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An attempt by the British Embassy to clarify the situation regarding the news that it will soon stop issuing income certification letters has only added to the confusion among expats in Thailand.
Earlier this week, the British Embassy Bangkok announced that it will stop providing British Nationals with letters confirming their income.
The letters are used as supporting documents for expats applying for retirement or marriage extensions.
From Jan 1st 2019, expats will need to show either 800,000 THB in a bank account in Thailand three months prior to submitting the application or show a monthly income of 65,000 baht also transferred into a bank account in Thailand.
Applicants for marriage extension will need to show 400,000 THB in an account in Thailand for no less than three months prior to the visa application, or a monthly income of at least 40,000 THB transferred into an account in Thailand.
But in an interview with Tommy Dee of Fabulous 103FM, comments from a spokesperson for the British Embassy have only added to the confusion among expats affected by the new rules.
The spokesperson claimed that the income letters are not always required by Thai immigration and that expats can simply show a copy of their bank statements when submitting their application.
However, anyone who has ever applied for a marriage or retirement extension in Thailand will know that is not the case and that the income certification letter has to date been a requirement.
The interview also revealed that the British Embassy Bangkok issues around 250 income certification letters each month.
The reason the British Embassy will stop issuing the income letter is because Thai immigration has said it expects the embassy to verify all sources of income of British Nationals requesting an income letter, as first reported by Thaivisa earlier this week.
One of the main concerns among expats is that Immigration offices around Thailand are brought up to speed on the new rules and do not continue to insist on an income certification letter after 1st Jan 2019.
The advice from the British Embassy is as follows: