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Here's A New Wrinkle To The Visa App Process


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I showed up at Thai Immigration 3 days ago, armed with 47 documents, including everything I had ever signed since I was eleven.

Along with my battery of papers was an official announcement from the U.S. Embassy that my income was over the minimum required to stay in the country.

After becoming slightly cross-eyed from signing so many forms supplied by Immigration, I noticed a paper that had appeared seemingly out of nowhere, requiring that I deposit 800,000 TBT in a Thai bank by the ninth month of my new 1 year retirement visa. As I was consumed by the thought of just getting the hel_l out of there, I signed it. Was I going to say "no" to the officer at that point? Not me.

Since then, I've researched every website I could think of, including Thai Immigration's own, and the answer is always the same: If one's income is over a specified amount (mine is) there is no need to deposit money in a Thai bank, or any other bank.

My friends tell me to stear clear of Immigration for the moment, be happy I got the visa, and plead insanity when I go in to renew it. Chances are, they claim, the thing will sail on through.

Any similar stories or thoughts to share? Thanks very much. James

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People using the 800K baht to qualify for retirement extensions must have that money in the bank three months before the renewal application, and two months before the first renewal. If you have an income letter and/or use an income letter plus bank account to financially qualify, you don't have to have the 800K in the bank three months before. So you were signing a form saying if you do use the 800K in the bank method next time, you must follow the three month money seasoning rule. Cheers.

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Along with my battery of papers was an official announcement from the U.S. Embassy that my income was over the minimum required to stay in the country.

It is my understanding that the only reason you have to get a letter from the US Embassy/Consulate is if your are claiming to have the equivalent of at least 65kbaht of monthly income (interest and/or dividends and/or pension) which does not have to be deposited in a Thai bank. That is the route I took this past December when I applied for my 1st retirement extension.

There would be no need for the proof of income letter if you are depositing 800k in a Thai bank ahead of applying for the retirement extension.

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