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Retirement Visa - What are the new requirements.


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I just got my one year visa yesterday, in Jomtien.  I traveled in December to the U.S. consulate and got the verification of income affidavit before they stopped issuing them.  With that said, what are the requirements now when it comes due?  I know that previously you had to have at least a $65,000 Baht monthly income or $800,000 baht on deposit in a Thai bank or a combination of the two.   What would a person need to verify the $65,000 monthly pension.  Second, this will not apply to me, but prior to getting the Embassy letter I tried to open a bank account.  None of the banks would open an account until I had the 1 year retirement Visa and Jomtien Immigration told me you had to have funds on deposit for at least three months.  Isn't that a catch 22?  You can't open a bank account but you need to have a Thai bank establish your income or funds on deposit?  Is this just a push to have everyone go through an agency?  I can tell you I probably made 15 trips altogether to immigration and each time I got different answers.  Even when I finally got my Visa the checklist that they gave me had items on it, that they did not require and they required things that were not on the checklist.  Finally, I see a reference by some to FLUID funds.  What exactly are FLUID funds? 

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The new requirement is to show at least 65k baht transferred into the country from abroad.

That has been discussed in other topics already. This one has the new requirements shown in it.

 

 

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You will be able to open a Thai bank account. There are threads on Thaivisa advising just do a search. I also had several knock backs when I first tried to open one. Don't waste time with local branch. Go head office. 

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11 minutes ago, DrJack54 said:

You will be able to open a Thai bank account.

My experiences with Pattaya bank account are very old (2009).

Kasikorn Bank Royal Garden. At the time as a tourist(! 30 day exempt) with hotel(!) address. Savings account with internet access.

Can't tell whether it is still that easy.

At the same year I tried Bangkok Bank opposite(!) Soi 6 and they wanted a proof of residence from immigration.

 

A friend opened an account in 2011.

Kasikorn Bank at Jomtien beach rd. Soi 2.

He was staying on his Non O-A visa at the time.

Don't know what they expected to see.

 

I opened savings accounts here in upcountry in 2011 being on Non O-A visa at the time. Bangkok Bank and SCB.

As far as I remember both wanted proof of address.

But can not even remember the exact details.

I should mention that this was with my wife in company.

 

Edited by KhunBENQ
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1 hour ago, KhunBENQ said:

My experiences with Pattaya bank account are very old (2009).

Kasikorn Bank Royal Garden. At the time as a tourist(! 30 day exempt) with hotel(!) address. Savings account with internet access.

Can't tell whether it is still that easy.

At the same year I tried Bangkok Bank opposite(!) Soi 6 and they wanted a proof of residence from immigration.

 

A friend opened an account in 2011.

Kasikorn Bank at Jomtien beach rd. Soi 2.

He was staying on his Non O-A visa at the time.

Don't know what they expected to see.

 

I opened savings accounts here in upcountry in 2011 being on Non O-A visa at the time. Bangkok Bank and SCB.

As far as I remember both wanted proof of address.

But can not even remember the exact details.

I should mention that this was with my wife in company.

 

I went to about 5 different banks.  None of them would open an account even after I got my O non-immigrant 90 day Visa.  All said it had to be a 1 year Visa to open an account.  The only exception was Bangkok  bank where if you got a letter from immigration they would open an account for you if you bought an insurance policy as well.  Even then, they would not open prior to getting the 90 day O visa and Jomtien immigration said money had to be on deposit for at least 3 months.  Two months if you used an agency according to the bank person.  Again, isn't that a catch 22.  You can't open a bank account but you must show evidence of your pension or $800K baht on deposit. 

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9 minutes ago, Thomas J said:

Jomtien immigration said money had to be on deposit for at least 3 months. 

This is for renewals, for an initial one year extension based on retirement, 800k on deposit for minimum of 2 months.

This is to accommodate those on single Non-Imm-O entries.

