|Thai-Online||Date: Monday, 04.02.2019, 12:38 | Message # 1|
|The change in the rules for obtaining a pension visa in Thailand has caused outrage among applicants, as well as bewilderment and misunderstanding of the staff of the immigration service itself. “We are discussing with the legal department what all these new rules mean,” an immigration officer told us in an interview with Khaosod, who is involved in the approval of visa applications. "Right now we are trying to figure out what the procedure should be."|
According to the new rules, starting from 1 in March 2019, foreign retirees in Thailand are applying for retirement visas. must be older than 50 years. They must either provide a certificate of monthly income to a Thai bank account of at least 65 thousand baht, or show an amount of at least 800 thousand baht in their bank account. The account must be registered in the name of the applicant. Joint matrimonial bank accounts are not accepted. The minimum balance of 800 thousand baht must be credited two months before applying for a visa. Pensioners must keep this amount on the account within three months after receiving a visa or another renewal, after which they can withdraw only half of the amount from the account. Thus, in total, the minimum mandatory amount on the account must be at least five months plus the processing time for the application. Pensioners must constantly maintain a minimum account balance of at least 400 thousand baht, a visa must be renewed annually.
Before the introduction of the new rules for obtaining a pension visa, an affidavit was required that declared monthly income in the amount of 65 thousand baht, or a one-time deposit on an account in a Thai bank in the amount of 800 thousand baht at the time of application.
New rules for obtaining a pension visa in Thailand also created uncertainty as to how long applicants should expect to find out a decision on the approval of their visa or annual renewal.
An unnamed source in the Immigration Service reported that some operatives who oversee pension visas are going to file memos to their commanders, claiming that they are no longer confident in the processing of requests in accordance with the new rules. "We will ask them to revise the rules," said an official, who refused to give his name, as he is not authorized to speak to the press.
Another official at the Immigration Bureau said the changes were ordered "from above" after four embassies in Thailand — the United Kingdom, the United States, Denmark and Australia — stopped confirming in writing the monthly income of applicants from the respective countries.
"Therefore, now the Immigration Bureau should develop its own methods for checking the financial status of applicants," the source also said on condition of anonymity.
At the time of publication, Colonel Nitipan Kanokvedjyan, the officer who signed the new regulations, was not available for comment.
On the Internet, new rules have caused a sharply negative reaction from foreign retirees living in Thailand. Many commentators have stated that, according to Thai officials, a deposit in the account is necessary to cover living expenses, but how can you spend money if the amount of the deposit must always be in the account?