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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawComparing Thai Retirement and Special Tourist Visas

Comparing Thai Retirement and Special Tourist Visas

Transcript of the above video:


As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Special Tourist Visas as well as Thai Retirement Visas.

A recent comment on our channel I thought was noteworthy. Quoting directly: "If the new STV (Special Tourist Visa) has staying power maybe it is a better alternative to a Retirement Visa if you don't mind spending 3 months of the year in your home country or any other country for that matter."  It is a good point. They bring up a good point. The Special Tourist Visa has a lot less requirements associated with it although there are more requirements than people think. We have made other videos on this channel about the requirements associated with Special Tourist Visas. Most notably, all the financial requirements associated with the Retirement Visa are not present with the Special Tourist Visa. 

Here is the downside of the Special Tourist Visa. I made another video simultaneously with this one where we talk about the "hard out" associated with the Special Tourist Visa. Basically you have to leave at the end of 9 months, you are out of here. It is a "hard out" and you cannot change status in Thailand to a different type of Visa including a Retirement Visa from a Special Tourist Visa; you have to go. That may be the equivalent of a Visa Run or a run to a Thai Embassy abroad to get another Visa, possibly a Retirement Visa, but you do have to go. In the current times we are in, this COVID response period, unfortunately that is not a great place to be because travel is not the most smooth thing to do right now. In fact it is quite cumbersome.

So the thing to take away from this video is to understand that the Special Tourist Visa is not a Retirement Visa; they are different things. Retirement Visas are more cumbersome from the standpoint of documentation especially associated with insurance and financial evidence than the STV but the STV has downsides including lack of convertibility and the fact that you have a "hard-out" at the end of that visa. You are not able to use it to maintain long term, perpetual status here in the Kingdom of Thailand.