New Immigration Requirement

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Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by Dodger » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:45 pm

The Immigration Chief who made this knee-jerk decision will undoubtedly see it backfire.

If the objective behind the Chiefs decision is to stop Visa Agents from breaking the law by helping retirees who lack sufficient funds get their visa's approved he will in-turn have to stop those who work for him in the Immigration Department from breaking the very same law. I'm saying this because it is literally impossible for a Visa Agent to put a stamp on a persons passport as this can only be done (legally) by an immigration officer.

I hate to sound like a broken record - but again...The root cause of the problem is "Corruption"...plain and simple.

The way the Chief's revised set of requirements read the "combination method" is still going to be approved. If interpreted correctly this would mean that those who have 65,000 THB/month deposited in a Thai bank don't have to have a penny in the bank to get their visa approved. Where it's going to get tricky is when a person uses the combination method.

For instance:

A person has 45.000 THB/month deposited in his Thai bank account which is verifiable via a bank letter. Using the combination method he would only have to prove that 240,000 THB (20,000 X 12 months) has been in his bank account for 3 months prior to visa renewal time. This being the case the immigration clerks would have to do some arithmetic every time someone is using the combination method which is frankly beyond their capabilities.

I consider myself fortunate because I now have my social security payments coming direct deposit to Bangkok Bank which exceed the minimum limit but plan on keeping 800,000 THB in the bank until this calamity is over. If, at any time, the requirements were to change where my savings would have to be quarantined (frozen from use) after I have proven that I have the required minimum income I would withdraw all the funds from my Thai bank account and trade it in on Vietnamese Dong.

"Bad Guys In - Good Guys Out"

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Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by windwalker » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:51 pm

For those who want to see all those financially struggling kicked out of Thailand, do read this posting on Thai Visa. You may not agree but it does show there are two sides to the story. ... transfers/

Here is a copy of the initial post:

13 posts
Report post #1
Posted yesterday at 03:48 PM
Due to some recent developments in Thai govt and USA govt policies (p*ssing match) I find my self between a rock and a hard place. I need to find the cheapest way to transfer funds, money, currency from my US bank to my Thai bank and then transfer a small part of those same funds, money, currency from my Thai bank back into my US bank

Allow me to preface this by saying there are many gentlemen who are fortunate enough and can afford to have 400K/800K Baht in bank all the time or have 40K/65K Baht coming into their Thai bank monthly. I’m asking these gentlemen who sometimes gleefully post smug, arrogant, condescending remarks refrain from that practice and instead of being *ssh*les with those types of remarks please contribute some helpful information if you have it. No I’m not a so called “Cheap Charlie” nor do I desire, want or deserve that title nor do I want or deserve to go back to my home country of USA as it is now worse than when I left 13 years ago … Since I have a Thai home and family I would prefer to remain here

I have lived my entire life with the attitude that anything and everything that happens to me is due to my own actions and blame no one but myself for any good or bad that happens in my life. I am responsible for my own destiny and/or future … no one but me controls my life, I am where I am because of my own decisions

With that said …..

A little background on how I arrived at/in my current situation … Being retired and fed up with my home country’s govt and seeing where my country’s society was headed I did a long extensive search of where/what foreign country my financial resources and many many other factors would give me the type of life and best enhanced quality of life. My long extensive research (in 2006) showed that Thailand was the place that would best suite my needs and the life style I was seeking. I arrived in Thailand in 2006 on a “O A Retirement” visa. So I’ve been here for 13 years. I had quite a bit (many many thousands) of funds/money/currency when I arrived. In 2007 I married a wonderful Thai woman with 2 boys, 4 and 6 years old. I proceeded to lose a lot of our funds in the stock market. My fault, my bad. In 2010 with our last 1,000,000 Baht we bought some land and built our 3 bedroom 2 bath home. We now had something for our sons future, a paid for home, also as a plus we saved the 10,000 Baht rent we were paying monthly … but our seasoned bank stash to satisfy a Thai Immigration “O A” visa requirement was now gone … No problem, the USD/Baht exchange was at 33+, giving us a monthly income of 40,000+ Baht … also the US Embassy was issuing “Notarized Financial/Income Affidavit" documents so we used that to satisfy the 65,000 Baht monthly Thai Immigration income requirement (remember at this point I’m still on the “O A Retirement” visa) … no problem, no foul … We’re married, have our own home, raising our 2 sons and contributing all our monthly funds to the Thai economy … Life’s good, everybody’s happy!

