The Thai government has approved the extension of long-stay visas for senior tourists from one year to ten years. The new visa will cost 10,000 Baht. The Ministry of Public Health reported to the Cabinet on 22 November 2016 that the number of foreign senior citizens seeking to stay in Thailand for a long period is on the rise. As Thailand aims to develop itself as a Medical and Wellness Tourism Center, the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in their joint meeting agreed to create a new long-stay visa of 10 years. The extension will be offered for tourists from 14 countries, namely Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Extension of the Duration of Stay for Non-Immigrant Visa (Long Stay Visa)
The criteria are as following:
1.1 The age of applicants must be at least 50 years of age and are required to apply for the O-A visa at the Thai Consulate in their respected countries, or if a tourist travelling with a different visa wishes to change their visa type to O-A they are able to but they will be issued a multiple entry O-A visa for a duration of 5 years and are able to apply for another 5 year renewal of the O-A visa.
1.2 The fee for the O-A visa is 10,000 THB
1.3 The applicant must submit their bank statement with a minimum balance of 3 million THB or evidence of a minimum monthly income of 100,000 THB. When renewing the O-A visa, the applicant must again submit their bank statement with the balance no less than the previous submission for the visa, and also evidence of a minimum monthly income of 100,000 THB. Though within the first year of the 5 year period, the applicant must maintain the balance of 3 million THB or minimum monthly income of 100,000 THB, after which the applicant must not withdraw more than 50% of that sum. The applicant must also submit their withdraw statements for payments in Thailand.
1.4 The applicant must submit their Medical Insurance with 1 year validity and covering the following amount; inpatient, minimum of 10,000 USD, outpatient minimum of 1,000 USD per year.
1.5 Report to the Immigration Bureau once every 90 days.
1.6 Applicants are able to bring over their spouse and children, in the case of the spouse being at least 50 years of age, they are also able to apply for an O-A visa and also have to submit their bank statement. If the spouse is less than 50 years of age then they will receive an O visa, for children under the age of 21, are able to accompany their family to Thailand for education and will receive a non-immigrant visa type (ED). They are able to purchase vehicles, condominiums in Thailand (with reference to the Condominium Act of 1981) with the cash being transferred from their native bank to the Thai bank account. Also, the Thai bank must issue a letter certifying the said transfer.
PLEASE NOTE: A 1 year O-A visa is still available for those who do not meet the criteria for 10 year O-A visas.
COMMENT UPDATE on 15 December 2017: The new retirement visa is an initiative between the Ministries of Public Health & Tourism. It has been passed by the Cabinet & is now with the Ministry of Interior. There are no confirmed details yet about what it will include. It will take at least three more months to finish. The above information was sent to me by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. Some details may change. I will update this page if I hear of any changes.
Source: Foreign Office, The Government Public Relations and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports