Tourist visas for Thailand are not a problem: you can get one at the airport when you arrive. But, as in most countries, the Thai Immigration Bureau gets serious if you want to live here. So getting a retirement visa in Thailand can be something of a chore, calling for medical certificates, criminal checks, proof of income and – because it’s Thailand – whatever the desk officer asks for on the day you show up. Low-level Thai officials have broad latitude to grant exemptions and waivers – or demand documents not listed in the official Thailand retirement visa requirements. So here’s an introduction to the process and a list of what you’ll need. (If it seems tedious, you can always use the Concierge service, of course, and let us do the work).
Qualifications for a 12-Month Thailand Retirement (O-A) Visa:
- 50 years of age or older
- Passport with at least 1 year remaining until expiration
- Hold the nationality or permanent residence of country of application. i.e., Brits must apply in Britain
- Proof of meeting financial requirement (Thai bank letter showing funds or pension statement)
- Passport – copies of every page. Each copy signed by you in blue ink.
- Non-Immigrant Visa
- Departure Card (TM.6)
- Proof of meeting financial requirement
- Your original Thailand bank book
- A letter from your Thai Bank
- Medical Certificate from a first class hospital
- Three recent photos, 4 x 5 cm. (not passport photos) full face, in business attire. Some jurisdictions require suit and tie.
Download Retirement Visa Thailand Forms Here: THAILAND RETIREMENT VISA FORMS DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE
- Bank account showing THB 800,000 or
- Monthly income of at least THB 65,000 or
- A combination: (Bank Account + Income) x 12 = THB 800,000
Your Thailand retirement starts with your first and – if you’re a Concierge client – only appearance for the retirement visa at the Immigration office upon its approval. You must appear in person with your passport and sign the visa paperwork in the presence of the Immigration staff. The Immigration staff puts a stamp in the passport at the time of approval.
Restrictions on Your Visa:
- Your new visa allows you to stay in Thailand for one year. You are not allowed to have employment on an O-A visa.
- You must report to Immigration every 90 days to verify your current address.
- You must obtain a Re-entry Permit from Thai Immigration prior to leaving Thailand for any period of time.
- A necessary evil of visa extensions is reporting, in person, your current address every 90 days. For this you’ll need to complete form TM 47 (Tor Mor 47) and take it with your passport to the Immigration Bureau. In theory this is all that is required. The officer will complete the bottom of the form, sign and detach it before stapling it inside your passport. I say ‘in theory’ because different officers might ask for additional documents like photocopies of the passport or proof of address like a letter from your landlord.
- The date of the next report day is clearly displayed on the tear-off strip and should be 90 days in the future.
- Failure to report on time is an offence and fines can be imposed, however most IO’s will give you seven days grace for a late report and will also accept 90 day reports a week or so early.
- Thai Immigration will accept postal reports butI don’t recommend this. Thais are face-to-face people, the Bureau still uses lots of carbon paper, and Thais generally don’t use the Internet for business.
Does This Sounds Overwhelming?
Funny you should ask! Our job is to remove the overwhelm and replace it with a day of (almost) fun. We can even set up a bank account for you before you arrive. We handle the paperwork, the medical, making your appointment and accompanying you to the office, taking you home, and reporting for you every 90 days. You won’t even need reentry permits when you travel outside Thailand. Check out our Concierge Service, or listen to other Concierge clients:
Nightmares on Visa Street
Three tales of visa woe to cheer you up!
Bureau of Immigration Regulations:
The complete regulations can be found here. These are the main regs:
5.2 At the end of the 90-day stay , the foreigner must report to the immigration officer in his or her residence area and report again every 90 days during his or her stay in Thailand. The foreigner may report to the police station if there is no immigration office in his or her residence area.
5.3 Foreigner may report to the competent authority by post and should provide the following:
- A report form (Tor Mor 47).
- A copy of passport pages showing the foreigner’s photo, personal details, and the latest arrival visa stamp.
- A copy of the previous receipt of acknowledgement.
- A self-addressed envelope with postage affixed.
Such documents must be sent to the Office of the Immigration Bureau, Soi Suan Plu, South Sathorn Road, Sathorn District, Bangkok 10120, and must be submitted 7 days before the end of every 90-day period. A receipt of acknowledgement will be given and should be used for future correspondence.
5.4 Foreigner who wishes to extend his or her stay shall submit a request for extension of stay at the Office of the Immigration Bureau with documented evidence of money transfer or a deposit account in Thailand or an income certificate showing an amount of not less than 800,000 Baht or an income certificate plus a deposit account showing a total amount of not less than 800,000 Baht. A one-year extension of stay shall be granted at the discretion of the immigration officer to the foreigner as long as he or she meets the above requirements.
1. When completing the say of 90 days in the Kingdom, the alien shall report to the competent authority and report it every 90 days with the immigration officer in the alien’s residence area, or report to the police station in the alien’s residence if there is no immigration control there. In order to report to the competent authority by mail, the alien shall do as follows:
The Report Form (referred to in Thai as Tor Mor 47) together with a copy of the passport pages showing the alien’s photograph, personal details, and the latest arrival visa stamp as well as a self addressed envelope with postage affixed, shall be forwarded, by 7 days before the due date, by acknowledgement of receipt mail to the Immigration Bureau, Sathon Tai Road, Sathon District, Bangkok 10120. In the case of conducting any following reports, the Reply Form for the previous Report shall be enclosed as well.)
2. At the end of the one-year stay, the alien who wishes to extend his/her stay shall submit a request for the extended period at the Immigration Bureau with documented evidence of money transfer, or a deposit account in the Kingdom, or an income certificate plus a deposit account at the total amount of no less than 800,000 Baht a year.
3. If the alien’s spouse wishes to extend his/her stay as well, the marriage certificate shall be produced.
More on the Retirement Visa for Thailand
- Work Permits in Thailand – Getting work permits in Thailand can be really tricky…
- Asian-Pacific Immigrants, Yesterday and Today – Sba – Worth reading if you’re thinking of working in Thailand.
- Thailand’s Visa Run Crackdown | Thailand Law Forum – Thailand’s Immigration Bureau will now deny re-entry to foreigners on out/in visa runs, regardless of transportation mode. This is new.