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.
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. 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, then there is the Thai Embassy in Malaysia, the Thai Embassy in Cambodia and also the Thai Embassy in Laos. These embassies are the most commonly used embassies in Asia as they are close via a cheap airline ticket. The embassies which are used are abroad tend to the ones that are deemed foreigner friendly such as the Thai Embassy in Hull for those in the UK, the Thai Embassy in Washington for the Americans and finally the Thai Embassy in Canberra if they are Australian.
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.
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.
- – 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.
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