Considering living in Thailand or moving to Thailand then this should be a good start on some of the basics of Thailand and how best to immigrate or retire in Thailand. There are a number of locations to retire in Thailand and we cover this very briefly.
Best place to live in Thailand?
Chiang Mai has always ranked very high on the list of best places to retire globally. Much cheaper than Spain and also much better weather with a very low cost of living. Pattaya is a party town and more for those who wish to live in an environment that has a 24-hour party atmosphere. Hua Hin is where most middle-class couples retire in Thailand. This attracts many middle-class Thai’s as well and has some of the best golf courses in Thailand. Phuket is more upper class and it tends to be very pricey. The location now with international flights is good for travel around Asia. Bangkok is a mixture and depends where in Bangkok you wish to live. It is hot humid and the pollution during the winter months can be a problem if you have chest problems. Consider where you wish to live and rent for a while during the decision process.
Retirement or Marriage Visa?
If you are married to a Thai and over the age of 50 then you have 2 options. You can apply for a retirement visa or you can apply for a marriage visa. The requirements for the marriage visa is much lower than a retirement visa and also requires less paperwork. You would however then be locked into your visa based on marriage and not your age.
12 month Visa / 1 Year Visa?
Confusion sets in when people hear about a 12 month visa and you need to report to immigration every 90 days. There are 2 types of 1 year visas. The first is a multiple entry visa with 4 visa legs on it. You need to leave Thailand every 3 months to activate the next leg of the visa. The other visa is a 1 year extended visa such as a marriage visa or retirement visa where you had to show 400,000THB or 800,000THB in your bank account in order to obtain the visa. This extended visa requires that you report to Thai immigration very 90 days.
Thai Immigration locations in Thailand?
The most common offices which are used by expats in Thailand have been listed as Chiang Mai Immigration, Bangkok Immigration, Pattaya Immigration and Phuket Immigration not forgetting Nong Khai immigration for the lonely expats up in Nong Khai. All these offices will allow you to extend you visa in Thailand or allow you to do your 90 reporting there. They can also issue a re-entry permit if you have a 1 year Thai visa and need to leave the country without invalidating your visa extension.