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Marriage versus retirement visa


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Forgive my naivety.

 

I’m marrying a Thai lady I’ve been in a relationship with for the last eight years, later this year. We’ve built a house together in Thailand and I’m intending retiring to Thailand in the next couple of years.

 

is there any difference between a retirement visa and a marriage visa in practical terms?
 

Meantime I’m intending travelling to and fro from the country I’m currently working in and would be travelling in and out of Thailand several times a year. 
 

Thanks,

 

Don

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What you are asking about involves 3 options.

1. Non O based on marriage.

2.Non. O based on retirement.

3. A multi entry Non O based on marriage.

The first 2 options have ongoing extensions. You indicate ongoing travel and you would be obtaining reentry permits. 

 

As for first 2 options the non O marriage extensions have very easy financial requirements, however lot more paperwork than the non O retirement with extensions. 

The financial requirements are far more onerous for the extensions based on retirement.

The ME non O obtained from places such as Savannakhet have basically no financial requirements but are a visa valid for 12 months and you need to exit every 90 days however you can obtain a 60 day extension to visit wife so it's 5 months if you opt for that. You can achieve much longer than 12 months with that visa.

Pre covid very popular option. 

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8 hours ago, Donbuie3 said:

is there any difference between a retirement visa and a marriage visa in practical terms?

Setting aside the definitions the main differences are:

 

The former requires 800k deposited in a Thai bank, the  latter 400k. There is also another way, to have monthly transfers from abroad to your Thai account, of 65k/40k (not 100% sure about 40k). You are allowed to use some of this deposited amount during each year and replenish it later, but there are rules.

 

As DrJAck pointed out, retirement is relatively straightforward each year, marriage is 2-steps (first under consideration, real extension 1 month later). Marriage also requires your wife's presence, and a number of additional things such as map of your home, pictures of your home together with your wife, sometimes we hear about imm officers visiting... all this seems to vary from office to office.

 

Important: with marriage extension you can get a work permit and be employed, if you so wish. With retirement, no job is possible not even on a voluntary basis.

 

Last but not least, marriage extension only works as long as you are married. I wish you the happiest of marriages, but some people wake up one day to find that there is no more wife. Retirement doesn't have this small risk. Switching between the two is possible, but not at short notice.

 

 

 

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Retirement Extension means 800,000 in the bank.

Marriage Extension means 400,000 in the bank.

 

This is the main difference.

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8 hours ago, DrJack54 said:

What you are asking about involves 3 options.

1. Non O based on marriage.

2.Non. O based on retirement.

3. A multi entry Non O based on marriage.

The first 2 options have ongoing extensions. You indicate ongoing travel and you would be obtaining reentry permits. 

 

As for first 2 options the non O marriage extensions have very easy financial requirements, however lot more paperwork than the non O retirement with extensions. 

The financial requirements are far more onerous for the extensions based on retirement.

The ME non O obtained from places such as Savannakhet have basically no financial requirements but are a visa valid for 12 months and you need to exit every 90 days however you can obtain a 60 day extension to visit wife so it's 5 months if you opt for that. You can achieve much longer than 12 months with that visa.

Pre covid very popular option. 

Hi, can you elaborate on the ME Non O and how to gain more than 12months. I think I get it but not totally sure.

I have a single entry Non O now can I convert it?

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Basically the marriage visa/extension requires less financial requirements but more paperwork.  Also for retirement you need to be at least 50.

 

If your original visa is not multiple entry make sure to get a reentry permit before you leave Thailand.  You can get a multiple entry permit or single entry permit.  The multiple entry permit is cost effective if you are leaving and reentering Thailand 4 times a year or more.

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21 minutes ago, eiszele2005 said:

Hi, can you elaborate on the ME Non O and how to gain more than 12months. I think I get it but not totally sure.

I have a single entry Non O now can I convert it?

You get it from a Thai Embassy/Consulate in another country.

Exit and enter just before it expires to get another 90 days.

 

As you have a Non Imm O Visa now it might be easier to get a 12 month extension from Immigration.

 

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, eiszele2005 said:

Hi, can you elaborate on the ME Non O and how to gain more than 12months. I think I get it but not totally sure.

I have a single entry Non O now can I convert it?

The ME non O marriage is a visa valid for 12 months from it's issue.

Each entry to Thailand provides a 90 day stamp 

In addition each entry can be extended by 60 days with "extension to visit wife" 

If someone exits and reenter just prior to the expiry of ME Non O they would be stamped in for 90.

That's close to 15month.

Then obtain the 60 to visit wife and your up to approx 17 months.

Very cosy visa and little by way of financial requirements.

 

You cannot convert your non O to a ME Non O.

You can obtain a ME non O at some consulates outside of Thailand. 

