JOHN CHAN

Transfer money to Thailand for Retirement

82 posts in this topic

Hi, I am asking this question for an American friend who likes to stay in Thailand on Retirement Visa. To our understanding, immigration laws allow a person to bring INTO Thailand not more than US20,000. Obviously, if you want to retire in Thailand and not working, you will need money more than this to support yourself for many years. Our questions are:

1. Does this immigration restriction applies to retirees coming to stay in Thailand?

2. If he has opened a saving account in a Thai bank already, can he T/T a large sum from US to this account in Thailand?

3. Can he brings in a bank draft of a large sum and fly to Thailand  and deposit into this account?

4. Are the moves in No. 2 and 3 against this immigration monetary restriction?

5. What is the minimum amount of money above which you have to declare, whatever method you bring it into Thailand.In the case of T/T, how can he declare the money which is already wired into his account?

Thanks.

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ID: 2   Posted (edited)

I think you will see loads of people here, that brings a lot more money than that into Thailand, for purpose of building or buying houses... Have not heard about any restrictions.

 

But you will soon hear from more knowledgeable people..

 

Glegolo

Edited by glegolo

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No limits in. Difficulties out. Talking about wiring in money. Bags of cash is another thing.

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1.  Yes, the restriction applies to everyone including retirees. However, I believe the restriction is that one must declare the amount of cash you are carrying with you if it exceeds the equivalent of 20,000 USD.  As far as I know there is no restriction on the amount as long as it is properly declared.

2.  Yes.  This is the most common way of bringing in large amounts of money.  If you transfer over $50,000 (equivalent) a Foreign Exchange Transaction form or similar will be issued by the Thai bank involved in the transfer.  If you are bringing the money into Thailand for the purpose of buying property you should get your Thai bank to document the transactions (using an FET form or equivalent letter) so that your purchase will be accepted at the Thai Land Office (this is a mandatory requirement) and as an aid to you if and when you decide to repatriate that money back to the US.  Bangkok Bank has a particularly favorable mechanism to accomplish the transfer from the US that you should investigate, but almost any bank would be able to do that transfer (subject to fees and an exchange rate).

3.  Yes, but it can take a long time (several weeks) for the funds to become available as most Thai banks will wait until the check clears and funds are actually received from the US bank before allowing you to access the funds.

4. No.

5. You must declare if you carry $20,000 USD or more in cash with you into Thailand.  You must declare (the Thai bank will do this for you via FET form or similar) if you transfer $50,000 USD into Thailand.  As pointed out in 3) you may want to have your bank document large transfers if you are buying property in Thailand as it is required to register that purchase at the Land Office and will be necessary to easily repatriate that money if you later wish to do so.  You can ask your bank to issue you a letter documenting the transfer of money from the US to Thailand after the transfer takes place.  You should try to do this as soon as possible after the transfer.  I'm not sure if there is a period of time after which this sort of documentation will no longer be issued by your bank.

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The customs declaration relates only to cash, anything over USD 20k must be declared - electronic bank transfers can be for any amount and do not need to be declared.

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Your understanding that "immigration laws allow a person to bring INTO Thailand not more than US20,000" is wrong. Neither immigration nor any other government agency impose any limit.

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Your money is always welcome here.

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Your money is always welcome here.


Learn the difference between "reporting anything over the limit" and "limited to". Over the limit - pay the man.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk

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There is no limit to the amount of foreign exchange that can be brought into Thailand.

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Since you say your "friend" is an American, I would add some comments about the USA laws about having to declare more than $10,000 on a US airline.  Sounds simple enough, but from the few accounts I have heard, it can be challenging to do at a US airport.  As I recall, you have to present the form to some TSA office on the day of travel, which may or may not be easy as you have bags, ticketing and check in to do etc.  And I bet the TSA people will not be very familiar with the process and they will have to call some manager, make a lot of calls, ask a lot of questions, etc.  Just suggesting you should check on just how you declare the over 10K on the US flight with the airport you are flying out of.  And I am not even throwing in the nuances of overly TSA officials, and the problems they could present to you, the grilling or scrutiny you might get, etc.

