How to Apply For Thailand Retirement Visa in the UK
Thai Embassy offers Non-immigrant Visa “O-A” (Long Stay) for retirees intending to reside in Thailand. The holder of a visa under this category may take advantage of some unique benefits offered specially for retiring in Thailand.
The “O-A” visa serves as an entry visa (single or multiple entry). The allowable period of stay is for up to a year and may even be extended after a year of stay. The spouse may also be authorized to accompany the retiree in Thailand. The embassy may grant in favor of the retiree’s spouse a Non-Immigrant “O” dependent visa.
Visa Eligibility Requirements
The conditions to be complied with to have the “O-A” visa is as follows:
· at least 50 years of age
· not been in conflict with the law of Thailand, country of your nationality and country of permanent residence · not suffering nor had been previously inflicted with a contagious disease
· no intention and permit to work
· Annual pension income equivalent to at least THB 65,000.00 monthly income or THB 800,000.00 in Thai baht in a Thai bank.
Thai Retirement Visa Application Procedure
The process for the application is commenced through the submission of application to the Royal Thai Embassy in London or the Royal Thai Consulates in Hull, Liverpool, and Birmingham.
The application can be done personally or through a Thailand visa agency. However, if the applicant will apply within Thailand the rules are less strict as opposed to apply within a Thai Embassy outside of the Kingdom.
Along with the application form, the applicant must have a passport with at least 12 months validity on the applying date. Recent passport size photographs are also necessary. As supporting documents, a copy of bank statement and criminal record must also be produced (if applying outside of Thailand). It is recommended to first apply for a 90 day non-immigrant visa outside of Thailand and then extend it to a one year “O-A” type visa within Thailand at the Thai Immigration office. This eliminates the need for a comprehensive medical exam and criminal records check from your local police. The financial requirements and documents from your pension or bank accounts are most important in the application process. These are essential to the approval of the visa by the Thai consular office and will serve as a basis for the issuance of the Thai Retirement Visa.
Upon receipt of the retirement visa for Thailand, the holder is already allowed to travel to Thailand and request for entry at the Thai Immigration checkpoint. The visa does not promise entry. The immigration inspector at the port of entry has the final say on the matter. He shall first determine the holder’s eligibility to be admitted. If allowed entry, the initial period granted to the holder is normally up to 90 days. It may subsequently extended by the Office of Thai Immigration Bureau.