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BANGKOK 24 March 2019 20:03
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buzzer

Retiree Account Dipped Below 800,000. Now Forced To Leave.

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Hi,

These are some pretty basic questions. I wish the search engine on Thaivisa worked better, I wouldn't have to bother you with them.

I have had a retirement non-immigrant "O-A" visa for almost 6 years, and have never left Thailand during that time. Due to health problems that are made worse by the rigors of travel, I avoid it. I had an emergency expenditure during the last 3 months which compromised my bank balance, which dipped below 800K baht. Immigration told me, "You gotta go!" BTW - The same happened last year (and was even worse, they photocopied all my bank books, and poured over the statements, then smiled at me, and renewed my visa.

Today, I'm confused, however. I know I have to start the whole process over - in some way. 1. But is it sufficient just to do a border run, or do I have to go to a Thai Embassy in a major foreign city, like Singapore?

2.Is there any qualitative difference in the visa I'd get on a border run vs. a trip to an embassy? I mean, does a border run visa just give me a visa, that locks me into a future of border runs vs. the Embassy giving me a visa that allows me to stay w/o border runs?

Also, as I never intended leaving Thailand, any time someone talked about multiple-entry visas it just didn't register. 3.Where on my passport do I look to find whether I have multiple-entry status? 4.Or do I have to get permission from Immigration before I leave? It seems. from the limited amount I found, is that a multi-entry visa is for those who make border runs every 3 mos. This I would want to avoid. Further, it seems like a single-entry visa is what I want, and I can only get this from my friendly neighborhood immigration office. 5 &6 Do you agree with that? and; Did they take this option away from me when they refused to renew my visa earlier this week?

Thought this might be of interest - it's from the immigration office, and clearly explains the need for maintaining an 800K Baht balance in your account for the 3 months between your last, and first, check-in of the year. Or does it?

Document requited for the application of non-immigrant visa extension

Section: Documents required to extend staying for senior citizens (over 50 years old)

3. A Current letter from a Bank in Thailand showing a balance of not less than 800,000 baht By showing the saving account statement for 3 month earlier

I know the law is actually written in more detailed language, though still somewhat unclear. But this is the hand out given at the immigration office. They pointed to #3 several times during my time in their delightful presence. I think, from my limited understanding of the English language, is that it is asking you to bring in a letter from your bank informing immigration of what your bank balance was 3 months earlier. Does it say, anywhere that it is a violation of immigration procedure to allow that balance to dip below 800,000 baht during the last 3 months?

But, please don't let this controversial statement side-track you. What I really need is answers for my questions at the top.

Thanks again - Buzzer

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Yes, the rule means that the account cannot go under 800K during the money seasoning period.

The money seasoning period for first time extensions is two months rather than three months, so it will be easier this time.

You do need to start over.

Your options assuming your money will be properly seasoned for the new effort:

-- go to a neighboring country (Laos/Malaysia) and get a new O visa single entry

-- -- go to a neighboring country (Laos/Malaysia) and get a tourist visa, then convert it to an O at Thai immigration as part of the two step process, visa change plus extension. This route would be silly though, might as well get the O as long as you are there

-- just fly in and out, get 30 days, then convert it to an O at Thai immigration as part of the two step process, visa change plus extension (you need 21 days left on permission to stay to do the change of visa in Thailand)

Perhaps not all offices will do the change of visa in Thailand, please inform us of your office.

Singapore isn't the easiest embassy to deal with. Penang and Vientienne are recommended.

Good luck.

BTW, I think this rule is onerous for long time stayers, but that is just a whine, nothing we can do.

BTW, you have been staying on retirement EXTENSIONS, you haven't "been" on the O-A visa for many years now. No need whatsoever to go to your home country and do the O-A again.

Edited by Jingthing

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Hi,

These are some pretty basic questions. I wish the search engine on Thaivisa worked better, I wouldn't have to bother you with them.

I have had a retirement non-immigrant "O-A" visa for almost 6 years, and have never left Thailand during that time. Due to health problems that are made worse by the rigors of travel, I avoid it. I had an emergency expenditure during the last 3 months which compromised my bank balance, which dipped below 800K baht. Immigration told me, "You gotta go!" BTW - The same happened last year (and was even worse, they photocopied all my bank books, and poured over the statements, then smiled at me, and renewed my visa.

Thanks again - Buzzer

Buzzer

Possible option here? Do you have an income from retirement funds in your home country? If so, might be possible for you to use the "income plus baht in the bank" option, which has to total up to baht 800,000.

The rule is baht 800,000 in the bank, OR a monthly income of baht 65,000, OR a combination of both.

If, for example, you have baht 400,000 in the bank and can show a monthly income of baht 32,500 via an affidavit from your embassy, that should work.

