Retired and living in Thailand for many years, I use the opportunity to have a retirement visa. I meet all the conditions and I have no problem getting an extension every year.
Of course I know the difficulties that newcomers sometimes have to have all the necessary papers in order and I am regularly asked for advice. I then tell the official roads that people have to walk, but – this is Thailand = it can also be different.
It was the same with Jérôme. He is a pharmacist with his own business in Paris. I have known him for quite a number of years, initially he came twice a year, but he is more and more often in Pattaya. His pharmacy is going well, but he no longer enjoys listening to the complaints of patients and then flees to Thailand. He leaves the matter to his staff. A few weeks ago he asked me how to get a retirement visa. He may be highly qualified as a pharmacist, but he didn't understand much of the paperwork. I told him and he went to work.
Jérôme is an independent entrepreneur and therefore does not have an income statement from his employer. He also does not have 800,000 Baht on a Thai bank account, so what to do? He told me that he could prove his annual income with his tax assessments. Is to try, I said, then go to the Consul of Austria, where I also arrange the income statement. He then found out for himself that a French consul of the embassy held a meeting 1 day a month at that office. He arranged the required income statement with that consul.
Now a bank account with a Thai bank, because that is also required. It has been said many times on this blog that opening an account in Thailand is not easy for a foreigner. I advised him to try and tell the story that he is retired, planning to live in Thailand, transferring his pension and then buying a condo. He has been to two or three banks, who did not want to open an account for him. What now? We came to the conclusion that he should go to Immigration in Jomtien to find out exactly what people wanted and how he could arrange that.
No sooner said than done. He met a most friendly police officer there and told him about his problem. The man looked at the income statement and said it was not according to the rules. He had to go to Bangkok to have it stamped at the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There was no mention of a bank account, because the official had a proposal for Jérôme: pay me 20,000 Baht and I will prepare that retirement visa for you. Jérôme, sick of all the official stuff, accepted the proposal and paid. The same day he received his passport back with the desired retirement visa.
And last but not least
So it is also possible in Pattaya, but I will not recommend anyone to get that annual visa for 50+ in this way. In my opinion, the forgery remains in writing and who knows what will await him in a year's time when applying for an extension at Immigration.