If you have been thinking about wanting to retire to the wonderful country of Thailand for a while, but are not sure what the Expenses would be, or how you go about it, hopefully this information will help you.
In order to qualify for the “O-A” retirement visa the main “key” measurement that the Thai Immigration Department are interested in is your ability to support yourselves, and therefore not be a burden on the Thai Kingdom, to meet this requirement you have to be able to prove the following:
1/ that you have a regular MONTHLY incomeof a minimum of 65,000thb this can be from investments/bonds/bank interest or pension – they don’t really care where it comes from,as long as it is proven income!.
2/ IF you cannot meet the income required at no/1, you then have to show proven savings of at least 800,000thb or a mixture of both no1/ & no/2 but to a total savings amount of 800,000thb.
These funds can be located in any series of bank accounts anywhere in the world, but they HAVE to have been deposited there for at least 6 months (to ensure that you DO actually have the money!).
IF you can meet the above financial criteria, the way that you PROVE your savings/income is by getting your own country Embassy or Consul to write you an official validation letter to the Thai Immigration Department confirming the details, this has to be completed BEFORE you apply for your retirement visa, but not longer than 30days before you apply.
The above points are the “KEYS”, there are a few others, but generally they are a breeze:
A/ that you are over 50 years old.
B/ that you have not been BARRED from entering the Thai Kingdom.
C/ that you have no SERIOUS criminal record either in your own country or Thailand.
D/ that you have no contagious diseases.
E/ that you have at least 12 months validity on your current passport.
F/ that you have a current Non-Immigrant “O” visa, which is an annual visa allowing 90 day stays in the Kingdom, at the end of each 90 day period you have to do a “visa run” to re-charge your visa. You MUST have at least 3 months left on this annual visa when you apply for the “O-A” retirement visa.
G/ if you are seeking a retirement visa as both husband & wife, the ORIGINAL of your marriage certificate MUST be presented.
IF you can meet all of the above, the retirement visa is quite straightforward, it takes quite a lot of “form filling” (the Thai’s like their paperwork), but you will get through it fine !!.
After receiving your “O-A” retirement visa for Thailand ,you need to report to your local Immigration Department every 90 days, they will update your passport & issue another 90 day “pass”.
To renew your “O-A” visa (done annually) you merely take a NEW official letter to the Immigration Department confirming that you still can meet the financial requirements, and a new one year (90 day stamp) visa will be issued.
The “key points” to achieve the “O-A”retirement visa are listed above,I have however attached below the ACTUAL unabridged version of the Thai Immigration Department retirement visa details for your further information.
This information is specific to UK passport holders, but is also identical for both US & Australian passport holders.
Passport holders from all other countries should contact their own Embassies or Consuls for their own specific requirements:
To be eligible to retire in Thailand you must:-
a) be aged 50 years or over.
b) not be prohibited from entering the Kingdom under the Thai Immigration Act BE 2522 (1979).
c) not have a criminal record in your country of nationality or your country of residency or in Thailand.You need to contact your local Police Force and request a “Subject Access Report”. Please be aware it can take 30-40 days for it to be issued. Furthermore, please note the report must be submitted to the authorities in Thailand within three months of date of issue of the report.
d) not have a medical record of any contagious diseases. You need to obtain a medical report from a hospital in Thailand. It must not more than three months old. It must state you have not been infected with any contagious disease in accordance with Thai Immigration Regulation No.14 BE 2535 (1992). The form on page 8/8 is for completion by a doctor in Thailand.
e) be able to support yourself financially. It is necessary to show an income into a Thai bank account of minimum 65,000 baht per month by way of a pension, Investments, etc or a minimum of 800,000 baht in a bank accountin Thailand or a mixture of the two..
f) hold a passport with a minimum of 12 months validity at time of entering Thailand.
Provided you can meet the above requirements, the next process is to apply for a Non-Immigrant category “O” visa.
When you have received your ”O” visa you need to ensure you have all of the following documents which you must take with you for presentation at the “Thai Immigration Bureau” in Bangkok (Thai Immigration Bureau, Section 1, Sub Division 1, Soi Suan Plu, off South Sathorn Road, Sathorn District, Bangkok 10120 – tel: 00 66-22873101-10 Extension 2236).
Or alternatively the town/city closest to where you will be living in your retirement:-
1) Passport containing your “O” visa, passport to be valid for at least one year from date of entering Thailand.
2) Three “Additional Application Form for Non-Immigrant ‘O-A’ Visa” duly completed and with recent passport type photograph 4cm x 6cm attached to each one.
3) Subject Access (police) Report – to be no more than 3 months old when presented in Thailand.
4) Medical Report form – to be completed by a doctor in Thailand
5) Evidence to show minimum income of 65,000 baht per month going into abank account in Thailand or minimum 800,000 baht deposited in a bank account in Thailand (a combination is accepted).
We advise applicants to visit the Thai Immigration Bureau at the earliest opportunity although you may be asked to return after having been in Thailand for 60 days.
If your application is approved you will be issued with the non-immigrant category “O-A” long stay visa by the relevant Thai Immigration Bureau
In the case of wishing to be accompanied by your spouse, the marriagecertificate must be presented at the Thai Immigration Bureau, along with separate copies of the above information as the spouse must also must meet all of the individual requirements.
Documents will be processed and the actual length of stay (usually one year) will be determined and granted at the Thai Immigration Bureau. This process should be completed within three months of applying.
Having been in the Kingdom up to a maximum of 90 days from issue of the “O-A” visa, applicants must report themselves to the Thai Immigration Bureau concerned and every 90 days there after. Alternatively they can report by post by completing Form TH-47 which can be obtained at the Thai Immigration Bureau.
After staying in the Kingdom for one year and wishing to extend the stay, this can also be done by submitting an application to the Thai Immigration Bureau and by showing documents to confirm your financial status meets the requirements (65k baht monthly income or 800k baht lump sum in Thai bank – subject to alteration without notice).
In the case of the spouse wishing to extend their stay on the “O” visa they must produce their Marriage Certificate.
Please note it is not possible to work in Thailand with the “O-A” visa
Please understand that the procedures outlined above are the official ones as issued by the Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangkok