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Many foreign residents in Thailand have what is commonly known as a retirement visa. However few people know that there is actually no such thing as a retirement visa and what actually happens when you visit the immigration office each year to ‘extend your visa’ is you are granted an extension of stay based on retirement,

There are two ways to start off the procedure to get an extension of stay for retirement and this requires you to have one of two types of visas, a Non immigrant O visa or a Non immigrant OA visa.

But why are there two types of visas and what is the difference?

An OA visa is actually the closest to an actual retirement visa as it is only given to someone who intends to retire in Thailand. This visa can only be obtained outside the country and can usually not be obtained in any local Asian countries but should be obtained in your home country or the country from which you are travelling to Thailand. The main embassies in UK, USA and Australia plus many European countries can all issue non immigrant OA visas to applicants who meet the criteria.

An non immigrant O visa can be issued for many reasons including retirement, marriage, accompanying a retired or working spouse or volunteering. It is also possible to change a tourist visa or visa exempt entry stamp into a non o visa and some immigration offices in Thailand. If you are considering this method in order to retire in Thailand, then please reach out to Key Visa for advice as although the process is possible it is not straightforward and can require expert guidance.

What are the requirements to get a non immigrant OA visa in your home country?

  • Printout of visa application form submitted online, with bar code
  • Passport or travel document with validity not less than 6 months and at least 2 blank pages
  • A medical certificate showing no prohibitive diseases as indicated in the Ministerial Regulation No.14 (B.E. 2535) which include Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Elephantiasis, drug addiction, third stage of Syphilis, and the certificate shall be valid for not more than three months.
  • Certificate of criminal record clearance from your country of residence
  • Financial evidence showing monthly income of not less than 65,000 THB (approx. £1,625) or having the current balance of 800,000 THB (approx. £20,000), e.g. bank statements, proof of earnings, for at least 1 month.
  • Copy of evidence stating that applicants have insurance as per stipulated by the Office of Insurance Commission and health insurance of Thailand which covers COVID-19 related medical expenses, both inpatient and outpatient, no less than 100,000 USD for the whole period of your stay in Thailand. 
  • If you wish to be accompanied by your spouse, the marriage certificate must be attached. But your spouse will be granted Non-Immigrant “O” instead of “O-A”(Long Stay)
  • The Applicant must be of age 50 years old or over.

These are the requirements from the Thai embassy in London, currently they are the only UK embassy authorised to issue non immigrant OA visas, even if you apply at one of the UK consulates they will need to seek approval from London. The requirements are subject to change at any time and may differ slightly from country to country.

What are the requirements to be issued with a Non Immigrant O visa?

The Thai embassies and consulates in most countries can issue non immigrant o visas, during the Covid-19 travel restrictions you will need to check the requirements in the country you wish to get the visa. We advise making plans well in advance to avoid last minute issues.

Financial evidence e.g. A copy of pension statement if the applicant is a pensioner, or a copy of 1-month bank statement showing your income from pension, or 3-month bank statement of at least £10,000

Confirmation of legal residence in the UK or Ireland.

Copy of health insurance that covers COVID-19 related medical expenses, both inpatient and outpatient, no less than 100,000 USD for the whole period of your stay in Thailand.

The applicant must be over the age of 50, but can sponsor his or her spouse to also receive a non immigrant o visa regardless of age with no extra income required.

Many people choose to apply for a non O visa instead of a non OA visa as the requirements are much less.

Both types of visa are issued outside the country for a single entry of 90 days.

You should apply at your nearest immigration office to extend your visa for one year when your visa has less than 60 days before expiry. Don’t leave it to the last minute in case you need additional paperwork or the requirements change. Aim to apply to extend your visa no later than 30 days before it expires.
Before you can extend your visa, you will need to open a Thai bank account so that you can show a balance or monthly income. Click here to read our guide on opening a bank account in Thailand.

What is needed to extend a non immigrant O visa based on retirement in Thailand?

A monthly pension income of at least 65,000 baht per month transferred from your home country to a bank account in Thailand or 800,000 THB deposited in a Thai bank account for at least 60 days if this is your first extension. For subsequent extensions, the money needs to be in the bank for at least 90 days.

2 x passport photos
A completed ™ 7 form
1900 THB application fee

If you are not sure if you meet the financial requirements to extend your visa, please contact Key Visa for advice.

What is needed to extend a non immigrant OA visa in Thailand?

The requirements for extending a non OA visa in Thailand are slightly different and more complex than extending a non O visa.

A monthly pension income of at least 65,000 baht per month transferred from your home country to a bank account in Thailand or 800,000 THB deposited in a Thai bank account for at least 60 days if this is your first extension. For subsequent extensions, the money needs to be in the bank for at least 90 days.

A letter of verification issued from the country of his or her nationality or residence stating that the applicant has no criminal record (verification shall be valid for not more than three months and should be notarised by notary organs or the applicant’s diplomatic or consular mission).

​​A medical certificate issued from the country where the application is submitted, showing no prohibitive diseases as indicated in the Ministerial Regulation No.14 (B.E. 2535) (certificate shall be valid for not more than three months and should be notarised by notary organs or the applicant’s diplomatic or consular mission).

​​Health insurance not less than 40,000 baht coverage for outpatient and 400,000 baht for inpatient medical fees.

2 x passport photos
A completed ™ 7 form
1900 THB application fee

If you are not sure whether you meet the financial or other requirements to extend your non immigrant OA visa then please contact Key Visa for advice.