Steps on how to apply for a Thailand Retirement Visa

Do you want to live out your retirement years in Thailand? Then, it would be best to prepare to get a Thailand Retirement Visa. With this visa, you get all the benefits of being a foreign retiree in Thailand. If you are wondering what those benefits are and how to get the visa, keep reading.

Thailand is a beautiful country with magnificent terrain, produced by its lush greenery and picturesque beaches, creating a wonderfully calming and pleasant setting. It is not unexpected that visitors from other countries become fascinated and wish to retire to this gorgeous area of tropical paradise. Even with all these in place, the most enticing part of retiring in Thailand is the low cost of living; this means you won’t burn through your retirement savings too fast.

A Thailand retirement visa is a travel authorization that the Thailand consular authorities issue to foreign nationals who are at least 50 years old and wish to immigrate to Thailand. In this article, you will discover all the necessary steps and requirements for applying for a Thailand retirement visa so you can retire in style and comfort.

Types of Thailand Retirement Visas

Foreigners who desire to retire in Thailand can apply for one of two types of retirement visas from the Thai government. They are:

  1. The One-Year Thailand Retirement Visa (“O-A” ): This visa is given to foreigners from all nations who are 50 years of age or older and is valid for one year with the possibility of renewal every year.
  2. The Ten-Year Thailand Retirement Visa (“O-X” ): This is only granted to foreigners from specific countries who are 50 years of age or older and is valid for five years. It can be extended one more for up to ten years.

Eligibility Requirements for a Thailand Retirement Visa “O-A”

The Thailand retirement visa O-A is open to citizens of all countries. However, to qualify for the visa, you must meet the following additional criteria;

  • You must be at least 50 years before you apply.
  • You must not have been convicted of any crimes in any country; you must have a clear criminal record.
  • You must either have a security deposit of at least THB 8000,000 in a Thailand bank account at least two months before your application, a monthly income of at least 65,000, or a combination of a security deposit and annual income of at least 800,000 Thai Baht.
  • You cannot have any of the following diseases if you want to get a Thailand visa: Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Elephantiasis, Addiction (Drug/Alcohol), or Third Phase Syphilis.
  • For your stay, you must get Thai health insurance with minimum yearly coverage of 40,000 Thai Baht for outpatient care and 400,000 Thai Baht for inpatient care. One of the organizations the Thai General Insurance Association has recognized must be the one to provide health insurance.

Eligibility Requirements for a Thailand Retirement Visa “O-X”

To apply for the ten-year Thailand retirement visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be up to 50 years before you apply for this visa.
  • You must have an account in Thailand with a security deposit of at least THB 3 million or a minimum yearly income of THB 1.2 million.
  • You must not have any diseases: Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Elephantiasis, Drug or alcohol addiction, or Third Phase Syphilis.
  • Every year, you must report to the Immigration Officers in Thailand to check that you still meet the criteria.
  • For your stay, you must get Thai health insurance with minimum yearly coverage of 40,000 Thai Baht for outpatient care and 400,000 Thai Baht for inpatient care. One of the organizations the Thai General Insurance Association has recognized must be the one to provide health insurance.

Finally, the Thailand Retirement Visa O-X is only open to citizens of the following countries;

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • the United Kingdom
  • Netherland
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • the United States

Required Documents for a Thailand Retirement Visa

Before beginning, you should note that the embassy or consulate where you apply may ask you to provide some extra documents at their discretion. First, however, there are essential must-haves for the process. They include:

#1. National Passport:

Your passport should contain at least one blank visa page and is valid for at least another six months. Your passport must be valid for at least 18 months if you request a one-year visa.

#2. Application Form

You need to fill and sign two application forms here; the regular visa application and the Thai retirement visa application. You can download them from the embassy or consulate’s website or get them on-site when you apply.

#3. Passport-Sized Photograph

Next, you need a recent passport-size photo of yourself (taken within the previous six months) that meets the following criteria;

  • a white background
  • You must be looking directly ahead with a neutral face.
  • Your complete face should be visible.
  • Headgear is only permitted for religious purposes if it does not hide the face.
  • Only glasses that do not conceal your eyes and have light frames are permitted.

#4. Proof of Financial Ability

You may provide one of the following (as appropriate) as proof that you fulfill the above-described financial requirements:

  • Bank Statements and a Letter of Guarantee attest to the Thai Bank’s deposit, which is by the criteria outlined in the “Eligibility…” section above.
  • Bank records demonstrate a yearly income of at least the amount shown in the “Eligibility” section above.
  • A Notary Public must certify the bank statements.

#5. Criminal Records

You also need a police certificate proving you don’t have a criminal history. The police authority in your country has to provide this for you. In addition, a Notary Public must certify the certificate.

#6. Health Certificate

A health certificate no older than three months. This certificate must attest that you tested negative for any forbidden diseases (Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Elephantiasis, Addiction (Drug/Alcoholism), or Third Phase Syphilis). A Notary Public must certify the certificate as well.

