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How to Retire in Thailand

Retirement in Thailand doesn’t echo much of the traditional notion we commonly associate with the word, which is the end stage of linear working life. In this age of life long learning and life long working, retiring has acquired a new meaning which suits the needs and demands of the new generation of retirees. Viewed cyclically, retiring is the intermingling of work, learning and leisure. Whether you subscribe to this idea of retirement or stick with the old notion, the next important question to consider might be; where on earth is the best place to retire? Or better yet, which destination accommodates your idea of retirement best? Retirement in Thailand is your answer.

For Four Hundred US dollars a month for house rent, efficient and convenient public facilities and infrastructure (i.e. transportation, water and electricity systems, exotic gastronomy yielding healthy and delicious food). Any Thailand retirement must have medical services of international standard and at very reasonable costs. When you have worked as long as you have your Thai retirement should also include wellness activities such as spa and traditional foot and body massages. There are countless outdoor recreational activities and in a safe environment.

If you are from the UK, your Thailand retirement setting will include a warm climate, pristine beaches and more than enough opportunity to find your special someone.

This is Thailand and with a ‘sabai-sabai’ or relaxed life style (the perfect mindset for retirees) is customary and world rebound. When you retire in Thailand there is a great chance of finding a suitable companion and any retiree will confess of the friendly locals. Your Thailand retirement plans does not mean you are not open to any good investment opportunities with may arise. With easy retirement visas and more, Thailand is the place to be. If this sounds like your dream place for retirement, then start your retirement in Thailand today.

People from all over the world visit Thailand and return again and again. Last year, it was estimated that 12 million people visited the Kingdom and so many could not wait to return once they have landed back in their home country. Of these large number of enchanted tourists who consider returning to Thailand for good, a lot of them are eyeing a retirement in Thailand, to live or to work here. If you happen to be one of them, then you have come to the right place as we can help you make your dream come true through our inclusive legal services particularly those pertaining to Visa assistance and immigration concerns.

Siam Legal shares your dream of a retirement in Thailand. As such, we offer you our comprehensive visa and legal services aimed at ensuring you a hassle-free entry and retirement to the Land of Smiles, as Thailand is famously called. A foreigner traveling to Thailand needs a tourist visa to enter, and this is a somewhat straightforward process. When thinking about staying here for an extended period of time or possibly retiring here, it becomes more burdensome and this is where we can be of great help to you. Arranging for an extended stay for whatever reason they are made i.e. retirement in Thailand, Thai work permit, fiancé visa, a Thai real estate transaction, Thai tax, or doing business in Thailand, are just among the legal services our company specializes in.

Many of our clients had been visiting Thailand for several years and finally, made the leap and so far they not regretted their Thailandi retirement plans. Some live in Bangkok and do not miss owning a car, as the sky train system that is in place, rivals other similar ones for being safe, reasonable, and efficient. Some live in the North of Thailand such as Chiang Mai where life is quiet and peaceful. Others choose the South where beautiful beaches in areas like Phuket and Koh Samui abound. Yet others like to enjoy the beauty of the sea but stay in close distance to Bangkok so they choose the beach towns of Pattaya or Hua Hin for their retirement. Whether you choose to live in the north, south, east or west of the country, rest assured that we have offices all over the Kingdom will be there to assist you with your legal concerns. In the meantime, please go over the outline of retiring in Thailand below and be guided accordingly.


To start your Thailand retirement plans, you need a non-immigrant visa. Ideally, it should be acquired prior to your arrival in Thailand. Siam Legal can assist you in obtaining the 90 day non-immmigrant visa in your home country or in a nearby country. Once you are in Thailand we will extend to one year. Additionally, we can help you convert a tourist visa inside Thailand but it can take up to 1 or 2 months for this conversion process.

1. Requirements for Obtaining a Non-Immigrant "O-A" Retirement Visa:

•50 years old of age or older
•Passport (at least 1 year remaining until expiration)
•Holding the nationality or permanent residence of country of application
•Proof of meeting financial requirement *
•Bank letter showing funds or pension statement


1.Passport - copies of every page. Each copy must be signed by applicant.

