Retirement Visa Extension, Thailand


See Video of Immigration Office in Bangkok at bottom of this page.

Nowadays, we contact Immigration for our yearly extension of a Retirement Visa, and for our '90-days-reporting'. Contact is the right word, since we do not go to Immigration anymore for the latter, but fill out our '90-days-reporting' application online, which we recommend, (when it is available, check in time).

Still we have to go in person for our Retirement Visa extension, (and for our Exit-Reentry Visa).

Government Center Building B, Chaeng Wattana Road Soi 7

Government Center Building B, at Chaeng Wattana Road Soi 7

 

In Thailand you can get a retirement non-immigrant visa when you are 50 years old, and thereafter renew it every year.

To get our retirement visa extended, we need to demonstrate that sufficient funds are available in a bank account with a Thai bank, and that the money has been in the account for the last three months (?). There is an alternative way : demonstrating that you have a regular income coming into Thailand of 65,000 Thai Baht, which looks like a very cumbersome procedure to us, one we would never comtemplate. That being said, we understand that there are quite a few foreigners around that do not trust that their money is safe with Thai banks.

For extending a Non-Immigration-O retirement visa, you need :

1) To be on the safe side : copies of all the pages in your passport, including from the arrival slip (the so-called T.M.6 Departure Card).

2) Copies of your bank booklet in Thailand. Again, to be on the safe side, copy all the pages. There are some additional concerns here. We advise to deposit a small sum (though a minmum of 1,000 baht seems to be required) on the same day as your visit to Immigration. This to prove that the sums are still there on the day of your application. Be advised that a lot of banks are located in the basement, but they all close around or even before 4.30 P.M. We understand that it is possible to deposit sums into bank accounts with ATM machines, and then get your bank booklet updated. However, better to plan this during working hours of the banks.

3) A letter from your bank dd. the same day as your visit to Immigration (this may take from 10 minutes to 1 hour to get, so schedule in possible time required), confirming the amount mentioned in your bank booklet, is indeed still there. Furthermore, during our last visit early 2021, we were also required to get a summary of all the transactions between your previous visit (the exact day you went to Immigration one year ago) and the day of your new visit.

NOTE : For sure, the money in your bank has to be there for at least 3 months prior to your application for an extension. I had a casual chat with an immigration officer. From this, I got the impression that TO BE ON THE SAFE SIDE, it is advised to leave the money required (800,000 Thai Baht) in your account, and not to touch it during the whole year. If you start withdrawing money on different occasions, it may strictly speaking be allowed, but it may set off some alarms.

4) You will need limited health insurance when you apply for a retirement visa extension, if your visa is Non-immigrant O-A. We understand that this should at least provide coverage for 40,000 Thai Baht outpatient, and 400,000 Thai Baht inpatient expenses (the latter seems like insufficient insurance coverage to me). You can read more about insurance here. There are many Thai Insurance providers for this purpose.

This does not apply for holders of an Non-Immigrant O type visa. That is the one we have, and we have never been bothered about health insurance, which we have anyway. We understand that this type of retirement visa is obtained inside Thailand, after you enter the country with another visa. The O-A type retirement visa is obtained directly from Thai Embassies abroad, and if you have one of those, you need health insurance. The difference between 0 and 0- A visa seems almost like a well kept secret. We noticed when visiting lawyer websites and online Youtube videos, that even lawyers seem to be having some problems in pointing out what the differences are. In our opinion, some even give some vague statements, likely to confuse customers, and thus more likely to get them as customers. [We even at one time found a site that charged a few thousand Thai Baht to arrange for 90-days reporting services, a service that at the time was free to do online (!) and is free to do when you go in person, except for your transport costs]

Besides all this, I have heard that rules sometimes can be grandfathered, that is, if persons arrived years ago, the requirements at that time, may remain valid. If you are very old, and the insurance companies refuse to provide coverage, all you can do is present the problem to Immigration, and hope for some kind of benevolence.

 

Security Measures

When visiting with the immigration officer, it seems now customary to have another photo taken and downloaded to a computer. Not only that, to get your visa, you have to provide your fingerprints.At least this happened once to me, and does not seem to be a recurrent procedure.

A few years ago, I was asked to put my index fingers on an electronic device, and my fingerprints became visible on the computer screen instantly. I hardly realized what I was doing. To be honest, I did not remember ever having provided my fingerprints, but no need to worry about that anymore, they are registered now in Thailand, and likely transferred to databases around the world (we do not know this for sure, of course). To be on the safe side, I likely will need to abstain from committing crimes in the future, not that I had planned anything along those lines. .