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Thai Retirement Visas Denied for Deficient Bank Balances

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai Retirement Visas and a rather vexatious issue for some and somewhat infuriating issue for some, the issue of Bank Balances. 

So in a recent article from the Phuket News that is, the article is titled: Phuket Retirees Refused Visa Renewal for Failing Bank Balance. Quoting directly: "The issue came to the fore after a retired expat who has been living in Phuket on a Retirement Visa for nigh on 10 years informed the Phuket News that his application to renew his permit to stay for another year had been refused. The reason given for refusing his application was that he had failed to maintain the 400,000 Baht minimum bank balance in a Thai Bank account as required by the conditions of being approved a one year "extension" to his Visa." Quoting further: "Phuket Immigration Deputy Chief Lieutenant Colonel Nareuwat Putthawiro confirmed to the Phuket News that the requirements for a one-year permit to stay for people on Retirement Visas have not changed despite the ongoing crisis brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic."

So what can we take away from this? There are a couple of things. First of all, for those who are unaware, those who want to a Retirement Visa extension in the Kingdom need to show 800,000 Baht total at the time they apply for their extension, but there are various time frames that they have to keep that 800000 and then throughout the year they have to maintain a minimum balance of 400,000 Baht throughout the year. So it is not just 800,000 and then it is party time and you spend all that money and it is gone and you just need to replenish it before next year for the extension. No, that is not how it works. You have got to maintain a floor of 400,000 all year long and you have to maintain 800,000 I have gotten into debates on this, but long story short basically it is a good idea to have it in there for 2 months prior to the application for the extension and then another 2 months after just to be safe. So 4 months is what I would say total at the 800 threshold and then 400 for the rest of the year for like 8 months. I think you are safe with that kind of formula. Now that said it is kind of fact specific; it is kind of dependent on the officer and the office and their policy regarding the 800 side. You definitely need it on the day you apply and there are windows of time which you should have it. That was all kind of brought in by Big Joke. We have seen that lighten up here in recent years. 

The point of this video is, yes you still have to maintain that 400,000 Baht Bank balanced year round and in this situation, the applicant who had failed to maintain that Bank balance, yes they got stuck with a really bad situation and they were ultimately denied their extension. Now presumably there is discretionary status that they can be put into, most notably COVID status which this article goes into and I urge folks to check out, the article is titled: Phuket Retirees Refused Visa Renewal For Failing Bank Balance. 

Long story short and the thing to take away from this is do not forget your bank balance. If you plan it close to the line, always make sure you are constantly above that 400,000 mark because they are watching and they will look at it when it comes time for renewal.