Many Australians who get married in Thailand or marry a Thai national tend to stay in Thailand and retire. Some however move back to Australia with their Thai wife on an Australian Spouse visa or Australian Fiancée visa if they did not register their marriage in Thailand. This retirement visa is only one option for Australians. The Thai marriage visa is another option if you wish to stay in Thailand with your Thai wife and not return to Australia.
You can apply for a Thai retirement visa in Australia. There are a number of Thai Embassies in Australia where you can apply for the Thai O-A visa. This visa is a 90 day visa and once you enter Thailand you need to ensure that you extend the visa within 90 days. The visa process in Thailand takes about 4 weeks to complete and you might seek the services of a lawyer in Thailand to deal with the red tape of Thai immigration as the process becomes complex with regard to your medical certificate and also your police clearance certificate.
The process starts at a Thai Embassy in Australia where you need to hand in the following documents and they will normally issue the visa the following afternoon. Each Embassy has its own procedures so check with them beforehand. The documents are as follows:
- Completed application form;
- Copy of your passport & passport;
- Copy of Thai bank account showing 800,000THB in it (optional)
The visa will be issued and you now need to enter Thailand with this Retirement visa in your passport. Once you enter Thailand you have 90 days to extend the Thai “O-A” visa. The process from here requires more documents and this becomes complicated. Don’t wait to extend the visa till the last minute as stated it take 4 weeks to get the visa extended. The following documents are normally needed and you need to speak to an immigration lawyer about the documents as they do change.
- Completed Application form;
- Copy of passport & passport;
- Copy of Thai Bank account showing 800,000THB or
- Copy of Thai Bank account showing an income of 65,000THB per month;
- Copy of letter from your Embassy if income is from a pension;
- Copy of Criminal Record Clearance (depends)
- Copy of Health certificate (3rd stage syphilis check etc.)
- Copy of map to where you are staying in Thailand
These are the basic documents which are needed. The immigration rules do change so always check first before you come to Thailand as to what the latest changes are. If you need any help with your retirement in Thailand as an Australian then speak to an immigration expert in Bangkok, Thailand.