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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can someone please help clarify something for me.

I found this under the "Requirements" for anyone looking to retire to Thailand

That you must have:

"A copy of bank statement showing a deposit of the amount equal to and not less than 800,000 Baht or an income certificate (an original copy) with a monthly income of not less than 65,000 Baht, or a deposit account plus a monthly income totalling not less than 800,000 Baht. – In the case of submitting a bank statement, a letter of guarantee from the bank (an original copy) is required.


I ran a conversion for 65,000 baht monthly......that's $2,124 monthly US DOLLARS?

Are you kidding me? For THAILAND??
Are they serious?
I thought Thailand was supposed to be so affordable (hell...even Panama only asks $1,000 at last I checked).

Can someone tell me if I'm reading this correctly.
How about if you've got a nice whopping sum of money to deposit in the Thai bank but only get $1,250 in SS monthly? As long as it totals up to the 800,000 baht yearly I'm ok?

Also....this may be a dumb question, but I am a noob here so forgive me,
Do retirees in Thailand get taxed on their SS income by the Thais or is it in anyway Protected as pension/retirement income?

Thank you for any help you can give me!

Amy:(
 

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or a deposit account plus a monthly income totalling not less than 800,000 Baht
^ yes it is either/or situation eg if your pension is confirmed at 400,000 baht per year you would need another 400,000 in the bank.
 

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They don't expect you to spend a whopping THB 65,000 per month (of course they hope for it), but your income should be THB 65,000 per month or you should have THB 800,000 in a Thai bank account.
Of course a mix of the 2 requirements is possible.

In case of an amount in the bank: the bank will NOT submit a guarantee-letter, but more a statement that the sum in your account is actually there and that it is there for at least 2 or 3 months.
In case of proving your monthly income: you will need to get a form from Immigration stating that your income is a certain amount per month. This form should be accompanied by an affidavit from your embassy and copies of income-statements/pension/government-welfare, etc.
In case of a mix: you need to prove it both-ways.

In case you apply for a non-immigrant 'O' visa you don't need to prove anything. The financial part starts with the application of a permission of stay based on "retirement" and your non-'O' visa.
For the first application the money should be in your bank account for at least 2 months; for every other (yearly) extension the money should be in your bank for at least 3 months.

I'm not sure about the validity of the official documents needed, but I thought that it was 1 month up to 6 months.

If you decide to move to Thailand as a retired married couple, only one of the 2 has to apply for a retirement-visa and the other can apply for a dependent-visa. I know that Immigration in Chonburi accepts the income of 2 married retirees as the total income for the main-retirement-visa-holder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@ Joseph44 Thank You so much!

You put my mind at ease....and I understand better how this works financially.
I'm not retiring quite yet, but Thailand is one of the countries on my list of potential spots.

Thank you again :)
 

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@ Joseph44 Thank You so much!

You put my mind at ease....and I understand better how this works financially.
I'm not retiring quite yet, but Thailand is one of the countries on my list of potential spots.

Thank you again :)
I suppose that Cambodia is on your list too.
Seems to be easier to settle down there (immigration-wise), although life is basic; more basic than in Thailand.
 

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Three calendar month rule

They don't expect you to spend a whopping THB 65,000 per month (of course they hope for it), but your income should be THB 65,000 per month or you should have THB 800,000 in a Thai bank account.
Of course a mix of the 2 requirements is possible.

In case of an amount in the bank: the bank will NOT submit a guarantee-letter, but more a statement that the sum in your account is actually there and that it is there for at least 2 or 3 months.
In case of proving your monthly income: you will need to get a form from Immigration stating that your income is a certain amount per month. This form should be accompanied by an affidavit from your embassy and copies of income-statements/pension/government-welfare, etc.
In case of a mix: you need to prove it both-ways.

In case you apply for a non-immigrant 'O' visa you don't need to prove anything. The financial part starts with the application of a permission of stay based on "retirement" and your non-'O' visa.
For the first application the money should be in your bank account for at least 2 months; for every other (yearly) extension the money should be in your bank for at least 3 months.

I'm not sure about the validity of the official documents needed, but I thought that it was 1 month up to 6 months.

If you decide to move to Thailand as a retired married couple, only one of the 2 has to apply for a retirement-visa and the other can apply for a dependent-visa. I know that Immigration in Chonburi accepts the income of 2 married retirees as the total income for the main-retirement-visa-holder.
A further update on the 3 month rule when renewing non-immigrant one year visa :

Last week I went along to Pattaya immigration to do my annual renewal for this visa and the imm official checking the mandatory copies of by bank book noticed I was one week short of 3 calendar months for the minimum THB 800 grand credit balance to be lying in the account prior to expiry of the visa - the previous year this had not been a problem on the renewal although the money had only been in my account for two and half months prior to visa expiry.

