HOW TO APPLY FOR A THAILAND retirement VISA - Requirements and Costs

Applying for a retirement visa to enter Thailand is a very time-consuming and complicated process. The Thai government is no less a bureaucracy than any other government, and you are also forced to do much of the process in a language you don't speak. Luckily, Thailand welcomes Westerners to retire in Thailand (compared to many Western countries, like the United States, that do not make the same options as available for foreign citizens wishing to move to the U.S.)

Below is detailed information about the types of retirement visas, and their requirements and costs. Making this seem even more intimidating is that retirees coming from other countries actually end up applying for two  visas: a temporary visa, then later the yearly visa. And as you will see, applying for a visa also had Thai banking and housing requirements, very doable for experienced locals, but quite difficult for newcomers, particularly when not knowledgeable about Thai language and culture.

Here's the good news to all these complications: Our job is to do the much of this process for you, and guide you through not just getting the visa itself, but the banking and housing requirements that are part of the process. Learn more about our programs serving retirees moving to Chiang Mai.

Non Immigrant-O Retirement Visa (90 days)

The easiest way to receive a retirement visa is upon arrival in Chiang Mai. We suggest you arrive on a TR tourist visa (60 days) or Visa Exemption stamp (30 days, extended to 45 days during COVID) and start the process within your first two weeks in Thailand. 

Below are the requirements to change a Tourist visa to a Non-O Retirement Visa:

  • Applicant must be 50 years old or over
  • Application form for Visa Status Alteration (TM86 or TM87)
    • TM86 if you arrived with a Tourist Visa or Transit Visa
    • TM87 if you arrived with a visa-exempt stamp
  • Original Passport
  • Copy of passport pages (signed)
    • Identity page
    • Permission to stay stamp received at the time of entry
    • Visa and 30-day extension stamp (if applicable)
  • 4 x 6 cm photograph
  • Application fee 
  • Financial guarantee
      • A guarantor letter from a bank in Thailand
      • Photocopy and original of bank book from a bank in Thailand showing that balance in account no less than financial requirement
      • A document proving of foreign remittance


      • a guarantor letter from the Embassy or Consulate, proving the monthly pension*


      • The total amount of money from the pension and bank account as stated above, meeting the total financial requirement
  • The receipt of address registration (TM 30)
  • Photocopy of house lease agreement and house rental contract
  • Photocopy of ID card and House Book of the owner

* Updated July 9, 2019. The US, UK, Australian, and Swedish Embassies no longer issue letters to verify pension. This is subject to change depending on the region of the Immigration office and the officer on duty. We recommend you use an experienced visa service to process your visa correctly and ensure you have all requirement documents.


Non Immigrant-O Retirement Visa Extension (1 year)

After you have received your Non-Immigrant O 90 day visa, you can extend your visa for one year with the same requirements. 

You must prove the same financial requirement and submit the following:

  • Applicant must be 50 years old or over
  • Application for Extension of Temporary Stay (TM 7)
  • 4 x 6 photograph
  • Application fee 
  • Original passport
  • Copy of passport pages (signed)
    • Identity page
    • Non-Immigrant O Visa
    • Pages showing each subsequent one year extension (if applicable)
    • Page showing the last entry stamp into Thailand
    • Departure card (TM 6)
  • Documentation showing proof of residence
  • Financial guarantee in a Thai bank account for 2 months prior (first time applicants) OR 3 months prior (returning applicants)
    • Balance meeting financial requirement with a bank letter stating that the money has been deposited to the account through an international transfer or overseas source for a minimum of 2 months prior to application


    • Monthly income/pension above 65,000 THB with a letter from the embassy in Thailand verifying your monthly income **


  • The total amount of money from the pension and bank account as stated above, totaling the financial requirement **
  • Supporting documents
    • Bank book OR Passbook to verify financial guarantee
  • The financial requirement must remain in a Thai bank account for 3 months after applying for an extension. After receiving the extension valid for 1 year, you can withdraw money from your Thai bank account, but you must have a minimum balance of 400,000 THB in your Thai bank account at all times. 

** The US, UK, Australian, and Swedish Embassies no longer issue letters to verify pension. If your embassy does not issue an income letter, you can provide a 12 month bank statement showing a regular deposit of 65,000 THB into a Thai bank account. This is not an option for first time applicants that arrived in Thailand 2 months prior to applying for an extension. Contact us for assistance.

Would you like to learn more about how we can guide you through this process?

Sign up for updates about Chiang Mai and retiring in Thailand: