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It has been announced by the Thai Immigration Bureau that the wives of ex-pats with a one-year retirement visa will need to prove their own separate pension income or cash in Thai bank in order to qualify to live in Thailand.
Previously the wives of ex-pats have been able to reside in the country on their husband’s visa by simply showing a marriage certificate and a non-immigrant visa with no need to prove a separate income. Under the new rules both partners will need to prove a yearly income from their home countries as well as a deposit of at least 800,000 baht. Applicants will need to have letters from the Embassy as proof of income while the 800,000 baht bank deposit will need to have been in place for three months and be supported by a letter from the bank.
The new rules have come about due to concerns that some ex-pat couples marriages are not genuine or the couple are no longer living together. The Immigration Bereau believe that treating each partner as a separate entity is the best guarantee that the immigration system is not being abused. The Immigration Bureau has been concerned for some time that being in possession of a marriage certificate is not legitimate proof of an ongoing relationship, and has been used as a loop hole to gain a long-term visa by some none genuine couples. Those who require income letters must now deal with the main Embassy in Bangkok of they come from the UK as the provincial staff a no longer empowered to provide notarial services.