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Thai Retirement Visas: Can Income and Bank Balance Be Combined?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai retirement visas yet again.  

This has been quite a hot topic these last couple of weeks here in Thailand because there have been really major changes with respect to regulatory enforcement of the rules regarding retirement visas. There are many other videos on this channel that go into that but just as a sort of brief overview of what we're talking about, essentially there's going to be real strict scrutiny with respect to assets on hand in a Thai bank account aka the 800,000 necessary in a bank account on balance in order to maintain a Thai retirement visa on a yearly basis.  That balance needs to be maintained 60 days prior to the application for the retirement visa and then 90 days after the application is approved, presumably at one's 90 day report, in order to maintain a one-year Retirement Visa. Moreover it's been noted that they are also going to be requiring that 400,000 balance be maintained throughout the calendar year of the visa's existence and that will be checked on when a subsequent extension is applied. They want to see that there is 400,000 minimum in the account with 800,000 needing to be in there for a total of 5 months out of a given calendar year.  

Now setting that aside, we have had a lot of questions on this both on this channel and we have had emails etc., but I wanted to address one specifically as the title suggests we are talking about combining the bank balance with assets and there was a good email, I am going to leave the sender’s name unsaid and I'm going to go ahead and quote from it; “Can pension and deposit be combined as before to reach 800,000 baht. My Social Security is over 400,000 baht per year, aka 36,000 baht per month.  Would that monthly Thai bank deposit from US Government be considered the same as the drop to 400,000 balance needed for all year?  I can go either way. I know these are hard to answer this early in the game.”

I do appreciate the email from this from this individual and yes it is hard to say early on exactly how this stuff is going to be implemented especially in these sort of extenuating circumstances. That being said I think it is pretty safe to infer where they're going with this.  They’re pretty clear.  They want to see that 800k actually in the account for at least five months; so that means they want to be able to see that the individual applicant has 800,000, basically income or assets, to sustain themselves in the Kingdom. Let's say someone had 400,000 baht all year round and then brought in the equivalent of 400,000 baht throughout the year. Under these rules I don't think that's going to suffice.  Let me let me explain why. 65,000 baht in income is what the stated minimum income amount needs to be in order to maintain retirement Visa status. Now we did another video - Immigration has some flexibility with respect to discretion to that throughout 2019.  How this plays out with respect to combining income and assets longer-term remains to be seen, but again they've been very specific.  In order to maintain a retirement Visa based on a bank balance they want 400,000 calendar year round that's clear, plus five months of 800,000 in that account.  That's unequivocal. So I don't think it's going to be possible to do this sort of income/bank balance combination.  The other thing to keep in mind is 65,000 baht on a yearly basis comes out to 780,000 baht total throughout a given year.  Obviously they rounded down a little bit when they were coming up with the monthly amount so rather than have some weird number like 68,600 baht or something to make it a full 800,000 baht in a given year worth of income, they rounded down and gave everyone 20,000 off and said 65,000 baht a month.

I think they will take the position that this is as much they are willing to give with respect to income. You need to show 65,000 baht minimum income or 800,000 baht for 5 months and then 400,000 year-round. It is not a matter of combining, my opinion. I can see a Ministerial Regulation or an Immigration Decree come out that basically contradicts this but I think it is fairly safe to assume that we are not going to be seeing people being able to go ahead and combine their income which is less than that 780,000 a year being able to combine that with less than 800,000 baht. If you are less on either of them, I don't think it is going to be possible to combine to bring you over the finish line. I just don't think it's going to happen and I think the overriding paradigm with immigration at the moment also would preclude that type of more creative approach to maintaining what would otherwise would be 800,000 baht In Thailand.