Thailand Retirement Visa is given to Australian pensioners who want to have a long term visa to Thailand to stay in the country. It is one of the renowned long-term visas in the Land of Smiles. Also, it is one of the few retirement visas across Asia.
Australians aged 50 and above are the only ones that are qualified to apply for this particular visa. Moreover, they must possess a total of THB 800,000 bank deposit which is there for at least 2 months. Or they must have a monthly income or pension of THB 65,000. Australian pensioners may also show to consular officers that the combination of their current deposit account and monthly income amounts to THB 800,000.
Once approved, Australian retirees may stay in Thailand for a year. However, they are strictly prohibited from working. They must report to the immigration police every 90 days. Should they need to leave Thailand, they must secure a re-entry permit first. Otherwise, their 1-year stay is considered void.
Ways to acquire a Thailand retirement visa
Visa conversions and formal applications are two popular methods of acquiring a retirement visa.
Under visa conversion, the Australian retiree initially applies for a non-immigrant “O” visa and asks for an extension. To signify that retirement is the extension’s basis, the “O” visa is transformed into “O-A” visa. Here, they can create a bank account and let the THB 800,000 deposit remain for two months. The evident advantage of this approach is the easy acquisition of financial documents. Moreover, it also exempts the Australian expat from obtaining other papers such as medical certificates, for example. To many, this method proves to be more practical and convenient.
On the other hand, Australians may also submit a formal application at the Thai embassy in Australia. Compared to the previous option, this procedure no longer requires conversion for approved Australian applicants shall immediately have their “O-A” visa. But then again since a formal application is filed, they need to comply with the visa’s documentary requirements. This, of course, translates to more legwork, most especially when it comes to the acquisition of financial documents.
The two options are meant to make the whole application easier for potential applicants. Also, it must be remembered that there is a strong need to satisfy the age and financial requirements of the visa. These two must be readily addressed by Australian pensioners. The failure to meet the two conditions makes them ineligible for the visa.