Mac

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Technically ANY income of ANY amount will do. For example 2K baht per month as long as you show up with enough in your bank account to go over 800K at the date of application. If you can get an embassy letter for even a small amount, TECHNICALLY, the money seasoning requirement does not exist. However, we don't know how officers will respond to a very small income in an embassy letter as nobody has reported. If you have any small income, for example interest/dividends, this may be worth a try for sure. Let us know!

Edited by Jingthing

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Do you have any kind of pension income that your Embassy could write a letter confirming? That would removed the 3 month requirement and you would not have to leave. All you need is the total to be 800k for the year. If you mean you can no longer meet the requirements for extension of stay you would have to use visa entry and in the local area that would likely only be single entry non immigrant O for a 90 day stay or tourist visas for 60 day stays. Border crossing is only 15 days now. The closest place to be sure of getting a multi entry non immigrant O visa valid for a year of 90 day visits would probably be Perth.

If you haver the runds but just not seasoned long enough; before your current permitted to stay expires you need to leave and obtain a new visa to start again. I would get a single entry non immigrant O visa from a Thai Consulate in a nearby country. That will give you a 90 day entry and during the last 30 days you would make your normal yearly extension of stay. You will not have an extension to return to so you will not need a re-entry permit. Your visa ended six years ago so you do not have a multl entry visa.

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The income does not have to be pension income. It can be any type of legit income. Any. Pattaya immigration has not been requiring money seasoning for subsequent extensions for some years now (800K method) but they changed their policy a few days ago. Now they require 3 months. As stated with an embassy letter using the combo method, there is no seasoning requirement.

Edited by Jingthing

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I don't see what nationality you are. If American, you only have to attest to a fixed amount of monthly income and sign an affadavit at the embassy swearing to that effect. They will provide the paperwork.

You dont need the hassels of verification, writing banks, employers etc. I am not suggesting you falsify papers, only that the process is very easy in this case.

Edited by oldgeezer

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Yes, but not a good idea to make up income as immigration can always ask for their own documentation if they so wish. I assume the OP doesn't have a proper pension or he wouldn't have been going the 800K banked route for six years. However, like I said, technically ANY type of legit income can be used for an embassy letter.

Edited by Jingthing

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These are some pretty basic questions. I wish the search engine on Thaivisa worked better, I wouldn't have to bother you with them.

I often use Google to search thaivisa, just put "site:thaivisa.com" in with whatever you are searching for.

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These situations scare me. What happens to retirees when they get really old and perhaps don't have quite enough money in thier account and they cannot travel any more due to health reasons. Or they are bed ridden? Is immigration going to refuse to renew thier retirement visas? If so, then what happens??

I remember a long time age when the UK pound was devalued and went from 60 to 36 baht to the pound. If this happened again many UK retirees would not be able to meet the immigration requirements. The same also applies to other currencies.

I think maybe one could appeal to the immigration head office in Bangkok citing compassionate grounds in the former case.

Any one any ideas?

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These situations scare me.

They should! There is no long security in the retirement extension system here. It is one year at a time, unlike more civilized schemes like Malaysia. We who decide to do this anyway like Thailand and are taking our chances like adults, but there is always a risk.

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Hi,

These are some pretty basic questions. I wish the search engine on Thaivisa worked better, I wouldn't have to bother you with them.

I have had a retirement non-immigrant "O-A" visa for almost 6 years, and have never left Thailand during that time. Due to health problems that are made worse by the rigors of travel, I avoid it. I had an emergency expenditure during the last 3 months which compromised my bank balance, which dipped below 800K baht. Immigration told me, "You gotta go!" BTW - The same happened last year (and was even worse, they photocopied all my bank books, and poured over the statements, then smiled at me, and renewed my visa.

Thanks again - Buzzer

Buzzer

Possible option here? Do you have an income from retirement funds in your home country? If so, might be possible for you to use the "income plus baht in the bank" option, which has to total up to baht 800,000.

The rule is baht 800,000 in the bank, OR a monthly income of baht 65,000, OR a combination of both.

If, for example, you have baht 400,000 in the bank and can show a monthly income of baht 32,500 via an affidavit from your embassy, that should work.

Mac

Does the Embassy affidavit have to be current for each declaration? In other words do you need a new Embassy letter every year you apply for a visa extension?

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I suspect the problem arose because the OP is self-insured, has no health insurance, and did not maintain sufficient funds in Thailand for immigration plus healthcare. The OP stated that the previous year the same thing happened, so he was in fact warned. For those of us retirees who cannot get health insurance, for whatever reason, it is imperative that we keep adequate funds available to cover healthcare plus keep immigration happy. How much would depend on the level of hospital care you expect.

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There is nothing in Immigration regulations about healthcare. He seems to have been below the widow two years; having been provided last year he did not meet requirements again and this time was not given an exception.

As for Embassy letters of income several offices are saying they can be used for 3 years now so I would try to provide copy if doing now and see if they will return original for next year.

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