Income Letter

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semperfiguy
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Re: Income Letter

Post by semperfiguy » November 10, 2018, 9:28 am

parrot wrote:
November 10, 2018, 8:59 am
I've never been under the impression that my embassy is here to support me. I'd guess the expat community falls way down the list of important duties for the embassy.
Parrot, I think it's always been a foregone conclusion that our government is not keen on its citizens living abroad and spending their US based income and other government payouts outside the US economy. No doubt they throw us in the same boat with the millions of illegal aliens that earn in the US and send their money back to their families outside our country. If they really cared about us they would find a way to allow us to use our Medicare entitlements abroad. Well-known and respected groups have been lobbying in Washington DC for years to get this reversed and our government has done nothing to help us.


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Re: Income Letter

Post by sometimewoodworker » November 10, 2018, 9:37 am

tamada wrote:
November 10, 2018, 8:04 am
Deposit the lump sum, satisfy Thai Immigration's current requirements,
I have always had the needed amount, until SWMBO decided to buy a car and will be bringing my account back to the need amount well before the deadline for seasoning.

The income method was never an option for me due to the enormous magnitude of the OAP.
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Re: Income Letter

Post by LoneTraveler » November 10, 2018, 10:02 am

semperfiguy wrote:
November 10, 2018, 9:28 am
parrot wrote:
November 10, 2018, 8:59 am
I've never been under the impression that my embassy is here to support me. I'd guess the expat community falls way down the list of important duties for the embassy.
Parrot, I think it's always been a foregone conclusion that our government is not keen on its citizens living abroad and spending their US based income and other government payouts outside the US economy. No doubt they throw us in the same boat with the millions of illegal aliens that earn in the US and send their money back to their families outside our country. If they really cared about us they would find a way to allow us to use our Medicare entitlements abroad. Well-known and respected groups have been lobbying in Washington DC for years to get this reversed and our government has done nothing to help us.
They use to allow my health insurance to be used abroad however, the magnitude of fraud was overwhelming which forced the insurance company to end claims abroad. However, Bangkok Hospital seems to have the ability to get expats reimbursed for all or partial claims in the US.

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Brian Davis
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Re: Income Letter

Post by Brian Davis » November 10, 2018, 10:33 am

Much as I've moaned at the UK Embassy to be more helpful, I feel we have to accept proving expats income absolutely would be a time consuming exercise. As suggested, the fact that several Embassies have decided to give up on the income letter, it's not just a question of pressure of work at an individual Embassy. Then, of course, there's Thai pressure and the legal factor. I must say I'm a bit surprised at comments about the US Embassy, as I thought the service with e.g. Outreach as an example,particularly in 'falling over' to assist its' ex-serviceman (and that's NOT a criticism). was far more helpful than anything offered by the UK.
(With over 30 years administrative, local government service equating to Civil Service, I've offered my services to the British Embassy in retaining the income letter and my role would be to confirm, as it were, guaranteed income statements. Working from home (maybe Bangkok), UK salary, which would be more than covered by fees. I'm awaiting a reply. [-o< )

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Re: Income Letter

Post by Tracechain » November 10, 2018, 11:17 am

Well, it was nice while it lasted...same as ACH money transfer via Bangkok bank in NYC.
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Re: Income Letter

Post by Giggle » November 10, 2018, 1:42 pm

If only you guys lived in Nong Khai. We went through all this five years ago. Many laughed and said we were making it up, or that the reason they were grilling us is because we didn't wear a tuxedo to the extension renewal with a gift box of Dom Pérignon Rose Gold. We saved our satangs and have been proving the required deposits for many years now. Come on Udon expats, get your sh!t together, YOU CAN DO IT!

