If you are 50 years or older then you can obtain a Thai retirement visa to live in Thailand. If you are married to a Thai national then you also have the option of applying for a Thai marriage visa as the requirements and paperwork are much lower than for the retirement visa.
Thai Retirement Visa
The Thai retirement visa starts with the Thai embassy either in your home country or at a Thai embassy in Asia. The visa is known as the Thai O-A visa on the form. See the documents for more information.
You need to complete the visa form and hand it in with the documents needed. Note you need to be 50 years of age or over when you apply for the visa at the embassy. This is very important as they will not issue the visa if you have not already celebrated your 50th birthday.
Where does the Retirement visa for Thailand start?
Most people who retire have already lived in Thailand before they turned 50. For these expats living on multiple entry visas, business visas or tourist visas they tend to gravitate towards the embassies in Asia to start the process. The most common ones are the Thai Embassy in Penang
The amount of expats in Thailand is not really known as expats do not need to report to their embassies but looking at the British figures it tops 50,000 in the expats abroad report. You need to complete the form at the embassy and provide them with the following documents:
- – Copy of your passport
- – Completed Application form (TM 87)
- – 2 passport photos
There is not much needed at the embassy as they will check your age from your passport which you have handed in. It is the extension that is where all the documentation is needed.
What documents are needed for the Retirement visa?
Once you enter Thailand you can go to any immigration office in Thailand but stick to an office where you are going to be living as you will have to renew the retirement visa after one year. Below is a listing of all the immigration offices in Thailand. See where you live and which office to contact.
- – Application for Extension of Temporary Stay in the Kingdom (TM.7)
- – One photograph – 4cm x 6 cm
- – Application fee of 1,900 Baht
- – Passport (original)
- – Photocopies of the following pages:Face page in passport
- Page showing your O-A or O visa
- All your extension stamps if this is a renewal
- Copy of the very first entry stamp when you entered Thailand on the visa
- – Photocopy of your Departure Card TM6 in your passport
– Original Letter from your Thai Bank certifying your account and showing your balance of 800,000THB in the bank account;
– Original Letter from your Thai Bank certifying your account and showing your income of 65,000THB each month or a combination or the two;
– Photocopy of your bank passbook Identity page showing name and account number and page(s) showing funds on deposit
– Evidence of your current address – if you rent, a photocopy of lease/rental agreement
This is about it according to what is normally required at Thai Immigration in Pattaya however things do change but this is what is being accepted and the process which gets followed for the extension of the 90 day O-A visa which you have.
Thai Immigration North (Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Song, Chiang Mai) Thai Immigration Central (Lopburi, Trat, Rayong, Pattaya, Bangkok) Thai Immigration South (SongKhla, Saturn, Krabi, Phuket) Thai Immigration North East (Udon Thani, Sisaket, Nong Khai, Khon Khaen) The documents needed are listed as follows. Each immigration office might have their own way of doing things. Note that these are the basics but it is not very difficult to do.
Retirement Process in Thailand
There are two types of visa options for individuals who are interested in retiring in Thailand. The first option is an O-A Retirement visa which is obtained in your home country before entering Thailand. The second, and most common is the extension of stay based on retirement which is processed at immigration inside Thailand. Our service is available for an extension of stay visa which is processed inside Thailand.
Extension of Stay based on Retirement.
You are eligible for a one year visa extension on the basis of retirement you are able to meet the following criteria:
1. 50 years of age, or over.
2. Possess a Non-Immigrant type visa.
3. Meet the minimum financial criteria of 800,000 THB in a Thai bank account, or a verified income/pension of 65,000 baht per month, or a combination of savings and income.
Step 1: Obtaining an NON-Immigrant Type Visa
In order to make the application for a retirement visa extension you must first possess a NON-IMMIGRANT type visa. A non-immigrant visa can be obtained at a Thai embassy or consulate in most countries. Normally, an application for a single entry, 90 day NON-Immigrant O visa is made for the purpose of extending the visa at immigration in Thailand. Typically, you can show your passport (with an appropriate birthdate over 50) and some general evidence of the required funds (a standard bank statement).
Under some circumstances, at some embassies and consulates, they are not willing to issue a NON Immigrant Visa. In this case you can obtain a 60 day tourist visa. This which can later be changed over to a Non-Immigrant type visa at Immigration in Thailand. Please note, that changing over the tourist visa adds another step at immigration. This as it requires you to present the identical documents as a retirement visa. Be aware, you can ONLY make the application for extension within the last 30 days of the validity of the NON-O visa.
Step 2: Meeting the Financial Requirements.
1. Showing 800,000 THB in a Thai Bank account. In this circumstance you must show evidence of 800,000 THB which has been transferred into a Thai bank account from outside the country. This and has been resident for at least two (2) months before the application. To prove this, you must obtain documentation directly from your bank. You will require a Tor Tor 3 (foreign exchange certificate), a certified statement of account, and an updated bank book.
2. Show an income or pension of 65,000 THB per month. For this method you must obtain an ‘affidavit of income’ from your embassy. This is a certified statement declaring your income. Various embassies have different requirements for issuing this document. You should contact your embassy directly for additional details on obtaining this document. Please note: it is recommended to supply additional ‘evidence of funds’ to the immigration officer. This as they are aware that some embassies do not ask for any supporting documentation when issuing the income affidavit.
3. Combination of funds. Firstly this will require documentation from both sources noted above (1&2). The combined total must be 800,000 baht or over. Note: Some immigration officials request a minimum of 400,000 THB resident in the bank account for the combination method.
Step 4: Making the Application.
Finally applications for retirement visa must be made at the Thai Immigration Bureau in the area which you reside. An immigration specialist or lawyer in Thailand will review your documents. Then also complete the application forms, and accompany you to immigration to represent you in the visa extension process.