New Immigration Requirement

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RichLB
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New Immigration Requirement

Post by RichLB » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:52 pm

It seems Immigration now wants 800K baht to remain in the bank for 3 months after a visa extension is granted. After that withdrawals are allowed but the balance can't fall below 400K. The article is a bit confusing so my numbers may be off. Here is the URL:

https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/108167 ... s-granted/

fountainhall
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Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by fountainhall » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:18 pm

If this turns out to be true, I can see it becoming a major difficulty for quite a number of retirees. In the past, it has been simply a matter of using up the Bt. 800,000 as the year progresses and then ensuring it is topped up 90 days in advance of renewal. If that Bt. 800,000 has to remain for a further three months and the minimum balance thereafter cannot fall below Bt. 400,000 in the same account, it makes the Bt. 800,000 route far less attractive. I am beginning to think the Thailand Elite 5 year visa is now more attractive even though it means losing Bt. 500,000 over the period. At least there are no problems with minimum balances as far as I am aware.

But I don't understand why the new "rules" state that foreigners must still show that Bt. 800,000 in the account for two months prior to renewal. The existing rule is very clear - it has to be minimum 90 days. So I wonder how genuine this all is.

If the Big Joke is still thinking about medical insurance being mandatory - both in-patient AND out-patient, I can see that being a further drain on resources for those who have elected not to take out-patient treatment because it is often rarely more than the amount of the Plan deductible.

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Gaybutton
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Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by Gaybutton » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:22 am

RichLB wrote:The article is a bit confusing so my numbers may be off.
It seems crystal clear to me. For people using the 800,000 baht or the combination method to get the retirement visa, now you have to have 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account for 2, not 3, months prior to applying for the visa. After you have the visa, 3 months later you can withdraw from the account, but at least 400,000 baht has to remain in the account. Under current exchange rates, that's close to US $13,000 that would have to remain in your Thai bank account.

Meanwhile, you can still use the 65,000 baht per month method.

This order becomes effective March 1, 2019

Image

Just a guess on my part, but I believe among the reasons why 400,000 baht has to remain in the bank account after you start withdrawing funds is to decrease the likelihood that anyone is borrowing 800,000 baht from a friend or something, and then planning to return it after getting the visa.

Think about it. If you were going to lend 800,000 baht to a friend so he can get the retirement visa, you're going to be out your 800,000 baht for 5 months - 2 months before he can apply for the visa and 3 months after he gets it. And even then he can only give 400,000 baht back to you.

Would you lend 800,000 baht to a friend knowing you'll have to wait 5 months and then get only half of it back?

No matter what the regulations are, there will always be people who want to live in Thailand, but can't meet the minimum financial requirements, and they're going to try to somehow circumvent the rules. I believe immigration is trying to put a stop to it.

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Bob
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Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by Bob » Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:00 am

What some of the so-called rogue visa agents have done in the past is to deposit 800k in the customer's account a day or two before the extension is applied for and then take back the funds the day after the extension is granted, all for a fee of course....and the method only worked when the "cooperating" Immigration officer the agent knew received a chunk of the fee the visa agent charged for the clearly illegal service. Although there's no doubt Thai banks are happy with the new rules (and may have even encouraged same to boost their deposits and earnings), it seems that according to the article that the main reason for the change was to try to stop the rogue agents (and rogue Immigration officers) from pulling this scam.

As for the "before" requirement, I'm only wondering if the 2 month routine really applies to both first and subsequent extensions. It would seem so as no differentiation is made in this police order language.

For those who keep a separate account for the 800k and never touch it (which is the case for several of my CM friends as well as myself), there's really no change at all....unless we have to provide a second bank letter to prove we complied with the "after" rule at the end of the 90-day time period and/or unless we're required to provide at the next extension time a copy of a year's worth of passbook entries showing we complied with the new rules.

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Undaunted
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Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by Undaunted » Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:37 am

Gaybutton wrote:After you have the visa, 3 months later you can withdraw from the account, but at least 400,000 baht has to remain in the account.
Zero confusion. Very straight forward and better than I thought. Originally I thought the full 800,000 needed to stay on deposit!
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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Gaybutton
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Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by Gaybutton » Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:13 am

Undaunted wrote:Originally I thought the full 800,000 needed to stay on deposit!
It didn't have to stay on deposit, but if you pulled money from that account it had to be replenished at least 3 months before applying for the retirement visa.

