Retiring in Thailand as an expat

Retiring in Thailand
Updated 2022-05-06 14:20

Thailand has a lot to offer, and it is easy to fall in love with the Land of Smiles with its rich culture, gastronomic foods, and lovely people. The Kingdom can be the best place for you to retire in if you could meet the standard requirements and regulations for getting the retirement visa.

Below, we will explore the benefits of retiring in Thailand and the administrative requirements for organizing your stay.

Benefits of retiring in Thailand

In Thailand, the reason why tourists and expatriates are hooked on the place is the incredible standard of living. Consumer prices are reasonable, housing is cheap, and you will be able to afford luxuries that aren't available to you in the west. To retire comfortably in the Kingdom, there are a few baseline numbers to think about. With a cushion of $25,000 in savings, or on a retiring earning of $2,000 per month, a retired couple could live a simple but comfortable life.

Some choose to live in Bangkok and do not miss owning a car. The area is also safe, reasonable, and efficient. Some live in the North of Thailand such as Chiang Mai where life is quiet and peaceful. Others choose the South where beautiful beaches in areas like Phuket and Koh Samui abound. Also, many like to enjoy the beauty of the sea but stay within a close distance to Bangkok, so they choose the beach towns of Pattaya or Hua Hin for their retirement. Whether you choose to live in the north, south, east, or west of the country, rest assured that everything will be worth it given the beauty of the Kingdom.

The process for retiring in Thailand

There are four steps to acquiring a visa to retire in Thailand. First, you have to obtain a non-immigrant visa by providing the Thai consulate with your passport and proof that you have enough funds. The financial requirements are:

  • Bank account with THB 800,000 or
  • Monthly income of at least THB 65,000 or
  • Combination (bank account and income per year exceeds THB 800,000)

The second step is to obtain a one-year retirement visa. You must be 50 or older to receive this and have a Thai bank book and a letter from your Thai bank. You will also need to provide photos and a departure card and a passport.

Third, you must obtain an 'extension of stay' notice and a re-entry permit, which will allow you to re-enter the country if you ever leave it.

Lastly, you must report to the Immigration Police every 90 days to check-in and verify your address. You may not be accepted on a retirement visa if you have any sort of criminal history.

Requirements for a Non-Immigrant Visa 'O-A' (Retirement)

To apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa 'O-A' (Retirement), the candidate must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be 50 years of age or over.
  • Passport (must have at least one year (18 months preferred) remaining until it expires
  • The holder of this type of visa is allowed to stay in Thailand for one year.
  • Holding the nationality or permanent residence of the country from which you are applying
  • Proof of financial requirements
  • Letter from the bank showing evidence of deposits
  • Employment of any kind is strictly prohibited (including volunteer work).

Eligibility for Retirement Visa

To be eligible for a Retirement Visa, the following criteria need to be met:

  • Applicant must be aged 50 years and over (on the day of submitting the application).
  • Applicant is not prohibited from entering the Kingdom as provided by the Immigration Act B.E. 2522 (1979).
  • Applicant must have no criminal record in Thailand or in the country of his/her nationality or the country of his/her residence.
  • Not having prohibitive diseases ( Leprosy, Tuberculosis, drug addiction, Elephantiasis, third phase of Syphilis) as indicated in the Ministerial Regulation No 14 B.E. 2535.
  • You must have at least 18 months of validity on your current passport

If you are thinking about retiring abroad, Thailand is worth considering. A substantial expat community already enjoys the country's natural beauty, bizarre cuisine and beautiful climate, plus access to affordable health care and some of the lowest costs of living in the world.

Useful link:

Thai Embassy Retire in Thailand

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