•Non-Immigrant Visa
•Departure Card TM.6
•Proof of meeting financial requirement *
•Thailand Bank book (original)
•Letter from your Thai Bank
•Medical Certificate (health exam administered by doctor at first class hospital)

Photos, three (3) in quantity which are 4 x 5 centimeters in size (not passport photos) with full face and taken wearing business attire (no hat and some jurisdictions require suit and tie). Must have been taken within six (6) months.


Signing for your new Retirement Visa

Your Thailand retirement starts with your first and only appearance for the retirement visa at the Immigration office upon its approval. You must appear in person with your passport and sign the visa paperwork in the presence of the Immigration staff. The Immigrant staff puts a stamp in the passport at the time of approval.

Restrictions on Your Retirement Visa

The retirement once approved allows you to stay in Thailand for one year. You are not allowed to have employment while on this type of visa. Also you must report to Immigration every 90 days to verify your current address. Please ensure that you obtain a Re Entry Permit at Thai Immigration prior to leaving Thailand for any period of time.


You have six months from your entry to Thailand to bring in from your home country your household items.

After you have been granted a permit to stay for a year in Thailand, your belongings will not be taxed. However, if your permit to stay is for less than one year, these items will be taxed 20% import duty plus 7% value-added tax.

The period of six months starts the date that you initially entered Thailand on the retirement visa O-A visa, regardless whether you leave or re-enter Thailand after that date. However, the deadline is somewhat flexible. If your personal items are due to arrive in Thailand more than six months after the entry date, you should inform Thai Customs about this at least two months before the six-month deadline.



"Re-entry Permit" is for persons holding an extension of stay. They must apply for a re-entry permit which is an approval by Thai Immigration to exit and re enter the Kingdom whereby you are allowed to maintain the same period of time previously granted for your extension of stay. The re-entry permit is no longer issued at airports and must be obtained at your local Thai Immigration office.

"Visa” is issued outside of Thailand by a Royal Thai Embassy or the smaller Thai Consulate. The visa allows you to enter the Kingdom of Thailand for a specific period of time. The Immigration Officer at the checkpoint will stamp a date in your passport noting the authorized period of time that you are allowed to remain in the Kingdom..

“Extension of Stay” is the time period you are allowed to remain after your initial entry into the Kingdom of Thailand. This is typically the date stamp in your passport by the Immigration Officer when you make an application for "Extension of Stay" at the Thai Immigration office. For example, if you arrive in Thailand on a 90 day non-immigrant "O" visa and you wish to extend it to one year, the Thai Immigration office will extend it an additional nine months as category "O-A" to complete a one year period for retirement in Thailand..

Many people misunderstand the difference between an extension of stay and re-entry permit much to their own disadvantage. Here is the key point: your “extension of stay” stamp is the controlling date. Everything is dependent on this date. Your re-entry permit is only valid until the date stamped in your passport to leave the country. Any re-entry permit you obtain will expire when your “extension of stay” expires. If you depart the country without a re-entry permit, your “extension of stay” is invalidated. This is the key distinction so after going through the process of getting a longer period of time for your “extension of stay” please ensure your have a re-entry before departing Thailand. Siam Legal International can assist you to obtain a single re-entry entry permit (one time use) or multiple re-entry permit (unlimited use).


Your Thailand Retirement Visa expires when your Extension of Stay does. You will need to renew your stay in Thailand before your extension of stay expires. This can be done in Thailand. If you cannot obtain your extension inside Thailand, you will have to get a new non-immigrant visa from a Thai Embassy or Consulate abroad as explained above. Siam Legal International with its global presence can assist you in any country with renewing your visa.

Reporting your Stay every 90 days

Persons residing in Thailand on a retirement visa are required to report to the Immigration Police every 90 days. Persons holding a one year multiple entry visa obtained outside of Thailand will simply depart the Kingdom and renew their stay after each 90 day entry. Reporting can be done by mail to many Thai Immigration offices. Our firm offers professional service with a yearly package to perform the task of the reporting to Immigration each 90 days.

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