What you really need to apply for a Thai retirement visa

The complete list of documents needed to apply for a Thai retirement Visa

What Documents Will I Need To Apply for a Thai Retirement Visa Inside of Thailand?

When applying for a Thai retirement visa at an immigration office inside of Thailand you will need the following documents:

1. A valid passport from your native or resident country. The passport must be in good condition and have a minimum of 18 months remaining before its date of expiration. If the passport is due to expire in less than 18 months your application will likely be rejected. Some immigration offices will accept a passport as long as it has at least 12 months remaining before it expires; however, there is no guarantee.

2. Best to check with the Thai immigration office that you will be using to find out precisely what they require as not all immigration offices in Thailand operate using the same rules or conditions.

3. TM-6 Form which is also known as an arrival/departure card. The TM-6 form is the form that was given to you on the airplane prior to its landing in Thailand. You would have filled out this form either while still on the airplane or inside of the airport before passing through the immigration counter.

This form should currently be stapled inside your passport on the same page that the immigration officer stamped the date of your arrival in Thailand.

You will need to transfer the TM-6 form’s serial number, which is located in the lower right hand corner, onto the retirement visa application or TM-7 form so that immigration officers can verify its accuracy.

4. Passport photos: Either two or three (depending on the immigration office), color, front view, 4 by 5 centimeter, passport photos that were taken within the last three months are required. One is to be attached (stapled or glued) to the appropriately labeled box on the TM-7 form; the other will be kept on file by the Thai immigration office. The purpose of the third photo remains a mystery.

Please note that Thai law requires that you sign the back of each passport photo as proof that it is an original photo of you. Should you lose or forget your passport photos, in most cases there will be shops capable of taking and printing passport photos in just a few minutes located nearby most Thai immigration offices.

5. Proof of address: Proof of having an actual residence within Thailand is needed. This can be in the form of a utility bill, such as a water, electric, telephone, cable TV or internet provider bill that arrives through the Thai postal system.

The bill however, must be in the applicant’s name and have the address where you are currently living printed on it.

The bill will not be accepted if it is in the name of a Thai girlfriend, boyfriend or spouse.

A Thai driving license showing your current address, as well as a rental agreement from your landlord or hotel that is in your name are also acceptable forms of proof of address.

Please note that a Certificate of Residence will not be accepted for proof of address when applying for a Thai retirement visa.

6. Proof of income as previously explained in our other article, the form of an updated bank book or passbook showing the required bank balance, which cannot be more than seven days old, as well as a letter from your Thai bank, confirming the balance and the length of time that it has resided in your bank account or a notarized letter from your embassy, which cannot be more than six months old, proving your monthly income or a combination of all three of these documents.

7. TM-7 Form: all of your personal information along with one passport photo and the serial number from your TM-6 form will need to be completely filled out in black ink on the this form.

The TM-7 form is clearly labeled as the “Application for Extension of Temporary Stay in the Kingdom” and is marked “TM.7” in the upper right hand corner.

• Download TM-47 Form

Photocopies: of each of the above document is required. The number of photocopies of each document can vary between two and four, depending on the immigration office. It is recommended that you take at least six photocopies of each document, as well as all of the original documents.

Please note that each photocopy must be signed in black ink to certify that it is a true copy of the original. Should you lose or forget your photocopies, in most cases there will be a shop capable of making new photocopies nearby most Thai immigration offices.

In the case of your passport, you will need photocopies of the main page as well as the page with your most recent entry stamp and a photocopy of the TM-6 form (the arrival/departure card).

Some immigration offices however, request that a photocopy of each page in your passport be made. To ensure that you have all the necessary photocopies, consult with the immigration office that you will be using to find out exactly what photocopies they actually require.

In the case of your bank book or passbook, you will need photocopies of the page showing your name and account number, as well as the page(s) showing the funds on deposit.

8. Other documentation: A police background check and a medical certificate are both no longer legally required when applying for a Thai retirement visa inside of Thailand. Despite the fact that these documents are not legally required, on the rare occasion an immigration official may request one or even both of these documents before a visa can be issued.

9. The correct fee for processing the visa application is also required at the time the application is submitted. Check with the local immigration office to find out what the current fee is.

What Documents Will I Need To Apply for a Thai Retirement Visa Outside of Thailand?

If you are applying for a Thai retirement visa at a Royal Thai Embassy or a Royal Thai Consulate General in your native or resident country, the required information may differ from country to country so check with the Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate General in your country before submitting an application.

If you were submitting an application in the United States you would need the following documentation:

1. “Application for Visa” (no form number) or the equivalent form obtained from the Thai embassy or consulate in your native or resident country.

• Visa Application Form – Download Form

2. A valid passport that is in good condition and valid for at least 18 months.

3. Passport photos: four, 4 by 5 centimeter, front view, color passport photos that were taken within the last three months. Each photo must be signed in black ink on the back.

4. “Additional Application Form for Non-Immigrant “O/A” (long Stay)”, which is also known as a ‘personal data form’ obtained from the Royal Thai Embassy or a Royal Thai Consulate General in your native or resident country.