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parrot
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Re: Income Letter

Post by parrot » November 10, 2018, 3:08 pm

semperfiguy wrote:
November 10, 2018, 9:28 am
parrot wrote:
November 10, 2018, 8:59 am
I've never been under the impression that my embassy is here to support me. I'd guess the expat community falls way down the list of important duties for the embassy.
Parrot, I think it's always been a foregone conclusion that our government is not keen on its citizens living abroad and spending their US based income and other government payouts outside the US economy. No doubt they throw us in the same boat with the millions of illegal aliens that earn in the US and send their money back to their families outside our country. If they really cared about us they would find a way to allow us to use our Medicare entitlements abroad. Well-known and respected groups have been lobbying in Washington DC for years to get this reversed and our government has done nothing to help us.
Why would the US government want to help its citizens live overseas.....outside the US economy? I count my blessings that I'm able to have my Social Security deposited into a Thai bank (if I choose), to be able to use TRICARE overseas - even after 65, if you're enrolled in medicare, to be able to easily move money between my US based accounts and my Thai ones, to be able to step back on US soil after being here for xxxx years and have instant access to my Medicare benefits, to get COLA increases on my Social Security and military pension, to be able to renew my US drivers license online while overseas, and to have the luxury of ACS visits to Udon for the past 22 years since the consulate in Udon closed. Oops, forgot......for the past 20 years, we've been able to obtain our income letter without the hassle of proving our income (yes, yes, I know, we're responsible for the misery set upon everyone today). Oops, forgot, there's a VFW in town for US veterans that help out many tens of widows of veterans who have died.......and many expat veterans who are befuddled about the way social security or veterans benefits work.
Expats from all countries are not treated equally. Count your blessings.

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Tracechain
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Re: Income Letter

Post by Tracechain » November 10, 2018, 4:57 pm

parrot wrote:
November 10, 2018, 3:08 pm
semperfiguy wrote:
November 10, 2018, 9:28 am
parrot wrote:
November 10, 2018, 8:59 am
I've never been under the impression that my embassy is here to support me. I'd guess the expat community falls way down the list of important duties for the embassy.
Parrot, I think it's always been a foregone conclusion that our government is not keen on its citizens living abroad and spending their US based income and other government payouts outside the US economy. No doubt they throw us in the same boat with the millions of illegal aliens that earn in the US and send their money back to their families outside our country. If they really cared about us they would find a way to allow us to use our Medicare entitlements abroad. Well-known and respected groups have been lobbying in Washington DC for years to get this reversed and our government has done nothing to help us.
Why would the US government want to help its citizens live overseas.....outside the US economy? I count my blessings that I'm able to have my Social Security deposited into a Thai bank (if I choose), to be able to use TRICARE overseas - even after 65, if you're enrolled in medicare, to be able to easily move money between my US based accounts and my Thai ones, to be able to step back on US soil after being here for xxxx years and have instant access to my Medicare benefits, to get COLA increases on my Social Security and military pension, to be able to renew my US drivers license online while overseas, and to have the luxury of ACS visits to Udon for the past 22 years since the consulate in Udon closed. Oops, forgot......for the past 20 years, we've been able to obtain our income letter without the hassle of proving our income (yes, yes, I know, we're responsible for the misery set upon everyone today). Oops, forgot, there's a VFW in town for US veterans that help out many tens of widows of veterans who have died.......and many expat veterans who are befuddled about the way social security or veterans benefits work.
Expats from all countries are not treated equally. Count your blessings.
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Brian Davis
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Re: Income Letter

Post by Brian Davis » November 14, 2018, 10:15 am

I have had a reply from the British Embassy to my 'moan' letter. I was hoping it might nail a few things down, but it really only tells us what we know already. The vagueness, at present, remains and we have to rely on Immigration for accurate, clear information. Oh hell.

Dear Mr Davis
Thank you for your email. I apologise for the delay in replying.
I am happy to hear that you have found our service useful in the past.
The British Embassy in Bangkok currently issues an income/pension letter as a supporting document for British nationals applying for a Thai retirement or marriage visa application or extension of stay. The Thai authorities confirmed that they want the British Embassy to verify the income of British nationals which we are unable to do. We would refer such requests to the issuing authority. Therefore, the current letter issued by us does not fulfil the Thai authorities’ requirements so we need to stop issuing it so it is not misinterpreted as verification.
In order to apply for a marriage or retirement visa or apply for an extension, British Nationals will now be required to have the minimum funds required for their visa in a Thai bank account. This is not a change in the requirement on the Immigration side; the lump sums and monthly amounts remain the same. The difference from January 2019 is that British Nationals will now have to prove their income by having these minimum funds in a Thai bank account where they can be verified by Thai Immigration. In fact, Immigration’s own website makes no mention of a letter from an embassy being used as proof of income.
As the requirements for a Thai visa are dealt with by the Thai Immigration department we are unable to comment on what income they will accept. However, Immigration’s own website states the minimum funds required for each visa type. https://www.immigration.go.th/content/s ... ension_all services 22 and 18
For a retirement visa

