THAILAND

RETIREMENT VISA EXTENSION

Thailand known for its warmth, fascination and delicacy have now become one of the hottest destinations for retirement among many Westerners. There can be two legal approaches to obtain a retirement visa.

  • The initial step will be to apply for a Non-Immigrant O-A (retirement visa) Visa prior to your arrival in Thailand.
  • Alternatively, and perhaps the easier approach will be to enter Thailand on a different form of visa* and then change your status. Subject to meeting certain conditions, there is a procedure by which you can postpone your visit with 12 monthly increments on the basis of your retirement.

* Please note that a ‘free-on-arrival’ 30-day tourist visa will not be considered as you will be restricted to enter Thailand unless you are holding either a return ticket or an onward ticket to another country.

The basic requirements to become eligible for granting an extension of stay on the basis of retirement are:

  • You are aged 50 years or above**
  • You fulfill basic criteria for criminal, character and health checks.
  • You are able to meet the minimum financial requirements.
  • You are not employed in Thailand (even in a voluntary capacity).

**If your spouse is under 50 years of age (and does not qualify for a retirement visa) we can also help them obtain a suitable alternative visa (usually a Non-Immigrant O Visa).

The asset and income requirements are also considered, and these are simply to ensure that you can adequately support yourself, and will not become a burden on the Thai community.

You need to get hold of the following criteria to become eligible :

  • A Thai bank account maintaining a minimum of 800,000 THB or
  • A minimum amount of 65,000 THB per month ongoing source of income, such as a pension.
  • Both criteria 1 and 2(Thai bank account + monthly income x 12 = 800,000)

Upon your arrival in Thailand, a member of our staff will meet with you to discuss your situation and will accompany you to the Immigration Bureau if necessary. If you have entered Thailand on a tourist visa then it will be first upgraded to a non-immigrant visa. This step will ensure your visit to Thailand for a further three months.

At this stage, you will also need to establish a Thai bank account and transfer sufficient funds to satisfy the requirements noted above. The regulations formulate that these funds must have been held in your Thai bank account for a minimum of two months before you apply for an extension of stay based on retirement.

After two months have elapsed we will accompany you to the Immigration Bureau, for the application of 12-month visa extension on the basis of your status as a retiree. Also, remain aware of attending the office of the Thai Immigration Bureau which is closest to the area in which you reside.