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Retirement visa extension restrictions for foreign married couples


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New Visa Restrictions for Foreign Married Couples

BANGKOK: -- The Thai Immigration Bureau has announced that the foreign wives of expats with a one-year retirement visa will in future need their own separate pension income or cash in a Thai bank.

In the past, these wives have been able to “join” their husband’s visa by simply showing a marriage certificate and a current non-immigrant visa in their passport. It was not necessary for both partners to show their own income or cash.

Under the revised guidelines, both foreign partners in a marriage will separately need to demonstrate yearly income in the first country of at least 800,000 baht equivalent or maintain separate bank accounts of the same minimum amount, or provide a combination of both.

Letters from an embassy are still required as proof of the income whilst the 800,000 baht in a Thai bank must have been there for three months prior to the application (2 months 1st application) and be supported by a letter from that financial institution.

The toughening up of the rules on retirement visas is believed to have been caused by concerns that some farang-farang marriages are not genuine or may have broken up.

The requirement for each partner to show evidence of 800,000 baht in cash or income, or a combination of both, is seen as the best guarantee from an Immigration Bureau viewpoint. Nor is it possible for a married couple to present a joint bank account. Each partner is now treated as a separate entity.

Some visa specialists say that the move is aimed at strengthening immigration regulations ahead of the onset of the ASEAN Economic Community in two years’ time which is likely, in the medium term, to lead to more migration across the regional 10-member block.

There has been concern in the Immigration Bureau for some time that mere possession of a marriage certificate is not proof of the ongoing relationship and could be used simply to gain a long-term visa. The new ruling also applies to same-sex marriages or civil partnerships now performed in some countries, though not yet in Thailand.

Separately, the British Embassy has confirmed that none of its provincial staff is empowered any longer to provide notarial services. Those Brits requiring income letters for the Immigration Bureau must now deal with the main embassy in Bangkok or find another local consulate willing to provide the service.

The German honorary consul in Phuket stated recently he believes that his office could provide some such services for Brits but that he was seeking formal permission from Berlin. It may take some time before European Union consulates in places such as Pattaya, Koh Samui and Phuket feel confident enough to fill the gap left by the retreat of the British Embassy from provincial Thailand.

Source: Pattaya Today, Immigration Bureau

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-- 2013-12-03

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This was to be expected! Any idea whether "grandfather" rule will be applied here as well, i.e. couples already on an extension of stay will be able to extend under previous rule of only one income/1x800K?

No exact details are known.

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Separate accounts, .... then also you can apply seperate aplications dates...with the dates Separate by example 4 month's .whistling.gif .......you see the rescue possibillity...? (helping aechother with same funds) whistling.gifrolleyes.gif

Very smart, that's it clap2.gif

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Separate accounts, .... then also you can apply seperate aplications dates...with the dates Separate by example 4 month's .whistling.gif .......you see the rescue possibillity...? (helping aechother with same funds) whistling.gifrolleyes.gif

Very smart, that's it clap2.gif

No advantige to come & stay as a couple (officially) anymore , just 2 seperate individuals (who trust eachother wink.png with money ..thumbsup.gif

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So they think "farangs" will marry each other to get a thai visa? Yeah, we are the scammers here,right?

Not too many "farangs" in the ASEAN regional 10-member block... I think rolleyes.gif

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What if you have a joint bank account with your wife with 800.000 THB? 

Joint account would require 1.6 million baht. It is already that way for joint accounts.
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"It sounds fair. Two people, two incomes."

So if you are a UK citizen married to a Thai citizen and are the sole provider in the relationship then you only need half as much income to support your partner than you would if your partner was also British. I can understand there needing to be proof that the relationship is genuine, and continuing, but in the UK it is not all that uncommon fo have shared bank accounts and shared assets and two people living together do not need double the amount of money to live anywhere - accommodation accounts for a large part of the cost and a one bedroom apartment will cost the same whether it is for one or two people. If they said that a couple needed 50% extra income I could understand it but to require 100% income seems somewhat unreasonable to me. I am not quite sure what they are worried about because it is not like the UK where someone in long term settlement can qualify for benefits, support and free health care. It is unfortunately the health care issue that prevents my Thai partner and I from living together in Thailand. However at least the UK government only required proof for the initial application to become permanent and eventually grant citizenship. I would have thought it was in the interest of Thailand to have people retiring there, they pay into the Thai economy without taking anything out of it - if they run out of cash then eventually they will have to leave because no one is going to support them - at least they should be given long term security without having to prove their income every few years.

Edited by gbswales
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What if you are due to renew your visa in three weeks and the 800,000 has been in place for the required period of three months. I cannot put in another 800,000 backdated to September 2013 to meet the new requirement. Will they deport my wife?

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