Fast forward to present day … Thai govt, US govt get into a p*ssing match over the validity i.e. truthfulness of the “Notarized Financial/Income Affidavit" document … US says screw you we will no longer issue that document Naa! Naa! Naa … Thai Immigration says that’s fine with us we’ll just put the screws to all your expats Na Na Na … So here stands many many guys like me who are not “Cheap Charlies” nor “deadbeats” nor “scammers” but simply guys who have been living a nice quiet happy family life in Thailand, with my Thai wife, raising our children in our own (totally paid for) home contributing to the Thai economy and enjoying ourselves …

Our normal way to access our monthly US funds was to draw it out using ATM and depositing it into our Thai Bank … no problem, easy peasy … but ohhh nooo Thai Immigration threw another little monkey wrench into the works … the real killer here is that my bank book must show funds coming from US(foreign) bank directly into Thai bank so that the bank code shows up as a “out of country/foreign deposit”

We are now, (due to drop in USD/ThaiBaht exchange rate) a little short each month of the required 40,000 Baht (sh*t happens) … i.e. I now need to find the cheapest way to transfer funds from US to Thailand and a small part of those funds back to US so that I can satisfy the 40,000 Baht monthly requirement and continue to live in our completly paid for Thai home with my Thai wife and sons … my biggest sin is contributing all our monthly funds to the Thai economy … wow what a bad parasite evil monster Cheap Charlie of a person am I … OK all the smug, arrogant, condescending ha ha I got money and you don’t *ash*les let’er fly … remember some of you in the future just might be in this same situation, we’ll see how glib you are then … am I angry? … yes I am … will I get over it, yes I will … in the meantime, like the Beatles said “I get by with a little help from my friends”

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Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by gera » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:56 pm

fountainhall wrote:I for one refuse to tie up US$13,000 with no access to it for as long as I live and a further $13,000 for an additional 5 months annually. It's nuts! I'll just sell up and move to Taipei.
Is there a retirement visa program in Taiwan? What are the options for a long-term stay over there for a retiree? With all negative changes in Thailand I find it difficult to come up with the place where things are getting better( including USA). One should keep in mind it is still much easier to arrange a comfortable retirement in Thailand than in many other places.


Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by fountainhall » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:34 pm

gera wrote:Is there a retirement visa program in Taiwan? What are the options for a long-term stay over there for a retiree?
Not yet, but the government has announced it is working on one. In the meantime, as a UK citizen, I am entitled to 90 days on entry. Same for USA citizens. At the end of that time, all I need do is exit for a day or two and then come back on a new 90 days. There is no limit as seems to be the case here in Thailand. It is claimed a plane ticket out of the country is required - as in Thailand. Yet in my many dozens of entries, I have never once been asked for one.

Once the civil partnership Act goes through parliament later this year, the partner of a Taiwanese citizen will not require a visa. Not sure how long they must have been together but most cities now have civil partnership laws in place for Taiwanese.

Central Taipei is a bit more expensive than Bangkok. A small flat in the suburbs is perfectly affordable and public transport is far better and cheaper than Bangkok. Food is not expensive and medical care is excellent and not expensive if you attend some of the many small clinics around the island. The bigger and best hospitals are about the same cost as Thailand. There is an inexpensive national health scheme which foreigners who work in Taiwan have to join. I expect this may be extended to partners of Taiwanese, but that's a guess. In the meantime, the private healthcare policy I have can be extended to Taiwan.

Move to another city and costs will be lower.

My one issue is that I love peace and quiet where I live. In a Chinese community, as I know from living so many years in Hong Kong, the danger is that an apartment may seem serenely peaceful when looking at it during the day but then the mah jongh board will come out and the noise in the evening will drive me nuts!

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Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by Dale1 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:43 am

Really valued the above discussion on Taiwan/Taipei. I do wish Board Member(s) would make a similar posting about Cambodia (Phnom Penh). I lived and worked in PP before moving to Pattaya 19 years ago. Would not have even considered it at that time. Have been back about 8 times over the years and it has been like visiting a different city each time ... the development has been VERY visible. Certainly a site to be considered in regards to the current kerfuffle with Thai immigration. I do hope that folks can make constructive remarks.

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Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by Dodger » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:08 pm

Hi Dale,

I have absolutely no experience with Cambodia...never even been there, although after surfing the Cambo web sites it appears as if getting a 1 year retirement visa (called an ER Visa) is pretty simple. It appears as if they have very similar requirements related to minimum financial income/holdings as Thailand. The cost of visa renewal is about the same as Thailand with apparently less red tape.

I have several friends who reside there who seem to be pretty content all things considered. Cambodia has the lowest cost-of-living as compared to other SE Asian countries...plenty of boys on the Apps...similar weather as Thailand, although they actually rank higher than Thailand in the category of "Corruption" (amazing as that may seem) so the rules can change with the wind.

I'm planning a trip to PP and Siem Reap sometime in March to test the waters for myself.

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Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by Jun » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:46 pm

I have been to Cambodia 5 times, including a recent visit, to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. The development is obvious and it's way ahead of somewhere like Laos now.

Good food, nice coffee shop scene
Excellent local transport on Indan TukTuks via Pass App. Way better than Grab. Cheap and efficient.
Several gay bars
A few saunas ( Cheap too, although very basic). I got free action in The Love Spa

Some of the massages are terrible. And that's not just my view. I went to one place and another customer was complaining about his massage. I also got a very poor massage.
The boys on the apps tend to quote $50 short time. Some come down to $30 or even $20, but over half them do not budge from $50 (which they do not get off me).

You need to make damn sure the boy will do what he says. After one disappointing encounter, the next guy I spoke to said he can do everything. So I made it clear he was going to get his money if he does X, Y and Z, but $0 If he does not do X, Y and Z. He refused to meet, so another one who was not going to keep promises.
Poor long distance transport. The road surfaces are now OK, but the bus companies are poor.

I also heard from several sources that Sihanoukville is full of Chinese. There were some Chinese factories there on my previous visit, so presumably more of that now.

Incidentally, if anyone is unable to fulfil Thai visa requirements, how about spending a month in Thailand, a month in Vientiane, a month in Phnom Penh then back to Thailand for a month ?

Finally, just in case anyone has the misunderstanding that I would like people who cannot afford it to be thrown out of Thailand, well that is not the case.
I am just a realist and recognise that you often need to make a contribution to the economy to be welcome in a foreign country.

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Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by thaiworthy » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:42 pm

Gaybutton wrote:When I receive money via TransferWise, it does show that the money comes from a foreign source. Looking at my online banking with Bangkok Bank, my latest transfer into my account via TransferWise, the record shows as "31 Jan 2019 14:08 International Transfer" and also shows the amount that was transferred in.
When I tried my first TW transaction a year ago, I don't remember seeing "International Transfer," but after reading so many forum posts elsewhere stating the same thing, I decided to give TW another try. I am glad I did. Thank you, Gaybutton. Until I read this, I had my doubts. I just did a little test transfer from my US bank for $100, and went online today, and there it was: "International Transfer." I was biting my lip over the prospect of having to pay a wire transfer fee just to top up my SSA direct deposit account with Bangkok Bank to meet the minimum 65K requirement.

So now, I will continue this method, and if it ever stops working, I will just bite the bullet and do the wire transfer.