Savannakhet being popular option. 

Edited by DrJack54
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I have been in the o/p situation before. If I was traveling internationally regularly I would not bother and just come in on a visa exempt. Then I changed to a Non O from visa exempt inside Thailand and extended annually based on marriage. Then getting the extensions annually interfered with my travel/work commitments overseas as the extension required a 1-2 month under approval wait time. So I switched to retirement once I was sure I wasn't going to more work within Thailand and any travel overseas was easier as the annual retirement extensions can be done on the day within an hour or two. It also saved dragging the wife and kids along every year to get extended.

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2 hours ago, rwill said:

Basically the marriage visa/extension requires less financial requirements but more paperwork.  Also for retirement you need to be at least 50.

 

If your original visa is not multiple entry make sure to get a reentry permit before you leave Thailand.  You can get a multiple entry permit or single entry permit.  The multiple entry permit is cost effective if you are leaving and reentering Thailand 4 times a year or more.

Re-entry does not extend stay beyond the original 90 days permitted to stay however - you need a one year extension of stay to take advantage of "4 times a year or more".

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4 minutes ago, spidermike007 said:

Besides the deposit requirements, the marriage visa is harder to get and they continue to ask you to prove you are married, each and every year. It is sheer stupidity and I stopped using one, as my tolerance for abuse seems to be declining. Retirement is the way to go, if you are able to leave some money in the bank. If you can afford an agent, there are no requirements, other than paying the agent their annual fee. Immigration here is more corrupt than the cops. 

I'm with you on this, i.e. been on the marriage extension for the last 5 or 6 years, originally got the retirement extension as immigration pushed hard that I go down that route, well the next year I switched over to the marriage extension as that is what I originally wanted.

 

I didn't know these bozzo's don't like doing the work to get the paperwork shipped off, i.e. other checking their work whereas the retirement extension is in house and don e on the spot, suffice to say the last 5-6 years on the marriage extension hasn't been an easy ride as they keep changing things every year hoping to catch me out, but they have never been able to as I have more paperwork with me than most, e.g. better prepared than not.

 

Last marriage extension broke the camels back so to speak, i.e. I went to get the stamp in my passport on the day they stamped to go there and when I did, no have, we call you, you go home, so I did, the trip is an hour 30 one way and when I got home they rang me, you come back now, extension approved, was I pi$$ed, I suppose you could say I was as I had to waste another 3 hour round trip for a simple stamp, that made it 3 trips, the original application, the non event and the last one to get the stamp.

 

The least I see these clowns the better I will be, money already in the bank for the retirement extension, in and out the same day, F-em.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, 4MyEgo said:

The least I see these clowns the better I will be, money already in the bank for the retirement extension, in and out the same day, F-em

Sorry to say that your post gave me a lovely chuckle (sadly at your expense).....loved this bit 

 

"no have, we call you, you go home, so I did, the trip is an hour 30 one way and when I got home they rang me, you come back now, extension approved, was I pi$$ed, I suppose you could say I was as I had to waste another 3 hour round trip for a simple stamp,"....

 

I can only imagine someone doing extensions based on marriage is if they are under 50 or find the 800k and issue.

If I were married,  100%  my extensions would be based on retirement.

 

 

 

 

Edited by DrJack54
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1 hour ago, spidermike007 said:

Besides the deposit requirements, the marriage visa is harder to get and they continue to ask you to prove you are married, each and every year. It is sheer stupidity and I stopped using one, as my tolerance for abuse seems to be declining. Retirement is the way to go, if you are able to leave some money in the bank. If you can afford an agent, there are no requirements, other than paying the agent their annual fee. Immigration here is more corrupt than the cops. 

No corruption involved just chief officers discretion applied to agents application

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1 hour ago, 4MyEgo said:

I'm with you on this, i.e. been on the marriage extension for the last 5 or 6 years, originally got the retirement extension as immigration pushed hard that I go down that route, well the next year I switched over to the marriage extension as that is what I originally wanted.

 

I didn't know these bozzo's don't like doing the work to get the paperwork shipped off, i.e. other checking their work whereas the retirement extension is in house and don e on the spot, suffice to say the last 5-6 years on the marriage extension hasn't been an easy ride as they keep changing things every year hoping to catch me out, but they have never been able to as I have more paperwork with me than most, e.g. better prepared than not.

 

Last marriage extension broke the camels back so to speak, i.e. I went to get the stamp in my passport on the day they stamped to go there and when I did, no have, we call you, you go home, so I did, the trip is an hour 30 one way and when I got home they rang me, you come back now, extension approved, was I pi$$ed, I suppose you could say I was as I had to waste another 3 hour round trip for a simple stamp, that made it 3 trips, the original application, the non event and the last one to get the stamp.

