Thailand’s farang forum, Thaivisa, has conducted two unofficial polls that indicate that many expats will be calling it quits and leaving the Kingdom. The polls are a response from the affected ThaiVisa audience, not indicative of the total expat population living in Thailand.
The polls have been undertaken in the wake of new regulations issued by Thai immigration requiring retirees to lodge money for several months in a Thai bank account.
The unofficial polls report that, while nearly half of those on the Facebook poll say they would be leaving, nearly 70% on the website pages say they expected to “ride out the storm”.
On the ThaiVisa website the question was asked… “Will the new financial requirements force you to leave?”
• 22.72% said it would seriously jeopardise their stay
• 69.38% said they would not have to leave
On their Facebook page, a similar question was more clear cut. Asked if the tough new financial requirements for retirement extensions (visas) would force people to leave:
• 51% said No
On the website forum 461 people responded to the survey. On their Facebook page, 968 people responded.
Some opined (grammar and spelling corrected)…
“It does appear that this administration, and especially the biggest joke, are trying to do everything in their power to discourage expats from staying here.”
“To call them ignorant, fearful, xenophobic, non-visionary, and misguided would be a vast understatement. Biggest Joke said he would make things easier and simpler. He is doing just the opposite, and barely even disguising his contempt for foreigners.”
“He is the single biggest threat to the expat community right now.”
“One can only hope that, come election time, all of this nonsense will be over, and both Prayuth and especially the biggest joke, will be sent out to pasture for the rest of their lives.”
“These new rules will hurt the Thai economy if almost half leave unless they change to a spousal visa if they are married of course.”
“The Thai Baht is another major factor in how people can survive here and only the Government can step in and bring it back out of its inflated state which will also improve exports as we all know the weaker the baht the more other countries can import just common sense instead of greed .”
“I will take a wait and see approach before cashing in my chips here in Chiang Mai.”
“One week it’s a new set of financial criteria, the next week it’s something different. I tend to agree that Thai Government Officials simply don’t want us here on a long term basis so they go about putting these ridiculous impediments in our way.”