FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

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#11 Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Postby Gaybutton » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:52 pm

Dodger wrote:Clarification is still needed and I seriously doubt the immigration office can provide this clarification at this juncture. We'll just have to wait and see.

Unless you have a better idea, what choice do you have other than to ask at immigration? Seems to me some are conjuring up problems that likely don't even exist. The memo makes it perfectly clear what they will accept as proof of income. Again, anyone who has to deviate from what the memo states and/or has "what ifs", immigration is the only place where you're going to get an answer.

Whether you do or don't trust the reliability of the answers you get is your own affair.

If anyone has reason to believe they will be unable to comply with the proof of income requirements, thus facing rejection of your visa renewal, then you better start saving up that 800,000 baht . . .

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#12 Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Postby Undaunted » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:09 pm

gera wrote:With sinking dollar it may not be a huge problem

Surely you must be mistaken it is the GBP that is sinking :!:
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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#13 Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Postby Gaybutton » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:02 pm

windwalker wrote:Now the money must be shown to be deposited in a Thai Bank.

I don't understand why that would be a problem if you already hold a retirement visa. Why not simply open a Thai bank account if you don't already have one? It should be relatively easy if you hold a valid retirement visa.

I have been recommending for years that people, especially those retiring in Thailand or seriously considering doing so, open a Thai bank account. Those who did not do so may have a problem, but there is only one way to find out.

If there is a problem, the only problem I can see would be if the 65,000 baht has been going into your Thai bank account for less than a year when it's time to renew the retirement visa.

So, again I suggest going to immigration with all your documents and ask. I have a feeling - just a feeling, of course - immigration will be helpful. Obviously immigration is going to be confronted with all kinds of issues and complications, but I see no reason to assume immigration is going to be absolutely rigid about it as long as you can show you really do have the means to comply with their money minimums.

I'm expecting them to go easy and give people a break this year, but make it clear you need to be in full compliance by the next year. The only way to find out is to ask.

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#14 Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Postby Dodger » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:16 am

Gaybutton wrote:I don't understand why that would be a problem if you already hold a retirement visa. Why not simply open a Thai bank account if you don't already have one? It should be relatively easy if you hold a valid retirement visa.

I agree with this, although for retired Americans who plan to use their Social Security income for income verification purposes they must open a direct deposit account at Bangkok Bank. Just any Thai bank won't work because the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) has only approved Bangkok Bank for deposits made to Thailand. I think people are already aware of this but just wanted to stress this point.

SSA just notified me by mail that my newly opened direct deposit account at Bangkok Bank has been acknowledged and approved and direct deposits will begin in 1-2 months. I was advised not to close my current account (Kasikorn Bank) until the funds start to actually be received. Personally I have decided to maintain both accounts going forward. SSA only makes international deposits on the third of each month.

Anyone going through this process should plan for it to take about 3 months from the time you open an account at Bangkok Bank to the time the actual deposits begin. As I mentioned previously Bangkok Bank can and will provide annual income statements for use when renewing your retirement visa.

The Thai Embassy has just updated the Retirement Visa Requirements Section by including the requirement for submitting a Letter from a Thai Bank along with your Thai Bank Book when renewing your retirement visa. The combination method is still an approved method.

Case Closed.

http://www.thaiembassy.com/retire/retire.php

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#15 Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Postby Gaybutton » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:00 am

Dodger wrote:Americans who plan to use their Social Security income for income verification purposes they must open a direct deposit account at Bangkok Bank.

There is no such thing as a direct deposit account. I think you mean a receive-only account. By American law and Bangkok Bank's compliance with it, money direct deposited into a foreign bank account from an American government source must be deposited into a receive-only account.

I recently read Social Security uses the IAT format for 80% or direct deposits, which makes it no problem to continue having direct deposits sent to Bangkok Bank's New York Branch assuming you are among that 80%.

Since for whatever reason 20% of Social Security's direct deposits are not sent using the IAT, then you better check.

