A perfect retirement destination doesn’t only rejuvenate the retiree’s worn out physical senses but his/her body and soul as a whole. Thailand, known for its beautiful people and relaxing environment, definitely, makes it to the list of the top retirement destinations in the world.
The Land of Smiles beckons to those who wish to retire in a paradise where the sun shines all year round, locals are perpetually smiling and friendly, food are delicious, beaches are pristine and living is dirt cheap yet of good standard. Like other eager foreigners who wish to retire in Thailand, British citizens need to apply for a Thai retirement visa to be able to stay in the Kingdom long term. This Thai visa can be applied at the Thai embassies and consulates in the UK or at the Thai immigration offices in Thailand.
The most important requirements for this type of visa are meeting the age and financial requirements. You need to be 50 years old or older to be able to qualify for this visa. As for the financial requirements, it can be met in three ways. The most straightforward is to open a Thai bank account, deposit 800,000 Baht in it and then wait for two months before the retirement visa application. The next option is to show a proof of 65,000 Baht monthly income. You can prove this by securing a pension letter from your pension provider and then have it verified by your embassy in Thailand. Your embassy in turn provides you an affidavit of monthly income. This you present to the Thai immigration to support your visa application. The third option is a fusion of the first two options – combination of bank deposits and monthly pension. That is BANK ACCOUNT + INCOME x 12 = THB 800,000.
THE FIRST STEP
Ideally, the Thai retirement visa applicant needs to obtain a Non Immigrant 90 day visa from the Thai embassy in the UK before coming to Thailand. This initial Thai visa will give him enough time in Thailand to arrange for the Thai retirement visa requirements i.e. opening Thai bank account or securing the necessary documents from the British embassy. The actual application of this type of visa takes place a week before the expiration of the 90 day visa. You just have to bring a completed retirement visa application form, Bank certificate, passbooks and other documents and submit it to the Visa officer for evaluation. The One Year Retirement Visa will be stamped on your passport when everything is fine with your visa application documents. The conversion process takes an hour or two to get done. In case you are in Thailand under tourist visa or the 30-day visa exemption rule, you may proceed with applying the initial 90 day visa at the Thai immigration as long as you have 21 days left in your current visa and that you have 800,000 Baht in your Thai bank account or documents proving your capacity to meet the financial requirements of the said visa. Otherwise, you can just go outside Thailand, obtain the necessary Thai entry visas and proceed with the retirement visa application as appropriate.
Like other foreign retirees, UK citizens retiring in Thailand need not worry about obtaining a police record and medical certificate if the Thai retirement visa application is consummated in Thailand. On another note, this type of visa forbids the holder to work in Thailand.