Emigrate to Thailand as a pensioner– Retiree Visa

For retirees, Thailand is a popular place to be due to the low cost of living, pleasant climate and respectful treatment of the elderly.

For a long-term stay, the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers a special retiree visa, which has relatively simple conditions.

In the following article we provide you with the most important details.

Living in Thailand as a retiree

The Non-Immigrant O Visa is intended for those who wish to become long-term residents of Thailand with their pension.

If all conditions are met, the visa is valid for one year at a time and can be extended for an additional year at a time.

To be eligible for this visa, you must be at least 50 years old and you are not allowed to work in Thailand.

Three different types of visas

The most common is the Non-Immigrant Visa (O) Retirement.

It is initially valid for three months and can be extended every year for another 12 months at the local immigration office.

The advantage is the low visa application requirements.

It is therefore used by most interested parties. The residence permit can be renewed annually and allows multiple entries, if you apply for a re-entry permit before leaving the country.

The application for the Non-Immigrant Visa (O-A), which must also be renewed annually, and the Non-Immigrant Visa (O-X) are significantly more complex. This residence permit is valid for 10 years and you get 2 times a visa with 5 years validity.

The Non-Immigrant Visa (O) Retirement - 1 year visa

First, a visa for a one-time stay of 90 days has to be applied for through the relevant embassy or consulate.

The application is made via the e-visa page of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs. You submit the documents for the visa to the responsible consulate.

It is important that you submit the visa application at the earliest three months before the planned start of your stay in Thailand. The reason is that the visa becomes invalid 90 days after it has been issued.

The processing time is given by the embassy as 15 working days. The cost for the "Non-Immigrant O" is 70 Euro for the visa for 3 months and 175 Euro for the annual visa.

Normally, entry without a visa is possible for citizens of many countries. Upon entry, a stay of 30 days is allowed by a stamp in the passport.

If you decide to do so, you will have to extend your stay relatively quickly in Thailand. It is possible to extend by another 30 days on the spot at the immigration office.

Immigration authorities can, but do not have to, issue a Non-Immigrant O-Visa on this basis. The Department of State explicitly states that long-term visas are only issued to holders of a 90-day visa.

So it is better to apply for the 90-day visa in your home country and then apply for the Non-Immigrant O for 12 months in Thailand.


  • You must be at least 50 years old
  • A balance of at least 800,000 THB in a savings or time deposit account at a Thai bank.
  • In exceptional cases, a police clearance certificate and/or a medical certificate

The bank balance must be held for a certain period of time. Currently, this is two months before the visa application and three months after the visa is issued.

If the visa is extended, 800,000 THB must be available in the account again at least three months before the application.

Currently, it is possible to withdraw up to 400,000 THB from the account in the meantime. Thus, you can dispose of half of it in the other months and use it for your living expenses.

However, it is important that you replenish it in time before applying for the visa extension!

The immigration office expects proof, which has to be provided by a letter from the bank and a copy of a bank book.

Alternatively to the credit balance, proof of a monthly income of 65,000 THB is possible.

Officially, the immigration office wants a confirmation from the embassy of your home country. If it is a state pension, this may be feasible, otherwise probably not.

Usually bank statements confirming this income are sufficient. The documents should be complete for one year.

It is important that the income comes from abroad, because with the retirement visa you are not allowed to work in Thailand.

For the initial application, the following documents must be submitted to the Immigration Office in Bangkok:

  • Application form
  • Passport valid for at least 6 months
  • Passport photo (no more than 6 months old)
  • Proof of at least 800,000 Thai Baht (THB) or monthly income of 65,000 THB or a combination of deposit and annual income of 800,000 THB.
  • Proof of the address in Thailand
  • Proof of medical insurance

For multiple entry, a re-entry permit must be applied for at the immigration office. Note that there are single and multiple entry permits. The costs are 1,000 Baht for a single re-entry permit and 3,000 Baht for a multiple re-entry permit (as of 2024).

If you do not plan to travel outside of Thailand, you do not need to apply for this permit. It is necessary to provide your current address at the local immigration office every 90 days.

Failure to do so will result in a fine of 2,000 THB.

New: Retirees in Thailand need health insurance

In general, the same conditions apply to initial applications and renewals of the residence permit. They can be adjusted by the government at any time.

A new requirement is that the applicant must have valid international health insurance. The minimum amount of coverage is:

  • 40,000 THB for outpatient treatment
  • 400,000 THB for inpatient treatment

The insurance must be valid for at least one year.

What health insurance can I use as a retiree if I have migrated to Thailand?

The topic of health insurance when emigrating is very complex and should not be neglected by you. Please read our detailed article on the subject so that you are also insured in Thailand in the best possible way and know what is important:

The Non-Immigrant Visa (O-A) - 1 Year Visa

At first glance, the conditions do not differ much, but this is deceptive.

The requirements are much stricter.

One point is health insurance. According to the Thai goverment, the minimum coverage is currently set at $100,000 for general medical treatment.

The insurer must also cover the cost of COVID-19 treatment. Proof of insurance must be in English or Thai.

Foreign companies must fill out an appropriate form, which must be signed by two people.

In addition to the conditions and documents for the O pensioner visa, the following is also required for the O-A variant:

  • Police clearance certificate (maximum 3 months old)
  • Health certificate from your family doctor confirming that you do not have any prohibited diseases (there is a special form for this at the authority)

Prohibited diseases include drug addiction, according to the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This visa also requires a residence report to immigration every 90 days.

Working in Thailand is prohibited. The visa is valid for one year and can be renewed annually. The application for the visa is usually made in the home country.

The Non-Immigrant Visa (O-X) - 10 Year Visa

This visa allows citizens of a few countries to stay in Thailand for 5 years. It can be extended once for 5 years.

The 14 eligible countries include:

  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • United States of America

Visas can also be applied for the younger spouse (marriage certificate required) and children under 20 (birth certificate required).

Each person must meet all conditions.

As with the other two visa types, the main applicants must be at least 50 years old.

At least 3 million baht must be deposited in an account at a bank in Thailand.

Alternatively, the amount of 1.8 million THB is sufficient if you can prove an income of at least 1.2 million THB.

The funds must remain in the account for one year. After that, funds not exceeding 1.5 million baht may only be spent in Thailand. So 1.5 million THB must remain in your account.

The health insurance must be from a provider that has a registered office in Thailand. It must cover 40,000 THB for outpatient treatment and 400,000 THB for inpatient treatment and be valid for the entire stay.

It is important to have sufficient funds in the account again when applying for an extension. The application fee is 350 Euros. The application can also be made in Thailand if there is another valid visa.

In addition to the documents already mentioned, a curriculum vitae in English is required.

Also with this residence permit you have to report to the immigration office every 90 days.

In addition, there is an annual review to determine whether the requirements for the visa are still met. Otherwise, the residence title can be withdrawn.


The easiest option for a long term stay for retirees in Thailand is the Non-Immigrant Visa O.

You do not need to obtain almost any documents for this. The procedure is relatively simple. Note that you will have to report to the immigration office every three months.

Saving taxes in Thailand is easy for retirees.

However, you must understand that when taxing your pension, you must always consider the rules of the home country and the source country (in this case Thailand).

A negotiated double taxation treaty will give you clarity on how the pension is to be taxed. Please consult us for advice in these cases or find a specialized tax advisor. 

In this video and article, I show you more options for living in Thailand, whether it is suitable as a Plan B residence and what my personal impressions of the country are. 

You need more information? Then don't hesitate and make an appointment with our team.

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