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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsThai Immigration to Use Discretion for 2019 Retirement Visa Income

Thai Immigration to Use Discretion for 2019 Retirement Visa Income

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing retirement income.  

This has been a hot topic amongst the expat community here these past few weeks as new rules have come down with respect to the issue of retirement visa lump-sum amounts to prove ability to financially support oneself here in the Kingdom.

This video specifically is discussing retirement income so most of the time what we are talking about is passive income from abroad being brought into Thailand. In a recent article from the Nation, nationmultimedia.com, headline Immigration Officers to Show Leniency on Bank Statement Requirements.  I am going to go into a memorandum which was issued by the Immigration Division, Memorandum Number 0029.173/WOR, and the memorandum states, and they are talking about the rules with respect to changes in the Immigration System. "Since this is a new rule, some of the aliens will not be able to prepare to provide such evidences. Therefore, to mitigate the adverse impact among them, from January 1 to December 31st, 2019. Immigration Officers shall proceed as follows:  Regarding the retirement case or the income (pension) is transferred after retirement year, the bank deposit bank statement from Thai bank showing monthly transfer to the applicant's account may not cover 12 month period. The officer shall consider the case based on relevant laws and regulations mutatis mutandis."  So what this means is, it looks to me like they are going to be showing some level of discretion, discretional flexibility if you will, with respect to the issue of income; specifically pension income coming in from overseas during the calendar year 2019.  Now this being said, it's made pretty clear to me that it looks like retirement income needs to come from abroad. It cannot be derived in the Kingdom by dint of the fact that those who are in Thailand on a retirement visa cannot earn income because they are not working in Thailand; they are precluded from doing so.  There are very specific exceptions that I have heard be made to the restrictions on a Thai retirement visa but that being said, one cannot earn income here in the Kingdom of Thailand so it looks to me like it's going to be required.  But that being said the Immigration Office here is not going to be overly hard-nosed about making sure that there is a one-year set of income coming in, so monthly income coming in over the course of one year but instead they will go ahead and allow some discretion with respect to this year, 2019, as this rule has just recently changed and the Income Affidavit situation was phased out. 

So the thing to take away from this video is if you are using income in 2019, there's going to be some discretion granted to those using income. That being said income needs to come from abroad; it needs to meet the 65,000 baht threshold in order to be considered valid for purposes of retirement visa extension issuance.