• Must be at least 50 years old

• Must have an amount of at least 800,000 THB in an account in Thailand for no less than three months prior to the application for a visa or

• A monthly income of at least 65,000 THB

• Further info: https://www.immigration.go.th/content/service_22

Requirements for a marriage visa are:

• Must be legally married to a Thai national

• Must earn an average annual income of no less than Baht 40,000 per month or must have no less than Baht 400,000 in a bank account in Thailand for the past two months to cover expenses for one year

• Further info: https://www.immigration.go.th/content/service_18
It is therefore advisable to speak to Thai Immigration directly. You can contact the Immigration Call Centre on 1178 and they will be able to answer all Thai immigration questions.
The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and Thai Immigration in Bangkok are aware of the changes being made by the British Embassy. It is the responsibility of the MFA to broadcast changes to their own Immigration offices around the country to ensure all changes to rules and regulations are being followed.
Thai Law states that the income/pension letter supplied by Embassies in Thailand is valid for 6 months. However, it is at the discretion of the Immigration Officer whether they will grant you your visa/extension.

Kind Regards
Stacey
Pro Consul
British Embassy Bangkok

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Re: Income Letter

Post by Stantheman » November 14, 2018, 9:41 pm

What is a little funny to me is the requirement to have funds in a Thai bank account, but based on another thread it is very difficult to open a Thai bank account so for new applicants trying to get permission to stay based on retirement or marriage. What's also kind of weird is they require more for one individual vs 2 or more if married.

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Re: Income Letter

Post by tamada » November 14, 2018, 9:41 pm

Just reading that the Danish Embassy in Bangkok have stopped issuing income letters with immediate effect. Refunds for those who have applied for but will no longer get the letter. That's gonna upset some Vikings.

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Re: Income Letter

Post by LoneTraveler » November 15, 2018, 11:32 am

What is stated on the immigration webpage:
Must have an amount of at least 800,000 THB in an account in Thailand for no less than three months prior to the application for a visa
. Leads me to ask; (a) What if you have a visa already and a number of extensions, do you still need the money in a Thai account 3 months prior to applying for an extension? Also some on various forums have stated need to have money in account 3 months before and 3 months after, sounds harsh.

And (b) I am confused, at times I hear the money needs to be transferred-in from abroad. Immigration states just need to have money in account, no need for transfer is mentioned. I would be able to meet either the monthly income or the full amount however, effective April 01, 2019, I can no longer transfer money into Thai bank because of the change from ACH money transfer to ICH format which my bank will not make the change. They only except incoming not outgoing. So my transfers into Bangkok Bank NY will no longer accept ACH transfers.

I feel this issue of funds in a Thai bank account, really needs to be spelled-out clearly. I asked an immigration officer recently when I did my 90 day report.The answer left me just as confused and frustrated as I am now. Sorry just venting

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Re: Income Letter

Post by LoneTraveler » November 15, 2018, 11:44 am

Forgot to mention, I hope that the issue of the April 01 2019 format change from ACH to ICH is brought to the attention of the Bangkok Immigration Department from the powers-that-be in the various Embassy's in Bangkok because after all it is an important consideration for retirees that Bangkok Bank NY will no longer accept ACH fund transfers and many banks will not make the change to send out transfers in the new ICH format. This pertains only for America citizens.

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semperfiguy
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Re: Income Letter

Post by semperfiguy » November 15, 2018, 12:11 pm

LoneTraveler wrote:
November 15, 2018, 11:44 am
Forgot to mention, I hope that the issue of the April 01 2019 format change from ACH to ICH is brought to the attention of the Bangkok Immigration Department from the powers-that-be in the various Embassy's in Bangkok because after all it is an important consideration for retirees that Bangkok Bank NY will no longer accept ACH fund transfers and many banks will not make the change to send out transfers in the new ICH format. This pertains only for America citizens.
Just to clarify....Bangkok Bank recently sent a letter to all it's customers to let them know that after April 2019 they will accept US domestic ACH transfer requests intended to be sent for further credit to a bank in Thailand ONLY if the sending bank makes the request using International ACH Transactions (IAT) coding.

