Thailand is without doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world to retire. There is plenty for an expat to enjoy here when they finally retire – scenic beaches, rich and beautiful natural attractions like forests and rivers, and relatively inexpensive standard of living. Some parts of Thailand also provide retirees the peace and quiet that they need in their advanced age.
There is, of course, a straightforward process that retirees have to subscribe to before they can become officially expats in Thailand in their older years.
First, the expat needs to secure a non-immigrant visa from the Thai Embassy in their country. All they need to present is a valid passport, with at least a year of validity remaining. They must also prove that they are a national or a permanent resident in the country from which they are applying – if one is making the application in a Thai Embassy in London, for instance, they must be British nationals or residents.
Once a non-immigrant visa has been issued, the foreign national can then apply for a retirement visa. He or she must be at least 50 years old in order to apply. They should also present their passport, a Departure Card TM.6, a Thai bank book and a letter from the bank that they hold an account in.
There is also the issue of proof of funds. Applicants must present proof that they have at least THB800,000 worth of funds in an account in a local Thai bank in order to obtain a retirement visa. This can be in a lump sum, or a combination of a THB65,000 monthly income for 12 months and the remaining amount in a lump sum.
As a foreigner used to living in countries where standards of living are higher and therefore, more expensive, expatriates sometimes fall into the trap that they too must live in the same way when retiring in Thailand. That’s definitely their right, but it is wiser to be able to stretch their dollars when living in Thailand, where standards of living are relatively cheaper than in the West.
Here are some tips that could help out in making retirement easier in Thailand for foreign expats:
No matter how friendly Thailand is to its foreign residents, expatriates will always need someone’s help to navigate through the legal hurdles that retiring in the country could force them to face. This help comes in the form of a legal advisor, whose services retirees would do well to retain.
Legal advisors will assist and walk them through the entire process of gaining resident status and then the retirement visas. These lawyers will also help retirees out throughout the length of their stay in Thailand so expatriates are always covered with expert legal advice on Thai law.