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Extension of visa based on retirement in Thailand


Extension of visa based on retirement in Thailand

Written by Sebastian H. Brousseau in cooperation with the group "Expats in Isaan" on Facebook.

Updated 26 December 26. (Rules were changed in 2019 and we invite you to read this article to be updated and have the correct information)


For many visitors to Thailand, a short holiday simply isn’t enough to enjoy all the country has to offer. If you wish to stay longer than 3 months, and you can meet the requirements set out by the Royal Thai Immigration, then extending your visa based on retirement may be the answer for you. It doesn’t mean that you have to permanently up and move to Thailand, but extending your visa annually does allow you to stay in the Kingdom for years. Here’s how to do it. You also do not need to be officially retired in your country but you must be 50 years-old and older.

The Right Visa

There are 2 ways (3 ways the new O-X Visa of 5 years) to obtain the right visa for retirement in Thailand.
1. Non-Immigrant O
The first option is to apply for a Non-Immigrant ‘O’ visa at a Royal Thai Consulate in a nearby country
(Vientiane, Laos; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Penang, Malaysia, etc.). For 2000 THB, you receive a 90-day visa which you can later extend to a full year. You’ll need to be over 50 years of age and have bank statements showing an income of over 65,000THB / month or 800,000THB as the total account balance at the time of the application. Certain consulates or embassies can ask to notarize your bank account.
If you’re in Thailand already and don’t want to exit, you can apply to change your 30-day visa exemption entry or 60-day Tourist Visa at the Immigration Center in Bangkok. The same requirements will apply. Be careful, changing a visa is not easy and must be done at least 21 days before your visa expires.
Verify directly with the embassy which documents are necessary as it can vary from a place to another.
2. Non-Immigrant O-A
From your home country (or official country of residence), you can apply for a Non-Immigrant O-A visa (long-stay duration) which will enable you to stay in Thailand for 1 year. Again, you need proof that you are 50 years of age or older and meet the criteria for financial eligibility. The following documents are required:
1) Passport with at least 18 months’ validity
2) 3 copies of the completed visa application form
3) 3 passport-sized photos (4x6cm) taken within the past 6 months
4) Personal information form
5) Copy of your bank statement showing an amount of 800,000THB or more, OR a certificate proving that you have a monthly income (ex. a pension) of 65,000THB or more, OR certification showing a combination of bank deposit and monthly income that totals not less than 800,000THB. Certain consulates or embassies can ask to notarize your bank account.
6) Letter of guarantee from your bank (to guarantee bank statement accuracy)
IMPORTANT: The letter of guarantee for the funds deposited and relevant bank statements must be certified by a commercial bank in Thailand and should be recent (normally few days old only)
7) Notarized letter from your home country (or official country of residence) stating that you have no criminal record.
8) Medical certificate from a hospital in the country where you submit your application showing that you have no prohibitive diseases. The certificate should be recent (valid for not more than 3 months) and might have to be notarized.
9) Purchase a health insurance policy from one of the participating companies via the website:
The policy must cover the length of permitted stay in Thailand with no less than 40,000THB for outpatient treatment, and no less than 400,000THB for inpatient treatment.
This new regulation went into effect as of October 31, 2019. The full order can be viewed in PDF at:
This ONLY applies to those who have already been granted a 1-year Non-Immigrant O-A visa and applies to those who have received a visa from an overseas consulate or embassy.
You will be permitted to stay only for the length of the insurance coverage and not exceeding one year.
Overseas insurance can be accepted, but you will need to complete the form at this link:
Be sure to check with your Thai Consulate or Thai Embassy for the exact documents that are required before you apply. Each office can have its own rules and rules CHANGE OFTEN. So, verify if the above list meets their requirements and contact your Thai embassy or consulate.
This visa is granted for 1 year, but as with all visas in Thailand, you must report to Immigration every 90 days (unless you leave Thailand before 90 days - in which case, you will need a re-entry permit if on a single-entry visa) and file a TM47 form showing that you’re still in Thailand and at the same address.
There is no fee for these check-ins, and you’re also given leeway to file the TM47 form within a week before or after the arranged date for your 90-day reporting. However, if you’re late you will be fined.
Be aware that if you have only a single-entry visa and leave Thailand before your visa expires, and you do not have a re-entry permit, you will lose that visa. With a multiple-entry visa, you can enter and leave the country as many times you wish during the period that your visa or extension is still valid.
It is advisable for those going with Option A, to add a re-entry permit or multiple entries (TM8) at the same time. That will mean that every time you re-enter Thailand, you won’t need a new visa. Make sure your last re-entry is BEFORE the original visa expiration date.
Extending Your Visa (O-X visas is below)
There are 2 ways to extend your retirement visa, based on the type of visa you have obtained. Do not wait the last moment to renew your visa. Often, there will be a document missing. You can normally extend your visa 30 days before it ends. I would suggest to do it as soon as you can, maybe 23-20 days in advance.