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5 hours ago, Maestro said:

There is no limit to the amount of foreign exchange that can be brought into Thailand.

But cash over USD 20K must be reported to Customs on entry.

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In 2011 I brought in a Cashier's Bank check for about 20,000 U.S. dollars and deposited it in my  Thai bank account.

Took about 2 months to clear my U.S. bank account and show up in my Thai  bank account.

That was the funds for my Thai retirement visa extension.

So yes, it can be done legally.

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I deposit my US tax refund check into my Thai bank account each year and that takes about one month to clear and the bank charge is about 1% of the check value. BUT be aware that some banks in Thailand will not handle ANY financial instruments from the US, cashiers checks or bankers drafts, UOB (Thailand) for example has instructed all of their branches to not have any contact whatsoever with US based banks, US issued financial instruments or the US governement - other banks in Thailand are more relaxed about those things but I don't know the full list of who is and who isn't hence some caution is needed.

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3 hours ago, gk10002000 said:

Since you say your "friend" is an American, I would add some comments about the USA laws about having to declare more than $10,000 on a US airline.  Sounds simple enough, but from the few accounts I have heard, it can be challenging to do at a US airport.  As I recall, you have to present the form to some TSA office on the day of travel, which may or may not be easy as you have bags, ticketing and check in to do etc.  And I bet the TSA people will not be very familiar with the process and they will have to call some manager, make a lot of calls, ask a lot of questions, etc.  Just suggesting you should check on just how you declare the over 10K on the US flight with the airport you are flying out of.  And I am not even throwing in the nuances of overly TSA officials, and the problems they could present to you, the grilling or scrutiny you might get, etc.

This is the FinCEN 105 Form you have to fill out if you wish to leave the US carrying $10,000 or more in cash:

https://www.fincen.gov/sites/default/files/shared/fin105_cmir.pdf

You have to find the proper person/office to give your completed FinCEN 105 Form to at your US departure airport.  That's not as straightforward as it may sound.  While incoming passengers have easy contact with US Customs and Border Protection officers the same is not necessarily true with departing passengers.  You should contact your departure airport and ask specifically where you need to turn in your FinCEN 105 form.  I guess you could also try contacting the US Customs and Border Protection agency to find out the same information.  My guess is that you're going to get a lot of "I don't know" type responses.  Good luck!

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Oh, I guess it needs to be said that you can't avoid the US $10,000 declaration limit by giving your friend $6,000 to carry while you carry $6,000 yourself.  The $10,000 declaration limit would be triggered if you and your friend are travelling together.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/195/kw/MAXIMUM MONEY TO TAKE OUT/session/L3RpbWUvMTQ5MjgxODQzOS9zaWQvS1RUMnJIZ24%3D

Quote

 

Please be aware, if persons/family members traveling together have $10,000 or more, they cannot divide the currency between each other to avoid declaring the currency.

For example, if one person is carrying $5,000 and the other has $6,000, they have a total of $11, 000 in their possession and must report it on a FinCEN 105. If a person or family fails to declare their monetary instruments in amounts of over $10,000, their monetary instrument(s) may be subject to forfeiture and could result in civil and or criminal penalties.

 

 

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This is my recommendation for bringing money from the US to Thailand:

http://www.bangkokbank.com/BangkokBank/PersonalBanking/DailyBanking/TransferingFunds/TransferringIntoThailand/ReceivingFundsfromUSA/Pages/ReceivingFundsfromUSA.aspx

 

I have done this many times both for my annual retirement extensions and to purchase a condo.  I've never had any problem.  You can sign up for SMS notification which will let you know the moment the money hits your Bangkok Bank branch in Thailand.  If you're lucky you may be able to do the online ACH transfer to Bangkok Bank's NYC branch for free (it's up to your financial institution if they allow free domestic ACH transfers).  Two or three days later the money is in my Bangkok Bank account in Thailand.  Bangkok Bank charges a fee that is taken out of your transfer as it passes through the NYC branch.  You are also assessed a standard fee when the money reaches your Bangkok Bank branch in Thailand.  Both of these fees are minimal as stated at the link referenced above.  