 

The least I see these clowns the better I will be, money already in the bank for the retirement extension, in and out the same day, F-em.

Agree. I am now paying an agent and going the retirement route. The less I have to deal with this extremely toxic government, the more I am content to live here. I despise them.

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1 hour ago, DrJack54 said:

Sorry to say that your post gave me a lovely chuckle (sadly at your expense).....loved this bit 

 

"no have, we call you, you go home, so I did, the trip is an hour 30 one way and when I got home they rang me, you come back now, extension approved, was I pi$$ed, I suppose you could say I was as I had to waste another 3 hour round trip for a simple stamp,"....

 

I can only imagine someone doing extensions based on marriage is if they are under 50 or find the 800k and issue.

If I were married,  100%  my extensions would be based on retirement.

 

 

 

 

hi ..i must speak as i find apart from the wife going with me for the extension and a photo of my house and kids No problem at all its not that I don't have the funds for retirement..but why put 800.000 when i can put half ..its takes a few hours to do the work for the visa 

if you cant spare a few hours a year you got a problem..also a lot of op retirement visas are as Dodgy as the cops..why pay 20.000 to some agent..just sayin

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1 hour ago, DrJack54 said:

If I were married,  100%  my extensions would be based on retirement.

We live and learn, or as I say, duck and weave, took a while, but the last one I dare say connected, i.e. I won't be going in the ring anymore.

 

The only reason I went the marriage extension route is because I thought if they ever ditched the retirement extension, I would be safer on the marriage extension, suffice to say, if they do ditch the retirement extension in the future, I guess I can always go back to the marriage extension. plan C.

 

The above said, If push ever came to shove, we could all go back to where we came from as my wife and kids have dual citizenships/passports, plan B, besides that would be her preference as she can't stand her own country, now that says a lot in it's self.

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9 minutes ago, Harveyboy said:

hi ..i must speak as i find apart from the wife going with me for the extension and a photo of my house and kids No problem at all its not that I don't have the funds for retirement..but why put 800.000 when i can put half ..its takes a few hours to do the work for the visa 

if you cant spare a few hours a year you got a problem..also a lot of op retirement visas are as Dodgy as the cops..why pay 20.000 to some agent..just sayin

I have to speak also, do me a favour, next time you do your extension, time yourself, and I guarantee you it will be more than a couple of hours by the time you collect all of your paperwork, print it, put it together and then take it to the IO.

 

The above said, it all depends on which office you go to and whether they like doing them, mine obviously don't like me and doing them, there are a couple of guys in there that are good, smile and acknowledge me, as I do them, but the guy who does the marriage extensions is an outright a##hole, never smiles, and is always picky, my wife gave it to him a couple of times, but won't come in the office anymore, she will wait in the car and he will ask, where wife, in the car, you want her, no, ok, although there was a time he said yes and she came in, all I know is she  gave it to him again, with the other two IO's having a chuckle, nothing more was said, she left and I continued with the application, at least she has my back.

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1 minute ago, 4MyEgo said:

I have to speak also, do me a favour, next time you do your extension, time yourself, and I guarantee you it will be more than a couple of hours by the time you collect all of your paperwork, print it, put it together and then take it to the IO.

 

The above said, it all depends on which office you go to and whether they like doing them, mine obviously don't like me and doing them, there are a couple of guys in there that are good, smile and acknowledge me, as I do them, but the guy who does the marriage extensions is an outright a##hole, never smiles, and is always picky, my wife gave it to him a couple of times, but won't come in the office anymore, she will wait in the car and he will ask, where wife, in the car, you want her, no, ok, although there was a time he said yes and she came in, all I know is she  gave it to him again, with the other two IO's having a chuckle, nothing more was said, she left and I continued with the application, at least she has my back.

preparation is the key ..keep all your docs from the previous year on your pc just change time date..upload photos ..my wife does this at the office ..the longest part is going to the bank 15 minutes away for my certificate of 400.000  all done in a few hours ..no probs.           Perhaps the female IO thinks im a hamsun man eh 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Harveyboy said:

preparation is the key ..keep all your docs from the previous year on your pc just change time date..upload photos ..my wife does this at the office ..the longest part is going to the bank 15 minutes away for my certificate of 400.000  all done in a few hours ..no probs.           Perhaps the female IO thinks im a hamsun man eh 

I do have everything saved on my pc, got to get a letter from the mayor and all his ID's, Amphur to get a Kor Ror 2, the retirement extension doesn't have those which will eliminate some time.

