Retire at Chiang Mai on 550 USD per month only

If you are over 50 years of age and intend to retire to Thailand and you do not intend to work then you should obtain a Retirement Visa. That topic is dealt with on our Retirement Visa webpage.

Our service helps people with that process and also with accommodations and many other topics that are of concern such as banking and health care.

Our fee is reasonable and will save you that many times over. Some people want to do it on their own. Then we get calls at the last minute for help.

Not everyone going to Thailand is going to retire so let's look at the other types of Visa's and options that are available for you to legally enter the country, remain in the country, and to work here legally.

Passport holders from the following countries may enter Thailand without a visa in accordance with the Inter-Governmental Agreements for a maximum stay of 30 and 90 days for purposes of Tourism and Temporary Business only :

30 Days


90 Days


If you intend to visit Thailand for 30 days or less and if you are from one of the following countries you do not require a visa to enter Thailand as a visitor:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, U.K., and U.S.A.

Passport holders from the following countries are given a 15 day visa on arrival:

Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Maldives, Mauritius, Oman, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS (without a visa) :

Tourists from the above noted countries visiting Thailand do not require a visa, but must possess a passport and may be asked to show an onward/return ticket. Effective October 1, 2006, persons entering Thailand without a visa will be allowed to stay in Thailand for 30 days per visit. The total duration of stay in Thailand for persons who enter Thailand without a visa cannot exceed 90 days during any six-month period, counting from the date of first entry.

When a traveler enters the country, Thai Immigration stamps in his or her passport the date on which the traveler?s authorized stay in Thailand will expire. Any traveler remaining in Thailand beyond this date without having received an official extension will be assessed an immediate cash fine when departing Thailand. Any foreigner found by police to be out of legal status prior to departure will be jailed, fined, and then deported at his or her own expense, and may be barred from re-entering Thailand.

If you intend to stay 30-60 days best to apply for a tourist visa and it can be obtained through a Thai Embassy or consulate in your country. This can be done by mail. The cost is $25. Once issued, the visa must be used (started) within 90 days of the date issued. The visa is invalid upon departure from Thailand even if the visitor hasn't stayed 60 days.

If you intend to stay longer than 60 days then there are a host of options available but you have to fit into one of the slots.

A person married to a Thai is eligible for a three month Non-Immigrant Category B visa, extendible up to one year. Proof of 400,000 baht in the form of a letter from a Thai bank, or foreign income or pension to the value of 40,000 baht per month is required. Normally it is recommended to show a bit more than the required amount.

If you do not fit into that category then there are other types of Visa's which you may qualify for and some of the most common are:


  • 'B' work or business
Detailed Information on Work Permits
  • 'ED' educational, study and observation
Detailed Information on Educational Visa's
  • 'EX' Government-designated expert or specialist
  • 'F' performing official duties
  • 'IM' investor in Thailand with Thai Government approval
  • 'IB' for those with Investment Promotion privileges
  • 'M' media personnel - journalist for publications or television work
  • 'OA' retirement - retiree's over the age of 50 living in Thailand
Detailed Retirement Visa Information
  • 'O' all other activities
  • 'R' religious - includes Government authorised missionary organisations
  • 'RS' scientific research, teaching or training



This type of visa will be issued to applicants who wishing to enter the Kingdom for tourism purposes. 


- Passport or travel document with validity not less than 6 months 
- Visa application form completely filled out 
- One recent( 4 x 6 cm.) photograph of the applicant 
- Air ticket paid in full 
- Financial means (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family) 
- Consular officers reserve the rights to request for additional documents as deemed necessary 


1,000 Baht per entry 
(Visa fee may be changed without prior notice) 


The validity of a visa is three months. 


Upon arrival, visitors with this type of visa will be permitted to stay in the Kingdom of Thailand for a period not exceeding 60 days at any time. 


Those who wish to stay longer or may wish to change their status of visa must file an application for permission at the Immigration Office. The extension of stay as well as the change of certain type of visa is solely at the discretion of the Immigration officer. 

Purpose of visit: for pleasure purpose only (requiring copy of airtime ticket or itenery). (Maximum stay 60 day, extension of stay may be applied in Thailand.) 



