Thailand Retirement Visa

Thai Retirement Visa


Thailand has over the years become a hot spot in Asia for retirement as the cost of living is low, crime levels are far lower than Europe or Spain and the weather is great most days of the year. Many people see Thailand as an excellent place for retirement. The Kingdom of Thailand has about 76 provinces which offer different attractions, cultures and experiences. It is for these reasons that many foreigners are drawn to retire in this country every year.

The application process for retirement visa in Thailand is pretty straightforward. Over the years, however, this has become a rather confusing subject to many due to the inconsistency in the immigration processes. Not only are the processes varying in the Thai Embassies and Consulates around the world but also with some rules in different immigration offices all across Thailand.

Consider the following guidelines if you wish to retire in Thailand.

Eligibilities

  • The client must be at least 50 years of age or over during the time of the application.
  • The client must meet the financial requirement which could be any of the following:
    • Security deposit of 800,000 baht in a Thai bank; or
    • A monthly income or pension of 65,000 baht; or
    • A total of 800,000 baht combination of personal bank deposit and income or pension for the entire year.

Processing of Visa Application

There are at least two ways on how to get a visa to retire in Thailand:

  1. Application outside Thailand.

    A foreigner who meets the age requirement set by the Thai Embassy (in their country) can directly apply for the 1 Year Non-Immigrant OA visa from their home country. Application for this type of visa requires the applicant to submit a police clearance and medical certificate.

  2. Application inside Thailand

    Getting a 1 year visa extension inside Thailand based on retirement requires an initial application for a Non-Immigrant O visa. The Non-Immigrant O visa is usually applied at the Thai Embassy in the applicant’s home country, but it can also be obtained inside Thailand. However, the applicant must already meet the financial requirement if they wish to go with the latter.

    In addition, applicants of Non-immigrant O visa extension in Thailand must provide evidence of their address in Thailand. Processing of visa extension is done at the immigration office in the same area, or usually the one nearest to their location in case there is none in their city or province.

Renewal of Extension

Once the applicant has obtained a one year extension of stay based on retirement, the extension can be renewed every year within Thailand. The renewal application must be done prior to the expiration of the current visa. The procedure for renewal is the same as for the initial application, and therefore this should be an easier task for retirees who are able to obtain an extension before.

145 Comments

  1. Avatar

    HI,
    I am about to retire when my work permit expires 16th November. I have had a retirement visa before when I was 50 years old, for 6 years. I got offered work for the past 4 years, now I will retire again. I have the required 800,000 in the bank. Do I need any other documents other than the usual bank book? I have a YELLOW BOOK as proof of address.

    1. Consultant

      Kindly contact the immigration office that has jurisdiction over your current residence to inquire about the specific documents that they need.

  2. Avatar

    Is there a way to determine what the UK exchange rate will be in 3 month’s time? Today it is 42.4 baht to the pound? I’m asking because I’m told I have to allow a “cushion” amount of money in my bank account to allow for fluctuations in the exchange rate. I am renewing my retirement visa with a pension plus funds in the bank. But I do not know how much my pension will be and how big is the cushion I need.

    1. Consultant

      You may check Exchange Rate Forecasts from international banks for the next few months to find out about the possible exchange rate from British Pound to Thai Baht.

  3. Avatar

    Can I apply a non-immigrant O-A long stay inside Thailand on my 30 days free stay Or by changing another type of Visa I got outside Thailand? If so, what type of visa do I need to have? The reason I ask is that I don’t have enough time to get all the required documents before I leave my country to process the O-A visa here. I have a flat and blue book in Thailand already.

    1. Consultant

      The O-A visa is only available from your home country. If you wish to apply for a visa based on retirement, some immigration offices allow you to change a 30-day entry stamp to the initial 90-day Non Immigrant O visa that you need before you can extend it to a 1-year retirement visa.
      ​​
      ​You may check with the immigration office in your residence in Thailand if they can assist you and what requirements they will need.​​

  4. Avatar

    I have held the retirement visa continuously since 2013 and my wife since 2014. Both our visas are valid until 3 Dec 2016. However, my wife, on her last visit to our home country India, lost her passport with the valid visa. She didn’t have a photocopy of the visa either. Anyway, she got a new passport made in India and is arriving on a 60 day tourist visa now. Can she get a fresh retirement visa issued along with me when I go to renew my retirement visa soon?