 

No females, but he is from the gentle side, whether that's got anything to do with it or not, I can't say, but I can say this, never seen him smile, not once, my wife did joke with the others when she used to go inside, but like I said, she doesn't want to see this clown, and my wife is the gentle type, but when one of her own, mainly in a government position p##es her off, she will ark up, and that I respect, probably saw me in action back in the home country, but I wouldn't stop there, I would ark all the way to the top, but as she tells me, here it's different, they all protect themselves and would throw any letters in the bin.  

 

But do time yourself.

 

Edited by 4MyEgo
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Retirement extension is way easier, faster, and more secure for you. Guys on marriage visas have their Thai wives involved in everything. If their marriage breaks up, that's their visa over.

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, Harveyboy said:

preparation is the key ..keep all your docs from the previous year on your pc just change time date..upload photos ..my wife does this at the office ..the longest part is going to the bank 15 minutes away for my certificate of 400.000  all done in a few hours ..no probs.           Perhaps the female IO thinks im a hamsun man eh 

Do you have a home visit...

Perhaps need to provide some witness? 

All offices are different.

A home visit alone would be a deal breaker for me.

Return after under consideration period. Not for me

To each their own ...

Edited by DrJack54
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3 hours ago, chilly07 said:

No corruption involved just chief officers discretion applied to agents application

... because he gets paid for it ... that's the definition of corruption.

 

And actually it's not discretion, but the agent provides fake documents showing that you fulfill the requirements and the IO overlooks that they are fake.

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I do the marriage, and as said, just need to get your copies of documents and photos day before, then bank statement on the day. Any wait at immigration on the day is more about your queue number than the interview - maybe takes them one hour to get documents stamped and ready instead of 30 minutes. I only live 20 minutes away from the IO so going back after the under consideration period not an issue. 

Apart from having to keep 400,000 baht less in the bank account, you can actually use it during the year (well, 9 months of it anyway) while retirement you must keep half (400,000 baht) in the account at all times.

You can do monthly income, but it has to be EVERY month - whether in Thailand or not. And one cockup and your visa may not get extended next time.

The 400,000 i save makes 5-10 times more money than the interst it would get in a Thai bank account

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6 minutes ago, rickudon said:

The 400,000 i save makes 5-10 times more money than the interst it would get in a Thai bank account

A very well beaten tract.

Is kicked around daily on AseanNow.

For many the opportunity cost of keeping money in the bank all year is irrelevant. 

In fact many using funds in bank for retirement extension maintain 800k+ all year round. 

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Thanks for all the input. Cleared up the 800k versus 400k question and gave a lot of insight into the processes and previous experiences 😂 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/26/2022 at 1:23 PM, DrJack54 said:

Do you have a home visit...

Perhaps need to provide some witness? 

All offices are different.

A home visit alone would be a deal breaker for me.

Return after under consideration period. Not for me

To each their own ...

no visit ..no witness...no hassles..take completed form.. passport.. photo of me ..photo of house ..photo of wife and kids collect my bank info of 400 .000 take my 1900 baht and s big smile job done ..said it in another post preparation..and a few hours a year not rocket science now is ..by the way did i say 1900 baht and not the 20.000 plus that some of you pay..UP 2 U.. UP 2 U...

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34 minutes ago, Harveyboy said:

no visit ..no witness...no hassles..take completed form.. passport.. photo of me ..photo of house ..photo of wife and kids collect my bank info of 400 .000 take my 1900 baht and s big smile job done

Not everyone has such a straight forward path with extensions based on marriage.

Many in fact do have a home visit. 

I mentioned all offices are different.

As I understand it home visit not done in Bangkok.

Which immigration office do you deal with

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On 6/4/2022 at 3:14 PM, DrJack54 said:

Not everyone has such a straight forward path with extensions based on marriage.

Many in fact do have a home visit. 

I mentioned all offices are different.

As I understand it home visit not done in Bangkok.

Which immigration office do you deal with

phetchabun  in  fact im there this afternoon for 90 day and to get a re entry visa for next week back to europe first time in over 3 years ..

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On 6/4/2022 at 2:37 PM, Harveyboy said:

no visit ..no witness...no hassles..take completed form.. passport.. photo of me ..photo of house ..photo of wife and kids collect my bank info of 400 .000 take my 1900 baht and s big smile job done ..said it in another post preparation..and a few hours a year not rocket science now is ..by the way did i say 1900 baht and not the 20.000 plus that some of you pay..UP 2 U.. UP 2 U...

you do not mention everything required for phetchabun, KR2 / ID copies / passport page copies / original non O copies / Tabien baan copies / 3 month bank statement ( as well as letter 'on the day' 
).

 

if there was a agent option in Phetchabun i would use that to eliminate the hassle, they're pleasant enough there and are only following instructions but it's the lack of logic what we're asked to provide that annoys me.

 

All that's needed is proof you're still married and proof that you can support yourself and family financially, the rest if nonsense.

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