If you’re at least 50 years of age and have a bank deposit of 800,000 Baht (or the equivalent in your currency), or you can produce an income certificate with an income of at least 65,000 Baht per month going into a local bank account (or a combination of bank deposit and income), you’re eligible to apply for a one-year Non-Immigrant visa type “O-A”, sometimes called “retirement visa”. A medical and criminal background check are also required.
Holders of this type of visa will be admitted to stay in Thailand for a full year per entry, no border runs are required to renew your permission of stay. All you must do is report to a local immigration bureau every 90 days to confirm your address. Employment is strictly prohibited for holders of this visa.
First-time applications must be made at a Thai embassy or a consulate in the applicant’s home country or his/her country of residence. Subsequent one-year extensions can be granted locally at the immigration office, provided the applicant still meets the requirements.
Note: Non-immigrant O-A visa are issued exclusively by Thai embassies and (general) consulates, not honorary consulates.
If you have applied for a single-entry Non-Immigrant visa category “O-A” only, but wish to temporarily leave the country before your visa expires (and later return using the same visa) you’ll have to obtain a re-entry permit from your local Thai immigration office each time you leave the country. Equipped with a re-entry permit (1,900 Baht fee) you will be granted another one-year permission of stay when re-entering the kingdom; otherwise your permit for a one-year stay would be considered void.
On the other hand, if you enjoy traveling or have to return to your home country frequently, you’re obviously advised to apply for a multiple-entry visa.
Please contact your local Thai Embassy to find out whether you qualify for a “retirement visa” and enquire about the documents required for a successful application: www.thaiembassy.org. Aside from proof of financial means as outlined above, these usually include a medical certificate and a police clearance certificate.
The Pattaya City Expats Club also has lots of useful information (scroll down to the relevant section):
Note: As of 2007, new applicants have to reconfirm their status of income and submit a new income letter every year to renew their permission of stay. Here’s a checklist of documentation required for extending your visa, financial requirements etc. (updated 2013):
First-time applicants who qualify for a “retirement visa” on the grounds of an 800,000 Baht deposit on a local bank account (with no additional income) must have deposited the amount on their bank accounts at least six months before applying for the visa.
In recent years, it seems, applicants in a number of countries must actually also be pensioners; just being aged over 50 and meeting the financial requirements may not be sufficient.
An alternative type of visa for foreigners aged over 50 who wish to stay in Thailand long-term – a Non-immigrant visa type “O” – entitles the visa holder to stay in the kingdom for a maximum of 90 days at a time.
If you have applied for a multiple-entry visa, you will have to leave the country every 90 days to renew your permission of stay. You cannot extend this visa locally but have to go on regular “border runs” to get another 90 days each time.
Multiple-entry visa are valid for a maximum of one year; this means that all entries into the kingdom must be done within one year from the date of issuance of the visa.
Note: As of 2014, British visa applicants report that the minimum age to apply for this visa (if based on pension) has been raised to 65 years. As of 2016, multiple-entry visa may not be available from honorary consulates either anymore.
The following is based on information from the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
Thailand Retirement Visa – Non-Immigrant “O-A” (Long Stay)
This type of visa may be issued to applicants aged 50 years and over who wish to stay in Thailand for a period of not exceeding one year without the intention of working. Holder of this type of visa is allowed to stay in Thailand for one year. Employment of any kind is strictly prohibited.
1.1 Applicant must be aged 50 years and over (on the day of submitting application).
1.2 Applicant not prohibited from entering the Kingdom as provided by the Immigration Act B.E. 2522 (1979).
1.3 Having no criminal record in Thailand and the country of the applicant’s nationality or residence.
1.4 Having the nationality of or permanent residence in the country where application is submitted.
1.5 Not having prohibitive diseases (Leprosy, Tuberculosis, drug addiction, Elephantiasis, third phase of Syphilis) as indicated in the Ministerial Regulation No. 14 B.E. 2535.
1.6 Employment in Thailand is prohibited.
2. Required Documents
– Passport with validity of not less than 18 months.
– 3 copies of completed visa application forms.
– 3 passport-sized photos (4 x 6 cm) of the applicant taken within the past six months.
– A personal data form.
– A copy of bank statement showing a deposit of the amount equal to and not less than 800,000 Baht or an income certificate (an original copy) with a monthly income of not less than 65,000 Baht, or a deposit account plus a monthly income totalling not less than 800,000 Baht.
– In the case of submitting a bank statement, a letter of guarantee from the bank (an original copy) is required.
– A letter of verification issued from the country of his or her nationality or residence stating that the applicant has no criminal record (verification shall be valid for not more than three months and should be notarised by notary organs or the applicant’s diplomatic or consular mission).
– A medical certificate issued from the country where the application is submitted, showing no prohibitive diseases as indicated in the Ministerial Regulation No.14 (B.E. 2535) (certificate shall be valid for not more than three months and should be notarised by notary organs or the applicant’s diplomatic or consular mission).
– In the case where the accompanying spouse is not eligible to apply for the Category ‘O-A’ (Long Stay) visa, he or she will be considered for temporary stay under Category ‘O’ visa. A marriage certificate must be provided as evidence and should be notarised by notary organs or by the applicant’s diplomatic or consular mission.
3. Channels to Submit Application
Applicants may submit their application at the Royal Thai embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General in their home/residence country or at the Office of the Immigration Bureau in Thailand located at the Government Center B, Chaengwattana Soi 7, Laksi, Bangkok 10210, Tel 0-2141-9889.
4. Visa Fee
5,000 Baht for multiple entries
5. Recommendations for Non-Immigrant Visa “O-A” Holders while Staying in the Kingdom
5.1 Upon arrival, holders of this type of visa will be permitted to stay in Thailand for one year from the date of first entry.
5.2 At the end of the 90-day stay, the foreigner must report to the immigration office in his or her residence area and report again every 90 days during his or her stay in Thailand. The foreigner may report to the police station if there is no immigration office in his or her residence area.
5.3 Foreigner may report to the competent authority by post and should provide the following:
– A report form (Tor Mor 47).
– A copy of passport pages showing the foreigner’s photo, personal details, and the latest arrival visa stamp.
– A copy of the previous receipt of acknowledgement.
– A self-addressed envelope with postage affixed.
Such documents must be sent to the Immigration Division 1, 120 Moo 3, Government Center B, Chaengwattana Soi 7, Laksi, Bangkok 10210 and must be submitted seven days before the end of every 90-day period. A receipt of acknowledgement will be given and should be used for future correspondence.
5.4 Foreigner who wishes to extend his or her stay shall submit a request for extension of stay at the Office of the Immigration Bureau with documented evidence of money transfer or a deposit account in Thailand or an income certificate showing an amount of not less than 800,000 Baht or an income certificate plus a deposit account showing a total amount of not less than 800,000 Baht. A one-year extension of stay shall be granted at the discretion of the immigration officer to the foreigner as long as he or she meets the above requirements.