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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawIs a Thai Retirement Visa a Residence Visa?

Is a Thai Retirement Visa a Residence Visa?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Retirement Visas.

There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding the term "Residence" or "Resident". This video is being made to parse out the intricacies of all of that. 

So long story short, no a Retirement Visa is not Residence in Thailand although it does confer a period of being able to reside in Thailand, notably a year upon entry depending if you come in on an O-A visa from abroad or if you are extending an O-A or an O Retirement Visa in Thailand you are going to extend in one year increments under the standard category. 

That stated, all Retirement Visas including an O-X which can be issued for a very prolonged period of time, they are all of limited duration. They do not confer Permanent Residence.  Now they do confer an ability to remain in the country so in a very real sense yes it does confer practical residence. However, this should not be misconstrued to mean you are a Permanent Resident of Thailand or that you are a legal resident of Thailand. Again it is a non-immigrant visa; you do not have immigrant status. You are in a status that has to be renewed in order for you to continue lawful status. 

I see a lot of folks talk about being resident in Thailand or have lived here for X number of years in retirement status and they sort of think of themselves as a resident. As a practical matter, yeah I get that, but legally speaking, no you are not considered resident in Thailand from an Immigration standpoint in the same way that you would be with Permanent Residence, PR status. That is not the same thing as being in retirement status even for a prolonged period of time in the Kingdom of Thailand.