Updated Information about 10 Year Thai Visa for Senior Tourists

Updated Information about 10 Year Thai Visa for Senior Tourists

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

36 thoughts on “Updated Information about 10 Year Thai Visa for Senior Tourists

      1. I went to Samutprakan Immigration today 20 Jan and spoke to a senior visa person.
        Her comment was yes we know the law was passed, but you can’t get it yet.
        I asked when, she MAYBE next year…

  1. The requirements for insurance seem quite high.
    I am insured through the insurance of my wife who works for an American NGO and this goes up to 5000 THB per day, 6000 THB per accident and some others (opdcredit) 2500 THB/day. This is considered a reasonable insurance for Thailand but doesn’t come close to the requirements in US $!
    I doubt many foreigners will be willing/able to purchase more expensive packages!

    1. Item 1.4 notes the amounts are “per year,” which are quite low . Most Thai Insurance companies have “maximum” coverage, which would exceed the amount being required – many have up to 1,000,000 baht as the maximum, which certainly exceeds the 350,000 baht (US$10,000) inpatient requirement and most would exceed 35,000 baht (US$1,000) outpatient requirement. The bigger issue in my opinion would be that many policies outside of Thailand may not cover you here and Thai policies will exclude any pre-existing conditions from coverage.

  2. InPatient OK but many foreigner pay for outpatient to reduce the premium. Having either 3 Mio. In the bank or a 100,000 monthly income was never a problem for outpatient bills

  3. I’m interested to know if you have the 3 million Baht do you have to keep it in a Thai Bank Account in Thailand, it’s not essential at he moment (the BT 800,000. Is the money the only consideration or do you have to go through the health checks, police checks, medical and so on.

    For a about to be 75 y/o bloke (me) can you get health insurance in Thailand, unlikely? It seems JC is aware of this, health insurance is rather hard to get in Thailand if you are over 60 y/o, JC has addressed this one of his recent posts. So do oldies not qualify for this new Visa. Are the present options still available, MVTV and OA and others on arrival visas.

    I can see another Dog’s Dinner coming up. wwolf! wolf!

    Lots of questions to ask…the dog might know?

    Because of the relative closeness to Perth in Australia to Thailand, it would maybe better if I made regular trips each 3 months at a time on a 60+30 day tourist visa instead of getting a retirement visa. I’d have to pay the Bt1900 to extend the Tourist visa to 3 months and only have to be back in Aus for a month or so to keep all my entitlements for free health cover and most of my pension, then back to Thailand and no Thai health insurance costs. I already pay for private cover in Aus on top of the Aus free cover On my recent wonderful stay in Cha-am for 2 months and all the palava about getting my visa this could bring a whole box of new tricks to negotiate. There are quite a lot of Aussies in Cha-am and all over Thailand who go back and forth and do as I’ve suggested which I suspected and found to be true on my recent trip.

    If I do have some invested money which I use to top up my Aussie aged pension, I could use some to comply with this new requirement. This fund has mostly given me a return of about 7% each year. If the required Bt 3 million is placed in a Thai bank interest free I would be forfeiting about $9,000 Aus per year or about $180 Aus per week ($140 Us) or about Bt4000 per week Hmmm no thanks!

    This would be a vast increase in the cost of living for rippers in Thailand with some retirement capital, certainly not for cat 1, 2, or for 3 for that matter. Even if you could get some interest on the money in a bank account it would only be about 1.5% at most, This would only bring the cost to you with loss of investment revenue down to about Bt 3000 per week…still no thanks.

    Not many retirees have spare money to throw around like expected with this proposal, all sort of evasion and avoidance schemes will spring up rather quickly. With all this wonderful new news it appears “that devil will be in the detail”.

    Nothing has been said if the present visa options will stay in place or maybe with some variation???? we’ll see.

    1. David,

      Where do you get 7% return on your investments? With an acceptable level of risk of course.

      I’m asking because one of the things is to put to work the money I’ve left….

      1. To invest money in a tax free retirement fund in Australia ( for pensioners only, over 65 y/o. with a bank managed across the board portfolio, 40% ASX200 (Australias 200 largest blue chip companies), 20% international shares ( blue chip), 20% cash at 3%, and 20% loaned to international companies. The last 5 years this has returned me 7% dividend and the value of the portfolio has increase 30%.
        In Australia if you simply buy shares in the 4 major banks your purchase price will have gone up and down a bit in the last 20 years but your share you would have returned you about 8% P/Y dividend and the share value would have gone up over 300%.
        You do have to be careful not to get any fly by night retirement investment advisors who will rip you off.
        The fees for this service are very modest. I am with ANZ Super Fund , the fee is 0.50% of the capital each year. So if you have $100,000.00 invested the bank will take $500 each year. There will also be some small govt .fees (not much).

