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statman78

Retiring in Thailand - What's needed

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Within the next month I will be entering Thailand on a tourist visa with the intention of staying there based on retirement.  Over the past year or more I have been reading many postings here on ThaiVisa but I still would like some clarification.  It is my understanding that I need to apply for a non-immigrant-O visa after I arrive then apply for an extension of stay based on retirement.  I will be staying with my Thai wife at our home in Chiang Rai.  I should be able to apply for the non-immigrant visa at a local immigration office near Chiang Rai, correct?  What documentation is needed?  If I would apply for the visa in the US I would need documentation showing:

 

1. proof of retirement

2. bank statement but I assume that this would not be needed if I have 800,000 baht in a Thai bank for at least 2 months

3. a copy of my criminal record from my local police department in the US

4. a certificate of health

 

Since I will be applying for the visa in Thailand, which of the above documents will I need?  Is there anything else I will need?

 

According to their website, if I apply for this visa in the US (Thai consulate in Chicago) I would need to have all 4 of the documents listed above "certified by a Notary Public and certify true signature of the notary public by the Secretary of State".  I would hope that it would be less complicated entering Thailand on a tourist visa then getting the non-immigrant visa.  

 

I look forward to your comments.

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Persons more knowledgeable than me will surely answer soon, but I think you cannot apply for a visa from within Thailand, only from abroad. But yes you should be able to apply for extension of stay based on retirement. Assuming you are over 50, which you didn't specify.

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Posted (edited)

there is a little less and easy to get paperwork if you do the O visa in Thailand instead of the USA.  There are ways to get more than one year if you do the USA route first, and you can do the funds proof in the USA, etc.  There is a thread with the list comparing doing it both ways somewhere here.  One extra trip or two to immigration I think is needed if you do the conversion over in Thailand instead of starting in the USA.  So it comes down to a matter of preference which way one wants to do it.

Edited by gk10002000
update

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I copied this off some thread a while ago.

 

my friend is an 'agent' here in bangkok.  but it will cost 30,000thb or more going through him.  i can provide his contact info via private message if you need it.  while he is my friend, etc...  i decided to do it myself and save the money.  once you enter thailand visa exempt or via tourist visa, you go to chaeng wattana immigration's 'change visa' desk.  on your first visit, you apply for the non imm O (long stay visa).  they tell you to come back in two weeks which is when they'll let you know if you've been approved and place the visa stamp in your passport.  it is only good for 90 days.  during the last 30 days of that 90, you go back to immigration to request the one year extension.  getting the 90 day non imm O takes very little time.  it took less than 15 minutes for each of the visits.  but it took several hours to obtain the one year extension (i arrived around 9am and wasn't done until almost 3pm). 

 

i'd been spending 8 months a year in thailand and it wasn't very convenient for me to get all the stuff required to get the O-A in the USA as i didn't really have a home base.  no car, no doctor, traveling from place to place so no address for the consulate to send stuff back to me, etc..   others, who still had a 'life' in USA have said getting the O-A was very easy.  and you keep your money in the USA.

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Posted (edited)

It is really uplifting to read posts like OP, where you "nail it" with correct terms in respect of VISAS and extensions.

 

Await Ubonjoes reply, he knows all about this, but YES you can converse this tourist-VISA you get in USA inside Thailand, to a Non O, but only if your endgoal is an extension of stay...

 

So well done and good luck..

glegolo

Edited by glegolo

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You do not need a medical or police certificate.

Yes you can do it in Thailand.

It would be easier if you could obtain a Non Imm O Visa before arrival but not a problem if you cannot.

Don't waste money on agents as it is very easy to do yourself.

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4 hours ago, statman78 said:

I will be staying with my Thai wife at our home in Chiang Rai. 

Instead of getting a tourist visa you could get a single entry non-o visa based upon marriage to a Thai. They are easy to get at most embassies and consulates.

Then you could apply for a one year extension during the last 30 day of the 90 day entry from the visa based upon retirement or marriage (400k baht in the bank for 2 months).

4 hours ago, statman78 said:

1. proof of retirement

2. bank statement but I assume that this would not be needed if I have 800,000 baht in a Thai bank for at least 2 months

3. a copy of my criminal record from my local police department in the US

4. a certificate of health

1, 3, and 4 are not needed.

2. Correct.

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2 hours ago, arithai12 said:

Persons more knowledgeable than me will surely answer soon, but I think you cannot apply for a visa from within Thailand, only from abroad. 

You are wrong. A non immigrant visa can be applied for at immigration if you qualify for certain extensions of stay such as this case where he qualifies for retirement or marriage to a Thai.

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Posted (edited)

@statman78

You've obviously been checking the Chicago website and come across this;

VII. Retirement in Thailand (O-A visa), the applicant must be at least 50 years old and must submit documents as follows :

  • documentation showing proof of retirement
  • bank statement or monthly/year income.
  • a copy of the applicant’s criminal record from the local police department
  • a certificate of health.
*These documents must be certified by a Notary Public and certify true signature of the notary public by the Secretary of State.