2lz2p wrote:You can find out if your direct deposit is coming in IAT format by telephoning Mrs. Supatra Phetchai, Global Payment Services Department - telephone 02-230-1323. She is the contact person mentioned by Bangkok Bank and can check your latest direct deposit to see the format.

You can also have Social Security direct deposits sent via TransferWise. With TransferWise it doesn't matter whether your money is coming in with the IAT format or not. Then you can have TransferWise direct deposit into any bank you want - and it doesn't have to be a receive-only account since the money goes into TransferWise's American bank and when TransferWise transfers it to your Thai bank account, now it is no longer being deposited from a government source.

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#16 Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Postby Dodger » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:28 pm

Gaybutton wrote:There is no such thing as a direct deposit account.

The girl who signed me up for this at Bangkok Bank loosely referred to this as a "Direct Deposit Account". I haven't seen any reference to "Receive Only Accounts" as a Bangkok Bank offering. I think we're just talking semantics here.

In any event, this account is for deposits only. Withdrawals cannot be made using an ATM and money cannot be electronically transferred out of this account. All withdrawals have to be made in person.

Also, as a side note: I plan to have my Annual Bank Statement notarized before submitting it to Immigration at visa renewal time just to avoid giving them a loophole which they are famous for finding (or creating). I'm not suggesting that others do this.

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#17 Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Postby Gaybutton » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:56 pm

Dodger wrote:In any event, this account is for deposits only. Withdrawals cannot be made using an ATM and money cannot be electronically transferred out of this account. All withdrawals have to be made in person.

Whatever it's called, that's the only type of account Social Security can send to Bangkok Bank or any other Thai bank with an office and routing number in the USA.

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#18 Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Postby Dodger » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:34 pm

It appears as if the other larger banks in Thailand missed the boat on this one as Bangkok Bank stands to sign up a lot of new account holders.

I wonder if delays in switching over to that new IAT Format is what stopping SSA from making deposits to these other banks.

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#19 Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Postby Gaybutton » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:20 pm

Dodger wrote:I wonder if delays in switching over to that new IAT Format is what stopping SSA from making deposits to these other banks.

The USA is not exactly brimming over with Thai bank branches. Other than Bangkok Bank's New York Branch, the only other Thai bank I'm aware of that has a branch in the USA is Kasikorn Bank's Los Angeles branch. I have no idea whether the Kasikorn Bank branch even has a routing number or whether they accept direct deposits even if they do have a routing number.

If other Thai banks have branches in the USA and can accept direct deposits, if anyone can provide information, please do.

In my opinion, the best direct deposit choices involving Social Security are either Bangkok Bank (if you're willing to deal with a receive-only account) or TransferWise.

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#20 Re: FINALLY! It's Official! Immigration WILL accept proof of income for the retirement visa

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:37 pm

Today a close friend went to immigration and asked about using the "combo" method. Immigration told him that's just fine as long as between the money in the bank account combined with monthly income adds up to at least 800,000 baht over the course of a year. He was told that the money in the bank must still be held in the bank account for 3 months even if it's less than 800,000 baht and whatever the amount held in the account happens to be, it can be combined with monthly income for 12 months. In other words, if the combination adds up to at least 800,000 baht, now you're in the clear.

He also asked when money is deposited into the Thai bank account from abroad, how long does it have to remain in the account before it can be withdrawn and spent? The answer was it can be withdrawn and spent immediately. That actually opens the possibility of repeatedly receiving a deposit of 65,000 baht, withdrawing it, sending it back to your home country, and having it deposited into the Thai bank account again the next month. Kind of a weird way to do it, but if anyone decides to do it that way, you're still in compliance with Thai law. Apparently immigration's sole interest is the fact that a minimum of 65,000 baht is deposited monthly into a Thai bank account, but they couldn't care less what you do with it once it's in.

I hope this solves the financial requirement problem at least for most of us - better still, all of us who are retired in Thailand legitimately.

Now, if I want to, I can go out and spend that 800,000 baht. Let's see, what should I spend it on? I've got it! Wasn't there something about a robot in a recent post in the "Everything Else" forum? No home should be without one . . .


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