Retiring In Thailand- Obtaining Your Visa

Retiring In Thailand visa

Leaving your home country to live in another is one of the biggest decisions you might ever make. One might wonder why anyone would do such a thing, but if you ask the 80,000 retirement visa holders in Thailand, they can give you some pretty good reasons! A lot of retirees feel the need for a fresh outlook on life, or an escape from the cold winters that become harder to endure with each passing year, or to live in an economy where their pensions can buy them a higher standard of living than they can back home. Whatever their reasons maybe, Thailand has a lot to offer the retiree looking to enjoy their golden years to their fullest!

For many who choose to retire in Thailand it is the fact that they can afford to live in a much nicer home than they could afford in their country of origin, for example the luxurious Banyan Tree residences that are far more reasonably priced than an equivalent living situation would be back home. Add in the year-round balmy weather that makes Thailand such an enormously popular tropical holiday destination, the fresh and delicious cuisine, and the warm and friendly nature of the Thai people, and you have a combination of perks that would be difficult to beat!

So, what does it actually require to make all of this happen? Let’s take a detailed look at the legalities involved in making this international lifestyle change!

The first thing you will need to do is acquire a retirement visa. This can be a complex process, so it’s good practice to talk to an experienced immigration lawyer to help you navigate your way through all the paperwork! It will take some patience and planning, you are dealing with a government, even though it is mostly a friendly one, and all the ‘i’s need to be dotted and the ‘t’s crossed! Once you have obtained your retirement visa you can enjoy your wonderful new life in amazing Thailand!

So, back to the nitty-gritty details! Thailand offers two main types of Retirement Visas-  O-A, which lasts for 1 year, and O-X which lasts for 5 years. Choosing the one that’s best for you will depend on your personal situation and also on the financial resources you can bring to bear.

To obtain an O-A Thai Retirement Visa you must:

  • Be of at least 50 years of age or older when you make your application.
  • Be in possession of a valid passport with six months of remaining validity.
  • Hold a medical certificate written a licensed physician that states you are free of contagious diseases and are in good health.
  • Be able to prove you have a minimum monthly income of 65,000 Thai Baht (around $1,800 US Dollars), or have 800,000 Thai Baht (around $22,000 US Dollars) deposited in a Thai bank account.
  • Have no record of criminal history. A criminal record check must be obtained from your home country or your country of residence.

The following are the health insurance requirements for an O-A Thai Retirement Visa:

  • Your policy must cover you for the entire period of your Thailand stay.
  • You must carry a minimum health insurance coverage of 3,000,000 Thai Baht (around $100,000 US Dollars) that includes COVID-19
  • Both inpatient and outpatient care must be covered by your policy.
  • A reputable insurance company licensed to operate in Thailand must be the issuer of the policy.

The requirements for obtaining an O-X Thai Retirement Visa and accompanying insurance are almost identical, with these notable exceptions- you must:

  • Be able to prove you have a minimum monthly income of 80,000 Thai Baht (around $2,200 US Dollars), or have One Million Thai Baht (around $27,000 US Dollars) deposited in a Thai bank account.
  • You must carry a minimum health insurance coverage of 400,000 Thai Baht (around $11,000 US Dollars) that includes COVID-19 treatment.

It’s important to note that both O-A and O-X Visa requirements are subject to frequent change. To obtain the most up-to-date and accurate information check with the official Thai Embassy in your country before you proceed with your visa application process.

Re-Entry Permits:

Thailand offers two types- single and multiple. A single re-entry permit means you can leave and return once on the same visa, while a multiple re-entry permit let’s you leave and return multiple times until the visa expires.

90-day Reports:

Expats in Thailand all need to make a 90 Day report to a Thai immigration official to reconfirm your current Thai address. You must visit a Thai immigration office and submit the following documents:

  • Your passport
  • A photocopy of your visa
  • A completed TM.47 form
  • A photo copy of your departure card (TM.6)

It is also possible to submit your 90-day report online to the Royal Thai Police website.

For more information on retiring in Thailand check with the Thailand Government official visa pages. We hope to see you soon!