The standard Thai Retirement Visa, also known as the non-immigrant “O-A” visa, is a wonderful opportunity for retirees looking to spend their sunset years in paradise to find that ideal home. Thailand offers numerous benefits including a warm climate, welcoming people, affordable cost of living, and accessible healthcare.
However, not just any foreigner qualifies to simply relocate here. The government requires applicants for this visa to meet certain conditions, including attaining certain financial standards. It is possible to request a retirement visa from within Thailand, or when abroad through the local Thai embassy or consulate. This “O-A” retirement visa is valid for 1 year and is renewable every year, with no limitation on the number of renewals as long you can keep meeting the visa requirements.
The basic requirements include:
- Being 50 years of age or older
- Have a valid passport with at minimum one year to expiration
- Be a citizen or permanent resident of the country of application
- Proof of funds
- Police clearance
- Medical certificate
- Proof of health insurance from an approved Thai provider
There is also an “O-X” retirement visa that foreigners may seek if from a certain shortlist of countries. This visa is valid for 5-year durations and renewable only once more for a maximum period of 10 years.
It is important to note that the O-A retirement visa does not allow the holder to take up work of any kind. This means you should have other means of supporting yourself. If you wish to work in the country or start a business, you will need to request a work permit, while outside the kingdom.
To acquire an O-A retirement visa, you need to prove that you have sufficient savings, pension, or income that you will be receiving that you can depend on for your upkeep. The financial requirements include:
- Have a Thailand bank account with a cleared balance of at minimum THB 800,000, no less than 2 months before making your visa application, or,
- Be receiving a monthly pension or income of at minimum THB 65,000 (with a supporting income affidavit from your embassy in Bangkok) or,
- Have a combination of bank account savings, pension, and income that total THB 800,000
As indicated above, you need to have these monies deposited in a recognized Thai bank. So having a Thailand bank account is a requirement. As proof of the funds, you will need to request your Thai bank to provide you with:
- An up-to-date passbook or bank book
- A letter of confirmation stating that you have a balance of at minimum THB 800,000 within your account that has been received from abroad. Should also indicate that the balance has remained clear for a minimum of 2 months before the date of the visa application.
- As proof of pension or income, you need to provide 12 months’ worth of bank statements that show regular monthly deposits of at minimum THB 65,000 into your Thailand bank account. This should be accompanied by a certified bank letter from your Thai embassy.
As said, the O-A retirement visa is valid for one year and should be renewed yearly. The visa holder will need to submit the same requirements at the time of renewal. When it comes to the bank requirements, the visa holder should ensure the funds have been in the account for a minimum of 3 months before the time of renewing their visa.
For those applying for an O-X retirement visa, the financial requirements are different. They include:
- Have a security deposit of at minimum THB 3,000,000 in a Thailand bank account
- Have an annual income of at minimum THB 1,200,000
As part of the evaluation, the Immigration officials will look at the balance of your account at the time of renewal and where monies have been spent. If your balance is less than THB 3,000,000 at the end of the first year or less than THB 1,500,000 at the end of the second year, you risk having your visa revoked.
If applying for your retirement visa while in Thailand, you will likely be on a 90-day initial non-immigrant visa. You will need to wait for a minimum of 60 days to pass on this visa, or be on the last 30 days to submit your retirement visa application. You should use this opportunity to open a Thailand bank account immediately on arrival and build up the financial records necessary to support your visa application.
You also have to provide some proof of address in Thailand. You can use documents such as a rental agreement or utility bills as evidence. In a bid to keep track of all expatriates in the country, the Immigration Department also requires those on retirement visas to submit to a 90-day reporting requirement. This means checking in with the closest immigration offices every 90 days on your current address, even if it does not change. This may be done by submitting the required documents in person, online, via registered mail, or through an authorised person.
You may request the retirement visa as a single or multiple-entry. If you know you will be travelling out of the country during the validity period of your visa, it is best to seek a multiple entry visa. If you however opt for single entry and need to travel, just ensure you request for a permit for re-entry at the closest Immigration offices or at the international airport you use before leaving the country to avoid cancellation of your retirement visa.
If you are from one of the 64 countries, you don’t require Thai Visa prior to traveling to Thailand as the following passport holders can enter Thailand on an Exempt Visa stamp for 30 days. Once you are in Thailand on a 30 days Exempt Visa Stamp. Meet one of our Thai Visa Experts directly at the nearest Immigration office who will assist you to process Non Immigrant O (Retirement) Visa. Non Immigrant O is a Visa type with the reason of Retirement. Non Immigrant O (Retirement) Visa is valid for 3 months but is renewable yearly just before its expiry. Normally, it is called Extension of stay on a Non Immigrant which is valid for 12 months and of course the passport validity has to be more than a year. If your passport validity is less than a year then the validity of Extension of stay will be as per the passport validity. If you are 50 years of age or above and you are from one of the 64 countries as follows, it is recommended you to enter Thailand with 30 days Exempt Visa stamp. We can assist you with processing and Securing Non Immigrant O (Retirement) Visa along with the Extension of stay without any hassle. Please note, you don’t require mandatory health insurance to secure Non Immigrant O (Retirement) Visa.
Passport holder of 64 countries that are allowed to enter Thailand under Visa Exemption Stamp.
- Argentina (90 days)
- Brazil (30 days and 90 days)
- Cambodia (14 days only)
- Chile (90 days)
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- Korea (30 days and 90 days)
- Myanmar (14 days only)
- New Zealand
- Peru (30 days and 90 days)
- San Marino
- Slovak Republic
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
Choosing A Thai Bank
There are multiple options when it comes to banking in Thailand. Some of the most popular options include:
- Bangkok Bank
- Kasikorn Bank
- Bank Of Ayudhya, Or Krungsri
- LH Bank
- Siam Commercial Bank
- Krungthai Bank
Bangkok Bank is a top choice as the biggest retail bank with 31 international offices in 14 countries. This outreach has made it popular with foreigners who need to manage their transactions both locally and abroad. It also means that many foreigners can proceed with opening a Thai account while in their native country, without needing to engage a visa company. They can link to PayPal accounts, offer a mobile app, and can provide a Visa debit card. Bangkok Bank was also named the most trusted bank in Thailand by BrandAge Magazine.
When choosing a Thai bank, it is a good idea to look into accessibility depending on where in Thailand you intend to relocate to. You will naturally want a bank that has a branch near where you will be living. You may also want to know if the account you are choosing will allow you ATM access or you may only be able to use a passbook. Interest rates on savings and fixed accounts are also a concern for many. This can change periodically, so make enquiries to find out where you can secure the best deal.