A Retirement Visa Is The Most Popular Long Stay Visa Choice In Thailand
Many people who come to stay in Thailand are 50 years of age or over and have a regular passive income so this visa is understandably quite popular. A retirement visa is perfect not only for retired people, but anyone who both qualifies and wishes to stay in Thailand for a long period of time as this visa can be renewed yearly.
**Please note that you cannot legally work in Thailand if you have an extension of stay based on retirement.
What are the requirements of a Thai Retirement Visa?
You need to be at least 50 years of age
You must demonstrate that you can financially support yourself in Thailand for the 1 year duration of the visa
1. You must have ฿800,000 in a Thai bank account, and it must be there for at least two months before your visa application. For consecutive visas the money has to be in the bank 3 months before you apply for the visa, so keep your balance topped up. You need a letter from your bank verifying the balance and a copy of your bank book.
3. Instead of the ฿800,000, you can show an income of ฿65,000 per month without having to bring the funds to Thailand. You accomplish this by bringing details of your income over a 3 month period, e.g. bank statements etc., to your associated embassy and receiving a notarized letter that states your monthly income to present to Thai immigration. If you are a British Citizen, we can help you to obtain that proof of income letter.
2. You can put the money equivalent to 800,000 Thai baht in a foreign currency bank account, in your native currency. This is also acceptable as long as it has been in the bank for 2 months. There are many banks in Thailand which now offer foreign currency accounts including: Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank and Kasikorn Bank.
4. If you have an income of less than ฿65,000 per month you can use this together with monies in a Thai bank that equate to ฿800,000 for the year. E.g. if your income is ฿50,000 baht per month, that is ฿600,000 for the year. You then must deposit ฿200,000 Thai baht in your Thai bank so that the two together make up the necessary ฿800,000 for the year. Please note: the money has to be in the bank for the two month period before you apply for the visa.
If working solely with a bank balance, it does not have to be proven that it came from overseas. If you are working from income, such as a pension, you do not have to bring the money to Thailand monthly – just prove the income.
If you are a married couple needing a retirement visa, please read the additional regulations here
How to complete the retirement extension of stay form
You need to fill in your personal details, information from your passport including when you arrived in Thailand and your address in Thailand. Some offices may ask you for proof of address. You can complete the form at the immigration office when you apply for your retirement extension or you can complete it online by clicking the button below and simply save to your computer and print to take with you to immigration.
How long does a retirement visa last for?
A retirement visa is a yearly extension and is renewed every year without you having to return to your home country. Most immigration offices will allow you to renew your visa up to two months before it expires and it is advisable to not leave it to the last minute in case there are any problems. The ideal time to renew is 3 to 4 weeks before the due date. The form needed to apply for or renew an extension of stay based on retirement is form TM7
Which visa is required before I get a retirement extension?
For any long stay visa it is always required to have at least a 3 month non-immigrant visa, normally obtained from overseas. This is not always possible and so if you are applying for a retirement visa, Immigration will now allow you to change a standard 30 day on arrival visa exemption stamp to a 3 month non immigrant visa and a retirement visa all at the same time thus making your first visa would valid for 15 months. **
**Please note you can only do this if you are able to meet the financial requirements.
Once I have the visa extension what must I do?
There are important steps that must take place when you have this visa to make sure you do not overstay in Thailand and also to make sure that you do not lose the valid visa stamp in your passport. details below.
- You must report to any Immigration office in Thailand every 90 days. This is naturally referred to as 90 day reporting. It is the law that a foreigner has to produce his address if staying in Thailand for 89 or more days utilizing form TM47.
- If you wish to leave Thailand to protect your visa you must get what is called a re-entry permit. Obtained from any Immigration office, this is a square stamp placed in your passport that protects your visa so that when you re-enter Thailand through the airport or a border your visa is protected. You would normally obtain the reentry permit around 1 week before you are leaving Thailand utilizing form TM8.
A retirement visa is the easiest and best visa to have if you plan on residing in the land of smiles, are at least 50 years older and have the financial requirements covered.
For more information e-mail [email protected] or call our office on 038 422 131
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