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The role of embassies in retirement-visa applications 

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Re: “How expat retirement visa has shifted with the times”,  Letters, yesterday.

Barry Kenyon is right to point out that the retirement-visa rules have evolved over the years, and that they are likely to evolve further. This is done not least to ease the burden on hospitals having to admit ageing expats who have been either unable or unwilling to make adequate provision for medical costs. If nothing is done, the problem will only get worse. The local population is ageing, and so are we expats!
However, Mr Kenyon is wrong to say that embassies issue letters confirming foreign income even though they have no idea if the claimed sum is true. Well, some embassies might do this, but not, for example, the British Embassy’s Consular section, which requires the income to be verified by documentary evidence. I am sure the embassies representing other countries where the rule of law prevails will follow the same procedure. 
Thai Immigration Department officers are well aware of this issue. Some years ago it was reported that they would no longer accept proof-of-income letters from some embassies, although I don’t know if that is still the case.
As regards reports of bribery at the Immigration Department, well, last year a friend overstayed her visa, but was able to resolve the situation by the payment, through an agent, of a substantial sum. There is no point in griping about this – it happens. “When in Rome, etc.”
Robin Grant
 

Published : December 20, 2016