They've tightened up on this 3 month rule and 3 months means 3 calendar months , not 84 days = 12 weeks = 3 months which is what I had this time. I had to get a one week visa extension for THB 1,900 and then go back and do it all again yesterday by which time I had exactly 3 calendar months for the 800 grand in my account - and pay another THB 1,900 for the one year visa renewal of course.

There was a German guy also there yesterday with the same problem of being a couple of days short getting very red in the face whilst trying to convince the totally unsympathetic lady immigration boss he'd brought 25 million baht into Thailand over the past couple of years - it didn't wash. The 3 calendar month rule for the 800 grand is now apparently being rigidly enforced.
 

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Long stay visa

I am going through this in aus at the moment ,It seems for a bank guarantee here they want the money in a fixed term for that period of time the 12 months,which is no good because you carn't get to it to live on , in saying that i checked further they will do a letter headed financial statement noteing that the money is in your bank acc at the time ,this is what they do and give for visa's for other countries (eg. USA Canada UK ) .this is the way I am going,also a letter from my accountant stating my ongoing monthly income. and a copy off proof, a statement from the bank . all going well past the 65,000 Bht Per month,at this point I don't think the money has to be in a thai bank, and Ill see how that goes,Note this is not for retirement its for 12months long stay and at the end of that you can extend a further 12 months with financial proof again ,

Good luck,
 

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Mweiga, I think that you did encounter an immigration officer with a Monday-morning-sickness.
Of course, 3 months are 3 months and not 2 months and 26 days, but usually that shouldn't be a problem.

It shouldn't matter whether one brings THB 65,000 x 12 into the country or tens-of-millions over the last years.........
 

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You better keep yourself strictly to the rules ((I know of a guy who was 200 baht short on his 800.000 and he was denied his extension (on the base of that rule) and he needed to go for the monthly income rule-with all the administrative work)).
Many different immigration offices and different attitudes and NEVER FORGET that all the regulations ending with: it is at the discretion of the officer to require extra information.

You are also not allowed to go to any other immigration office than the one that is in the district where you live!
 

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^^ a while ago now, but I once assisted a neighbour with the documents for retirement (Phuket); the letter from his bank was a week old.
Old? Yes, the man we saw insisted on one dated no more than one day before. This was no problem as there was a bank branch 5 min drive way . . . perhaps it was a Monday thing.

An example of how things can get with depts and documents; last Monday I wanted to renew my car & motorcycle licences, plus do a change of ownership of a vehicle; all in same building, licensing and registration. Licences done/complete within 30min, happy with that; to another counter for change of ownership, and they wouldn't accept the copy of my Immigration Residence confirmation, original was sitting in a tray 10m away. Back to the licence folk and got the senior lady who remarkably saw sense (or pitied me!) . . . took a copy and initialled it, handed me the original. Plan B would have been half a day and 80km round trip to nearest Immigration office.
 

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There was a German guy also there yesterday with the same problem of being a couple of days short getting very red in the face whilst trying to convince the totally unsympathetic lady immigration boss he'd brought 25 million baht into Thailand over the past couple of years - it didn't wash. The 3 calendar month rule for the 800 grand is now apparently being rigidly enforced.
That's such a waste of time to argue with gov officials. I also understand that it's considered very rude to raise your voice.
 

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This sort of thing is NOT restricted to Thailand!
I was married to a Singaporean Chinese, we lived in Australia at the time, she was getting her Drivers Licence...
As you may be aware Chinese names are rendered 'backwards' i.e. I might be Bloggs, Joe in Singapore.

Complicating this was the fact that Singaporeans also have at least one 'western' name, thus her passport might read Kathy, Wong, Ling, (bear in mind that in a western passport ones name is reversed, so in a Singaporean passport ones name looks 'normal' but to them it's reversed -still with me? Anyhow, various Aussie banks and other Gov. agencies had therefore used different 'versions' of her name because of this confusing state of affairs, based on her passport being 'backwards, and yet not backwards, to our western eyes, when issuing their accounts and so forth, but the New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority were having none of it!
They insisted she was not who she was because of all the different versions, including the fact that an already provisional licence had been issued by another officer (who was actually standing there!) in the 'western' format, i.e. Kathy Ling Wong, therefore not matching her passport! Never mind that it was their own issued document, with her picture on it, and she was standing in front of them! We actually had to approach a bank and have them reissue cards just to 'satisfy' the RTA, which added weeks of hassle! I nearly went postal (in a quietly seething way, no sense yelling!) The mind of 'big brother' is global and unyielding... it takes a certain type to work in these places...

NOW BACK TO THAILAND...