BKB also advised all US Citizens that currently have their monthly Social Security funds direct deposited into their local Thai banks by ACH transfer through BKB, NY, that they would have to notify the Social Security Administration that those direct deposit and transfer instructions would also have to meet the IAT coding guidelines. Those guidelines are as follows:

The NACHA rules require Bangkok Bank’s New York branch, which serves as an intermediary, to ensure that payments that we receive and that are transmitted to the account of a beneficiary in another country are appropriately coded as IATs (International ACH Transactions). To do this we need to obtain information as described below for your transactions to conform to the IAT format:

1. Your name and physical address in Thailand;
2. Your bank account number and the name and address of your Bangkok Bank branch in Thailand; and
3. The 9-digit routing number of Bangkok Bank New York branch, which acts as the intermediary in the transaction, which is 026008691

I don't use the SSA direct deposit method, but I have a friend that does. He has tried to contact SSA with 4 emails and 4 phone calls to the US and to Manila and so far no one has been able to help him with these required changes. He called Bangkok Bank head office in Bangkok and asked them how to make those changes through SSA, and no one had a clue there either.

My guess is there's going to be a lot of Americans in Thailand that are going to be in a world of poop come April 2019.
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Re: Income Letter

Post by Lone Star » November 15, 2018, 12:17 pm

LoneTraveler wrote:
November 15, 2018, 11:32 am
Must have an amount of at least 800,000 THB in an account in Thailand for no less than three months prior to the application for a visa
. Leads me to ask; (a) What if you have a visa already and a number of extensions, do you still need the money in a Thai account 3 months prior to applying for an extension? Also some on various forums have stated need to have money in account 3 months before and 3 months after, sounds harsh.
Same I was told by my Immigration source in BKK. I'll have all of the necessities taken care of in more than enough time no matter what changes between now and then.
I feel this issue of funds in a Thai bank account, really needs to be spelled-out clearly. I asked an immigration officer recently when I did my 90 day report.The answer left me just as confused and frustrated as I am now. Sorry just venting
It's just a matter of continuing to stay on top of it directly through your local immigration office. I'm not about to take anyone else's word other than my local immigration office and through my contact in BKK.

Good luck to all.
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Re: Income Letter

Post by sometimewoodworker » November 15, 2018, 3:42 pm

LoneTraveler wrote:
November 15, 2018, 11:32 am
What is stated on the immigration webpage:
Must have an amount of at least 800,000 THB in an account in Thailand for no less than three months prior to the application for a visa
. Leads me to ask; (a) What if you have a visa already and a number of extensions, do you still need the money in a Thai account 3 months prior to applying for an extension?
Whatever the wording on the immigration webpage (Thai English websites often have mistranslations) if you have had 1 or more extensions if permission to stay you no longer have a visa as it has either expired or been used also visas are never extended.

Apart from that every time you apply for an extension (it doesn't matter if it's the 1st or 21st) you must have the money in a Thai account for the 3 months prior to applying.

There is no official word on any changes to the period the money must be kept in the account.
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Re: Income Letter

Post by RLTrader » November 15, 2018, 4:04 pm

semperfiguy wrote:
November 15, 2018, 12:11 pm

Just to clarify....Bangkok Bank recently sent a letter to all it's customers to let them know that after April 2019 they will accept US domestic ACH transfer requests intended to be sent for further credit to a bank in Thailand ONLY if the sending bank makes the request using International ACH Transactions (IAT) coding.

So, has anyone received said Letter? I for one have not. One would think this Gobbledygook would be handled by the Banks & SSA. Hmm April 1 is it? Ya, sounds about right for that day.

