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Retirement Services in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Arranging Short Term Accommodation
Providing Airport Pickup
City Familiarization Tour
Getting your Retirement Visa
Opening a Bank Account
Health/Medical Insurance
Lease Negotiation
Rent or Buy Property
Driving License
House Cleaning

At Retire In Thailand we have many services that, combined together, make retiring in Chiang Rai Thailand easy and stress-free. All you need to do is hop on a plane and we will arrange short term accommodation for you.  If you decide you want to make Chiang Rai home. We can help you with almost everything else to get settled.

The paperwork you need to apply for a Retirement Visa in your home country is very different from the paperwork you will need when applying within Thailand. We cannot help or advise you if you want to try to get your retirement Visa before you come to Thailand.

This page is an overview of our services.  In essence, it’s a “sales pitch” explaining in broad terms what we can do to help you.

When thinking about relocating to a new city it’s not a good idea to make a long-term lease agreement without ever having seen Chiang Rai.  It is best to find a monthly Apartment or Hotel (which we can help you with) and stay for a month or two, discover your new city and decide where you want to settle down longer term.

Airport Pickup

When you allow us to arrange your short term accommodation, we will collect you from the airport, provide you with a SIM card with 100 Baht credit and your room will be 50-75% less than you would pay on other websites. The cost of this service is 700 Baht

If you have somewhere to stay or want to book accommodations on your own, we have an Airport Pickup service that can collect you and your bags and take you to your new home. Our Airport Pickup from Chiang Rai Airport is 300 Baht. We will remove the stress and worry of arriving at an airport and not knowing what to do or where to go.

Familiarization Tour

In just 4 short hours our staff can take you on a quick and gritty tour of where to grocery shop, obtain medications, how to shop at the markets, locations of Shopping Malls, and some of the more common hotspots to find other people who have also retired in Chiang Mai.

The Tour Includes:

2 Supermarkets
1 Day and 1 Night Market
3 Shopping Malls
Where to get a Sim Card and Phone Plan
3 Hospitals
Clubs & Bars frequented by Expats
Local Knowledge
Food (Optional)

For this we charge 1,200 Baht plus 5 Baht per kilometer.

Retirement Visa

If you are going to retire in Thailand then you will need a Retirement Visa. There are two basic options:

1) Obtain your Visa before you Arrive: We cannot help or advise you on this as each Country and Embassy has different rules and requirements.

2) Obtain your Visa after you Arrive:  If you arrive on a tourist visa we can help you to convert that first into a 90 day Non Immigrant ‘O-A’ visa

  1. a) The fees to process your visa are outlined here.  We will pick you up and take you in to apply for your Visa. We will also assist and advise you on where to go for each piece of information.

Requirements for a visa

  • Passport (must have at least 12 months (18 months preferred) remaining until it expires).
  • The holder of this type of visa is allowed to stay in Thailand for 1 year.
  • Proof of Financial status with a letter from Bank showing proof of deposits.
  • Employment of any kind is strictly prohibited (including volunteer work).

Eligibility for Retirement Visa

  • Applicant must be aged 50 years or over (on the day of submitting the application).
  • Applicant has no criminal record in Thailand or in the country of his/her nationality, or in the country of his/her residence.
  • Applicant must show proof of 800,000 Baht in a Thai bank account for retirement or 400,000 Baht for marriage (to a Thai national)

Documents Required for your 1st Visa

Application Form TM 7 (Original + 2 copies).

Photos – (Passport-type photo, 2” x 2”, color, front-view, taken within 6 months, and write your name and last name on the back of each photo). They almost never check the photo for signature, but it is the law.

2 copies of every page of your Passport.

2 copies of bank book and a funds verification letter from your bank.  The normal cost is about 100 to 200 baht. This letter must not be older than 7 days and you cannot withdraw any funds until after you submit your visa application.  I usually have our clients get the letter on the same day that they apply for the visa.

Note: For a retirement visa you need to show 800,000 Baht in your account, for a marriage visa (if you are married to a Thai national) you only need to show 400,000 Baht.

Medical, Health & Property Insurance

Everything is cheaper in Thailand including Insurance.

We have spent a while looking and found an Insurance agent that speaks English, has both Thai and International insurance policies available, and works within the customer’s budget.

When you are here in Chiang Mai, we will arrange for a meeting with the agent to get an understanding of how much a policy will cost:

Longer Term Accommodation

Once you have found an area you want to live in, there are plenty of cheap condos and houses available to rent or to buy. By far the easiest way to do this is to allow us to assist you to find a place to live.  The problem with Thai Estate Agents this is that many agents is that they have no concept of what a Westerner wants –For example, you can say you want a Western kitchen and tell them each time they show you a place without a kitchen: “No, I want a big kitchen” – and move on to the next place on the list (without a kitchen). This is not to say all Thai agents are like this – but enough are to waste a lot of your time. We have an agent who provides amazing properties and condos but most of what she handles are above 20,000 baht a month.

If you want something a little cheaper and are prepared to do the grunt work (that means sitting on your computer and looking) – we at Retire In Thailand can assist in the lease negotiations. Frequently the price to rent a property is more if you do not sound like you are a Thai person.

Getting a Driving License

This is actually a pretty simple time-consuming process. If you have your current driving license then it is just a matter of filling in the forms and spending half-day watching in amazement how slow the Driving License Government agency is.

At Retire In Thailand we make the process easier.  We will take you to a doctor to get your medical certificate (if you want us to) and to the actual Driving License Office and sit with you and explain what is going on. Sadly, we cannot speed up this process, but having Retire In Thailand with you helps you to feel more comfortable and we can communicate in Thai (because not many of the staff speak English) if any problems arise. You can, of course, do this yourself but it will be hours rather than days with our help.

House Cleaning Service

No… you are retired – why spend time and energy cleaning your place (unless you enjoy it of course)?  At Retire In Thailand we can arrange for regular cleaning of your Condo or House for next to nothing.  However, unlike your home country, you need to provide the cleaning equipment (mops, broom, cloth etc.)

So much More ….

For any problem big or small, Retire In Thailand can help. We can talk to repairmen and tell them what you want done, explain your phone bill and what plans to get, we can call and connect your cable TV… because when you have us – you’re never alone.

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