Visa and Retirement in Thailand
How to get a retirement visa in Thailand?
For people over 50 it's quit easy to get a so called retirement visa for the rest of their life in Thailand. The visa need to be renewed every year and there is a requirement that you have to prove that you can support yourself. The requirement for this is to prove that you have 800' Baht in a Thailand account or can prove a monthly income above 65' Baht. You can also mix these two so yearly income plus amount on bank account is total above 800' Baht.
Thailand Visa for people under 50.
For people under 50 it's much harder to get a long stay visa in Thailand. As a regular tourist from a western country you will normally get a tourist visa for 30 days on the border when you arrive to Thailand. This visa can be extended for 7 days while you're in Thailand and then you have to leave. We are told that the possibility for a 7 days extension period will soon be changed to 30 days extension but until then it's the 7 days there is applicable.
In Thailand there has grovn up a business of it's own to offer so called "visa runs" across the Thailand border where the only goal is to cross the border and then go back to get a new tourist visa when they entering the country again. The government obviously does not like this practice of abusing the rules to stay in the country longer than the meaning of a tourist visa and they have repeatedly threatened that people who do this kind of "visa runs" can consider to not get allowed to get back into Thailand again. Until now, this threats have for most people meant little problems beyond the added concern that causes every time they make a "visa run" in fear of not getting back into Thailand. But of course of the risk and all the hassel with doing the visa runs every month make long stay on this kind to a tiresome way to resolve the visa problem.
Another way to get outside the strict visa requirements when one is under 50 is to obtain a education visa. This is a visa that is intended for students who will study in Thailand but in recent years has largely been abused by long stay tourists under 50 that wants' a long term visa and work around the strict rules by signing up as a student at the simplest, cheapest school with minimal hours a week solely for the purpose of getting an education visa. Many people choose to go to Thai school to study Thai, both because there are many customised options for tourist while this at the same time is a sensible study for those who want to stay in Thailand for long periods. Many, however, pay for the program and participate minimally in class or nothing at all. This is rarely encountered but can be problematic when to apply for renewal of an education visa. The government will of course respond if you supposedly have studied Thai for a year and still not a single word of Thai. You have been warned.
Remember that the visa rules and routines by the government change all the time. We're not taking any responsibility if any information in this article is wrong ore outdated.