I say that only because of this recent thread, which I was reading only moments before I had checked the transfer. It is only 5 pages, but highlights, perhaps somewhat accurately, why some people do not get the "International Transfer" notation. Post #26, page 2 from a Global Moderator named Sheryl. The whole thread is interesting and noteworthy.
And to my understanding the issue with how TW transfers show up in your bank account arises not because the money doesn't physically cross borders but because it often arrives in one Thai bank and then gets transferred to another.
From detailed TV member reports in other threads, TW deposits show up  as foreign transfers if the first Thai bank to get the money is the one your account is at, and as domestic transfer otherwise.
TW uses 3 different banks in Thailand and you can neither choose nor know in advance which one will be the initial recipient  (I emailed them and asked).  At present, they seem to use Bangkok Bank the most but (1) they do not use it 100% of the time and (2) no guarantee this will remain the case in future.
FWIW, my bank branch is the Silom main headquarters. ... al/?page=2
"Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things." --George Carlin

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Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by thaiworthy » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:46 pm

Just received this reply from TW:
Thank you for your email!

Regardless the payment method, it does not show the ‘foreign transfer’ as we would be sending a local transfer from our partner bank in Thailand to your THB bank account.

What you can do if this helps is to provide the ‘foreign transfer’ or ‘foreign transfer for visa’ as a reference. We use the reference you have provided to us when sending the transfer out from our local Thailand bank to yours. Please note, the reference can not be longer than 35 characters.

The advantage for the Wire transfers compared to the ACH transfers is sometimes the speed. The Wire transfers take 1 business days to reach us compared to the ACH transfers wish can take 1-4 business days.

The ACH method is normally the cheapest but also could be the slowest payment method. As I can see, your test transfer was paid with an ACH method and it only took 1 business day to deliver.

Please note, when making a Wire transfer from your bank account to ours, it is classed as local transfer and not an international transfer. Your money does not gross any borders. There are two local transfers – Your USD bank account to our USD bank account and our THB bank account to your THB bank account.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

All the best,
"Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things." --George Carlin


Re: New Immigration Requirement

Post by fountainhall » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:02 pm

windwalker wrote:Posted yesterday at 03:48 PM
Due to some recent developments in Thai govt and USA govt policies (p*ssing match) I find my self between a rock and a hard place.
I find that tale desperately sad. Assuming it is true - and I have no reason to believe it is anything but true - it is as good a reason as any why there should always be valid exceptions to rules.

I happen to believe in laws. If a country has a law stating that a certain sum of money must be remitted each month or deposited for a significant amount of time in a bank sarongs account, then everyone planning to retire there has to note them and obey them, Where the problems arise - and we know from another post that even the Immigration Officers themselves are confused - is when laws are suddenly changed without any discussion, the more so when they target one particular group of retirees who have previously knowingly broken the laws assisted by crook agents and Immigration staff, but in the process catch in their net a whole host of others who have obeyed the old laws for years but will have difficulty fulfilling all their obligations to the letter with the new ones

The man in this tale was stupid. With a wife and two children he still gambled his funds on the stock market. He lost. Some will say he deserves what comes to him. But - and I think it is a very big but - how many of us have never been in the same sort of position? We may not be married and we may not have kids, but I for one have taken a punt on a stock market at the wrong time. I lost on both the bubble and the 2008 financial crisis. My bad!

On the other hand, he has made a decent life for himself and his family on meagre resources. He owns a property. He has been educating his kids. As far as we know, he has not cheated anyone or the system. Thanks to exchange rates, he will now have difficulty hitting the Bt. 400,000. But he will still get close, assuming the US$ does not rise considerably. To my way of thinking, this is a case of a man who has contributed considerably to Thailand over many years. He is an obvious case for an exception. How exceptions would be determined, I have no idea. Perhaps a panel involving at least one person from his community (although as soon as panels and futures are concerned in this country, corruption is rarely far behind)!

But to suddenly introduce such rigid regulations without any consultation after some of us have sold up elsewhere and moved to Thailand after taking into account all the government regulations is, in my view, nuts!

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