View Full Version : Relocating to Thailand

January 18th, 2015, 00:22
Hi folks,having spent the last 5 years on holiday in pattaya and getting a wee bit older any guys give me advice on where to start the ball rolling about living there full time re.solicitors, financial,legal ,banking advice,basically where do I start and is there a good honest and helpfull place that will help me ..Thanks

January 19th, 2015, 07:35
Not to quibble but there are two expat clubs in Pattaya with almost the same name. As mentioned, the Pattaya Expat Club which is associated with Niels Colov empire and is more commercial, and then my club, the Pattaya City Expat Club (http://www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com/), which has an excellent newsletter and various interests groups. Our webmaster is great on keeping our visa section current and if anyone has any issues, please inform the club via our email link. Thanks!

January 19th, 2015, 12:39
All the responses mention living here on the basis of retirement - so the assumption is that you are at least 50 years of age as that is one of the requirements to get a long term stay based on retirement. The other is meeting the financial requirements - either 800,000 Baht on deposit in a Thai bank for 2 months before applying OR a letter from your Embassy certifying or attesting to a monthly income of 65,000 Baht per month OR a combination of the two where annualized monthly income added to money on deposit in a Thai bank are equal to or greater than 800,000 Baht. In the combo method, the rules do not require the money in the bank portion be there for any length of time; BUT some Immigration office will impose that restriction -- Chonburi (Pattaya) and Bangkok Immigration do not impose a time limit when using the combo method.

If you meet those requirements, it is possible to enter Thailand on the 30 day exempt or Tourist Visa and obtain an Non-Immigrant "O" Visa from Bangkok Immigration (Bangkok requires you have at least 15 days remaining on your permission to stay when you apply and then come back in 14 days to have the Non-Immigrant Visa put in your passport - they will also give you a permission to stay for 90 days). You will then need to apply for a one year extension of stay - Bangkok tells you to come back in 60 days to get it, Chonburi (Pattaya) will most likely process it at anytime during the 90 day period - the one year addition will be tacked on to the initial 90 days received. If you can get a Non-Immigrant "O" Visa from a Thai Embassy/consulate you would receive a permission to stay of 90 days on entry into Thailand -- then all you need do is apply for the one year extension of stay based on retirement at Thai Immigration before your 90 days are up (some Immigration Offices require you have at least 21 days remaining on the stay).

As mentioned you can also apply for a Non-immigrant "O-A" Visa in your home country. You will need to check with the Thai Embassy/Consulate on their particular requirements for documentation which will include a police report and a medical certificate (neither of which are required if applying for extension in Thailand). They may also require that documents be notarized, e.g., bank letter attesting to funds on deposit or letter from your income source if using monthly income to qualify. When entering Thailand on an O-A Visa, you receive a one year permission to stay. Most O-A Visas are coded "M" meaning multiple entry - thus if you leave and return to Thailand before the "Enter by" date shown on the O-A Visa, you will get a one year permission to stay each time.

As mentioned by Up2U, a good source of information is the Pattaya City Expat Club's (PCEC) website - but to save you time, go to this URL for the page on Thai Immigration requirements: http://www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com/expats/visa.html. This page also explains the correct terminology noting the distinction between a Visa and a Permission to Stay stamp - although extensions of stay for purpose of retirement are often referred to as "retirement visas" even by Thai Immigration, it is not the correct term - most of the time, it probably doesn't matter - BUT, sometimes it does and using the wrong term can get you the wrong advice - the PCEC has someone that keeps up with Thai Immigration matters - this person keeps their website info up to date and also offers assistance when asked. I suggest you read the PCEC information and if you have any questions, email info@pcecclub.org - they will pass your request on to this person for response.

Also, in regard to living in Thailand, the PCEC website has a complete section on this subject including information about banking, health care, vehicles including getting a Thai driving license, and much more. You can go to this page for an introduction and then on to page 2 for links to the subjects covered: http://www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com/expats/living.html or go to this url for the page with the links to subject matter: http://www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com/expats/living2.html.

Brad the Impala
January 19th, 2015, 19:29
There are pictures of this process too!


January 20th, 2015, 01:36
Again thanks a lot for all you guys help,as I said very much appreciated thanks a million

January 21st, 2015, 13:46
I am always happy to add to your knowledge. Getting a Non-O Visa within Thailand when you arrived on Visa Exempt status has been available for many years.

The PCEC website has had the information on the 2 step process he used posted for several years тАУ it was recently updated when the authority to issue the Non-O Visa was taken away from Chonburi Immigration. But, for purposes other than retirement, I have the same understanding - you cannot get the Visa within Thailand but must get it from a Thai Embassy or Consulate.