Over the past few months there have been many letters highly critical of the new financial requirements for obtaining the non-immigrant retirement visa.
But having just renewed my retirement visa, I have nothing but praise for the new system.
Previously I had to drive the near 400-kilometre round trip from Rayong to Bangkok to obtain the Australian Embassy stamp on a statutory declaration of my income. Incidentally, mine was a truthful declaration, unlike many expatriates who lied about their finances.
Now all I have to do is go to the local branch of my bank and obtain a 12-month statement showing the remittances into my account from Australia.
The cost of a 12-month statement is Bt200, so not only do I save myself the long trip to Bangkok and back, but I save on the Bt500 the embassy used to charge to witness my statutory declaration.
For good measure, I was in and out of the Maptaphut Immigration Office in less than 25 minutes.