RULES FOR THOSE RETIRING WITH A SPOUSE (DEPENDENT)
- Published: 15th May, 2019
It may be the case that you're a foreign couple who want to retire to Thailand. In this situation, there are two possibilities for obtaining the visa: Each partner obtains a retirement visa by following the financial requirements laid out above: that is ฿800,000 in a Thai bank account two months prior to applying; or proof of ฿65,000 income per month, as verified by your embassy; or a combination of the two. One of you obtains a retirement visa and the other receives a visa as his/her dependent. The visa holder is generally the male party. The easiest route is for you to both independently get visas. One reason for this is that if the main visa holder were to pass away then the dependent's visa would be immediately void. This could be problematic because it would present you with a visa issue to overcome at a time when you would be going through a lot of grief and having to sort out a lot of other things in your life. In this situation, you could essentially leave the country and come back in on a 30-day exemption stamp, or get a tourist visa from a Thai embassy in a neighbouring country. But this still might not give you the time you need to get all your affairs in order and take care of probate. It sounds quite morbid, but it is worth considering – because at a time like this you would not want the hassle of sorting out visa issues. The other reason to avoid going down the dependent visa route is that Thai immigration has moved the goalposts on this visa are a couple of times over the last decade. Both times they have reverted back to the original rules, but it can cause confusion and be problematic. In the case of a dependent, immigration requires the financial aspect of the extension to be provided by the male party and not through a joint bank account. Similarly, if you are using a letter from your embassy to prove your income to extend your visa, this must solely be in the man's name and not in joint names. In other words, the income is verified as the man's income and not a joint income. It is also worth noting that if you are seeking to obtain a dependent visa for your spouse and your spouse is not yet 50 years old, your spouse must enter Thailand on a Non-Immigrant O Visa. This is because a 30-day on arrival stamp cannot be converted into a Non-Immigrant O Visa inside Thailand, if you are not yet 50 and seeking an extension based on retirement.