    1. Consultant

      She would have to start the process over by obtaining a 90-day Non Immigrant O visa before she can apply for the 1-year retirement visa extension. In this case, she may need to apply for the 90-day Non Immigrant O visa from the Thai embassy or consulate in India.

  5. Avatar

    I have an existing retirement visa. I have 800k Baht in my account for 2 months prior to expiration of my visa (I made a mistake not having the funds in for 3 months prior). Is it possible to get a letter from the US embassy in Bangkok for the income verification of 65k baht monthly in combination of my 800k?

    Does this letter from the US embassy and my 800k baht avoid the 3 month deposit rule?

    1. Consultant

      In using the combination of a Thai bank account and income affidavit, your funds still need to be in your account for at least 3 months before applying for the renewal. In this case, if the immigration office will accept an income affidavit, you may need to use this requirement solely.

  6. Avatar

    Good morning,
    I am living in Chiang Mai and have current retirement Visa which expires 01.01.2017. May I renew the Visa in November as I have to return to UK in early December for a routine hospital operation? It is possible that I may not leave hospital until early January 2017 by which time my current Visa will have expired.
    Thank you.

    1. Consultant

      The earliest that you can apply for a renewal is within 45 days before your current visa expires. Based on your visa expiration, you may start applying for the extension as early as November 18.

  7. Avatar

    I have a current retirement visa that expires early January. I’m thinking of traveling outside of the country for the month of December. So, can I apply for the next retirement extension a month or so in advance? Actually it would be about forty days before the expiration.

    1. Consultant

      Yes, you are able to renew the retirement visa as early as 45 days before the expiry date. The fee is 1900 baht and the requirements are the same as previous year.

  8. Avatar

    The deposit of 800,000 THB, can it be a deposit in my home country in my case Bangladesh?

    1. Consultant

      It has to be transferred to a Thai bank account for at least 2 to 3 months prior to applying for a retirement visa extension.

  9. Avatar

    I have changed provinces and addresses and need to do a change of address when doing my 90 days. Is their a charge for this?

    1. Consultant

      There is no charge in submitting the change of address. Please know that you only need to inform the immigration about the change if you have moved to another province. If you moved apartment or house in the same province, you do not need to do the change of address form.

  10. Avatar

    I am currently on a Retirement Visa and have been for the past 7 years. I am divorced from my Thai wife and have been granted by the court sole parental power of my 6 year old son. Recently my mother died in Australia and I had to use my pension money to travel twice with my son to Australia to carry out funeral arrangements and finalise my mother’s estate so since December no pension money was transferred to my Thai bank account. I was hoping that the money from the estate would arrive in my Thai bank in March but due to unforseen circumstances in Australia it was held up and did not go in until 8 May 19. My Visa renewal is scheduled for 18 June so it went into Immigration in Kanchanaburi to explain to them as show the bank book with 1 million baht in a 12 month term deposit. They stated that it was not good enough and by law had to be in 2 months prior to my extension. I asked for leniency in this case or an extension of my visa to cover the 2 month requirement. Their answer was no and said it was my personal problem and nothing to do with them. They then stated my only option was to return to Australia and start the application process for a Retirement Visa all over again. I stated that I have my 6 year old son in school and would have to take him out of school for the period of time required which could be up to a month. My priority is my son’s education and start in life and this disruption would only be detrimental to his education here in Thailand. How can I get an extension or renewal of my Retirement Visa without having to leave Thailand and taking my son out of school.

    1. Consultant

      Dear Grant,

      The immigration is correct to inform you that the funds have to be in the account for at least 2 or 3 months prior to the visa application or visa renewal. You may ask for leniency regarding this case, if they do not allow this, your only option is to start the application all over again. This means you will leave Thailand and re-enter on a non-immigrant O visa and 2 months later convert it to a retirement visa.

      Alternatively, you do not need to go back all the way to Australia, you can leave Thailand and re-enter on a 30-day visa exemption stamp and you convert it to 90-day non-immigrant O visa at the immigration office in Kanchanburi. The process for the application of non-immigrant O visa takes 2 weeks. Once you have the non-immigrant O visa, you can convert it to a 1-year retirement visa also in Kanchanaburi and it takes 1 day to process. Please check with your local immigration office if they can do it this way.

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