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Your experience with the Retirement Visa

Hello,
I'm new to Thailand and trying to weave myself out of the 30-day visa run. I'm here because of family (US & EU on work permits) but I entered via a 30-day tourist visa at the airport.

To get a Non-immigrant O visa for 1 year with multiple entries I have to be inside the US--not in a neighboring country here. That might happen if I send my application to the Los ANgeles Thai embassy while I'm visiting friends in Hawaii.

Or I could apply for the Retirement visa. Is this correct--the only requirement is an affidavit from the US embassy that monthly income is $2100 or more?  I was told I don't have to put those funds into a Thai bank account. And I take that affidavit and application to Immigration here in BKK. Those who are on the retirement visa--is it that simple? For a 1-year multiple entry, non immigrant O visa? Is legal assistance necessary?

Many thanks for taking the time to share your experience!

You have to be at least 50 years old.
I depend on the information from my nearest Thai consulate:
http://www.thaiconsulatela.org/service_ … link_id=48
The monetary requirements are (in baht!):
- applicant's bank statement (U.S.) showing a balance in the amount of not less than 800,000 Baht
- or an income certificate with a monthly salary of not less than 65,000 Baht
- or a combination of a deposit account plus a monthly income totaling not less than 800,000 Baht a year.
Immigration MAY ask for criminal background check and medical certification, but that's very rarely called for.

Siam Legal can fast track this process

Thanks, Roderick, I’ll look them up when I hit CNX.

jbeverly :

Hello,
I'm new to Thailand and trying to weave myself out of the 30-day visa run. I'm here because of family (US & EU on work permits) but I entered via a 30-day tourist visa at the airport.

To get a Non-immigrant O visa for 1 year with multiple entries I have to be inside the US--not in a neighboring country here. That might happen if I send my application to the Los ANgeles Thai embassy while I'm visiting friends in Hawaii.

Or I could apply for the Retirement visa. Is this correct--the only requirement is an affidavit from the US embassy that monthly income is $2100 or more?  I was told I don't have to put those funds into a Thai bank account. And I take that affidavit and application to Immigration here in BKK. Those who are on the retirement visa--is it that simple? For a 1-year multiple entry, non immigrant O visa? Is legal assistance necessary?

Many thanks for taking the time to share your experience!

It is true that you will most likely not have to have the money in a Thai Bank or that you have an income of at least Bht 65,000 per month.  However you will be swearing an oath that you do have those funds as required before someone who is has the authority of a Judge or JP for this declaration.  I haven't heard of anyone in Thailand being prosecuted for giving false declarations recently.  TIT

   It's much the same as me going into to see a Thai doctor to get a medical certificate to apply for a Thai driving licence.  I spoke to the receptionist filled in the details on the form, all OK.  My eyes are good haven't got aids or HIV, I'm not insane, don't have syphilis ( thank heavens), pass the eye site test and in general my health is good.  She says 80 Bht please, she signs for the doctor and I give her Bht 80. and I get the paper I say " I need 2",  so we go through the same process again and I pay her another Bht 80.  The doctor could have been out to lunch or down the pub, I still got my genuine medical certificates signed by a doctor with his stamp on them...Thank heavens I now know I haven't got syphilis and  that I'm not mad and my eyes are perfect and my health is good?   This would be a good script for an episode for the Two Ronnies Comedy Show if they were still around, bless them...TIT

Hi! You need to be at least 50 for a retirement visa and must have 800,000 baht in a Thai bank. You could have someone(agent) set that up for you so that all you pay is 25,000 baht per year but I'm not sure what the additional costs are for multiple entries. I heard there are other options but this is what i use. Let me know if you need more info.

You can click on Category and scroll down to visas and click on it. You will find numerous postings with exactly what documentation is needed. Every week someone is asking about visas. Best just to read the previous postings from members who have done it numerous times or pay a firm to help you. I posted a list of all the documents needed on several postings in the recent past... you can find...

roland how many times do you pay the 25000bht per yr ???

'retiredenglishgent'...additional costs for multiple entries. eg. a re-entry permit might cost 2000 baht.
It's been a while since I applied for one so I'm not sure how much it is now.

once the agent has set it up for you do you have to reaply every year and pay 25000bht every year ????

Yes, 'retiredenglishgent' and I've heard of different deals too...like having to keep 400,000 baht in a bank account each time you re-apply and paying 25,000 baht for
15 months so I guess it depends who sets you up. I've also heard of retirees getting a particular 'business' visa that allows them multiple entries.

retiredenglishgent :

once the agent has set it up for you do you have to reaply every year and pay 25000bht every year ????

No. If you're willing to invest 4-6 hours of your retirement time, you can do the renewal procedure, yourself, and keep 23,200. Baht in your own pocket.