Edited by jacko45k
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3 minutes ago, jacko45k said:

This is for renewals, for an initial one year extension based on retirement, 800k on deposit for minimum of 2 months.

This is to accommodate those on single Non-Imm-O entries.

Not what I was told when I went into the immigration office in Jomtien.  The bank manager said it had to be on deposit for 3 months, so did the immigration office. Irrespective of that.  How does a person open up any sort of bank account without a 90 day visa even at Bangkok bank when you need to have an income verification letter no longer available or a bank account you can't open. 

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Seems like a pretty honest thread so far where are all the:  I walked into a bank with 30 day Visa exempt staying in a hotel and and opened an account...

 

It is not easy now.

 

I seriously suggest you walk in with a friendly approach to several branches and try.

But, short of a work permit, residency, and some of the other requirements now, this is one of situations I recommend going thru and agent.  Might seem silly or a waste, but time is money and getting the thing done quickly and efficiently is important I think.

I think they want 7,000 b for that insurance so by passing that thru and agent may pay for itself.

Good luck.

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19 minutes ago, Thomas J said:

Not what I was told when I went into the immigration office in Jomtien.  The bank manager said it had to be on deposit for 3 months, so did the immigration office. Irrespective of that.  How does a person open up any sort of bank account without a 90 day visa even at Bangkok bank when you need to have an income verification letter no longer available or a bank account you can't open. 

Well maybe the were thinking of 'renewals'?

As to opening a bank account, here is the requirements listed by Bangkok Bank, although you may need to select the branch to one that is 'farang friendly'...

Edited by jacko45k
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26 minutes ago, Thomas J said:

Not what I was told when I went into the immigration office in Jomtien.  The bank manager said it had to be on deposit for 3 months, so did the immigration office. Irrespective of that.  How does a person open up any sort of bank account without a 90 day visa even at Bangkok bank when you need to have an income verification letter no longer available or a bank account you can't open. 

The rules state if has to be in the bank for 60 days for the first extension application. I have heard of the non immigrant visa section at Jomtien saying it had to be in the bank for 3 months.  If you ask the section that does the extension they should tell you 60 days.

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5 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

The rules state if has to be in the bank for 60 days for the first extension application. I have heard of the non immigrant visa section at Jomtien saying it had to be in the bank for 3 months.  If you ask the section that does the extension they should tell you 60 days.

The bank officer said it had to be 3 months.  Before accepting her at face value, I went to the immigration office at Jomtien.  The officers there  at station 8 who handle the 1 year retirement visas ( non-O) Visas confirmed, it had to be either a letter from the USA embassy to verify income or 3 months $800k deposit into a Thai bank.  Irrespective of whether it is 1 month, 2 months, or 3 months, isn't the system placing people in a catch 22 situation.  They can't open any bank account without a 1 year visa but are required to have a bank account to establish either the $65K baht per month pension or $800k baht deposit.  Unless the immigration department starts to accept statements from overseas or instructs the banks to change their account opening practices it seems like foreigners will not be able to establish the income requirements. 

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5 minutes ago, Thomas J said:

The bank officer said it had to be 3 months.

For you next extension it will be 3 months if you use the money in the bank option.. I forgot you are already set to apply for your first extension using the income option by using the income letter you have.

I think the bank manager stated what most people would need. 

If immigration already were aware you would be applying for your first extension using income and told you 3 months for next years extension.

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A friend of mine opened an MTD savings account at Krungsri in Pattaya recently without any trouble at all. He had no visa, just the usual 30 days given at the airport on arrival.

 

The only requirements were a passport, a certificate of residence from Immigration (available instantly to anyone who has 300B to pass over, or for free after a few weeks delay), and a couple of thousand Baht to deposit.

 

It beats me why people waste so much time with Bangkok Bank when they dont offer any accounts that pay decent interest.

