It’s easy to see why so many people choose to retire in Thailand. This beautiful country has perfect beaches, incredible food and a low cost of living, And compared to the bustle and bright lights of Singapore, many parts of Thailand offer a more idyllic, slower-paced lifestyle.
If you’re considering retiring to Thailand, you’re likely to need a visa. In this guide, we’ve put together all the info you need about getting a retirement visa for Thailand from Singapore.
We’ll also look at convenient, money-saving ways to cover your relocation expenses, such as with a free Wise account.
But first, let’s cover the basics on retirement visas for Thailand.
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There’s only one suitable visa for people looking to retire in Thailand. You can use other Thai visas for short visits, holidays and even business trips. But if you’re over 50 years old and are looking to stay in the country long term, you’ll need a Non-Immigrant Visa Category O-A (Long Stay/retirement).
|This visa may not have the catchiest name, but it’s specially designed for retirees from Singapore and a number of other countries. It’s a one-year multi-entry visa which you can renew in Thailand near the end of the validity period.
If you’re considering applying for a Non-Immigrant Visa Category O-A for Thailand, the first thing to do is to check whether you’re eligible.
Here are the main requirements you need to know about:¹
- You must be 50 years old or over on the date they submit their application
- You are prohibited from employment of all kinds with this visa - so you can’t enter Thailand to work using this option
- You mustn't have a criminal record in Singapore or Thailand, or be prohibited from entering Thailand for any reason.
Meet all the requirements? The next step is to get your supporting documents ready. Here’s what you’ll need:¹
- A current passport, with validity of at least 18 months
- A completed application form containing all your personal data
- A letter from a Singapore authority verifying that you have no criminal record
- A letter from your Singapore or other bank showing that you have at least 800,000 Baht (around 35,400 SGD) in your account
- Proof of adequate health insurance for the period of your stay
- A medical certificate proving you don’t have any prohibitive diseases (i.e. tuberculosis, drug addiction, leprosy)
- A Singapore Blue IC and Re-entry Permit Form (applicable to permanent Singapore residents)
- A Certificate of Entry (COE) - to apply for this, you’ll need a copy of a valid ticket with Singapore airlines and health insurance documentation.
You can apply for your retirement visa for Thailand through the Royal Thai Embassy in Singapore. It may not be necessary to visit in person though, as you can apply for a range of visas using the Embassy’s online application service.
Although it can vary, it usually takes around 7 working days² to apply for this kind of visa - an O-A visa. It’s important to take care with your application, as mistakes or missing documents could delay the processing of your application.
There’s just one fee you need to know about when applying for a Thailand retirement visa from Singapore. When you submit your application, you must pay the fee of 250 SGD¹ at the same time. This is for your one year retirement visa only, so there may be further fees to pay when the time comes to renew your visa.
Retiring to another country often means lots of expenses, many of which will need to be sent overseas in advance of the big move. If you need to make payments to Thailand from Singapore, you can save money by using Wise.
Open for free a multi-currency account with Wise and you can pay your visa application fee and other relocation expenses with low, transparent fees.
You’re guaranteed the real, mid-market exchange rate when sending between Singapore Dollars and Baht, or any of the other 55+ supported currencies³. For international payments, you could find that Wise is as much as 7x cheaper than using your bank.
Plus, you can get a linked Wise debit card to withdraw cash and spend like a local in Thailand and all together in 200 countries³.
So, that’s pretty much it - everything you need to know to successfully apply for a Thailand retirement visa. There’s some paperwork to get out of the way, but then you can look forward to a blissful retirement in the beautiful Kingdom of Thailand.
Sources used for this article:
- Royal Thai Embassy - Non-Immigrant Visa-OA (Long Stay)
- Royal Thai Embassy - Instructions For Visa Application
- Wise - Multi Currency Account | Foreign Currency Account by Wise
Sources checked on 17 February 2021
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