          1. Just Thinking Maurice…As from the 1st January 2017 in Australia you will be able to put any money you have and ( being single 65 to 75 y/o) into a managed retirement fund up to the value of $425,000, decide how much dividend you want download ( you must take at least 5% of the total (can be more) and still get the full aged pension. If resident in Australia you can also get Rent assistance on top of the $870 per fortnight but only if you live in Australia.
            The $425,000 assets test limit only applies to people who don’t own a house. The assets test for single people who own a house will be free free of any loss of pension up the the amount of $225,000. When you get to 75y/o you must take 6% P/A of you fund capital.

          2. Just a correction…the threshold for assets will be $ Aus450,000 , if you have below this amount as a single person who does not own a house you will be able to keep all your Australian aged pension of $ Aus 877 P/F and $Aus 132 rent assistance with out loosing any of he pension. If you live overseas after 6 weeks you will loose the rent assistance and about $60 of the pension P/F. Still $Aus 815 p/f. If you have a tax super investment account you are required to take 5% or more if you wish of the total value.

  4. Is this to replace the current 0-A long stay , with yearly extensions, personally I prefer this type , I don’t want to put 3mil bht , in a thai bank account , and I’ll never get 100,000 a month on my current pension ..
    so my question is will I be able to continue with the current standard , which incidentally I just renewed last month

    1. I do not blame you not wanting to put large sums in a Thai bank account. Apart from enough to get a flight home, money for rent/service charges (if you own your accom.) Current month average ‘spendies’, and a bit of padding you must NOT leave much cash in a Thai Bank Account.
      DON’T EVER FORGET IT IS YOUR MONIES THEY WANT, not you particularly!
      BLUNT? Yes, but true.
      HARSH? No, but realistic.
      A Thai civil servant, who is trying to crawl up the greasy pole put this together to get brownie points. AND having to prove where you have spent your own money-Another nail in the Land Of Smiles/Smirking coffin!
      DON’T EVEN CONTEMPLATE THIS-PERIOD.

  5. The following email was sent to Pacific Prime an international Insurance broker about obtaining accident sickness cover that is required with the new 10 year retirement visa. Some 10 selection of some of the largest insurance companies world wide. So far non will provide cover as required by the Thai Government
    To Pacific Prime Insurance Brokers…
    Thank you for your reply…as you may know from this Thursday 1st of December 2016 Thailand is providing what they call a 10 year retirement visa for over 50 Y/O and over. That is 5 year visa with a option for extending to 10 years.

    The requirement details are complex, the details are still to be published. Thai immigration has already announced that to apply for this new Visa applicants must have Accident and sickness medical cover. This must be = to US $ 1000 for outpatients treatment and US $10,000 for in hospital treatment.

    Will you be offering any insurance cover that will satisfy the Thai Government requirements in this matter.

    I am enquiring in this matter for a group of long time residents (farangs) who presently reside in Thailand on current 1 year Retirement Visa.

    Do you have presently have or are you contemplating an accident and sickness policy that would satisfy Thai immigration for applicants who require this type of cover…PS there may be lots.

    The Reply was from Pacific Prime…
    As of right now, we do not have any plans specifically for Thailand to meet only their bare minimum visa requirements. Our company directive is to offer comprehensive coverage to our clients so I’m not sure that this is anything we will have in the near future after the law is put into place either

  6. There is a vast spread between what the Bangkok Post has printed and verified about the new 10 year visa plan and what my personal visit to the Jomtien Immigration Office had to say. I was told that the 10 year visa plan was a hoax. I was sternly encouraged to believe them.
    Who do I believe, The reputable Bangkok Post Or the questionable low ranker at the Immigration Office?
    I am back to square one in not knowing what is going on. Further investigation required.

        1. Yes but my question still remains, does this replace the current long stay 1 year extensions or another option, that’s what concerns me .

  7. Below are 3 different paragraphs from 3 different articles from the internet.

    The first paragraph seems to indicate that the new 10 year visa will replace the 1 year visa.

    The second paragraph is significant of Thai confusion. “Put out a conflicting message that only delivers their unstable thinking”!

    The third paragraph can lead you to think that the 10 year visa could be an alternate option. Who knows for sure?

    1 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.

    2 It was not made clear whether the “10-year long-stay visa” would replace existing visa options or become a new visa option for people wanting to stay in the country long-term.

    3 BANGKOK, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) — Thai cabinet on Tuesday agreed that the country’s long-stay visa for tourists aged over 50 can be extended to a maximum of 10 years from the current one year, though the visa holder still have to report to immigration police every 90 days.

    The poor attempt of the government delivering an officially confusing announcement is an alarming predicament for many of us expats. I am scheduled to buy a house in January 2017. What do I do? Cancel the purchase and lose my 500,000 baht deposit and repatriate back the USA? I have 1 month to make a committed decision. Who knows when the government will declare the actual result of the confusion they have created! Notwithstanding, the insurance mandate is out of the question also! Where does a 76 year old man buy insurance???

    This whole new visa notion is convoluted, frightening and unsettling.

    As the inflight fly says, “Where do I lite.”