 

There is a one-time-only setup needed, from then on it's as easy as clicking online and waiting to receive your SMS telling you the money is in your branch bank in Thailand.  No US government forms need to be filled out.  The amount of money that can be transferred in this manner is unlimited.  However, be aware that if you transfer more than $50,000 into Thailand a Foreign Exchange Transaction report will be made by your Thai bank.  Also, if you are purchasing a condo you will want  your bank to issue a document indicating that the money was brought into Thailand for the purpose of purchasing property (this can be a FET or similar).  Also, realize that having  $10,000 or more in a foreign financial institution will trigger the need to file an annual FBAR report to the FinCEN of the US Treasury Department.  The FBAR is filed online.

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from usa use bangkok bank branch  in nyc; it is a domestic transfer within the usa; low service fee, good exchange rate; been using it for years

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Some banks limit the amount for such ACH transfers to BB. The one I use does. Only 2k per transaction. Also if you are presenting yourself to a US bank with your US address, logging in from Thailand, and transferring to Bangkok Bank even domestically sooner or later the bank security department is likely to get suspicious. Banks are legally mandated to know their customers. Speaking from experience.

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2 hours ago, skatewash said:

This is the FinCEN 105 Form you have to fill out if you wish to leave the US carrying $10,000 or more in cash:

https://www.fincen.gov/sites/default/files/shared/fin105_cmir.pdf

You have to find the proper person/office to give your completed FinCEN 105 Form to at your US departure airport.  That's not as straightforward as it may sound.  While incoming passengers have easy contact with US Customs and Border Protection officers the same is not necessarily true with departing passengers.  You should contact your departure airport and ask specifically where you need to turn in your FinCEN 105 form.  I guess you could also try contacting the US Customs and Border Protection agency to find out the same information.  My guess is that you're going to get a lot of "I don't know" type responses.  Good luck!

Yes.  My memory was that there was a poster here last year that did it going out through LAX.  As I recall he had to go to some TSA /customs office on the ground level that of course was not the Bradly or international terminal he was flying out of.  I quote the information on the form:  "C. Travelers—Travelers carrying currency or other monetary instruments with
them shall file FinCEN Form 105 at the time of entry into the United States or at the time of departure from the United States"

 

Good luck with that. 

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5 minutes ago, gk10002000 said:

Yes.  My memory was that there was a poster here last year that did it going out through LAX.  As I recall he had to go to some TSA /customs office on the ground level that of course was not the Bradly or international terminal he was flying out of.  I quote the information on the form:  "C. Travelers—Travelers carrying currency or other monetary instruments with
them shall file FinCEN Form 105 at the time of entry into the United States or at the time of departure from the United States"

 

Good luck with that. 

Yes, seems like a giant pain in the neck to me.  Probably by design.  Granted probably not many people do this, but that's no excuse for making it so difficult by not providing clear information on exactly how to do this.  I've searched online for this information and not found anything useful.  One might be forgiven for thinking that the US Government is trying to discourage people from taking cash out of the country.

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18 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

Some banks limit the amount for such ACH transfers to BB. The one I use does. Only 2k per transaction. Also if you are presenting yourself to a US bank with your US address, logging in from Thailand, and transferring to Bangkok Bank even domestically sooner or later the bank security department is likely to get suspicious. Banks are legally mandated to know their customers. Speaking from experience.

Both good points.  Vanguard allows unlimited free ACH transfers, but both my bank and credit union either limit the amount and/or impose transaction fees to do the ACH.

I never interact with any US financial institution online without using a VPN set to look like I'm in the US.  I use the free Hola VPN for this purpose.  I understand there is a free VPN built into the Opera browser, but I haven't used it yet.  If I contact any US financial institution by phone (which I almost never do) it's always via my US VOIP phone number (MagicJack).  

I even have to send by mail a form to my US IRA custodian every year to accomplish a recharacterization of my traditional to Roth IRA conversion.  The form must be sent by mail, it cannot be done online or by phone.  I put my letter to Vanguard in a stamped envelope that I enclose in another envelope which I send to a friend in the US.  They open the big envelope and pop the small envelope in the mail.  I simply don't want any of my correspondence to Vanguard marked as coming from outside the US.  This probably strikes some as paranoia, but I realize that if Vanguard finds out that I reside outside the US bad consequences will follow:  forced account closure, restrictions on trading US stocks and mutual funds, etc.  Nothing good comes from your US financial institution finding out that you live outside the US.

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8 hours ago, skatewash said:

Both good points.  Vanguard allows unlimited free ACH transfers, but both my bank and credit union either limit the amount and/or impose transaction fees to do the ACH.

I never interact with any US financial institution online without using a VPN set to look like I'm in the US.  I use the free Hola VPN for this purpose.  I understand there is a free VPN built into the Opera browser, but I haven't used it yet.  If I contact any US financial institution by phone (which I almost never do) it's always via my US VOIP phone number (MagicJack).  

I even have to send by mail a form to my US IRA custodian every year to accomplish a recharacterization of my traditional to Roth IRA conversion.  The form must be sent by mail, it cannot be done online or by phone.  I put my letter to Vanguard in a stamped envelope that I enclose in another envelope which I send to a friend in the US.  They open the big envelope and pop the small envelope in the mail.  I simply don't want any of my correspondence to Vanguard marked as coming from outside the US.  This probably strikes some as paranoia, but I realize that if Vanguard finds out that I reside outside the US bad consequences will follow:  forced account closure, restrictions on trading US stocks and mutual funds, etc.  Nothing good comes from your US financial institution finding out that you live outside the US.

All excellent examples and clues as to what a US Expat has to deal with.  As I approach retirement and spending time abroad, I will be keeping a close tab on how to handle things.  My current broker is Etrade, and except for a few posts I read here, I don't really know how easy or difficult they will be to deal with if I am overseas.  I believe I heard that Schwab is reasonable when handling overseas things.  And when I leave my current employer and roll over my last company 401k monies, I will probably use them.  If nothing else I think it is a good idea to now have just all my business with one broker, despite the convenience.

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I don't know why everyone is making such a song and dance about this??

When I transferred money ( 120,000 Gbp ) from my UK bank ( Clydesdale )

to SCB here to my FCD account in Thailand to buy my first condo I just did

normal cash transfer, only requirement was to tell my UK bank why the

money was being transferred nothing more, no need to carry thousands of

pounds/dollars on your person, rather foolish thing to do imo.

I apologise in advance but I really don't understand why you Americans insist

on making things overly complicated for yourselves?? It seems you need to pay

agents/accountants to do everything for you, do it yourself it's not rocket science

boys.

Edited by phuketjock
addition
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I sold a hoose in Scotland and by the time the money was creditted to my account, I had moved to Chiangmai. The Clydesdale Bank would only accept a postal application via their own downladed form and the postal service took 18 days to deliver a registered letter to my bank. The bank manager telephoned me in Chiangmai to check that I had actually sent it. The money was in Kasikorni Bank HQ in Bangkok within 48 hours. I spoke to the branch manager who telephoned Bangkok and arranged for me to be sent a Foreign Exchange Form by Email. I completed the form, Emailed it back and for good measure took a hard copy to my branch of Kbank. The amount minus a small fee was in my account the next day.

Well done Clydesdale and Kasikorn Banks but Nul Pointes to Thai Postal Service.

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