion Thai bank statements are a far more straightforward matter. You basically go ahead and obtain one, show it to the Thai Immigration Officer and in most cases they pretty well go ahead and just “yeah there's the bank statement; that's done.”

As we get into in another video I made at the same time as this one, there is increasing amounts of scrutiny associated with Thai retirement visas and in the past there has been varying degrees of scrutiny with respect to income affidavits, most notably where once they were sort of taken at face value, now more and more, I have heard of people being, this is more anecdotal evidence but I have heard of people being required to go ahead and actually provide further evidence of their income. How this was achieved was probably, in fact I know it was circumstantially dependent, but this adds an extra layer to the process, and can delay things; it can cause serious issues. Again bank statements now again bank statements tend to be a little bit more straightforward but again for some people they just simply aren't comfortable transferring a large amount of money into a Thai bank account so the thing to take away from this video is: there is more than one way to go ahead and provide a basis for a retirement visa in the Kingdom of Thailand and as noted in another video on this channel there are even 10 year retirement visas which have basically a whole other set of criteria associated with them but the thing to take away from this video is: yes there are two ways of doing it, there are pros and cons to it. On balance, in the past, it was somewhat or at least it seems to be a consensus opinion amongst most of the retirees that I talk to that income affidavits were somewhat easier for lack of a better term albeit not quite as straightforward but that being said the increased scrutiny and the sort of the heightened review standards that are being placed upon applicants by the Thai Immigration Authorities may result in that not necessarily being the case moving forward.