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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawCould Big Joke's Transfer Impact Thai Retirement Visa Policy?

Could Big Joke's Transfer Impact Thai Retirement Visa Policy?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Retirement Visa policy specifically in the context or in light of the recent transfer of Surachate "Big Joke" Hakparn who was formerly the Head of Thai Immigration and now appears to be being transferred back to Royal Thai Police Headquarters. The exact implications of this remain to be seen.  

That being said, in a recent article from the Bangkok Post, bangkokpost.com, the article is entitled "Big Joke" Transferred to Police HQ.  Quoting directly, "Surachate "Big Joke" Hakparn, the country's highest-profile policeman, has been transferred to the Royal Thai Police Operations Center under an order signed by National Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda; no reasons were given."  So as of the time of this video, we don't know exactly what is going on and how exactly this will impact people moving forward.  

That being said, while I think that there may be changes within the Immigration apparatus, especially on sort of a paradigm level and maybe a policy level too as things progress, some things with respect to the Retirement Visa policy,  I think remain immutable moving forward. Most notably the changes with respect to Income Affidavits no longer being issued from Embassies such as the UK Embassy here in Bangkok, as well as the US Embassy here in Bangkok and the Australian Embassy in Bangkok.  Those changes are not going to be rescinded just because this particular Officer has been transferred.  Those Affidavits to my mind appear to no longer be a possibility at any point moving forward; so that's not going to change. 

Now "Big Joke" definitely was the face of changes with respect to enforcement policy on Immigration regulations pertaining to Retirement Visas especially with respect to the 800,000 baht in a bank account rule and there were new sort of regulations that were created just recently, within the last six weeks approximately, which dictated that that 800,000 needed to remain in a Thai bank account two months prior to a visa application or a retirement visa extension. Meanwhile those funds also need to remain on account 90 days after the application was approved.  Will this change?  That remains to be seen.  However, those regulations are already issued so I don't necessarily think that is logical to presume that the transfer of the Head of Immigration will change these regulations, at least not immediately.

So how exactly this is all going to play out for retirees here in the Kingdom remains to be seen but that being said we will continue to make videos as timely as possible in order to provide as much information as we can as things progress.