Does anybody know what will happen if this sum of money B800000/US$24.5K we are obliged to retain untouched for all time vanishes along with ones Thai bank of choice due to some banking catastrophe? I mean apart from losing your cash, do you then get kicked out, and it's not even your fault? This worries me...

Do any of you 'remove' the amount to a safe-er place while it is not being used for visa purposes?

Thanks!
 

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Retirement income may vary!

Does anybody who has a non-Government overseas retirement income, for example: property rent, internet profits, investment dividends etc. please explain how they 'declare' this as retirement income?

I understand ones home embassy can vouch for ones pension status and amount, but how does one provide 'proof' that income other than pensions is an ongoing and regular income stream (from an internet business, for example) and also must it be a consistent B65K per month? Common sense would dictate that a non-pension income would fluctuate to some degree. No problem if its above the benchmark, but what if it falls off for any reason, say there were a few lean months, or the money was diverted to pay an urgent large debt would a 'top-up' from elsewhere be acceptable? Even mandatory? Or is this yet another of those 'at the discretion of the dude on duty' scenarios?

Is this the reason for allowing an alternative annual lump sum (THB800,000) to be used in lieu of income? Any thoughts or experiences? Thanks.

Again, US$24.5 thousand is a lot of money to just 'sit' in the bank so the Government can feel all warm and fuzzy, yet it is 'dead' cash to the expat... can anyone help with ways to legitimately 'use' this money instead of just parking it?
 

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Does anybody who has a non-Government overseas retirement income, for example: property rent, internet profits, investment dividends etc. please explain how they 'declare' this as retirement income?

I understand ones home embassy can vouch for ones pension status and amount, but how does one provide 'proof' that income other than pensions is an ongoing and regular income stream (from an internet business, for example) and also must it be a consistent B65K per month? Common sense would dictate that a non-pension income would fluctuate to some degree. No problem if its above the benchmark, but what if it falls off for any reason, say there were a few lean months, or the money was diverted to pay an urgent large debt would a 'top-up' from elsewhere be acceptable? Even mandatory? Or is this yet another of those 'at the discretion of the dude on duty' scenarios?

Is this the reason for allowing an alternative annual lump sum (THB800,000) to be used in lieu of income? Any thoughts or experiences? Thanks.

Again, US$24.5 thousand is a lot of money to just 'sit' in the bank so the Government can feel all warm and fuzzy, yet it is 'dead' cash to the expat... can anyone help with ways to legitimately 'use' this money instead of just parking it?
I go the 800,000 THB lump sum route which is much the simplest way. You just ensure you have this amount as a minimum credit balance in your Thai bank account three calendar months prior to making your visa (or visa renewal) application. When actually submitting the visa application at immigration you bring a letter from your bank confirming your balance plus copies of relevant bank passbook pages showing your balance did not drop below 800,000 baht in the previous three calendar months.

For the first time application believe now they may only require this minimum balance two calendar months prior to application but check this - when I did mine for the first time seven years ago it was three months. Either way , annual renewal application still requires three months.

I don't know about the process for official embassy confirmation of income based on private pensions , investments , etc - you'd have to ask at your embassy. Some embassies have tightened up on this recently following discussions with Thai immigration.

Don't worry about security of your lump sum cash , if you go that route , as the major Thai banks are secure and professionally run. It's your money and you just spend it as required after your one year non-imm visa is granted.
 

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Mweiga,

Thank you for your helpful response.

Sorry, but I remain very worried about my lump sum.

This is not based on some innate racisim (Thai bank = Dodgy bank) it is based on the fact that Barings, Bear Sterns, Lehman Bros. have all departed this earth suddenly and violently, in the case of Barings, just one man managed it, remember jolly Nick Leeson? And wasn't Swiss 'untouchable' UBS involved in some grubby mega-loss not too long ago?

Also, no less than a Thai national and long-term UK resident has posted on here somewhere that the banks in Thailand are not Government guaranteed, and she does not trust them at al!! Going so far as to say NOT to keep your main stash in Thailand, she certainly does not!

Of course, if you are willing to go guarantor for my nest egg -in writing, i'll feel a lot happier!

Just a gentle dig at your self-assurance, but i think we all should be very conservative about our money in this age of cyber crime and Wall Street/White House
cronyism.

Bottom line: 1. No Govt. Guarantee 2. No Bank is 100% 'safe' anymore 3. If we lose or stash it has major implications for out futures in Thailand unless we can all just pull US$25K out of another vault somewhere... which I luckily can, but still... it's giving goosebumps just thinkng about it!
 

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Mweiga,

Thank you for your helpful response.

Sorry, but I remain very worried about my lump sum.

