Thailand is a wonderful place to visit on holiday and many foreigners who travel to Thailand wish to retire here later in their lives. For such foreigners, Thailand offers a very convenient form of visa – the retirement visa.
1. Requirements of the Retirement Visa
The retirement visa (or non-immigrant O-A visa) is available to foreigners aged 50 years or older who have sufficient financial means to retire in Thailand. The visa itself is usually valid for one year, and as a holder of the Thailand retirement visa, you are allowed to enter or leave the country as often as you like during the duration of the permit. While you are in Thailand, you need to report to the local immigration office every 90 days for the so-called “90 days report”. If you wish to renew your Thai retirement visa, you may do so within one month before its expiration date.
To qualify for the retirement visa in the first year, you need to have a Thai bank account and obtain a bank statement which proves that a balance of at least 800,000 THB has been deposited. Alternatively, you are also eligible if you have a pension of at least 65,000 THB per month. Combinations of these two options are possible, too.
2. First Entry to Thailand
If you do decide to apply for this visa, please note that there are two kinds of procedures in the onset, depending on whether you prefer to start the process while you are in Thailand or your home country. Please see details as follows:
a) Entry with Tourist Visa
If you are in Thailand on a tourist visa or visa exemption, you may convert it into a non-immigrant visa at the Immigration Office in Thailand (Order of the Immigration Bureau No. 49/2558). Please note that the remaining validity of the current permission to stay must be more than 15 days at the time of such application to convert. The new visa will then extend your permission to stay for another 90 days. In order to convert, you must present a bank statement or proof of a monthly pension. Please note that in this case, the proof of pension / income must be certified by the Embassy or Consulate of your home country in Thailand.
Then, you will need to attend the immigration office again to apply for a one-year retirement visa. For this application, the bank statement must state that funds have been held on the account for at least 60 days.
b) Retirement Visa from Embassy / Consulate Abroad
If you currently live outside of Thailand, you can apply for a retirement visa with one year duration directly at a Thai embassy or consulate in the country you reside. In this case, we recommend you to obtain a multiple re-entry permit as well, to avoid the hassle of obtaining a re-entry permit each time you leave the country.
In order to renew the retirement visa at the Immigration Office in Thailand in the next year, the bank statement should state that funds have been held on the account for at least three months at the time of the application. Alternatively, you are again also eligible if you can prove that you have a monthly pension or income of throughout a year. A certification by the Embassy or Consulate will not be required in this case.
Our office will be pleased to assist you with the procedures mentioned above and guide you through the process step by step.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.