#7. Proof of Health Insurance

Proof of health insurance meets the Thai General Insurance Association’s requirements, which provide yearly coverage of at least 40,000 Thai Baht for outpatient care and 400,000 Thai Baht for inpatient care.

#8. Visa Fee

Finally, you must also provide the processing charge for your Thailand retirement visa.

How to Apply for a Thailand Retirement Visa

  1. You should contact the Thailand Embassy or Consulate before submitting your visa application. If they have a website, you may also visit it. You can find their business hours, days off, and preferred form of payment for the visa cost.
  2. If it is necessary, schedule an appointment.
  3. Gather the essential paperwork for the Thai Retirement Visa.
  4. Send in your visa application and supporting documentation. You can either apply in person or via mail. In the case of the latter, you must include a pre-paid, stamped envelope with which the embassy will return your documents to you.
  5. Remain patient while the embassy processes your visa. When the processing time is due (usually five to ten working days), they will contact you to tell you whether or not your visa application was successful.
  6. Retrieve the visa and passport. The embassy will mail it to you if you send your application via mail.

Where to Collect Your Thailand Retirement Visa

You will have to visit the immigration office when the embassy approves your visa. You must sign the visa form before the immigration officers while presenting your passport. After approving the application, the immigration staff stamps the passport.

Things To Do After Getting your Thailand Retirement visa

Upon receiving a Thailand Retirement Visa, you may enter the nation for as long as the visa is valid. However, there are several regulations that all foreigners living in Thailand must follow. Two requirements are that you notify your address to Immigration every 90 days and that you must apply for a Thai Re-Entry Permit if you want to exit Thailand.

#1. Obtain a Re-Entry Permit

A re-entry permit allows you to re-enter the nation after leaving while your visa is valid. Some individuals don’t understand how an extension of stay and re-entry permission vary from one another. Extension of stay is the governing date that dictates how long you may stay in the nation. The re-entry permit, however, is dependent upon the continued validity of your visa extension. However, your extension of stay is immediately void if you depart Thailand without permission for re-entry. Nevertheless, this restriction is only applicable if you hold a single-entry visa. You can quickly leave and enter the country again if you hold a multiple-entry visa.

#2. Reporting Your Stay Every 90 Days and Visa Expiration

If you have a long-term extension of stay, you must check in with the immigration police or the ministry of foreign affairs every 90 days. 

#3. Extending Your Visa

You can request a visa extension at the immigration office in Thailand each year if you have a one-year retirement visa. On the other hand, the Thai O-X Retirement Visa requires that you apply for an extension after five years, at which point you will receive a second 5-year visa. If you cannot extend your stay in Thailand, you must apply for a new non-immigrant visa at a Thai Embassy or Consulate overseas.

You must submit the following documents to prolong your retirement visa:

  • the completed Visa Extension Application Form TM.7
  • a passport-size photo
  • copies of your whole passport, each page signed
  • proof of lodging in Thailand
  • proof that you satisfy the financial requirements to live in Thailand

Thailand Retirement Visa Fees

Depending on the type of visa you are looking for, there are various fees for Thailand Retirement Visas. Your country of residence also determines how much you pay, but you can expect the prices listed below:

  • For a 1-Year Thai Retirement Visa (Single-Entry): 2,000 Thai Baht
  • For a 1-Year Thai Retirement Visa (Multiple-Entry): 5,000 Thai Baht
  • For a 5-Year Thai Retirement Visa: 10,000 Thai Baht

Frequently asked questions

#1. Can I travel to Thailand on a retirement visa with my spouse or my dependent family members?

You are permitted to travel to Thailand with your immediate family. However, if they are not eligible for one of Thailand’s retirement visas, they must apply for a non-immigrant visa.

#2. What is the required amount to retire in Thailand?

The Thailand retirement visa does not permit you to work in the country. Hence, the estimated amount you need to retire in Thailand is about $390,000 (US).

#3. In Thailand, where is the ideal location to retire?

One of Thailand’s top locations for retirement is Koh Samui. Anyone seeking tranquility can live a quiet existence there. However, it also draws retirees and foreigners who desire a thriving nightlife and a busy social life.

#4. Does Thailand impose taxes on foreign pensions?

During retirement, only income derived from sources within Thailand shall be liable to tax. As a result, you don’t need to pay tax on any money you receive from abroad. Additionally, pensioners in Thailand are exempt from paying personal income taxes.

#5. What is the most affordable area to live in Thailand?

Chiang Mai is the least expensive city in Thailand, where you can avoid the crowds of Bangkok and enjoy delicious street cuisine and historic architecture on a budget. The projected cost of living in Chiang Mai is $800 per month, including affordable housing and delicious local restaurants.

Conclusion

Spending your days as a retiree in Thailand is an excellent idea. You don’t need to work, your pension isn’t even taxed, and you enjoy the magnificent scenery. However, once you get the necessary documents and follow the procedures listed above, little can stop you from getting your Thailand retirement visa.

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