Many people dream of retiring to a peaceful Thai village or in a small town by the sea on a Thai island. Thankfully, Thailand is a place that encourages retirees by offering them a special visa. Here we explain how to retire in Thailand and what steps to follow and what paperwork needs to be filed to receive the coveted retirement visa for Thailand.
Retirement in Thailand is easy if you meet the requirements, have the right paperwork and file your documents in a timely fashion to the appropriate Thai agencies.
A lawyer practicing in Thailand and trained in Thai law can make this process even easier. It’s easy to find a verified lawyer that specializes in acquiring the retirement visa for Thailand for their clients. Simply visit the Asia Law Network portal and filter your search for a lawyer by specialty and country. You can depend on the lawyers listed on ALN – we have vetted each one for you. All lawyers listed on ALN have been verified so you can rest assured that you are getting access to the highest qualified professionals.
Here are some useful facts to know before starting the process of retiring in Thailand:
1) You must be 50 years old
At the time of application to legally retire in Thailand, the applicant must have reached their 50th birthday. Any person over 50 years of age is eligible as long as they meet the other requirements for legal retirement in Thailand.
2) You must be able to support yourself
One of the eligibility requirements for legal retirement in Thailand is being able to financially support yourself without working in the country. Holders of retirement visas may not, under any circumstance, work in Thailand.
To prove that you are able to comfortably support yourself, applicants must be able to prove that they have one (or a combination of) the following:
- A bank account (Thai or foreign) showing a balance of THB 800,000 or the foreign currency equivalent held in the account for a minimum of three months
- A minimum income of THB 65,000 monthly
- A combination of the two (account balance + (monthly minimum income x 12) = THB 800,000)
If you are proving your income from foreign banks, pensions or other sources, Thai immigration officials will request bank statements translated into Thai by an approved translator.
3) Two visas are actually required for retirement in Thailand
One thing you need to know about how to retire in Thailand is that it actually takes two visas.
First, an applicant must enter the country with a Non-Immigrant Visa. A retirement visa can only be applied for from inside Thailand but the applicant needs to first apply for a visa to go the the country – this is the Non-Immigrant Visa. Apply for this at your home country’s Thai embassy. You will need to supply your passport, the proof of financial eligibility and be a permanent resident of your country of citizenship.
The one-year retirement visa can be applied for once you are inside Thailand. The official name of this visa is the “Non-Immigrant OA Long-Stay Visa” though it is most often just referred to as the “retirement visa.” Requirements for this visa require a signed copy of each page of your passport, proof that you are above 50 years of age, a Non-Immigrant Visa, your departure card and proof of meeting the financial requirements.
4) Show up and be counted
Like all foreign, long-term visa holders in Thailand, you must make a visit to the local immigration office each 90 days to check in and verify your address and paperwork. This painless visit may take half-a-day at the busy Chaeng Wattana government complex in Bangkok but will usually take a few minutes if you choose to take your retirement in a less busy part of Thailand.
5) Annual renewal
Once you have your one-year retirement visa in hand, it’s time to relax into your new Thai retiree lifestyle. Be sure to keep all of your financial accounts and paperwork in order though. Those who hold the one-year retirement visa and want to extend for another year will be asked to provide the same paperwork about finances every year that they wish to extend their retirement in Thailand.
These retirement visa requirements can change without notice, as can the paperwork required for each step. A qualified lawyer can help to guide you through any recent developments quickly and easily. Find a verified law professional in Thailand on Asia Law Network today.
This article is written by Adrian Mah from Asia Law Network.
This article does not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion on any matter discussed and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and practice in this area. If you require any advice or information, please speak to practicing lawyer in your jurisdiction. No individual who is a member, partner, shareholder or consultant of, in or to any constituent part of Interstellar Group Pte. Ltd. accepts or assumes responsibility, or has any liability, to any person in respect of this article.