Because you are married to a Thai, you can apply for a single entry 90 day Non Imm O Visa (as UJ stated), then apply directly for the extension at your local Immigration office within the last 30 days of permission to stay from that Visa. You should be reading this;

VI. Visiting family

  • To visit as a spouse of a Thai national
    • a valid and effective marriage certificate (original)
    • a certified copy of the Thai national's passport/ I.D. card of the spouse.
    • a certified letter from the Thai spouse stating that he or she is still married to the applicant.
    • Fianc้s or fianc้es are not included in this category
  • To visit as a relative of a Thai national
    • documents proving such relationship.

'Certified' in this context means copies of your wife's documents must be signed by her.

 

Alternatively if you enter with a TV, you have to go through a conversion process at local Immigration, which is more time consuming and more expensive. Details of the conversion procedure can be found here;

https://www.immigration.go.th/content/service_80

 

You'd initially file a TM86 to convert your TV into a Non Imm O (read the conditions carefully), then within the last 30 days of the Non Imm O, you'd apply for the extension on a TM7. Advise which route you prefer and we can advise on documentation required.

 

 

Edited by Tanoshi

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Posted (edited)

statman78,

 

do you already have a thai bank account ?  it can be easier to open a bank account with a non immigrant O visa than with a tourist visa. 

 

the verbage in post #4 is from one of my previous posts.  i entered visa exempt and went to the 'change visa' desk at the immigration office in bangkok.  i already had a bank account with the necessary funds.  changing to a non O was very easy and didn't take much time at all.  i went to the bank one day to get a letter stating what funds were on deposit.  the next day i went to immigration to apply.  then went back about two weeks later to get the non imm O stamp.

 

i'm not sure what the immigration office is like in chiang rai, in bangkok they have a special desk for 'change visa' and there is not much activity at that desk (unlike other desks where you can wait hours).  if the CR office is something like buriram (where i've done extensions to tourist visas), all the work is done at the same desk.  doesn't matter if you are extending a tourist visa, applying for another year of stay based on retirement, changing your visa, etc...  it may take longer in an office like that than it did in bangkok.

 

maybe someone living in chiang rai can provide some insight on the situation at the office there.

Edited by buick

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I’m sure people have covered it, but since I did this in March, I will just post my route.

 

first I got Single entry Tourist visa from U.K. , this does not require too much info - money in bank, proof of job. 

 

To get retirement extension, you MUST first change this Tourist visa to Non Immigrant O visa at immigration . ( you could, as stated before, change a 30 day entry stamp as well.) This will require proof of aggress, certificate of residence .

 

the Non Immigrant O is valid for 90 days. After 60 days you can apply for an extension to 12 months for retirement. 

 

Fir this, you need proof of address in Thailand ( even if you own condo you need a letter from condo office confirming you actually live there ) you need proof of 800,000  baht in a bank account for three months( might be only two for initial extension ) or  proof of annual income up to that amount or a mixture of the two. Take two copies of EVERY piece of proof with you, along with two copies of passport, arrival card and two photos of yourself. 

 

Having obtained my Non Immigrant O visa, getting retirement extension was easy, took paperwork to immigration, all checked etc , pay 1900bht, return next day to pick up stamped passport. 

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If you are an American, you will probably also need a statement of yearly income which must be signed in front of an official at the US Embassy in Bangkok.  My last one cost $50.  Maybe it's not needed for applicants who have 800,000 Baht in the bank before they apply.  The 800,000 must all be there and untouched for two months before you can apply for the 90-day Non-O.  It's good to get your papers in order and show up at immigration NLT 15 days before your period of stay expires.  Ubonjoe is the expert on all of this and can verify whether the embassy-notarized affidavit is needed if you have the cash in the bank.  I've always used retirement income.

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Posted (edited)

I came to Thailand on the Retirement Visa (yes I am aware of the correct terminology) applied for and issued through the Chicago Royal Thai Consulate. Paperwork you mentioned was complied with. Now on the annual extensions for 7 years. As a host for newcomers at the Chiang Mai Expats, I can assure you it is easier to get your Visa once here in Thailand. Speaking to an American here in Chiang Mai who has been going through the Chiang Mai Immigration Office himself, he assures me it is simple enough. I have used the annual affidavit issued by the American Consulate in Chiang Mai (serves all N. Thailand). The requirement is to have the 800K in a Thai bank as you stated OR a monthly income of 65K per month (thus my Consul affidavit attesting to this) OR an combination of the two. 

Edited by wwest5829

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6 minutes ago, DogNo1 said:

My last one cost $50.  Maybe it's not needed for applicants who have 800,000 Baht in the bank before they apply.  The 800,000 must all be there and untouched for two months before you can apply for the 90-day Non-O.

It is 800k baht in the bank on the day you a apply for a non immigrant visa (there is no 60 day requirement) or 65k baht income or a combination the 2 totaling 800k baht.

The the 800k baht only has to be in the bank for 60 days to apply for the first extension of stay application.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, arithai12 said:

but I think you cannot apply for a visa from within Thailand,

He wants to convert to a Non-imm O visa entry. It can be done (depending on the office you use) in anticipation of applying for an extension of stay based on retirement.

You actually end up with a permission to stay based on a fictional non-imm O entry. You won't have a visa that you could use to enter the country.

 

  In order to apply for an extension of stay based on retirement you need to have a Non-imm O entry, not a tourist entry or visa exempt entry so this accomplishes that.

 

Probably easier to start out with a non-imm O (or O-A) visa in the first place, but personal circumstances differ.

Edited by Suradit69
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BANGKOK 19 August 2018 20:06
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