Thailand is routinely on the lists for the best places to retire. Thailand is a lush, warm weather country with beautiful beaches and green mountains. Its locals are foreign friendly and has a large expat population. In parts of Thailand, it is not difficult to locate foreign cuisine, foreign books, and entertainment.
The primary reason for Thailand’s appeal is that the cost of living is much lower than in the United States or any other Western country including Australia. Everything from rent, food, medical care, to the internet is 20% to 50% of the costs of most Western Countries. Thailand is also one of the top countries for medical tourism with modern luxurious private hospitals and multiple international airports.
Another benefit of retiring in Thailand is the relatively low financial requirements to obtain a long stay retirement visa in Thailand. It is possible to obtain a retirement visa in Thailand by depositing about $25,000 in a Thai bank or having a pension or retirement income of about $2000 per month. A combination of money in a bank and a pension is also allowed.
Upon successful submission, the applicant will receive a non-immigrant “O-A” visa that is good for one year. It is important to state that those who are in Thailand under a retirement visa are not allowed to work in Thailand.
Foreigners on a long term retirement visa in Thailand have to report to the local immigration officer every 90 days. The reporting can be done in person or by mail. An online reporting system is currently being developed. The retirement visa has to be extended every year with continued evidence that the retiree has maintained the visa’s financial requirements and has not violated the terms of their stay. After three years on a retirement visa, the retiree can apply for Thai Permanent Residence status and no long is required to extend their visas.
This is a general description of the O-A Thai Retirement Visa. The process of obtaining a visa can be time consuming and confusing for persons who are not fluent in reading and writing Thai. Errors or missing information can result in long delays or the denial of the visa. It is advised that those who are interested in obtaining a Thai retirement visa to speak to a Thai Visa Specialist.
See also Siam Legal’s retirement visa page here.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Thai Visa News.
Mr. Rex Baay serves as immigration consultant of one of the law firms in Thailand supervising the Thai immigration department. Rex studied at University of the Philippines, Diliman and later found himself working in Thailand. With more than 5 years of experience practicing the said profession, Rex has shared valuable immigration-related information and helped so many foreigners who wanted to travel, work, or reside in Thailand.
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