If you have Thailand on your list of ‘places to consider for retirement’ list, you certainly wouldn’t be alone; indeed, many expats already live-in places like Phuket, Hua Hin and Samui Island, which are regarded as premier retirement destinations. Just like any country, Thailand has immigration laws and regulations, which have to be met, of course, but that is relatively easy when compared to some countries.
Long-Term Retirement Visa in Thailand
If you are aged 50 or over, you can apply for a retirement visa that is valid for 12 months; the requirements are as follows:
- Open a Thai Bank Account – You must open a Thai bank account and deposit at least 800,000 Thai baht and the finds should remain in the account at all times. The other alternative is to show proof of pension that exceeds a minimum amount; the Thai immigration department want to see that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in their country.
- Adequate Medical Insurance – There is a special Thai visa insurance policy that meets the immigration requirements and you may also need to have Covid-19 insurance, which most countries have in place. A visit to the website of the Royal Thai Embassy in your home country would furnish you with all the information you need, then you can apply for the visa before you book your flights.
You also have to register with immigration every 90 days, regardless of the type of visa you hold and this can be done online, via the Thai immigration website. This is not to be confused with your visa; always make sure that you renew your annual visa before the expiry date and there are fines for those who overstay. You could also charter a yacht in the south of Thailand for a few days, which is not so expensive.
As you would expect with a third world country, English is not widely spoken; outside the tourist areas, in some rural regions, hardly anyone would understand English. If you are planning to retire in the Land of Smiles, you should make every effort to learn how to speak Thai, which will impress the locals. The Thai people are very warm and friendly and like most people, they appreciate it when a foreigner makes an effort to communicate in their language, even if it might raise the odd giggle and after a couple of years, you will be able to have a basic conversation.
Real Estate in Thailand
The law in Thailand states that a foreigner is not permitted to own land, although you are allowed to purchase a condo unit, subject to certain conditions. Many foreign retirees lease a plot of land for 30 years, with a further option of another 30 years, which is enough to bequeath the asset to your children. Of course, renting is always an option and that does not tie you down for long periods and accommodation costs are very reasonable; you can rent a nice condo unit near the beach that is fully furnished for a few hundred dollars a month, or even cheaper if you are prepared to live in a rural setting. Click here for further reading on laws about land ownership in Thailand.
Many retirees are already enjoying life in the tropical paradise of Thailand and with a little research and planning, you will be ready to fly to Bangkok and start your golden retirement years.