The 10-year visa for foreign retirees is now available at an Immigration office near you. Despite the top Immigration officer’s announcement today many offices are unaware of the change and new availability of the 10 year visa option.
Lt. Gen. Natthathorn Prohsunthorn says the new visa comes in two installments, each lasting five years. Foreigners from 14 countries who meet certain criteria are candidates for the new 10 year option. You’ll need to have three million baht in bank account and be over 50 years of age.
Lt. Gen. Natthathorn says the new visa is now available. “Foreigners can apply for it at their provincial immigration offices. Although the new retirement visa has been available since last Friday, Natthathorn says no applications have crossed his desk so far.
He went on to suggest that the media should spend their time reporting this new visa rather than wasting time on reporting long waiting queues at Bangkok’s two airports.
Meanwhile calls to Phuket’s two Immigration offices drew a blank with the officials answering the phones unaware of the new visa.
Natthathorn says a memo had already been sent out but some officials might not have read it. He advised potential applicants to push ahead with the application anyway.
The Thai government announced the new visa plan last November hoping the new passport stamp would promote Thailand as a destination for medical services and retirement. The current ‘Geeza Visa’ requires annual renewal.
To be eligible you must also have health insurance that covers hospital stays and provides at least USD$10,000 annual coverage. Visa holders will still have to check in every 90 days with the Bureau of Immigration, must not have any pending criminal convictions or charges, and have at least 3 million baht in their bank account.
Karl Vandelhole is a 55-year-old Belgian correspondent for Der Spiegel who lives in the southern province of Krabi on a journalism visa.
He says the newly announced visa seeks to attract the wealthy while ignoring regular expats and their rights to live with their families.
SOURCES: Thai Immigration, Khaosod English
PHOTO: Konrad Legal
- Phuket Gazette & The Nation