Home TRAVEL Two Popular Options For Obtaining A Visa To Live In Thailand

Two Popular Options For Obtaining A Visa To Live In Thailand

Obtaining A Visa To Live In Thailand

Thailand is one of the world’s most famous tourist destinations thanks to its friendly people, tropical climate, fantastic food, rich culture, and relatively low prices. Those same features also attract foreigners who want to live in Thailand for a few years or even permanently. Like most countries, accomplishing this isn’t easy, but it is doable if you are really serious about making a home for yourself in the kingdom. There are a variety of different paths one can take depending on factors like your age, finances, and education. Let’s take a look at a couple of the most popular possibilities!

Retirement – Every year thousands of retirees from across the globe flee their native winters with their pensions for the mellow climate and low cost of living that Thailand has to offer. It’s important to note that the Thai retirement visa is the only category in which having health insurance for your Thailand visa is a requirement. It makes a kind of grim sense, the kingdom doesn’t want to suffer under the financial burden of caring for a lot of elderly sick people who have no insurance, so they make sure you have it in place before they grant you a retirement visa.

There is also a financial requirement of having, for example, several thousand US dollars worth of Thai Baht ensconced in a Thai bank as a form of guarantee, we aren’t really sure what it’s for, other than to make the Immigration Ministry very, very happy. Once you have cleared those hurdles expect to report to your local immigration office every 90 days to demonstrate that you are still alive and in residence.

Marriage – Ah, love is in the air! This is another popular path to living in the kingdom, but comes with the complication that you actually do need to legally marry a Thai national, which for the many who find their heart’s desire here is not an onerous requirement at all! There has sadly been a history of less than sincere people arranging fake or temporary marriages in order to get their visa, then when the paperwork is all done the faux lovebirds split and never see each other again.

The Thai Immigration officials were not born yesterday, however, and are well aware of this scam and have crafted some clever tricks to catch these fake marriages in the act. One report we received came from a legitimately married couple who were going through their final interview to make sure they were in fact living as a couple. The officer asked them several questions, one of which was “How many brothers and sisters does your Thai wife have?” He answered “Twelve” and the official gave him a funny look. A bit taken aback he said “Well, maybe some of them died, she is the youngest.” which earned him another worried scowl.

His wife rejoined him and he asked her the question- the upshot was she did have twelve siblings but only said two because she didn’t like the rest! This started a fight between them in front of the immigration official, which caused her to smile. “Ah, they really are married!” Stamp, stamp, approved!

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