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Re: Income Letter

Post by tutone » November 15, 2018, 4:23 pm

LoneTraveler wrote:
November 15, 2018, 11:44 am
Forgot to mention, I hope that the issue of the April 01 2019 format change from ACH to ICH is brought to the attention of the Bangkok Immigration Department from the powers-that-be in the various Embassy's in Bangkok because after all it is an important consideration for retirees that Bangkok Bank NY will no longer accept ACH fund transfers and many banks will not make the change to send out transfers in the new ICH format. This pertains only for America citizens.
What about wire transfers? My social security and various other earnings are paid into a money market account and then wired from there to Bangkok Bank every month. Usually takes 3 days for the money to be deposited in my bank account here once I initiate the transfer.

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Re: Income Letter

Post by RLTrader » November 15, 2018, 5:04 pm

RLTrader wrote:
November 2, 2018, 4:01 pm
Five Eyes alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

As far as Thai Immigration only word that someone posted was that they were unaware of this news when asked.

Think Bandung_Dero's comment would also apply to US, if memory is correct.

Can you say Regime Change.
Hmm
Energy-hungry Thailand eyeing Russian LNG imports
Russian companies are interested in supplying liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the Thai market, according to the Russian Energy Ministry. Moscow and Bangkok have a long track record of energy cooperation.

“Russian energy resources – oil, petroleum products and coal – are delivered stably to Thailand. Considering the great importance of natural gas for Thailand’s power generation, as well as the growth of gas consumption, Russian companies are interested in organizing the supplies of liquefied natural gas to Thailand’s market,” Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak was quoted as saying by the press service.

The ministry is also considering the construction of power generation facilities in Thailand as a promising cooperation area for Russian companies.

Thailand's Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan told Sputnik news agency the country is facing a natural gas shortage and sees Russia as a potential new supplier.


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Re: Income Letter

Post by semperfiguy » November 15, 2018, 6:10 pm

I cannot attach the letter from Bangkok Bank to it's customers because of its size, but below is a similar announcement that appeared on the Bangkok Bank, NY website:

Advice to senders using US bank internet banking services
(Taken from Bangkok Bank website on Sept. 30, 2018)

If you have a U.S. bank account you can conveniently transfer funds to a recipient's bank account at Bangkok Bank in Thailand via the internet by completing the steps described below for an international ACH transaction (IAT). International ACH payments are processed in accordance with operating rules and formats developed by the Electronic Payments Association (NACHA).

The IAT is a special code (a Standard Entry Class or “SEC” Code) for ACH payments that enables financial institutions such as Bangkok Bank to identify and monitor international ACH payments and to perform screening to ensure compliance with Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC, U.S. Department of the Treasury) requirements. The NACHA rules require Bangkok Bank’s New York Branch which serves as intermediary, to ensure that payments that are transmitted to account of beneficiary in other country are appropriately classified as IATs and contain information as described below.

Bangkok Bank, New York Branch, is required to receive the ACH transactions in the required IAT format. This means that we must require that senders who wish to transmit funds to recipients at Bangkok Bank in Thailand to provide certain identifying information.

Instructions:

To initiate such an international transaction using internet banking when you log on to your bank in U.S. website, please select the International ACH and provide the following information to your bank:

1. Your name and physical address in Thailand
2. Your bank account number and the name and address of your Bangkok Bank Branch in Thailand
3. The 9-digit routing number 026008691 of Bangkok Bank New York Branch, which acts as intermediary in the transaction.

Important Note:
• As some bank in U.S. may not provide the International ACH thorough their internet banking, please contact your bank on how to process your transfer.
• Once Bangkok Bank’s New York branch receives the payment with the appropriate IAT format, they will process your payment to Bangkok Bank in Thailand for further credit to a recipient's bank account at Bangkok Bank in Thailand.
• With effective from April 1, 2019, New York branch only process ACH with appropriate IAT format and all non-IAT transactions will be returned.
• Bangkok Bank in Thailand will be able to credit the recipient’s account in Thailand only when the name and account number of the recipient in your transfer instruction from the banks in the U.S. matches the recipient’s name and account number at Bangkok Bank.

If you wish to enquire more information, please contact Bangkok Bank, New York on (1-212) 422-8200 or e-mail helpdesk.nyb@bbl.co.th
Attachments
IAT advice to senders using US bank internet banking services.docx
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