Bob wrote:unless we have to provide a second bank letter to prove we complied with the "after" rule at the end of the 90-day time period and/or unless we're required to provide at the next extension time a copy of a year's worth of passbook entries showing we complied with the new rules.
Yes, questions are popping up about what immigration will require to prove you complied and didn't touch the 800,000 for 3 months after getting the retirement visa and prove that you kept the 400,000 baht in the account thereafter.

Other questions already coming up are:

1. What happens if you do take out part or all of the 400,000?

2. Some are saying Pattaya immigration is still requiring the 800,000 baht to be in the account for 3 months prior to applying for the retirement visa.

3. Does the 800,000 baht have to be kept in a single bank account or can it be spread over several Thai bank accounts?

4. If I have a foreign VISA card or debit card, if I go to my Thai bank account branch and have them pull 65,000 baht, place it into my account, and it will show the money came from a foreign source? And can I arrange for my bank to do that monthly when I'm not in Thailand?

5. Some are saying they've tried to open a Thai bank account, but they're finding it virtually impossible these days without holding the retirement visa. Meanwhile, you can't get the retirement visa without a Thai bank account. Welcome to Catch 22.

Travelerjim sent an Email to me saying, "I see many posts on forums where Bank Account still can be opened with Tourist Visa... if one branch says NO...go to another Branch or Bank." If you need to open a Thai bank account, that's what you better do - and fast, before it can't be done at all. If they'll let you open an account, it can be opened with as little as a 500 baht initial deposit plus a 100 or 200 baht fee for a debit card. My understanding is the easiest bank where farang can open an account is Kasikorn bank (K-Bank). Don't forget to arrange for online banking too.

As for answers to the above questions, or any other questions that will arise, we just don't know yet. But one thing is clear - if you intend to get the retirement visa, one way or another you MUST have a Thai bank account, whether you're going to use the 800,000 baht method or the 65,000 baht per month method.

If you have other questions or issues, please post them. We probably cannot provide many answers just yet, but at least we'll know what kinds of answers to seek and can post them once we get those answers.

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Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by Jogger » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:03 am

if the translation is correct namely:

" At least 2 months prior to filing date, and at least 3 months after being granted permission, the alien must have fund deposited in a bank in Thailand of no less than THB 800,000. The alien can withdraw the fund 3 months after being granted permission and the remaining balance must be no less than THB 400,000 "

...then the rule is 800k in the account 3 months before the grant of the extension and 3 months after. Applies to all whether in Pattaya or not to those who use this method.
Permission is granted at the extension time so I suppose if someone either does not keep the 800k in the account for 3 months after or 400k thereafter then they are in breach of their extension and this I guess will affect their next extension; unless immigration discover someone has fallen below the requirement before the aforeesaid next extension.

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Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by Gaybutton » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:49 am

Jogger wrote:then the rule is 800k in the account 3 months before the grant of the extension
It just wouldn't be Thailand if we weren't already getting conflicting information. Whether it's 2 months or 3 months, obviously for those who will be using the 800,000 baht method, the safest way is to have the money in the Thai bank account for at least 3 months.

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Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by RichLB » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:52 am

Add these to the questions that, as yet, have no answers.
1. How does one verify that the 800K has remained in the bank 3 months after the visa extension is granted? Will this require an additional trip to Thai Immigration and the bank to present a letter testifying this?
2. And how about verifying that after the 3 month period has passed, how is one to prove the account has never fallen below 400K?
3. Since this "rule" doesn't take effect until March 1, will these requirements only apply to visa extensions issued after that date or will they be retroactive and apply to those of us who have visa extensions issued before March 1?

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Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by fountainhall » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:05 am

I can understand the rogue agents issue. What I do not understand is why those who have proved over years that they have obeyed the rules and own and live in their own apartment here will now be required to have Bt. 400,000 tied up annually and unable to be spent - presumably until death - and a further Bt. 400,000 for five months of each year. Assuming a retiree has no one he wants to leave that Bt. 400,000 to after death, I can see many examining the Thailand Elite programme as being more attractive if only because it has no income requirements.

The Bt. 65,000 monthly route works nicely if a pension is greater than this amount. Many Brits are only on the basic pension which amounts to little more than Bt. 20,000 per month. Have that remitted monthly and the transfer charges eat up a good 4%. And it still leaves a big sum of about Bt. 575,000 to be almost permanently lodged in the account.

I have never understood why those owning an apartment are treated the same as those that rent. I realise that renting can be inexpensive and there are many reasons for preferring to rent. But the annual management and maintenance charges for a condo are usually a lot less than the cost of rental.

I suppose now we wait to find out what additional sums will have to be set aside for the purported new medical insurance provisions.

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