Sunday, September 22, 2019

Can property be considered cash in the bank?

Feb 08. 2019
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Re: “No country for old men – the new Thai immigration laws begin to bite”, Have Your Say, February 7.

I can fully understand that there are some bad apples among retirees who for years have disobeyed the law. Equally, there are crooked agents and probably corrupt immigration officers who have allowed each such “outlaw” to remain.

But the new “rules” for those who have always elected to take the Bt800,000 route are draconian – especially for those like myself who have lived here on retirement visas for many years and obeyed all the regulations. It is truer for those whose pension comes nowhere near meeting the minimum Bt65,000 per month and who will be forced to use their capital, much of which could be locked into multi-year contracts which, if broken, result in major interest penalties. 

I have several million baht locked up in my own apartment, which I purchased in 1999 and where I have lived since 2001. Will the immigration chief please explain why I now have to lock up in a bank Bt400,000 for seven months each year and then Bt800,000 for a further five months? 

Is the condo I own not sufficient proof that I have funds lodged in this country well in excess of the new minimum?

If it is not, then, like many others, I will be forced to sell my apartment. Surely one rule for all despite their circumstances deserves more consideration than seems to be the case in what I expect were hastily thought out regulations.

John Duffus

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