CLAR­ITY, PLEASE

Bangkok Post - - EDITORIAL & LETTERS -

A clear state­ment From Thai Im­mi­gra­tion, please! There has been a lot of talk re­cently, most of it in­com­plete, ill-in­formed, alarmist or con­fused, about Thai Im­mi­gra­tion’s re­cent bid to tighten up the rules re­quir­ing ex­pa­tri­ates on ei­ther mar­riage or re­tire­ment visas to show that they have the re­quired funds.

For a re­tire­ment visa or ex­ten­sion (mar­riage visa fig­ures in brack­ets), the re­quire­ment is 800,000 (400,000) baht de­posited three months prior to re­newal in a Thai bank ac­count or a ver­i­fied in­come of 65,000 (40,000) baht a month. The de­posit route isn’t chang­ing, as I read it, with the ver­i­fi­ca­tion be­ing a let­ter from the bank.

The monthly in­come route is the is­sue, as the Bri­tish Em­bassy (and oth­ers) have said they can­not com­ply with Thai Im­mi­gra­tion’s ver­i­fi­ca­tion re­quire­ments and are there­fore ceas­ing to is­sue letters of ver­i­fi­ca­tion of in­come from mid-De­cem­ber. This is odd as one has to pro­vide proof of in­come — P60 and/or orig­i­nal pen­sion let­ter — when one ap­plies to the em­bassy. It would seem, how­ever, that the is­sue is less one of proof of in­come as proof of that in­come be­ing re­mit­ted to Thai­land. But this is what the em­bassies have said and we as ex­pa­tri­ates will have to work round it.

With that in mind, may I on be­half of ex­pa­tri­ates here on re­tire­ment or mar­riage visas, ask Thai Im­mi­gra­tion for a clear, con­cise and un­equiv­o­cal state­ment of its re­quire­ments on this mat­ter? Is the monthly in­come route be­ing dis­con­tin­ued and, if not, where is the ver­i­fi­ca­tion to come from and what must it con­sist of?

Per­haps such a state­ment might be made via the col­umns of the two English lan­guage news­pa­pers in the king­dom? I am cer­tain that not just ex­pa­tri­ates would be grate­ful for such a state­ment, but re­gional Thai Im­mi­gra­tion of­fices would be as well, to avoid them be­ing be­sieged by hun­dreds of farang all ask­ing the same ques­tions!

In hope, if not ex­pec­ta­tion.

Col (Retd) Johnny Thoyts

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