There are myths galore regarding how easy or difficult it is to obtain a retirement visa in Thailand. Find Thai Property are here to explain just how simple it could be to obtain a retirement visa for Thailand and the steps you need to follow to ensure a smooth application process.
Retiring in Thailand sells itself, an affordable cost of living, some of the best food the world has to offer, masses of natural beauty, and the biggest adult playground you are ever likely to discover. It’s obvious why Thailand is so popular with tourists and retirees alike.
You may already be packing your bags, but before you do, there are some rules and regulations you need to be aware of before ‘upping sticks’ to South East Asia.
So, what are the rules regarding obtaining a one-year retirement visa in Thailand? First of all you must obtain a non-immigrant visa before leaving your home country. Once this has been obtained, you can then apply for a retirement visa.
1.OBTAIN A NON-IMMIGRANT VISA
Passport (a minimum of one year remaining before expiration)
You must be holding nationality or permanent residence of the country of application
Proof of Funds
*Once the non-immigrant visa has been approved you can arrive in Thailand and have three months there. You should apply for your retirement visa soon after your arrival*
2. OBTAIN A RETIREMENT VISA
Applicant must be 50 years of age or over.
Must be able to travel to Thailand and not have any criminal history.
Must meet the financial requirement:
Security deposit of THB 800,000 in a Thai bank account for 2 months prior to the visa application OR
Monthly income or pension of at least THB 65,000. An affidavit from the foreigner embassy or consulate has to be obtained as proof of the income
Combination of the Thai bank account and yearly income – with the total of 800,000 THB
*Retirement visa valid for a period of one year before renewal*
You will be required to appear at the immigration office when your retirement visa is approved and has been received. You must appear in person with your passport and sign the relevant paperwork in the presence of the immigration staff. The immigration staff then place a stamp in your passport at the time of arrival.
Retirement Visa Restrictions
A retirement visa, once it has been approved, allows you to stay in Thailand for a period of one year. You are forbidden from any employment while on this type of visa and you must report to immigration every 90 days to confirm your current address. It is normal to be only granted a one-year visa, although it is worth noting that as long as you abide by the rules, this can be extended with no problems.
Where will you retire to?
You may have already visited Thailand, before thinking about applying for your retirement visa. You probably haven’t travelled the entire country though, so there’s a few things to consider when deciding where to retire.
Bangkok will have a higher cost of living than somewhere such as Chiang Mai. If you are on a tight budget, or prefer a quieter life then retiring in Chiang Mai could prove wiser than retiring in Bangkok, for example. You may already have friends in Thailand, and will be able to speak to them about their experiences and monthly budget.
Factor In Healthcare
Health Insurance for the over 60s in particular can be quite pricey in Thailand, so do your research. Healthcare itself is relatively cheap in Thailand, but even so, it’s not a smart move to rely on savings to cover you in the event of accident or illness.
You can of course buy travel insurance and that will cover you in certain instances, such as if you travel to and from your home country regularly.
Cost Of Living
According to https://internationalliving.com the monthly amount required for your retirement visa is actually a very good starting point for the cost of living in Thailand. You can survive, and even thrive on $2,000 per month (£1,537 approx). It all depends on your lifestyle how much more than this you will need to life the life you desire.
For more information on all sorts of visas and additional information see the Thai Embassy website.
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