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Can I Work In Thailand On A Retirement Visa?

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we're going to briefly discuss retirement visas and a question that gets posed to me rather frequently here in Thailand which is "Can I work on a retirement visa?" The short answer to that question is no.

Retirement visa is specifically issued to those who are retiring. That's exactly what they're issued for. They're issued for those foreign nationals who wish to come to Thailand and simply retire here. This being said, it's possible to go ahead and go out of retirement visa and go into a business visa category or O-visa category for marriage which are both work authorized and go ahead and try to get a work permit on one of those categories.

But it should be noted, it's always been my experience here in Thailand that, you know, retirement visas they're not issued easily in any sense of the word. But I would say the adjudication of retirement visa application is done in a much more straightforward manner when compared to the scrutiny that business visas are put under or even, as at the time of this video, I'm finding that marriage visas are being placed under a higher degree of scrutiny than they had been let's say five years ago.

So I think part of the reason for all this scrutiny is B-visas and O-visas are work authorized so those who are physically present in Thailand in O or B visa status could theoretically be undertaking employment and there is a policy mandate on the part of officers in Thailand to make certain that those working in Thailand A or not, otherwise taking a job that a Thai can be doing or are not utilizing work authorization for certain nefarious purposes. So that extra component of work authorization associated with Thai B visas, I would argue, makes those cases heavily scrutinized whereas with retirement visas, one simply needs to show their financial capability to remain in the Kingdom of Thailand which is clearly delineated in the requirements of the retirement visa itself.

I strongly recommend to those who are interested in this stuff, there are numerous videos now on this channel regarding retirement visa specifically but to the question "Can one work in a retirement status?" No. If one is physically present in a retirement visa status in the Kingdom of Thailand, work authorization is specifically prohibited. Now this is slightly different than the education visa which we've talked about in another video on this channel.

The education visa is generally not work authorized but there are very certain specific, discrete, narrowly scoped situations where an individual may be able to go ahead and get work authorization in ED status. In those situations, they're generally in connection with the academic endeavor involved. With respect to retirement visas, that's just not possible. Retirement visas are explicitly for the purpose of retirement in Thailand that does not have work authorization and therefore, the answer to question is an unqualified no. Retirement visa status in Thailand does not allow someone to work.