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6 hours ago, Thomas J said:

Not what I was told when I went into the immigration office in Jomtien.  The bank manager said it had to be on deposit for 3 months, so did the immigration office. Irrespective of that.  How does a person open up any sort of bank account without a 90 day visa even at Bangkok bank when you need to have an income verification letter no longer available or a bank account you can't open. 

I'm planning to get an O-A, which is a one-year visa, from the Thai embassy in my home country prior to coming over

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4 hours ago, KittenKong said:

A friend of mine opened an MTD savings account at Krungsri in Pattaya recently without any trouble at all. He had no visa, just the usual 30 days given at the airport on arrival.

 

The only requirements were a passport, a certificate of residence from Immigration (available instantly to anyone who has 300B to pass over, or for free after a few weeks delay), and a couple of thousand Baht to deposit.

 

It beats me why people waste so much time with Bangkok Bank when they dont offer any accounts that pay decent interest.

As far as Bangkok Bank goes, I can see at least two very good reasons for folks to go the extra yard to get an account there:

 

The majority of anecdotal evidence suggests that BB is the one bank that shows 'FTT' (Foreign Telegraphic Transfer) on transfers using Transferwise, which is important to the folks supporting a retirement extension application using the monthly income method and;

 

For folks from the U.S., Bangkok Bank NY can receive an ACH (Automated Clearinghouse) transfer from those pension payers (such as U.S. Social Security) and financial institutions using IAT (International ACH Transaction) coding to transfer their pension or other transfer directly to BB Thailand, thus saving those folks A LOT of money on SWIFT transfer fees and presumably building a nice support file for retirement or marriage extensions.

 

For folks using the income method for extensions and presumably not keeping a significant balance in the account, the interest rate is irrelevant but the savings from SWIFT fees is significant.

 

Edited by gentlemanjackdarby
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14 hours ago, Thomas J said:

I went to about 5 different banks.  None of them would open an account even after I got my O non-immigrant 90 day Visa.  

How did you get a 90-day non-immigrant O visa?

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11 hours ago, KittenKong said:

A friend of mine opened an MTD savings account at Krungsri in Pattaya recently without any trouble at all. He had no visa, just the usual 30 days given at the airport on arrival.

 

The only requirements were a passport, a certificate of residence from Immigration (available instantly to anyone who has 300B to pass over, or for free after a few weeks delay), and a couple of thousand Baht to deposit.

 

It beats me why people waste so much time with Bangkok Bank when they dont offer any accounts that pay decent interest.

I can't say I ever wasted much time with BKB. Of the three banks I have had accounts with over the years, it is definitely the best - or at least the branch that I use in Chiang Mai. Excellent English, good online services, transfers from Europe are credited the next working day with minimal commissions, I get all the letters I need for retirement or tax or condo, atm card, credit card, spouse cards. Last but not least, lots of branches and machines.

 

But interesting to know if there are even better ones. I get 1.5% p.a. on my 800k fixed deposit, not stellar I agree but not too bad compared to e.g. Europe.

So what's the "decent interest" that you are getting?

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7 hours ago, gentlemanjackdarby said:

As far as Bangkok Bank goes, I can see at least two very good reasons for folks to go the extra yard to get an account there:

.... BB is the one bank that shows 'FTT' (Foreign Telegraphic Transfer) on transfers using Transferwise, .....

.... saving those folks A LOT of money on SWIFT transfer fees and presumably building a nice support file for retirement or marriage extensions.

 

For folks using the income method for extensions and presumably not keeping a significant balance in the account, the interest rate is irrelevant but the savings from SWIFT fees is significant.

I can see that one of those may be of interest to a limited number of people, in particular circumstances, but few if any would be affected by both.

 

Are there really that many people in the situation you describe? I dont think that I personally know anyone who is. I certainly would rather get the extra bank interest paid by a better bank, as for me this amounts to much more than I would ever pay in transfer charges per year (usually nothing).

