A Short and Simple Guide to Retiree Visa Thailand: Rules and Requirements (Updated 2021)

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Have you been thinking about retiring in Thailand? Wondering what the requirements are to get a long-term visa?

In this post you’ll find out what financial requirements you need to meet, and which documents you need to present, to qualify for a Thailand retirement visa.

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What is it?

The Thai retirement visa, or the non-immigrant O or OA long stay visa, lets qualified retirees who are at least 50 years old and meet the specific financial requirements live in Thailand for up to one year. The one-year visa can then be renewed every year as long as the person applying continues to meet the financial requirements.

Requirements

To get a retirement visa in Thailand, you must be at least 50 years old, have no criminal record in your home country and in Thailand, and have no prohibitive diseases, which the Thai Embassy lists as Leprosy, Tuberculosis, drug addictions, Elephantiasis, and Syphilis in its third phase.

You’ll also need to show one of these three financial documents to qualify for non-immigrant O or OA visa:

  • copies of your bank statements showing a deposit of the amount equal to and not less than 800,000 baht in your Thai bank account or
  • notarized bank statement copies showing income of not less than 65,000 baht per month, plus an affidavit from your embassy or consulate as proof of income or
  • a combination of a deposit account and a monthly income totaling at least 800,000 baht

The requirements for each nationality can be different and subject to change. If you have difficulty getting the retirement visa, you can check out the Elite Visa.

Health Insurance

Since April 2019, there’s a new regulation requiring you to have health insurance with 400,000 baht IPD coverage and 40,000 baht OPD coverage in order to apply or extend a retirement visa. 

The new regulation is officially confirmed in the end of October 31, 2019.

Currently, it seems like only local insurance is accepted.

You can get Luma Long Stay Care plan to get an affordable health insurance plan that passes the visa requirement.

Alternatively, you can use MisterPrakan to compare plans from local insurance companies. 

How to Apply

You can apply for a retirement visa either in your home country (in some cases) or in Thailand.

Inside Thailand

First thing you’ll want to do is prepare your required financial documents and all of the following:

  • passport with at least six months validity and two blank pages on both side.
  • 4 cm x 6 cm photos taken in the last six months
  • an updated bank passbook
  • a bank letter confirming your funds not less than two months from the date of application*
  • a health certificate (you may not need this if you’re in Thailand)
  • a police/background check certificate

*To get a bank letter visit the bank branch where you opened your account. Tell them you need an official bank letter stating that you had the funds in your account on the date two months out from your application date. The letter usually costs a few hundred baht, depending on your bank. And it can be done on the same day, usually within an hour.

Then you can go to either the Division 1 Immigration Office in Bangkok. Here’s the Google Maps link to Division 1 Immigration Office in Bangkok. And here’s the physical address:

  • 120 Thanon Chaeng Watthana, Khwaeng Thung Song Hong, Khet Lak Si, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10210

Just bring with you all of the documents listed in this section and the above requirements section.

In most cases, you need to apply for a non-immigrant visa O before you extend your visa in Thailand into a one-year non-immigrant OA visa. You’ll be given 90 days in the kingdom. And after your first 60 days, you can apply for a one-year OA visa.

Outside Thailand

If you’re applying for your retirement visa outside of Thailand, you’ll be applying for a non-immigrant OA visa. You’ll need to bring the same documents listed above with you to the nearest Thai Embassy in your country.

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If you don’t have a Thai bank account yet, it is possible to get a financial statement or a proof of income from your home country.

But don’t be surprised if you the embassy tells you they don’t issue this type of visa to foreigners, as not all of them do.

The non-immigrant OA long term visa lets you retire in Thailand for one year and can be renewed from within Thailand every year thereafter.

You’ll have two options when getting your non-immigrant OA visa: single-entry or multiple-entry.

Single-entry

If you’re not planning on leaving Thailand while on your retirement visa, you can apply for a single-entry non-immigrant visa OA. If you do need to leave the country, whether for leisure or in an emergency, you must apply for a re-entry permit.

Multiple-entry

A multiple-entry OA visa lets you leave and enter Thailand as you wish. So if you know that you’re going to come and go quite often while living in Thailand, your best bet is to get a multiple-entry visa from the start.

Whether you apply inside or outside of Thailand, you’ll have to do 90-day check ins at Thailand immigration after your visa has been approved.

Visa Restrictions

Retirement visa holders are prohibited from engaging in any type of work.

Flying to Thailand During Lockdown

Because of COVID-19, only certain types of visa holders are allowed to enter Thailand.

They also need to get a Certificate Of Entry and pass all other requirements from the Thai government.

You can read our complete guide to flying back to Thailand during COVID-19 to find out everything you need to do in order to come here.

The article is updated on a regular basis to make sure that the information is as accurate and as up-to-date as possible.

It’s one of our 100+ exclusive pieces of content available only to our premium subscribers.

To get access, please become a subscriber.

How to Extend Your Visa

When your visa is about to expire, you’ll need to renew it at any of the immigration offices in Thailand. The process is the same as when you first applied. But you should start your renewal process about 15 days before your visa expires. This will give you plenty of time for adjustments if Thai Immigration asks for more documents.

If you want to renew your visa outside of Thailand, you can re-apply at the nearest Thai Embassy.

Other Retirement Visas

Here a few other options you have if retiring in Thailand is in your radar.

Five-year Retirement Visa

The five-year Thai retirement visa lets affluent retirees from 14 countries stay in Thailand for up to five years. Here are those countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States. The five-year non0immigrant OX visa is renewable every five years.

The requirements for this visa are a little different. You’ll need the following to qualify for non-immigrant OX ten-year visa:

  • 3 million baht in a bank account, untouched for at least three months from your application date or
  • 100,000 baht monthly income
  • health insurance that provides you with at $10,000 in coverage (non-optional)

The application process is the same as applying for a non-immigrant O visa. The only difference is that at the end of this process, you must get a re-entry permit.

Thailand Elite Visa Program (Privilege Entry Visa)

The Elite Thai Visa isn’t technically a retirement visa. But it’s a valid option for affluent foreigners who wish to stay long-term in Thailand and avoid visa runs and extensions.

Depending on the membership package, qualified foreigners can stay in Thailand for five to 20 years.

The best thing about the Thailand Elite Visa is that it significantly decreases the time and headaches of dealing with paperwork and immigration officers, and it keeps you updated with the everchanging retirement visa requirements. 

You also don’t need to keep having 800,000 baht in your bank account all the time with the Elite visa.

A great number of retirees now go for the Elite Visa even if they are eligible for the retirement visa.

Get a Thailand Elite Visa Advertisement

To find out more or apply for the Privilege Entry Visa, read our Thailand Elite Visa review. Reach out to us and we’ll put you in touch with an agency that’s authorized by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to provide Thailand Elite Visas.

Marriage Visa

If you’re married to a Thai national, you can get a non-immigrant visa O based on marriage from the Thai embassy nearest to you or in Thailand at an immigration office. The financial requirements are a little easier to manage. So this visa is great for those who don’t have enough funds to get a retirement visa.

Now, on to You

That’s how you get yourself a Thailand retirement visa. The process itself is straightforward if you meet the financial requirements and present the right documents.

So be sure to double check the list above and contact your local Thai embassy or Thai immigration office.

If you’ve made it this far and still aren’t sure which visa you should get, feel free to get in touch with us and tell us what you need.

John Wolcott is the global editor for ExpatDen. He's a New Jersey native who now lives in Bangkok with his wife and two daughters.

20 thoughts on “A Short and Simple Guide to Retiree Visa Thailand: Rules and Requirements (Updated 2021)”

  1. Hi , I want to apply for the O A Visa but have a minor police conviction for a public order offence in UK from 2015 . Would my application be refused on the grounds of this or would it be possible to still be successful for the Visa ?

    Reply
  2. I read in several places that the financial requirements must be met with funds in a Thai bank. However I read on the Thai Embassy website in Washington, DC that it can be either a Thai or U.S. bank. Of course no one is answering the phone or emails at the Thai embassy these days for general questions. This is the first time I’m hearing that the financial requirement can be met with funds in a U.S bank. Is that right?

    Reply
    • Yes, if applying from abroad, including from the States, it should be possible to use your local bank. But please do note that once you are in Thailand, you should quickly open a bank account and move your fund here as soon as possible. You need at least 800k THB in your Thai bank account 2 months before being able to extend a visa.

      Reply
  3. Thanks for this post. I have a similar comment to someone above that wasn’t answered. If we are applying for a Retirement Visa from outside Thailand, and haven’t had a prior visit where we’ve set up a bank account to deposit funds, how is this piece handled? How to have proof of funds when we haven’t arrive in country yet? OR, Do we arrive on our 90-day Non-OA and set up account in that first 30 days so when we go to immigration to convert to Retirement visa, we show them the account? Or? The bank account part is confusing for people applying outside the country.

    Other question is about bringing household goods overseas shipment. Does retirement visa allow duty free entry of our personal belongings? Thanks for all your help!

    Reply
    • If applying from your home country, you should be able to use a financial statement issued by a bank in your home country. Some Thailand Embassy/consulate might also accept your taxation document as well.

      About shipping household goods, yes, you don’t need to pay a custom tax with a retirement visa. You can read it more here: https://www.expatden.com/thailand/how-to-avoid-customs-tax/

      Reply
  4. Gooday,
    I have just sold my Condo in Thailand, could I use the funds from the sale to obtain a retirement visa? I am over 50 years

    Reply
    • Yes, you should be able to do that. Please note that you need to have at least 800,000 baht in your Thai bank account 2 months before applying for the visa.

      Reply
  5. Im a US citizen who meets all requirements for any type of retirement visa. Would you suggest I apply here in the states before arriving? Or maybe just do a tourist visa, then apply there? With regards to the tourist visa, what is the current length of time? 60 days? 90 days? I am fully vaccinated & understand Phuket will allow entry after July 1 without quarantine (unless that changes). either way I go, I will need to travel out of Thailand on a semi frequent basis, so maybe just the 90 day tourist visa? Need to know how long before booking air travel.

    Reply
    • Currently the situation in Thailand isn’t stable because of COVID-19, everything is subject to change. The normal tourist visa isn’t available at the moment.

      So, in your case, it might be better to apply the O-X retirement visa right from the United States. It comes with a renewal 5-year retirement visa and you can use it to enter Thailand.

      Reply
  6. Can I apply for a Retirement visa from a Non-B visa?
    Are there advantages to having a Retirement visa rather than a Non-O?

    Reply
    • To do that, you need to first cancel your non-b visa and apply a retirement visa, which can be tricky because of the current pandemic. If possible, it should be better to keep your non-b visa as of now.

      The retirement visa is actually a part of the non-o visa.

      Reply
  7. To renew a Retirement Visa now (Mar 2021) do you have to go to Muang Thong Thani or to the main office in Chaeng Wattana?

    Reply
    • As of now, you don’t need to have health insurance to apply for the marriage visa.

      Reply
  8. From article – “Currently you need to have at least 800,000 baht in your Thai bank account for at least two months before applying for the visa”
    So I am currently now outside Thailand and want to apply for the retirement visa but do not have a Thai bank account, and I am not in Thailand to apply for a Thai Bank account? So what is the alternative?

    Reply
    • I found opening a bank account in Thailand very difficult.
      They apparently are cautious and don’t trust Farlangs.
      Took me 3 days and documentation that was unbelievable.

      Reply
  9. Looking for agent to accompany me and expedite the process for renewal of my 1 year retirement visa and obtain a 5 year retirement visa,
    Money and ins. requirements are met

    Reply
  10. Insurance only applies to OA not to O. OA issued in home country.. O issued if you convert tourist visa inside Thailand. When you receive your first O it last 3 months. That gives you 3 months to apply for extension of stay for 1 year. This is still an O visa not OA as stated above.

    From 31 Oct 2019 all OA renew application must have health insurance cover to the Thai gov specification. Applicants in Pattaya being told it must be insurance from a Thai company. Insurance from outside Thailand not accepted. Application will be rejected.

    Many insurance companies have produced products that cover farlang to the basic Gov specified visa requirements.

    Reply
    • For real? We’re here on a non-immigrant O which we extended with a retirement visa. According to the above info. we can renew our retirement extension without insurance… yes?

      Reply
  11. “To get a retirement visa in Thailand, you must be at least 50 years old, have no criminal record in your home country and in Thailand”

    Does that mean a DUI conviction from around 40 yrs ago negates eligibility???

    Reply

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