Thailand Retirement Visa Requirements

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Thailand retirement visa requirements have tightend over the past 5-years right across the board. Thailand was once a place where visa laws were lax and could be easily circumnavigated if you had money or contacts. Times have changed and with the 5 and 10 year blacklisting punishments being imposed on those who overstay, it is even more important to have your visa documentation in check.

Anyone serious about retiring in the lands of smiles needs to be aware of the current Thailand retirement visa requirements. It’s essential that you get a retirement visa so you can stay in the country for extended periods of time. You shouldn’t be worrying about visas or constantly having to border hop for one and three-month tourist visas at this stage in life.

Here is a comprehensive guide to understanding the latest retirement visa requirements so you can reside in the Land of Smiles with comfort and peace of mind.

Where do I get my Thailand retirement visa from?

If you are planning to retire in Thailand and need to apply for your Thai retirement visa, you can either apply at a Thai embassy in your home country, or you can apply at a Thai embassy in Thailand when you arrive here.

Although some people opt to use the services of a visa agent or company to help them acquire a Thai visa, it can become quite costly. However, by using the information in our Thailand retirement visa requirements guide, you can go it alone while keeping costs to a minimum. If money isn’t an issue then speaking with visa service companies might be best for you.

Thailand Retirement Visa

– Getting your visa outside of Thailand

You can obtain a Thai visa by visiting a Thai embassy or consulate in your home country before you come here. Just remember that not all Thai embassies and consulates in foreign countries issue these types of visas so you will need to check the availability beforehand at your local Thai embassy.

When applying for a retirement visa outside of Thailand, it will be a non-immigrant OA visa that you will require. This type of Thai visa allows you to stay in Thailand for one year, which then can be renewed each year. The options for a non-immigrant OA visa are either single-entry or multiple-entry.

– Getting your visa in Thailand

If you are deciding to get your Thai retirement visa when you actually get here in Thailand, you need to visit the official immigration office in Bangkok with the required documents (see below). Here is the official address for the immigration office and the GPS map location:

Division 1 Immigration Office in Bangkok

Address: 120 Thanon Chaeng Watthana, Khwaeng Thung Song Hong, Khet Lak Si, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10210

GPS Location: 13.880178, 100.564513

Things to remember:

In most cases, you might initially have to apply for a non-immigrant visa O in order to get a one-year non-immigrant OA or retirement visa. This will give you a 90-day stay in the country and after you have been here for 60-days, you are then eligible to apply for your retirement visa, which will be valid for one-year.

Thailand Retirement Visa

Basic Requirements to Obtain a Thai retirement visa

Now you fully understand where you need to go to obtain your visa, depending on whether you are already in Thailand or organizing your Thai visa while still in your home country, it is imperative to know the Thailand retirement visa requirements you need to fulfill to obtain your visa.

You must obtain some kind of non-immigrant visa to even apply for your Thai retirement visa.

STEP 1: Getting your non-immigrant visa

Requirements:

  • Valid Passport (with at least one year remaining before its expiration date)
  • Proof of permanent residence of the country of application (official document with your name on the address
  • Proof of your funds (bank statement details)

Step 2: Getting your one-year Thai retirement visa

Requirements:

  • You must be 50 years old or over
  • Valid passport (signed copies of every page)
  • Have a non-immigrant visa
  • Your Departure Card TM.6
  • Proof of funds meeting financial requirements (see below) 
  • A Thai bank book and a letter from your Thai bank with proof of deposits
  • 3 4x5cm passport-style photos of your full face

The only time you will be expected to visit the immigration office for your retirement visa will be upon its approval. At this time, you will be expected to appear at the immigration office with your passport and sign paperwork for the visa under the supervision of immigration staff. They will then stamp your passport at the moment of approval.

Thailand Retirement Visa

What are the financial requirements for obtaining a Thai retirement visa?