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1 minute ago, arithai12 said:

But interesting to know if there are even better ones. I get 1.5% p.a. on my 800k fixed deposit, not stellar I agree but not too bad compared to e.g. Europe.

So what's the "decent interest" that you are getting?

I get 2% on my fixed deposit from CIMB. Rates were higher at the end of last year.

 

The Krungsri MTD account (which is a savings account not a term account) pays around 1.1-1.3% (or did, the last time I checked). Their online banking service is second to none of all the Thai banks I have had experience with.

https://www.krungsri.com/bank/en/PersonalBanking/DepositProducts/SavingsDeposit/MeeTaeDaiSavings.html

 

For me, Bangkok Bank offers nothing worth having.

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20 minutes ago, KittenKong said:

Are there really that many people in the situation you describe?

I would say a lot of people that are using the income option to get their extensions would be in that situation. No need to worry about interest rates if you transfer the funds in and use it to live on.

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16 minutes ago, KittenKong said:

I get 2% on my fixed deposit from CIMB. Rates were higher at the end of last year.

 

The Krungsri MTD account (which is a savings account not a term account) pays around 1.1-1.3% (or did, the last time I checked). Their online banking service is second to none of all the Thai banks I have had experience with.

https://www.krungsri.com/bank/en/PersonalBanking/DepositProducts/SavingsDeposit/MeeTaeDaiSavings.html

 

For me, Bangkok Bank offers nothing worth having.

ok thanks for the info, worth a check.

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a year a couple mths ago I got my non O-A 1yr visa via Wash DC embassy. they said for initial application that required funds in US bank were OK. renewals for 2nd yr and on must of course be in thail bank. worked fine for me.

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3 minutes ago, glennb6 said:

a year a couple mths ago I got my non O-A 1yr visa via Wash DC embassy. they said for initial application that required funds in US bank were OK. renewals for 2nd yr and on must of course be in thail bank. worked fine for me.

That would be the case if you applied for an extension of stay here at immigration. No account here would be needed if you applied for another OA visa at the embassy.

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2 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

I would say a lot of people that are using the income option to get their extensions would be in that situation. No need to worry about interest rates if you transfer the funds in and use it to live on.

You think that a lot of people either use Transferwise and need to show that funds came from abroad, or use Bangkok Bank from the US? That seems unlikely to me.

 

Is there even a requirement at all that monthly funds for a retirement extension must come from abroad? If so, I wasnt aware of it. There doesnt seem to be any such requirement for the 800kB deposit.

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1 minute ago, KittenKong said:

You think that a lot of people either use Transferwise and need to show that funds came from abroad, or use Bangkok Bank from the US? That seems unlikely to me.

Actually I'll rephrase that. Knowing how parochial many US banks are, and how sending money abroad from many of them can involve passing through one or more other banks and possibly more costs, I can understand that some US people would prefer to deal with Bangkok Bank and their "one-stop" method.

But people from Europe and elsewhere probably have many other simpler and cheaper alternatives. I know that I pay nothing at all for SWIFT transfers from the UK, and several other UK banks also offer very low cost transfer services these days.

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16 minutes ago, KittenKong said:

Is there even a requirement at all that monthly funds for a retirement extension must come from abroad?

I you cannot proof of income from your embassy there is requirement now to prove it.

From the amendment to police order 138/2557 issued last month.

image.png.8f3f12e64cfbf17e29755db19d155915.png

 

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15 minutes ago, KittenKong said:

Actually I'll rephrase that. Knowing how parochial many US banks are, and how sending money abroad from many of them can involve passing through one or more other banks and possibly more costs, I can understand that some US people would prefer to deal with Bangkok Bank and their "one-stop" method.

But people from Europe and elsewhere probably have many other simpler and cheaper alternatives. I know that I pay nothing at all for SWIFT transfers from the UK, and several other UK banks also offer very low cost transfer services these days.

SWIFT transfer from Nationwide to Bkk Bank = £20.

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