Visa extension requirements

I have an O-visa (marriage/dependants visa) that I have extended annually for the past seven years. One of the conditions for extension has been to have a certain level of funds in a Thai bank account for at least three months before application. Alternatively, income such as a pension may substitute partly or wholly for the bank funds.

Apparently, beginning next year only proof of income will apply and it won’t matter about the amount of any funds in a Thai account. Proof of income must apparently come from one’s embassy, but this in practice may be quite hard to do. For example, I have not been “home” for 10 years and have no income from there. Most expatriates have their savings offshore.

I am concerned about the uncertainties and wish to make plans to move away in good time rather than at short notice, if an extension next year will not be possible. I don’t want to go back to regular tourist visa runs. Can someone confirm the new rules and what documentation will be required?

Does income have to be remitted to Thailand as proof of receipt? Can “income” be remitted capital savings from overseas? Do the embassies know what will be required of them?

St John Campbell, Karon.

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For people who came to Thailand and had a permit to stay for marriage before October 1, 2006, you need to present only your bank account, which must have not less than 400,000 baht. This amount must be on deposit in the bank more than three months before applying for the permit to stay. With this money deposited in the bank, you won’t need to show your monthly income.

Alternatively, if you have an income, it doesn’t matter if it is from outside Thailand or not, the monthly income must not be less than 40,000 baht per month. If you have a business here in Thailand, the tax payment documents can be shown and must indicate an average income of not less than 40,000 baht per month.

If you want to show that you have an income or pension from outside the country, you must show a document from your home country’s embassy indicating the amount of the income or pension, but this is may be difficult because some embassies don’t consider this their responsibility.

Pol Capt Krissarat Nuesen of the Phuket Provincial Immigration Office.

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