Retiring in Thailand

I seem to be unable to obtain a firm answer about immigrating to Thailand. I am 72 years old, in extremely good health, have a pension and social security and complete health coverage. Thus, I would not be a drain on Thailand, but would contribute to the economy.

I am sailing to Thailand on my 32-foot sailboat, alone. You have to be in good health to do this. I do not wish to work, I would like to become a permanent resident in Phuket. I have visited a number of times and have found it to be extremely friendly.

How do I obtain permission...

  • Asked on Thursday, January 10, 2008 | 03:49 PM
    Susan A Meckley, Hawaii.

There are many ways to stay permanently in Thailand, but in your case I suggest that you obtain a non-immigrant O-A visa, commonly called a “retirement visa”, from a Thai embassy or consulate outside of Thailand before arriving.

Then, once you arrive in Thailand, you will need to report to Immigration to be issued a one-year permit to stay, which requires you to report to any Immigration office in Thailand every 90 days from then on.

You will need to renew your one-year permit to stay every year.

The only catch is if the requirements for the one-year permit to stay change while you are staying in Thailand. This may include changes to the amount kept in a Thai bank account and so on.

So you will need to check with Immigration what the requirements before each time you apply to renew your one-year permit to stay.

The current requirements for obtaining a retirement visa, which can also be viewed at http://www.immigration.go.th/nov2004/2notice/rtp606EN.pdf, are

1. You must have been issued a temporary non-immigrant visa;

2. You must be at least 50 years old;

3. You must have proof of income of not less than 65,000 baht per month, or an account deposit with a bank in Thailand of not less than 800,000 baht as shown in bank account transactions for the past three months, or annual income plus bank account deposit totaling not less than 800,000 baht as of the filing date of application.

You will also need to provide the following with your application form a copy of your passport, proof of income, such as a retirement pension, interest earnings or dividends and so on, and/or a certificate of local bank account deposit together with copies of bank account records.

  • Answered on Thursday, January 10, 2008 | 03:49 PM
    Pol Capt Krissarat Nuesen of the Phuket Provincial Immigration Office.
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