  8. Good luck finding any takers for that nonsense!
    – Still 90 day reporting?
    – Deposit 3 Million of which you can withdraw half after 5 years?
    – Provide withdrawal slips? To prove you’ve spent your money in Thailand only?
    – So, then, you’re wealthy enough to hold a (probably low interest) $84,000 stash in Thailand just so you get that vise, but they still want you to have $10,000 medical insurance?
    They live in La-La-Land, surely!

  9. the current O-A visa allows you to keep your funds in your home country – this article seems to imply the new O-A visa will require the funds to be in a Thai bank?

    the current O-A visa is valid for 1 year, is multi-entry and offers 1 year permission to stay on each entry. this article seems to imply that the new O-A visa will be valid for 5 years and is multi-entry but does not specify permission to stay on entry

    this article seems to imply that the validity of new O-A visa (not the permission to stay) can be extended for for an additional 5 years – this is the first time I have heard of a visa validity being extended

    does the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports not understand current visa classes, validity of visas and permission to stay or is the journalist report this just useless

  10. As far as I’m informed (resident in Th) the new visa will ADD to the one-year visa, as it is mentioned in Richard Barrows nice update; a replacement of the existing rule wouldn’t make sense, and unlike some prejudice the Thais are not stupid.
    The whole plan is definitely no BS, but a very(!) good and long overdue completion to the already existing regulations. I believe, it will encourage a considerable additional number of affluent foreigners to stay in TH for a long time. I have to admit not everybody can afford it, but as long as it is an addition, there will be no damage done for anybody.
    Yes, the 90-day (no fee-) notice is boring but no real issue – you send a motorbike with the required forms, copies and your passport – so what’s the deal?
    I’m surprised about the health insurance discussion (given that you’re not a citizen of a welfare country). Even without any visa requirements one should have a health insurance that covers EVERYTHING. How do you gonna manage unexpected significant health problems, such as stroke, urgent major surgery, heart attack, accident, that goes into millions of Baht? If you don’t have this kind of coverage yet, it will be very expensive. If you’re above a certain age a new insurance or an extension costs real money: for a > 65 years old about 800 – 1,200 €/MONTH, if they accept you at all.
    The three million have to be indeed on an account in a Thai bank. However, nobody wants to ‘paralyze’ such a sum. My guess is, the initiative addresses a population where 100,000 Baht/month is no issue.
    In conclusion, the 5+5 years visa rule is not for everybody, but an attractive addition for people who can afford it, without harming those who cannot.

    1. Let’s hope you are right.

      But I am worried about the paperwork that will be involved. For instance my insurance has no limit, but I have to pay every year the first OPD 350 Swiss Francs. I don’t pay yearly premiums but monthly; my former (UN) employer pays 65%; and so on. How do match this with what they plan to ask.

      They are not stupid, maybe, but I remember being refused an application because at the date of the bank letter there was no transaction on my book….

    1. You don’t. You should have obtained a re-entry permit before leaving LOS. Your next 90 days period starts at the date of your re-entry.

      If your return is after the expiry of your one year visa or extension of stay you’ll have to apply for a new Non O, or Non O-A visa.

  11. I was recently at the Surat Thani immigration office and yes, this is for real but no, they don’t have the fine details yet. The insurance angle is ill conceived to say the least. I have an extremely good package (2 million U.S. Per year ) but I waived the outpatient option to keep the costs down.
    It is ridiculous to require someone who is making over 100,000 baht Per month, to have an outpatient insurance with coverage of $1000 .
    Only a civil servant would think up something so silly. Let’s hope they realize that, assuming someone there can do math .

  12. It sounds as though expats will have to return to the country from which they hold a visa to apply for the new 10 year visa.

  13. I come from Western Australia…I can qualify for all types of visa in Thailand including the 5+5 retirement visa ( no way). As I said above it is more convenient for me to obtain a 60+30 day tourist visa. That is $Aus 45 for the visa which covers you for 60 days and then to extend it to the further 30 =90 days ( for extra Bt 1900). And then back to Aus for a few months and do the same all over again.

    When you receive your visa it states that you must arrive in Thailand within 90 days or it lapses. The day and time of arrival is optional within that 90 days. That what you get.

    It’s an oxymoron that the Thai Consuls and Embassies in Australia issue this visa with the arrival option date open, but they will not process the request to buy/issue the visa unless you provide them with written evidence of the exact day of arrival, airline e-ticket and flight arrival number and the exact departure flight and date from Thailand, and proof of a hotel reservation. (place and day ). The Perth Consul now says I do not have to buy a return ticket yet but this requirement is still on the visa application form?

    We all know that the Thai Embassy and Consuls are not subject to consumer laws in Australia but if and airline or travel agent or any business conducted there business in this confusing manner in Australia they could be prosecuted for providing “deceptive and misleading information about their product to a customer.” They could be fined for operating in this manner. Thai immigration is sometimes quite inept??? We know they have a lot to learn.

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