A. Non-Immigrant O
With this visa, you’re only granted a 90-day stay, so to extend this to a full year you’ll need to file a TM7 form to extend your stay based on retirement in Thailand. To get the extension, you again need to prove that you pass the age, health, and financial requirements set out for retirees.
If you are showing a bank statement to prove your finances total over 800,000THB, then this amount has to be in a Thai Bank account for not less than 2 months prior to your application for extension.
This amount must be maintained for 3 months after your application. However, if you’re combining monthly income and bank deposits, then there is no requirement to have the money in your bank account 60 days before you apply.
You will likely need a Proof of Income letter to verify your monthly income as well. Again, please consult your embassy about whether or not they can provide this service for you and how to obtain such a letter.
Regardless of whether you’re showing income or deposit, you also need to show that you hold a Thai bank account, with a minimum balance of cash in it. For this, you’ll need a registered letter from the bank, plus copies of your bank passbook. This letter should be dated within 1 day of the extension request and should match with the balance of your bankbook. Some offices might allow for 7 days. Please verify with your local immigration office about their policies.
When this extension is accepted, your visa will be extended to a full year, which means they will stamp your passport for 1 year from the date when your Non-Immigrant O visa was initially used. Following your first extension, you can apply for an extension annually according to the same procedure using the Non-Immigrant O-A visa procedure below.
B. Non-Immigrant O-A
With this visa, you’ve already been granted a 1-year stay, so when that is close to expiring you’ll need to apply for your next year’s extension.
It is advisable to apply for an extension one month before your visa expires. Again, you will need to check with your local immigration office about when exactly you should apply for an extension.
To do this, you need to file a TM7 Extension of Stay form just like you would for the Non-Immigrant O visa above. This time, you have to show 800,000THB in a Thai bank account (or in your country when you apply in your own country of residence), 65,000THB/month income, or a combination of the two equaling 800,000THB or more.
You need to submit:
1) TM7 application form
2) Application fee of 1,900 THB
3) Original passport with signed photocopies of each page (2 copies outside of Bangkok)
4) 1 passport-sized photo (2 outside Bangkok)
5) Map to your residence (must be hand-drawn)
6) Financial proof (as discussed above)
Furthermore, when showing 800,000THB in a Thai bank account the funds must be deposited 2 months prior to the application filing and remain in the account for 3 months after being granted permission to stay in Thailand.
After 3 months money can be withdrawn to no less than 400,000THB which must be maintained throughout the duration of permitted stay.
For a monthly income of 65,000THB, you must obtain a Letter for Proof of Income. Unfortunately, the embassies of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and several other countries no longer provide this service. You will need to obtain Proof of Income from your home country. Please consult your embassy as to whether or not they can provide you with a Proof of Income letter.
Additionally, the bank statement should show deposits for the last 12 months. While this is not strictly outlined in a recent Order of Royal Thai Police, the combined 12-month amount is basically the same as the 800,000THB requirement.
For a combined income and deposit bank statement, the same requirements and criteria for the 800,000THB deposit apply.
7) Purchase a health insurance policy to cover your extension of stay for up to one year from one of the participating companies via the website:
The policy must cover the length of an extended stay in Thailand with no less than 40,000THB for outpatient treatment, and no less than 400,000THB for inpatient treatment.
This new regulation went into effect as of October 31, 2019. The full order can be viewed in PDF at:
This applies to those who have already been granted a 1 year Non-Immigrant O-A visa and are seeking an extension of stay in Thailand. A trick is to leave Thailand and re-enter few days before your O-A visa ends. So you will be granted a year from your entrance so that visa is practically 2 years. Be sure to re-enter Thailand before your O-A visa ends (not your extension) and if you go out again later, be sure to have a re-entry permit.
Overseas insurance can be accepted, but you will need to complete the form at this link:
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In addition to the 1-year Non-Immigrant O-A visa based on retirement, there is a 5-year option as well.
3. FIVE YEARS NON-IMMIGRANT O-X VISA
The 5-year Non-Immigrant O-X visa based on retirement has the same requirements as the 1-year O-A visa, but with different financial obligations.
They are as follows:
1) 3,000,000THB deposited in a Thai bank account at least 3 months prior to your application submission, or proof of a 100,000THB monthly income for the past 12 months
2) Health insurance that provides you with $10,000 (roughly 300,000THB) in coverage
An additional requirement is that you must obtain a re-entry permit after the visa has been approved.
Likewise, you may need to provide a police clearance/background check and/or a medical certificate as well.
This is a new class of Non-Immigrant visa and not much is currently well-understood about the entire process.

