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Pension Documentation and Thai Visas

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing pensions in the context of Thai Visa Extension.

There was a recent letter sent to the Postbag of the Bangkok Post. This was published in the print edition of the Bangkok Post, December 19, 2020. This was under the title: Immigration Games and it was sent in by Farangs Anonymous. Quoting directly: "Why does Immigration refuse to accept notifications from government agencies and/or insurance companies that clearly state "bona fide payments to recipients on a yearly basis". I am talking about

Social Security payments, Government pensions as well as private pension payments. Stated requirements say they are perfectly acceptable as a proven source of income." 

Well let's start with "What do you mean when you are saying "stated requirements"? Is it something on a website possibly? but from our understanding and the way that the Thai attorneys in our firm have told me that the interpretation of the law is it is one document that could be used as in some ways of reading the regulations that I have been told that could be used as one example of support documentation but in and of itself is not dispositive. The thing to remember about is this would be in a foreign language possibly. So we are talking about Government pension from a government not Thailand. Thai Government pensions I can tell you or documentation related to income in Thailand for example Work Permit documentation, all of that is readily acceptable by Thai Immigration. A) It is in Thai and B) It is issued by the Thai Government. If it is issued by an overseas government or private corporation related to the pension, I can see where that may not be viewed by Thai Immigration Authorities as the best evidence that they can come up with because A) Again it may be in a foreign language and they may want to see some sort of certified translation and B) We are talking about the Thai government here. They cannot verify the proof of that pension. 

This became a real issue when we were talking about income letters associated with Retirement Visas. That fell by the wayside some years back. It has now been about 2 years ago that the US Embassy for example and the UK Embassy, stopped issuing what were called income verification letters, proof of income letters, Income Affidavits I sometimes refer to it as that, in regard to Retirement Visas. People would go to the Embassy, fill out a letter, have it notarized and then that would be used in support of one's Retirement Visa. Well that went out the window dealing with the issue of veracity; whether or not they could prove that up, if it could be verified readily by the Thai Government. The Governments involved with the notarization process, notably the US and UK in this case, said yeah we are not a testing to the veracity of the statement. We are just simply notarizing the signature and that is where the Thai government stopped accepting that documentation as proof of income. I think what we are seeing here with respect to pension is something very similar where these are documents that are issued by a Foreign Government and Thai Immigration can't readily test the veracity; they can't see if it is true. For this reason unfortunately, you are seeing a situation where they are not allowing that documentation to be usable as proof for purposes of visa extension. Again they tend to like to default to bank statements. That has always been our experience is if you are dealing with a lump sum deposit or you are dealing with income, it could be a pension income, they want to see a bank statement showing from a Thai bank account, a type Bank book specifically, that money is regularly coming in of the amount that meets the requirements for visa extension pursuant to the regulations pertaining to either a Retirement Visa or a Marriage Visa here in the Kingdom of Thailand.