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Thai Retirement Visas for Foreign Married Couples

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai retirement Visa in the context of married couples. 

Now there are two types of Retirement Visa scenarios that I can think of where you are going to have a married couple involved.  One is the standard case which is two folks that are over 50 looking to retire together; they are both foreigners looking to retire together here in Thailand. Let me be clear. Pretty much everybody we are discussing here is going to be a foreign couple because if there was a Thai National involved, we would be having a different discussion.  But moving forward we are talking about two folks over 50 who are looking to retire here in the Kingdom.  Independently each of them needs to go ahead and prove either 800,000 baht maintained as a bank balance in the Kingdom of Thailand for 2 months prior to an application for Retirement Visa and 90 days after the application has been approved.  Meanwhile 400,000 balance per person needs to be maintained throughout the year.

I have had some questions lo these past few weeks where people have been asking me, "We  are a married couple.  Is it possible that we can use just one bank balance in order to meet the requirement?"  The answer to that is NO.  The fact of the matter is that the Retirement Visa rules are pretty clear and each individual person who is getting a Retirement Visa needs to go ahead and show that they can independently meet the financial criteria. So that is that. That is for two folks over 50. What if you have one person who is not over 50? Well that creates a different kind of problem and this is where you have an O Dependent Visa associated with the Retirement Visa and quite candidly the issuance of these is much more discretionary and in my opinion moving forward, I don't think we are going to see a lot of these very often. I shouldn't say "not very often".  What I should say is, I think that what Thai Immigration definitely wants to see is they want to see something akin to the financial criteria being met for that O Dependent Visa and that O Dependent Visa again, that oftentimes in the past have been issued at the Thai Immigration Officer’s sufferance.  They have basically been issuing that pursuant to their discretion and I think that in the future I think it's very likely we are not going to see them utilizing discretion like that in quite such a lenient way. In fact I think if you read sort of the for lack of better term, between the lines, or sort of understand the underlying policy behind the recent regulatory changes with respect to enforcement of financial evidential rules, I think you can see that the Immigration apparatus is very serious about each individual who is in the Kingdom either being able to work or show that they have the financial resources to remain. 

Now for those over 50, it is clear but there is something of a little vagueness in the law with respect to an O Dependent Visa based on a Retirement Visa but I think that the same rule of thumb holds true. I think moving forward it would be prudent and probably a good idea to go ahead and maintain a separate bank balance or a bank balance maybe in a joint bank account that shows double the requirements for a single Retirement Visa even though you are looking at an O Dependent Visa.  I think this is the case because basically they're looking at situations where you have got retirees but it is still two people and I think one of their major issues and the more strict enforcement of the rules associated with Retirement Visas is that the individuals in question have the financial wherewithal to maintain themselves here in the Kingdom should an emergency or some sort of problem arise.  

So the thing to take away from this video is there are two kinds of retirement visas for married couples. There is the standard, both over 50, and in that scenario both parties need to go ahead and show that they independently meet all the financial criteria.  Meanwhile there is this other slightly more vague situation where you have got a dependent O Visa based on a Retirement Visa issuance and in that set of circumstances, I think a good rule of thumb moving forward is probably going to be “yes, also be able to show duplicate finances in order to be issued not only the OA but the O Dependent”, because as I said a good rule of thumb moving forward is, show those finances in duplicate because the Immigration Officers as a policy matter now wanting to see it that all individuals in the Kingdom especially in retiree or O  dependent on retiree status, have the financial resources to maintain themselves in the Kingdom of Thailand should emergencies or issues arise.