In fact, you do not really need an agent, to begin with. You can D.Y.I., as The Thai Immigration Officers will politely guide you though the entire process, to the tune of 1,800. Baht/annually. Done.

In addition, the D.Y.I. 90-day report updates, are free of charge. Regards :cheers:

I'm looking at my receipts and it was 2,000 THB for 3 mth non-immigrant O visa, 1,900 THB for 12 mth extension (retirement) and 3,800 THB for multiple re-entry permit the first time in July 2016. I used income affidavit from US Embassy (cost $50). I paid someone 10,000 THB to do mine in addition to the 7,700 THB in immigration fees first time to make easy...

When I renewed in Sep 2017 it was 1,900 THB for 12 mth extension and 3,800 THB for multiple re-entry permit. I did myself. Again, I used income affidavit from US Embassy (cost $50) + 400 THB for stamp from MFA Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I paid someone 1,000 THB to go to MFA to get the stamp for me at same time they took my Marriage papers there. When I went for my 90-day reporting, I asked if the income affidavit needed to have MFA stamp and they told me yes...

I think 25,000 is a little high, probably can find someone to do for 20,000 first time which should include all immigration fees & MFA fees. Then, you can do your renewals yourself.  You will be going every 90 days anyway to report in unless you're paying for that as part of the 25,000 fee, then it may be worth it for you at least first time...

You need to decide if you want to pay extra for the multiple re-entry permit if you will be traveling outside country. That is 3,800 THB extra.

You can look up costs on immigration website. Good luck.

P.S. The Pattaya City Expat Club website has a good write-up on everything to do.

Zeus.wmo :

I'm looking at my receipts and it was 2000 THB for 3 mth temporary, 1900 THB for 12 mth extension (retirement)  and 3800 THB for multiple re-entry permit the first time in July 2016. I got all at same time.

When I renewed in Sep 2017 it was 1900 THB for 12 mth extension and 3800 THB for multiple re-entry permit.

There are other costs like getting income affidavit notarized if using, or getting MFA stamps if needed but those are not paid to immigration.

You can look up costs on immigration website.

Indeed, your post is more specifically detailed. The IO-Visa the annual fee is 1,900. Baht for the Retirement Visa, and 5,600.Baht grabd total, with ME stamp, is still 19,400. Baht savings to the applicant, when done on the D.Y.I. basis. Thanks for the corrective update, btw.

Anyway, I can definitely relate to paying myself, rather than an agent, nearly $600.00+, for 4-6 hrs. worth of time, and effort, for one day's work, each year. :cheers:

I wasn’t sure where to share this story but I have a retirement visa so thought I would slip it into this thread.

So I got a call while driving two days ago, from a guy claiming to be from immigration.  Being the careful sort I was probably a bit brusque with him, stating that I was driving to the airport and couldn’t really talk.  He insisted we needed to talk but he would call again the next day when I was free.

Yesterday he called to explain that he needed to perform a house visit and gave me enough information to calm my suspicions.  Today he showed up with uniform, documentation and ID.  We talked for a while, he asked some questions and took some pictures as verification that he had done his job.  He later sent me copies of the photos on LINE.

He was not overly surprised that I had not been visited before but he had to be in my area for another inspection today so wanted to get more than one visit done.  The guy before me was a Chinese business owner so there was a huge stack of paperwork he had to go through with him.

His story about why they were doing more inspections was that they started paying more attention after the tsunami in Phuket.  Some of the people who died in Phuket had Bangkok listed as where they were which slowed identification and perhaps angered some foreign governments. 

There has also been an effort to crackdown on crime and those who are dishonest about their reasons for being in Thailand.  They are making an effort to get rid of the bad apples when possible.  Anyway, my first home visit was quite painless and the guy was very nice and very polite.

ARB360 :
Zeus.wmo :

I'm looking at my receipts and it was 2000 THB for 3 mth temporary, 1900 THB for 12 mth extension (retirement)  and 3800 THB for multiple re-entry permit the first time in July 2016. I got all at same time.

When I renewed in Sep 2017 it was 1900 THB for 12 mth extension and 3800 THB for multiple re-entry permit.

There are other costs like getting income affidavit notarized if using, or getting MFA stamps if needed but those are not paid to immigration.

You can look up costs on immigration website.

Indeed, your post is more specifically detailed. The IO-Visa the annual fee is 1,900. Baht for the Retirement Visa, and 5,600.Baht grabd total, with ME stamp, is still 19,400. Baht savings to the applicant, when done on the D.Y.I. basis. Thanks for the corrective update, btw.

Anyway, I can definitely relate to paying myself, rather than an agent, nearly $600.00+, for 4-6 hrs. worth of time, and effort, for one day's work, each year. :cheers:

Wow, my arithmetic is really skewed here, of late. Don't think poorly of me, Zeus. I'm just getting old. Ok?

here is a link to info on retirement and marriage visa by Chuck from Huston.

