Moving to Thailand? Here’s Some Basics to Consider About Visas

Moving to Thailand? Here’s Some Basics to Consider About Visas

Thailand is a beautiful place filled with beaches and a rich culture. Like many countries in Southeast Asia, Thailand’s economy is growing and thriving. With that come a lot of opportunities for work for U.S. citizens.

Additionally, Thailand offers great leisure spots for those looking to retire on a quiet beach front. There is also a thriving expat community in Thailand made up of business executives, students, retirees and more, all enjoying the immense beauty, rich culture, and cheap living.

Foreigners who are looking to stay in Thailand for an indefinite period of time need to become familiar with Thailand’s visa regulations.

Here, we will go over some of the key things to understand before requesting a visa from the Thai consulate:

Visa Exemptions

This is good news for those looking for a tourism trip to Thailand and do not plan on spending much time in country.

For Americans, Europeans and those from many other countries, Thailand allows visitors to stay up to 30 days if they have a passport and proof of flight out of country (either returning or going somewhere else). Furthermore, foreigners looking to visit Thailand can receive a onetime 30-day extension on their stay by paying the Immigration Bureau an additional 1,900 baht ($57.20 based on current exchange rates).

Simply have your passport ready and go! This is a great option for those looking to spend time in Thailand who are looking for a place to live prior to moving there. If you are moving to Thailand and are looking for property, contact our Hua Hin Property Partners team today to learn about our beautiful condos, villas and homes that could give you the home of your dreams in paradise.

Tourist Visas

In general, if you know ahead of time that you plan on staying more than 30 days but less than 90, you should apply for a tourist visa.

A tourist visa allows visitors to stay for 60 days initially. Upon arrival in the country, you can use that same method we discussed in the exemptions of buying an additional 30 days (one time) to bring your total to 90 days.

In general, Thai immigration does not allow tourists to stay longer than 3 months, however special visas can be approved. Just remember that you will likely be required to give clear justification for why you wish to stay longer.

Work Visas

These types of visas should generally be easier to come by.

For starters, Thailand has been thriving on foreign investments and supports the influx of foreign workers bolstering their local economy and helping them to create an international footprint.

Secondly, it is likely the company you are going to work for has dealt with the visa acquisition process with other employees and has a vested interest in helping you successfully attain one.

Work visas are issued with proof of work permit. They are valid for 3 months initially but are then extended to a one-year validation and then must be renewed. This should not be an issue, however, since any extension is likely to be approved barring that you no longer work for the same company that obtained the first visa.

Retirement Visas

Looking to retire in Southeast Asia? Thailand offers visas specifically for those looking to retire. With a much cheaper cost of living than most places, your retirement nest egg will go much further here all while enjoying the rich and beautiful culture of Thailand. Retirement visas are available for both 1 year and 10 years.

If you are looking to retire in Thailand, be sure to reach out to us at the Hua Hin Property group. With are large variety of beautiful villas, condos and homes, all located in gorgeous locations, you can find the retirement home of your dreams that leaves you feeling like you are on a permanent vacation.



Retirement visas are available for retirees aged 50 and older. The visas are valid for one year or 10-year stints with eligibility for renewal. One of the drawbacks to this visa is that any kind of employment is out of the question. This means that you must have a pretty big nest egg or a form of income that does not require work in country. In fact, one or the other of the following must be true in order to receive the visa:

  • Retirees must have proof of non-Thai regular income or proof of pension from another country.
  • The monthly amount can be no less than 65,000 baht ($1,956.83 based on current rates) monthly.
  • Otherwise, retirees must maintain a Thai bank account with 800,000 baht ($24,024) for three months prior to obtaining a visa. Once visa approval has been received, the money can be withdrawn from the account. However, that same amount must appear in the bank account prior to applying for a renewal, which must be repeated every year.

With that said, Thailand is actually one of the more accommodating nations for visa entry in Southeast Asia. This country is slowly warming up to more open immigration standards and is getting more and more lenient on foreigners all the time. Cities like Bangkok are growing fast and with that comes the allure of the international community.



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