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Thailand Retirement Visa: Process and Requirements

Are you considering retiring to Thailand? Here’s what you need to know about Thai retirement visa process and requirements.

What is a Thai Retirement Visa?

Foreign nationals over the age of 50 who wish to retire in Thailand may apply for a Thai retirement visa. This visa may be applied for at a Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate in Thailand or while abroad. It is officially recognized as a Non-Immigrant O-Long Stay Visa when applied for within Thailand and recognized as a Non-Immigrant OA-Long Stay Visa when applied for outside of Thailand.

A Thai retirement visa allows a retired foreign national to stay in Thailand for a period of 1 year and can be extended every year. You can renew your Thai retirement visa as many times as you want as long as you continue to fulfil all of the visa requirements. This visa is also available as a 5 year or 10 year retirement visa and single entry or multiple entry visas.

Key Points

  • Eligible retirees who are at least 50 years old and meet basic financial conditions are allowed to live in Thailand for up to a year.
  • A retirement visa can be extended every year as long as the applicant meets the financial criteria.
  • A retirement visa is formally referred to as a stay extension conditional on retirement.

 

What is the process of applying for a Thai retirement visa?

1. You can apply for a Thai retirement visa in Thailand or in another country where you currently reside. When submitting your application, make sure to include all of the required documentation as well as the appropriate visa application form. You must do the following when applying for a Thai retirement visa (Non-Immigrant O-Long Stay Visa) within Thailand:

– Start the process by requesting a 90-day non-immigrant visa from a Thai embassy or consulate outside of Thailand, after which you can apply for a retirement visa in Thailand, note that you cannot apply for a Thai retirement visa while in Thailand on a 30-day entry stamp or Tourist Visa.

– Stay in Thailand for at least 60 days or until your existing visa stamp expires before applying for a retirement visa at an immigration office.

– Show proof of address in Thailand which you can do by presenting a rental agreement or utility bill with your name on it.

2. To applying for a Thai retirement visa (Non-Immigrant OA-Long Stay Visa) outside of Thailand, you should send all necessary documentation, supporting materials and a completed application form to a Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in the country where you are currently residing.

3. When applying for a non-immigrant OA visa, you’ll have two options:

– Single-entry visa: May be applied for a single-entry non-immigrant visa OA if you don’t intend to leave Thailand while on your retirement visa. You must apply for a re-entry permit if you need to leave the country whether for pleasure or in an emergency.

– Multiple-entry visa: You can leave and visit Thailand as much as you like with a multiple-entry OA visa. If you know you’ll be coming and going often while staying in Thailand, your best bet is to apply for a multiple-entry visa right away. You must do a 90-day report at Thailand immigration if your visa has been authorized whether you apply within or outside of Thailand.

Remember that not all Thai embassies and consulates will issue Thai retirement visas, so double-check before submitting your application.

Is it important to have health insurance when applying for a retirement visa?

The new law mandates that the applicant or visa holder must have health insurance that covers outpatient medical costs of at least 40,000 baht and inpatient medical costs of at least 400,000 baht. Domestic or foreign insurers may offer policies but the total cost of foreign policies must not be less than the total cost of Thai policies.

Foreign retirees may be assured that they will be cared for if they become sick or experience an accident by requiring them to have health insurance.

Before you can extend your visa, you must have at least three months’ worth of funds in your bank account.

What is the procedure for renewing my retirement visa?

Remember that the conditions for renewing a Thai retirement visa are the same as when applying for the first time and evidence of funds in your Thai bank account must have been deposited and cleared at least 3 months prior to your visa renewal application date. You must also have the following additional documents:

– A TM7 type form that has been completely filled up
– Valid passport
– 2 passport-sized photographs (4 x 6 cm).
– Passport copy and the pages that apply to you.
– A duplicate of your bankbook or passbook
– A letter from your Thai bank confirming your account’s status.
– The fee for renewing a Thai retirement visa is 1,900 Baht (non-refundable).

If your retirement has been renewed, you will be able to remain in Thailand for a year and you are not permitted to work when on this form of visa. In addition, every 90 days, you must report to Immigration to check your current address.

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