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohpLnpB60po

Well, here I am in Chiang Mai again.
I went to the Krung Thai bank to change some money (only 30B/$1!) and idly asked about creating a bank account; they told me that I needed to have a retirement visa first! I asked about getting a retirement visa, that a preferred method is to get a Thai bank account first. I used the term Catch-22 and they didn't get it.

Ruffian Dick :

Well, here I am in Chiang Mai again.
I went to the Krung Thai bank to change some money (only 30B/$1!) and idly asked about creating a bank account; they told me that I needed to have a retirement visa first! I asked about getting a retirement visa, that a preferred method is to get a Thai bank account first. I used the term Catch-22 and they didn't get it.

RD, thanks for that sardonic quip. A hearty (daily) laugh is good for the soul. However, you do know, well enough, the vast majority of even (1970s-genre) "educated" Americans, have never quite gotten the Catch-22 drift, and still remain clueless, in 2018. Thus, are you really surprised that a bank clerk (in 2018 Thailand), is not above par level, compared to their "average" American counter-part? Be kindly Cricket now, ok? Regards, :cheers:

2018?

villagefarang :

2018?

Thanks, for the reminder, VF. :lol: Cheers!

As I've said before, I'm not a fan of cricket; they little legs get stuck in my teeth.

Hi - just jumping in on this as I don't see a reply re-your Bank account. Although we came to Chiang Mai on a Retirement Visa from the UK - where the posts above regarding info on Bank statements from your home country should work (never put 800k in a Thai Bank as not needed) - once we had our visa we went to the Bangkok Bank in Kad Suan Keow Mall and set up 3 bank accounts using only our Hotel address as proof of a lease. All other banks wanted a lease first. Bank were superb throughout and their manager is the nicest bank manager I have ever dealt with. Staff superb and 3 accounts working fine. This branch normally help tourist get money from abroad so if you only come on a short term visa first of all, they should help you get a bank account set up. Again, you do not need to deposit 800k here - just get a lawyer or legal authentication of copies of 3 consecutive bank statements (preferably closest months to applying for a visa) and proof of pensions etc from your pension provider etc (always authenticate copies) and you should be OK. I needed a medical but my partner (she) did not. . As for renewing our Retirement Visa, we have not needed to do this yet, but advice given to us from a relative here says he gets the UK Embassy in Bangkok to certify his income and bank statements and that is sufficient. Hope this helps. David

Some informative posts by Zeus and ARB360 above.
Just to add a little incite from 10 years worth of renewals.....

1--The Jomtien Immigration Office requires a letter from your Thai bank even if you are using the income letter from the US Embassy or their traveling show, US Citizen Services has a outreach program where they visit several towns outside of Bangers, regardless of how small the balance is.
2--They also require some proof of your residence whether that is a letter from the owner where you lease or a copy of your Yellow Book.
I got my original retirement visa in Bangkok in 2007 at the old Suan Phlu Office and they did not require either of the above since I had the embassy letter.

As for the Catch-22 dilemma:  yes, it is maddening but oh so very Thai to require a visa that you don't have before opening a bank account that you do need to get the visa.  All I can suggest is to keep trying.  Keep a smile on your face because someone at some bank will get it done for you. I opened my first bank account in Thailand more than a dozen years ago in Pattaya on nothing but a 30 day permission to stay in lieu of a visa.  When I was along with my brother in the Sathorn District of Bangkok trying to open an account for him six years ago we tried....maybe 10-12 banks before one would bite. But keep trying.

The renewals are incredibly easy in my opinion and 1,900 baht as mentioned. The income letter from the embassy is $50 US and the letter from the bank is 100-150 baht. Photo and copy services at the office next to Jomtien Immigration is maybe 100-150 baht and they are very helpful, willing to look over the form I have filled out to spot any omissions and they sort it the way immigration wants them and staples it all together.  They have tables and forms to fill out at the copy shop in Jomtien and I fill it out myself and walk next door to take a number.  I go in the afternoon after the rush is over and go back to pick up my new one year visa renewal the next morning.

The 90 day reporting requirement is easy.  They can be done online to some degree I am told but I just take a baht bus over from Pattaya. A few minutes after scanning the bar code on the bottom of your latest report and they staple the new document in your passport: done. 

The immigration staff in Jomtien is top notch in my opinion. Their professionalism would put some western government offices to shame.  When I bought my condo my significant other had her blue book already but I did not have my yellow book yet when it was time to renew my visa. The folks in Jomtien had her copy her blue book and write a short note saying I lived there, had applied for my yellow book but had not received it yet: done.

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