This is not based on some innate racisim (Thai bank = Dodgy bank) it is based on the fact that Barings, Bear Sterns, Lehman Bros. have all departed this earth suddenly and violently, in the case of Barings, just one man managed it, remember jolly Nick Leeson? And wasn't Swiss 'untouchable' UBS involved in some grubby mega-loss not too long ago?

Also, no less than a Thai national and long-term UK resident has posted on here somewhere that the banks in Thailand are not Government guaranteed, and she does not trust them at al!! Going so far as to say NOT to keep your main stash in Thailand, she certainly does not!

Of course, if you are willing to go guarantor for my nest egg -in writing, i'll feel a lot happier!

Just a gentle dig at your self-assurance, but i think we all should be very conservative about our money in this age of cyber crime and Wall Street/White House
cronyism.

Bottom line: 1. No Govt. Guarantee 2. No Bank is 100% 'safe' anymore 3. If we lose or stash it has major implications for out futures in Thailand unless we can all just pull US$25K out of another vault somewhere... which I luckily can, but still... it's giving goosebumps just thinkng about it!
You are of course right to be cautious.

All I can tell you is that during a lifetime of wide global travel including living thirty years in various parts of Africa, believe I've developed a good feel for judging stability and competence of socio-political systems , including their banking systems. Despite Thailand's ongoing political rumblings I don't see in the crystal ball any potential economic collapse - or indeed any major threat to security of the expat community.

However , definitely don't bring in more than you need under your visa terms. For myself (and many other expats) the one time 800,000 baht transfer into my local account covers the best part of a year's living expenses and I find this much more convenient than having to make frequent smaller transfers on a regular basis.

If you're still concerned about sudden collapse of financial systems then a monthly income certification by your embassy for the visa application and regular smaller overseas money transfers for day to day living would be the answer.
 

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The 800 kBht/lump sum or 65 kBht/mo income stream is/are the figures that the Thai Immigration has determined to be the amount of money a foreigner needs to live in Thailand without becoming indigent and/or a burden on the Thai government (and/or fellow Expats through begging or borrowing). It is a quality-of-life issue. Many threads in this forum contain stories of indigent falang begging from and/or conning other falang.

The required income number is fixed and probably will not change in the near nor possibly far future. So, it is not going to go away and you have to meet the requirement.

The purpose of proving the income stream is no different than the “minimum” income that I had to prove to the United States government (the infamous affidavit-of-support) to “qualify” my wife’s United States immigration visa (green card). Nor is it any different than the proof-of-income needed to sponsor a student, or an in-laws immigration application.

The Thai government requires you to show that you have the funds necessary to live in Thailand for the year that the retirement visa is issued for. The reason that it needs to be “old” or “aged” funds, sitting in an account for a period of time, is a time test to verify it is yours (not borrowed from a friend or ******* for a short period of time). This time test was/is also required by the US government for my wife’s paperwork. FYI, to satisfy the requirement I had to provide three years of tax returns along with a promise of employment letter indicating salary.

Now, the enforcement of the time provision is up to the individual Thai official. So, as it is with everything; appearance, politeness, respect and sincere smiles can go miles when dealing with the Thai’s. Do your best to comply with the rules of the host country, present yourself in the best possible light, and pray for the best.

My belief is that the best way to approach this is to use the funds as they are intended. Deposit the 800 kBht in a Thai bank account, drawing your living expenses from the account as you need them, then, replenishing the account to qualify for your next year extension.
 

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Mweiga, stednick,

Thank you for these responses, the 'drawdown' method you propose is the answer I was looking for, indeed,this is how I currently live in Portugal using a local bank account with a one off annual deposit from Sydney, in my case this is currently €12K thus €1000 a month and I often get by without even approaching the ceiling on my self-imposed monthly limit, so if I can enjoy several good meals out with drinks, cover my rent, mobile, internet, utilities, and run a small car (which I don't intend to duplicate in Thailand) on under €1000 p/m I don't think I shall want for much in Chiang Mai (or wherever I end up outside of BKK).

At time of writing €1000 = THB 44922 conversely, the Thai Govt requirement of THB 65000 = €1446.96 p/m. I could live very well indeed on that in Portugal, let alone northern Thailand. As a matter of interest, a semi-skilled labourer in Portugal might earn €450 a month and someone with a degree and working shifts, a nurse for example, might expect around €800 p/m. Throw in the obligatory kid or two and I don't know how they manage here quite frankly!

Mweiga, I was confused about whether this sum could be used as 'live' funds and therein lay my concerns about the collapse of some bank sweeping it all away in one swoop.

stednick, a good point about this being a common requirement elsewhere, and up until recently the granting of 'residencia' in Portugal was dependent on a certain sum being available, this has since been dropped (for the time being anyway it seems) here.
 
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