The retirement visa for Thailand is also known as the “OA” visa. This is a 3-month visa when you enter Thailand and you need to extend this visa in Thailand for 1 year. This visa is renewed each year while you live in Thailand. The following documents are needed when you apply for the “OA” visa. Note that requirements do change from time to time so check with an immigration lawyer in Thailand before you start the process.
- Copy of your passport;
- Passport photos;
- Letter from bank showing 800,000 Baht deposit;
- or proof of 60,000 Baht a month income;
- Criminal record clearance from your country;
- Medical certificate;
- Completed application form.
Very important is that you need to be at least 50 years or older at the date of application for the retirement visa. Before they would allow you to turn 50 while holding the visa but that was stopped many years ago. Today they enforce the age policy very strictly.
There is also the issue of bringing your goods over from your home country. Once the retirement visa has been extended you now have 6 months to brings your household items from your home-country into Thailand duty-free. You need to ask your visa agent or attorney about the process and how best to manage Thai Customs with regards to your retirement status and any documents that would be needed when the goods arrive in Thailand.
Also note that the medical certificate over the last 2 years has also become much stricter. Before they allowed a medical certificate from a local doctor but they are now more insisting on a full medical check from a hospital in Thailand. This is mainly to check for communicable illnesses such as late-stage syphilis and HIV/AIDS. Medical care in Thailand is not free so the issue is more about spreading diseases in Thailand that actually being ill with high blood or arthritis.
If you are married to a Thai then you do not need a retirement visa as you can apply for a marriage visa. The requirements are lower and the process is also much easier than the retirement visa process. Consider all your options for retirement in Thailand. Also, remember that when you wish to leave Thailand on holiday you need to have a re-entry permit in your passport as once you leave your 1-year visa will be invalidated by leaving.
Speak to a lawyer in Thailand about what would be your best options with retirement in Thailand. Call us today at Siam Legal or walk into any of our offices in Thailand for more assistance.