The complete list of physical, legal & financial requirements for retiring in Thailand
What are the Physical and Legal Requirements for Obtaining a Thai Visa for retiring in Thailand?
Currently the office of the Royal Thai Immigration Bureau states that for the purpose of applying for a Thai retirement visa foreign nationals must:
• Be 50 years of age or above on the date that the application is submitted.
• Not have previously been prohibited from entering the Kingdom under the Immigration Act B.E.2522.
• Have the nationality of, or be a resident of the country from which the application is being submitted from when the Thai retirement visa is being applied for outside of Thailand.
• Not have a criminal record in either Thailand, your native country or in the country in which you are currently a resident.
• Not have any infectious or contagious diseases, such as Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Alcoholism and Drug Addiction or any other communicable disease that has been deemed as being harmful or dangerous to the citizens of Thailand as noted in Ministerial Regulation No. 14.
Section 44 of the Thai immigration act somewhat clarifies the final two points listed above:
No alien is authorized to take up residence in the Kingdom, if it appears that said alien:
1. Has been punished with imprisonment by legal judgment or legal order of a Thai or foreign country court, except [for] a minor offence committed by negligence, or an offence exempted as prescribed by the Ministerial Regulations.
2. Is unable to earn his living because of mental defect or physical infirmity or having any diseases as prescribed by Ministerial Regulations.
Do I Need a Police Background Check to Obtain a Thai Retirement Visa?
If you are applying for a Thai retirement visa inside of Thailand, the answer to this question is NO*; a police background check is technically and legally not required by Thai immigration authorities.
*Although it’ is unusual, depending on the circumstances, some Thai immigration officials or offices inside of Thailand may still ask for a police background check.
The fact that a police background check is no longer needed when the application is submitted inside of Thailand makes the entire process simpler and less troublesome than if the visa is applied for in your native or resident country.
However, if you choose to apply for a retirement visa at a Royal Thai Embassy or a Royal Thai Consulate General in your native or resident country then the answer to the above question is YES, a police background check is required at the time the application for a Thai retirement visa is submitted.
To obtain a police background, consult with the local law enforcement officials in your native or resident country. If a police background check is needed in Thailand, contact the embassy from your native or resident country for details about how to obtain a police background check in Thailand.
Do I Need a Medical Background Check to Obtain a Thai Retirement Visa?
In the past it was necessary to prove that you were free of all infectious diseases before a Thai retirement visa was granted. This was accomplished by providing Thai immigration authorities with a letter or certificate obtained from a physician after a thorough medical examination.
When applying for a retirement visa while inside of Thailand; proof of a medical checkup is technically and legally NO longer required*.
*Although it’ is unusual, depending on the circumstances, some Thai immigration officials or offices inside of Thailand may still ask for a medical certificate.
If this happens do not argue the point as it will only create additional problems for you. Simply go to the nearest medical clinic, where after a cursory examination and for a small fee you will be presented with the asked for certificate.
Therefore the answer to the above question is MAYBE, but not likely. That’s why it’s always smart to check with your local immigration office before you apply to find out exactly what documents that particular office requires.
As is the case of the police background check, if you are applying for a Thai retirement visa at a Thai embassy or consulate outside of Thailand in your native or resident country, then the answer to the above question is YES, you will need a medical certificate at the time the application for a Thai retirement visa is submitted.
A medical certificate can be obtained from a registered physician. However, the certificate must contain the name and address of the examining doctor and it must not be more than three months old.
What are the Financial Requirements for Obtaining a Thai Retirement Visa?
In order to obtain a Thai retirement visa, the applicant must be able to demonstrate that he or she is able to financially support themselves for the one year period in which the retirement visa is valid.
Therefore, each applicant must provide Thai immigration authorities with proof that confirms any one of the four following financial options at the time they submit their application for a Thai retirement visa:
1. A Thai Bank Account that shows that a deposit of not less than 800,000 Thai baht, which for the initial visa application must have resided in that account for not less than two months prior to the date of submitting the visa application form.
For each retirement visa renewal, you must prove that a deposit of not less than 800,000 Thai baht has been in your Thai bank account for a period of not less than three months prior to the renewal.
2. A Foreign Currency Bank Account showing a deposit in your native currency that is the equivalent of 800,000 Thai baht, based on the current Bank of Thailand’s exchange rate on the date that the application is filed, will also be accepted by Thai immigration authorities as long as the required amount has been in that account for the proper length of time (two months for the first retirement visa or three months for each renewal) prior to submitting the retirement visa’s application form.
In order to prove any of the above, a letter from either your Thai or foreign currency bank that is not less than seven days old verifying your bank balance, as well as your bank book or passbook are required by Thai immigration authorities at the time you submit the application for a Thai retirement visa.
3. A Verifiable Income in the form of either a monthly salary or a pension from your native or resident country that is equal to 65,000 Thai baht per month is also considered by Thai immigration authorities to be an acceptable annual income.
If this is possible, then it is not necessary to maintain a balance of 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account prior to submitting your application for a new retirement visa or when renewing an existing Thai retirement visa.
Proof of your monthly income for not less than a three month period must be presented to Thai immigration authorities in the form of a notarized letter drafted by the embassy of the nation from which your salary or pension comes from.
The financial information however, cannot be more than six months old at the time it is submitted to the immigration authorities.
To obtain a notarized letter from your embassy, you will need to present the embassy with monthly bank statements or income tax documents showing your income, and or pension documents. Only after those documents have been verified by embassy personnel will the embassy provide you with the required notarized letter.
Because requirements from nation to nation may vary or change, it is best to consult with the embassy from your native or resident country to find out exactly what type of documentation they will require to successfully complete this task.
4. A Combination Deposit and Verifiable Income which over the course of twelve months totals the equivalent of 800,000 or more Thai baht is another form of income that is accepted by Thai immigration authorities.
For example, if you receive a salary or pension of 60,000 Thai baht per month, over a twelve month period that works out to be 720,000 Thai baht per year.
In order to meet the requirements for a Thai retirement visa you would need to deposit the difference, which in this case is 80,000 Thai baht into a Thai bank account so that the combined total equals 800,000 Thai baht to meet the minimum financial requirement for a Thai retirement visa.
Proof of both forms of income, as explained above in option numbers one through three must still be provided to Thai immigration authorities at the time the Thai retirement visa’s application is submitted.
In this case however, it will not be necessary for the funds to have been deposited into your Thai bank account for the normal two or three month period prior to submitting the application.