This type of visa will be issued to applicants who wish to enter the Kingdom for the following purposes : 

- to travel in transit through the Kingdom in order to proceed to the country of destination or to re-enter his/her own country 
- to participate in sports activities (sportsmen, sportswomen, etc.) 
- the person in charge or crew of a conveyance coming to a port, station or area in the Kingdom 


- Passport or travel document with validity not less than 6 months 
- Visa application form completely filled out 
- One recent( 4 x 6 cm.) photograph of the applicant 
- Instrument of means of transportation (confirmed air ticket paid in full) 
- Evidence of adequate finance (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht (per family)
- Visa of a third country in a passport or travel document 
- Letter of invitation stating the application's participation in sports activities in the Kingdom 
- Consular officers reserve the rights to request for additional document as deemed necessary 


800 Baht per entry 
(Visa fee may be changed without prior notice) 


The validity of a visa is three months. 


Travellers coming to Thailand with this type of visa will be permitted to stay in the Kingdom for a period not exceeding 30 days at any time. 

Purpose of visit: TRANSIT (requiring proof of confirmed onward ticket to a Third country). Normally valid for 14 days. (Maximum stay 30 days, extension of stay may be applied in Thailand.) 


This type of visa is rarely issued, difficult to obtain and very costly to obtain. These visas are issued on a very selective quota basis. A few of the requirements include reading and writing Thai, possessing an above average financial holding and some good or helpful Thai references. We will not get into specific details here as most people would consider other visa options that are more affordable and more predictable. 

If you hold a non Immigrant visa, you should obtain a Re-Entry or Multiple Entry permit if leaving the country and make sure your visa does not lapse and is renewed before expiry date (apply 4-5 days before expiry allowing time for processing). 

In October, 2006 The Thai Government decided to implement changes to their Immigration Law. 

The direction that they are heading from our observations showed that they did not want foreigners (farang's) staying here indefinately on 30 day Visa Run's thereby entering Thailand on an 30 day entry stamp and without a visa. 

Also they are clamping down on foreigners who have jobs here teaching. Credentials are being checked and I read that more than 100 individuals who were teaching without the credentials or qualifications were facing deportation. 

It appears that many farangs are taking or have taken TESL/TEFL (Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language) in classroom courses here with the intent of securing a teaching position. The jobs pay very little compared to the incomes individuals were earning back home but that does not deter them. 

The living costs and housing costs are so low here that it does not take much to live in accommodations that are comfortable. 

Owning and operating a local small business, such as a bar, guesthouse or restaurant is frequently done by way of having a Thai partner be it friend, or wife who will front it. 

So if the Thai government decides some day to clamp down here they will see a large number of farangs move out of Thailand and take their assets with them. Condo prices will fall, businesses will be put up for sale or run by a Thai without adequate funding so the business will fall into a state of disrepair. 

If that should ever happen it will take a long time for farangs to come back here. 

Are "invisible" farangs hurting the economy or creating fewer opportunities for Thai's? 

From what I have seen it seems to work well. They are tolerated and everyone makes a living. 

If you take the farang out of the equation the job does not get done as well. When I ask someone here if so and so understands English they will say, Yes, very well. But when I try to communicate with them they do not answer the questions I have asked. 

They understand English but do not communicate well. Also the farangs are from countries around the world and they do bring friends and family here to Thailand which enriches the economy. 

Remember that unless you have a Work Permit you are not allowed to work in Thailand if you are a foreigner. 

Most people visiting Thailand are here on vacations and we have shown and explained the options that are available to them. 

As to the other farangs in Thailand I would estimate that retirees make up the second largest group of foreigners in Thailand, and we have a separate page for "Retirement Visa". 

Then we have business owners and teachers and separate pages have again been created to provide more information dealing with those topics as one page cannot cover all these types of visa's adequately. 

We receive all types of requests for information dealing with Thailand visa's and we trust by creating the pages that we have on our website that we have been able to assist the majority of individuals who are considering vacationing in, visiting, retiring, or working in Thailand. 

New rules for Thai visa's were put into place in Oct./06 and you should be aware of the changes that will affect your stay in retirement or you planned move to Thailand. Our clients are advised of the changes and also the ramifications. 

related pages.. 

Detailed Information on Educational Visa's

Detailed Retirement Visa Information

Detailed Tourist Visa and Transit Visa Information

Teaching English in Chiang Mai, Thailand

NEW** Lecture Series Education Visa in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Note: CMU and their programs are No Longer Recommended.. contact us for full details 

Retirement Visa for Thailand

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