Helpful Hints
The most important thing to keep in mind is that each Royal Thai Immigration office can set their own particular policies and guidelines. Some may allow you to apply for an extension with only 2 weeks remaining on your visa, while others might require a month.
Some offices may require you submit a copy of your passport that has been legalized by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, others may not. So, before you submit any paperwork be sure to get a current list of requirements from your local immigration office.
Also, remember that foreigners are only allowed to stay in the Kingdom of Thailand for 90 days without exiting or reporting to immigration (except if you have permanent residency). Don’t miss your 90-day reports or you will be fined!
Furthermore, if you are staying longer than 90 consecutive days you will need to report your residence. Technically, the owner of the house, hotel, or rental property where you are staying must file the initial report.
This is known as the TM 30 form. It must be submitted in person by the property owner to the Immigration Office in the province where you reside in Thailand.
After the property owner submits the form they will receive a receipt regarding your residence. This receipt must be kept safe with you. You can easily staple it into your passport.
This receipt is very IMPORTANT. DO NOT LOSE IT. You will need it for re-entering the kingdom or for when you need another Non-Immigrant O-A visa extension.
If you want to leave Thailand during your stay on a Non-Immigrant visa, you will need to purchase a Re-entry Permit for 1000THB from immigration. You can also buy a multiple re-entry permit that allows you to leave many times Thailand and come back on the same visa or extension for 3,800 baht.
If you need to travel, you might want to request a multiple-entry permit. The single and multiple re-entry permits are done with the TM8 form. This permit allows you to leave and re-enter Thailand without your visa being canceled.
However, in some places, your re-entry might be valid only for a short period. This is why you should always double-check with your local office.
Employment is prohibited on the retirement visa and retirement extension.
For over-50s, the retirement visa and extensions based on retirement are great options to help you stay in Thailand long-term and enjoy this beautiful country. As long as you have the finances and keep your paperwork organized and in order, then you can use the extension based on retirement to build a great post-work life in Thailand.
For policy updates and announcements please check https://www.immigration.go.th/announce
While they are in the Thai language, many often have an English translation in the PDF reader. Look for announcements with the words “non-immigrant” in the heading.
If you have a lot of money and think this is too complicated, think about an ELITE VISA.

https://www.thailandelite.com/

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The law is here, by a letter of letter of 26 December 2018, translated by Thaivisa:

Police order 0029.173/Wor 4950 - titled  ‘Supporting evidence of income for visa extension in case of family members and retirement’. It applies on 1st February 2019.
 
https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1076820-confirmed-here-is-exactly-what%E2%80%99s-needed-for-retirement-marriage-extensions-income-method-from-2019/
 
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This said, Thai immigration chief softens stance on tourist and expats visa according to this article of December 2019:
https://thethaiger.com/news/northern-thailand/thai-immigration-chief-soften-stance-on-tourist-and-expat-visas



NOTE: Immigration officers can always ask additional information at their discretion in order to check the validity of the information provided.