• Non-Immigration “OA” (Long Stay) Form Visa type “OA” – Download Form

5. Bank statement showing proof of income that is equal to 800,000 Thai baht obtained from your bank or an income certificate showing a monthly salary of not less than 65,000 Thai baht per month or a combination of the above that is the equivalent of 800,000 Thai baht per year. Please note that all proof of income documents must not be more than seven days old on the day that you submit the application.

6. Police background check that is not more than three months old, which states that the applicant has no criminal record must be presented. A police background check can be obtained from local law enforcement officials in your native or resident country.

7. A medical certificate containing the name and address of the examining doctor that is not more than three months old, showing that the applicant is free of all banned diseases must be presented. The medical certificate can be obtained from a registered physician in your native or resident country.

• Medical Certificate Form – Download Form

8. The correct fee for processing the visa application is also required at the time the application is submitted. Check with the Royal Thai Embassy or a Royal Thai Consulate General in your native or resident country to find out what the current price is.

9. Photocopies: You will need three photocopies of each document plus the original document. In the case of the passport you will need three photocopies of the main page. Please note that item numbers 5, 6 and 7 must be notarized.

Can a 30 Day on Arrival Visa Exemption Stamp Be Converted into a Thai Retirement Visa?

Yes, it is now possible for those who qualify, to convert a 30 day on arrival visa exemption stamp into a Thai retirement visa.

Although this is not commonly done and some immigration officers or offices may refuse to do so, a 30 day on arrival visa exemption stamp may be converted first into a 3 month non immigrant visa, after which a Thai retirement visa can be immediately applied for.

To complete the process you will typically have to visit to the Thai immigration office on at least three separate occasions:

• The first visit will be to apply for a 3 month non immigration visa.

• The second visit will be to find out if the result of the first visit was successful. If the 3 month visa was granted, you may then immediately apply to have that visa changed into a Thai retirement visa.

• The third visit will be to find out if the result of the second visit was successful. If yes, then you will be the holder of a one year Thai retirement visa.

Documents required for converting the 30 day on arrival visa waiver stamp into a 3 month non immigration visa are as follows:

1. A valid passport from your home country in good condition with a minimum of 18 months remaining before it expires. There also must be at least 21 days remaining on your 30 day on arrival visa exemption stamp. Please note that if you do not meet both of these requirements you will not be granted a 3 month non immigrant visa.

2. Passport photos: one photo is required for the 3 month non immigration visa. It must be a front view, color, 4 by 5 centimeter photo, and have been taken within the last three months. Please note that Thai law requires that you sign the back of each passport photo as proof that it is an original photo of you.

3. TM-87 Form or the “Application for Visa” form must be completely filled out in black ink to obtain a 3 month non immigration visa.

• TM-87 Form – “Application for Visa” Download Form

4. Photocopies of your passport’s main page as well as the page with your 30 day on arrival stamp and a photocopy of the TM-6 form (the arrival/departure card), which should be stapled onto the same page as the arrival stamp. You will also need between two and four photocopies of both your proof of address and your proof of income documents. Please note that each photocopy must be signed in black ink to certify that it is a true copy of the original.

5. Proof of address must also be provided. In this particular case a hotel bill in your name with the address and phone number printed on it is acceptable.

6. Proof of income: because you are requesting to convert your 30 day on arrival stamp into a Thai retirement visa, proof of income (as explained above) is also required.

7. The correct fee for processing the visa application is also required at the time the application is submitted. Check with the local immigration office to find out what the current fee is.

At the end of your first visit you will be sent home and told to come back to the immigration office anywhere between later that same day or sometime in the following week to find out whether or not you have been granted a 3 month non immigrant visa.

If everything went well and your 3 month visa was issued, you may them immediately apply to convert your 3 month visa into a Thai retirement visa.

Documents required for converting the 3 month non immigrant visa into a Thai retirement visa are as follows:

1. A valid passport with the new 3 month non immigration visa inside.

2. Passport photos: either two or three (depending on the office) additional passport photos will be required.

3. TM-86 Form or the “Application for Change of Visa” form must be completely filled out in black ink to obtain a Thai retirement visa.

• TM-86 Form – “Application For Change Of Visa” Download Form

4. Proof of income: you will need a second original, not a copy, of your proof of income document. Remember that your first original document was turned in when you applied for the 3 month non immigrant visa. Therefore, a second original proof of income document must be turned in at the time you apply to convert the 3 month visa into a Thai retirement visa. This is why you must obtain two notarized proof of income documents from your embassy instead of one.

5. Photocopies between two and four photocopies of your passport’s main page as well as the page with your new3 month non immigrant visa and a photocopy of the TM-6 form (the arrival/departure card), along with the same quantity of photocopies of your proof of income and proof of address documents. Please note that each photocopy must be signed in black ink to certify that it is a true copy of the original.

6. The correct fee for processing the visa application is also required at the time the application is submitted. Check with the local immigration office to find out what the current fee is.

At the end of your second visit, you will once again, be sent home and told to return to the immigration office on a specified day to find out whether or not you have been granted a Thai retirement visa. If granted, you will then have two visas that will allow you to remain in the Kingdom of Thailand for approximately 14 ½ months before you must renew your Thai retirement visa.

For some reason, this is one of the very rare instances when the issuance of a second visa does not cancel out the first visa. Because of this, the clock will not start ticking on your one year retirement visa until the 3 month non immigrant visa has expired.

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