Retirement Visa Thailand: A Step-by-Step Guide
Thailand’s majestic landscape, formed by its rich foliage and scenic beaches make for a very relaxing and soothing environment one could live in forever. It’s not surprising that foreigners find themselves enchanted and wanting to spend their retirement days in this breathtaking piece of tropical paradise.
Persons 50 years of age and older may apply for the Thailand Retirement visa. This makes your stay in Thailand hassle free. If you are interested to do the same, applying for a retirement visa in Thailand would be the first step to take. Listed below are the requirements.
How to Obtain a Retirement Visa in Thailand
STEP 1: OBTAIN A NON IMMIGRANT VISA – CATEGORY “O”
- Passport with validity of at least one year remaining before expiration
- Proof of Accommodation in Thailand (if you apply for this visa within Thailand)
- Bank statement showing proof of funds
- Annual health insurance (as required by some Thai embassy or consulate abroad)
- You must be holding nationality or permanent residence of the country of visa application
- You apply at the Thai Embassy abroad or Thai immigration office within Thailand.
STEP 2: OBTAIN A ONE-YEAR THAI RETIREMENT VISA EXTENSION
Non Immigrant O Extension Requirements:
- Must be 50 years old and above.
- Passport (signed copies of each page)
- Non-Immigrant O Visa
- TM30 receipt
- Proof of meeting Financial Requirements such as bank statement (for income)
- Income Certificate from the embassy in Thailand (applicant’s nationality)
- Thai Bank Book showing deposit account (original)
- Letter from your Thai Bank (certificate must be signed by the bank official)
- Three (3) 4×5 cm photos, with full face taken within the last 6 months.
- Proof of permanent accommodation in Thailand such as lease or rental agreement.
Medical certificate and criminal record certificate are not required for retirement visa application process completed inside Thailand.
STEP 3: OBTAINING A RE-ENTRY PERMIT
Most people misunderstand the different concepts of “Extension of Stay” and “Re-entry Permit”. Sometimes mistaken for each other, you must understand that these are two different things, both of which you would need during your stay.
The Extension of Stay is simply the controlling date for your period of stay. Everything else is dependent on this. Everything is invalidated when your Extension of Stay expires. Extension of stay is usually valid for 1 year. On the other hand, the Re-entry Permit’s validity is subject to the validity of your Extension of Stay. However, leaving Thailand without a re-entry permit automatically invalidates your extension of stay or period of stay.
The Re-Entry permit comes with two options for the Thailand Retirement Visa holder:
- Single entry (1,000 THB)
- Multiple entries (3,800 THB)
Re-Entry permit application is submitted at the airports in Thailand. Immigration Bureau has an Immigration officer assigned before the Passport Control counters for processing these requests.
STEP 4: REPORTING YOUR STAY EVERY 90 DAYS and VISA EXPIRATION
Applicant must report to the Immigration Bureau every 90 days if you are on a long term extension of stay. Persons holding a multiple entry visa will simply depart Thailand and renew their extension of stay after each 90 day entry.
If you cannot obtain your extension inside Thailand, you will have to get a new non-immigrant O visa from a Thai Embassy or Consulate abroad.
You are now a holder of a 1 year extension of non immigrant visa for retirement purposes. Health insurance is not required but the applicant must have applied within Thailand for the visa to be exempt from insurance requirement. Remember to do your reporting every 3 months or commonly referred to as “90 day reporting submitting application to Immigration office either online or in person.
Check the Step-by-step Guide for the 90-day Online Reporting.
Meeting the Financial Requirements for a Retirement Visa
Financial Requirements are as follows:
- Thai bank account showing deposit amount of a minimum of THB 800,000 or
- Monthly income of at least THB 65,000 (monthly income affidavit from your embassy in Bangkok) or
- Combination (bank account + annual income = THB 800,000)
More Information for the Non Immigrant Visa
SIGN-UP FOR THAI RETIREMENT VISA
Your first and only appearance for the retirement visa will be at the Immigration office upon its approval. You must appear in person with your passport and sign the visa paperwork in the presence of the Immigration staff. The Immigrant officer puts a stamp in the passport at the time of approval.
RESTRICTIONS ON RETIREMENT VISA
The Thai retirement visa once approved allows you to stay in Thailand for one year. You are not allowed to have employment while on this type of visa. Also you must report to Immigration every 90 days to verify your current address.
IMMIGRATION BUREAU IS RESPONSIBLE FOR EXTENSIONS FOR THE RETIREMENT VISA
This is a non immigrant O visa issued by the Immigration Bureau. It is valid a one year retirement visa. No medical certificate is required. The holder of this type of visa is allowed to stay in Thailand for retirement purposes and the holder of this type of visa is not allowed to work. Employment of any kind is strictly prohibited. The immigration act forbids working under this type of visa. Please avoid a criminal record by violating this law.