You can’t simply rock up to immigration with your documents and expect to get a Thai retirement visa without proof of funds to retire in the Kingdom. You need to have your financials in order to obtain the requisite visa. This is a standard procedure in any country outside of your home nation where you are looking to retire. The financial requirements for obtaining a Thai retirement visa are as follows:

Proof of 800,000 THB in a bank account (or) monthly income of at least 65,000 THB.

This could also break down as a combination of (Bank Account + Income = 800,000 THB).

IMPORTANT UPDATE TO THAILAND RETIREMENT VISA REQUIREMENTS

From the beginning of January 2019 several changes to Thailand retirement visa requirements were made. Several embassies in Bangkok for major Western nations such as the UK, US, Australia and others will now not be able to notarize or lay witness to your statutory financial declarations from banks in your home countries.

The rules say that Thai immigration needs retirees and other long-term visa applicants to verify their income or provide a bank balance before obtaining your visa. In the past, the vast majority of visa applicants would simply show their funds in the bank accounts back in their home countries. However, some international embassies in Bangkok cannot now officially verify or notarize those bank statements from foreign banks any more like they did in the past.

What can I do to meet the long-term stay financial requirements?

The only way to ensure you meet these financial requirements is to transfer the required funds directly to your Thai bank account. This is the simplest way to ensure you meet the financial requirements of Thai immigration.

It is important to have the requisite funds in your Thai bank (as stated in the previous section) 90 days before you apply for the visa. You cannot simply transfer the money to your Thai bank account a few days before applying for a visa. The money has to stay there to show you have enough funds to live in Thailand.

For a detailed explanation please visit Latest Thailand Retirement Visa Update 2019

Other things you need to remember about Thailand retirement visa requirements

Even after you have obtained your Thai retirement visa, there are other ongoing issues that you will have to deal with. You may want to fly in and out of Thailand during your yearly visa period, and if so, you will need to know more about re-entry permits. Even if you have a Thai retirement visa and are not planning to go anywhere over the course of the next 12-months, you will still have to adhere to 90-day reporting at your local immigration office. Here is some info regarding both issues:

– Re-Entry Permits

Thailand retirement visa requirements state that you need to fly out of Thailand during the 12-month visa period, you will need a re-entry permit or your visa could become invalid. Sometimes people like to use Thailand as a base to explore other places in Asia, or want to fly home for short periods to see family and friends or for emergencies. If so, you will need a re-entry permit, which you can apply for at the same time you apply for your Thai retirement visa.

Here is a list of requirements you will need to fulfill to get your re-entry permit:

  • TM8 Form
  • A copy of the first page if your passport that shows the picture
  • A copy of your passport pages with your latest visa stamp
  • A copy of passport pages with your expiration date
  • Copy of your Arrival Card
  • 1 photo sized 2”x2”, colour with a front view taken within the last 6-months with your name on the back

– 90-Day Reporting

When you already have your one-year Thai retirement visa, you will still have to report to your local immigration office every 90 days. Those who have a multiple-entry visa that can re-enter Thailand can fly or travel out of the country and come back every 90-days, but if not, you will have to undergo the 90-day reporting procedure.

Here is a list of Thailand retirement visa requirements and items you will need to take to the immigration office for your 90-day reporting:

  • A copy of the first page if your passport that shows the picture
  • A copy of your passport pages with your latest visa stamp
  • A copy of passport pages with your expiration date
  • Copy of your Arrival Card
  • Proof of address in Thailand such as copy of Rental Agreement

Thailand Retirement Visa Requirements Recap

As you can see, as long as you follow the correct procedure and can show proof that you meet their Thailand retirement visa requirements, you will easily obtain a Thai retirement visa. It is important that you firstly apply for a non-immigrant 90-day visa, which will then make it easy for you to apply for your retirement visa.

But don’t forget to either get a multiple-entry visa if you want to leave and return to the Kingdom over the 12-month period, or if not, you will have to report every 90-days to your local immigration office.

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