Law Office in Chiang Mai

We have had our law office in Chiang Mai for more than 9 years and over the years it has built a reputation in  the expat community second to none. The Chiang Mai law office has also been involved in some high profile matters which was aired on US television notably MSNBC with regards to wrongful death investigations and criminal trials in Chiang Mai which involved foreigners. If you need help or legal assistance in Chiang Mai or anywhere in Thailand call us on our toll-free US and UK numbers for more information. We are here to assist you!

Offices located in Thailand

Bangkok : Head Office

Interchange 21 Building, 399 Sukhumvit Road,
North Klongtoey,Wattana,
Bangkok 10110


Moo 5, Bangtao Place T. Cherngtalay, A. Thalang,
Phuket 83110, Thailand


Moo 6, North Pattaya Road,
Banglamung, Chonburi 20150 Thailand


Koh Samui
Maret, IT Complex,
Building Suite 309, Lamai Beach,
Koh Samui, 84310 Thailand


Hua Hin
Hua Hin  Huay Mongkol Rd
Petchkasem Road, Hua Hin,
Prachuabkirikhan, 77110 Thailand


Chiang Mai
Changkran Plaza,
191 Changkran Road Muang Chiang Mai,
Chiang Mai, 50100 Thailand


retirement visa requiremnets for thailand

Retirement Visa Requirements

If your are wanting to retire in Chiang Mai then the retirement visa is the visa you are going to need to have for this to occur. We have written about living in Chiang Mai on this website so you can see the options and what is available in Chiang Mai for you. Also noted was the options between a marriage visa and retirement visa in Thailand with regards to a Thai visa. These are the listed requirements for a Retirement Visa or AO Visa in Thailand. Rules do change so speak to a lawyer in Chiang Mai about your options and rule changes.

Retirement Visa Requirements for Thailand

  • Age of 50 years or older when you apply.
  • Thai bank account with a balance of at least 800,000 THB or a pension of 65,000 THB or a combination of both which your lawyer can calculate for you.
  • Proof of no criminal record
  • Health certificate from local hospital

Financial Requirements for Thailand Retirement Visa

  1. Bank account showing THB 800,000 or
  2. Monthly pension of at least THB 65,000
  3. Combination (bank account + monthly pension x 12 = 800,000)


These are the financial requirements of the retirement visa and also the age requirements as listed. Speak to an immigration lawyer in Chiang Mai about your retirement and how best to achieve this . The visa can also be applied for while in thailand if you have another type of visa. This takes longer as the current visa needs to be converted while in Thailand. The costs are more than simply going out of the country and returning with the correct 3 month retirement visa for extension.

Speak to us today about your retirement in Chiang Mai.


Rent or Buy in Chiang Mai

Rent or Buy in Chiang Mai

This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on what your intentions are in Chiang Mai. What most expats do is to rent for 2-3 years then buy the condo in Chiang Mai. They then rent another smaller condo in Bangkok or Pattaya where they go if they need entertainment and the bright lights of the city. This is one option. Other decide to buy a house in Thailand and since a foreigner cannot legally own a house they place the house into their Thai wife’s name. This becomes a problem in the event of a divorce so you need to ensure that you are legally covered in a number of ways.


If you are buying a house in Thailand then it is best to register a usufruct over the property in your name. Since you would be placing your house in the name of your wife in the event of a divorce having a usufruct gives you legal leverage from losing the house. The usufruct is registered against the property at the Land Department and allows you to live in the house for the duration of the usufruct. In the event of divorce you may not be able to own the house but still have the legal right to live in it. It’s usually a good way of getting your ex-wife to sell the house at a market rate or pay you out your portion of the properties value. Either way its a good investment.


Leasing property is good however if you want to ensure that the lease remains active after your death then you need to speak to a lawyer about placing the needed clauses into the contract as the lease would expire on your death. Normally your wife and children might still be living in the condo or house and this gives then the option of living on in the property after your death. Its a good way to have stability after you have passed on. Consider this is you have small children in Thailand.

Buying Property

Most expats tend to buy a condo unit in Thailand. There are not that many options available in Chiang Mai but there are many condo units on the market. Consider this an option of buying a condo in Chiang Mai instead of a house. The risk involved with houses might not be to your liking. Most housing in Chiang Mai is rented by foreigners rather than bought. Condo units are much better in terms of management as many travel around Asia while retired in Chiang Mai and a condo has the lock-up-and-go ability. See the detail as on our main website about buying a condo in Thailand and buying a house. Decide what it is that you want and then consider all the options such as leasing instead of buying.

If you have any other questions about Chiang Mai then speak to us online or walk into our law offices in Chiang Mai for assistance. All our staff have a high level of English and they will be able to explain to you what your options are with regards to property in thailand. Your first appointment is always free in Thailand.

Do it now!

Marriage in Chiang Mai

Marriage in Chiang Mai

If have have retire in Chiang Mai and are now wanting to get married then you need to know a few things when you compare the marriage visa and retirement visa in Thailand. Each comes with its benefits and downsides. This is a basic look at the visas compared and also what remains the same with both of these visas.

  • Financial Requirements: the financial requirements for a marriage visa is lower than that of a retirement visa. The marriage visa needs 40,000 Baht per month in income and the retirement visa needs 65,000 Baht per month.
  • Documentation: The documentation for a marriage visa is easier to obtain that those for a retirement visa. The retirement visa requires more financial documents than the marriage visa. All you need to show is the lower income and evidence of a real relationship between the parties for the marriage visa.

Getting married in Chiang Mai / Isaan


Note however that not one of these visas give you the right to work in Thailand and both still require that you report to immigration every 90 days. Both still need to be renewed each year and also before you leave the country you need to obtain a re-entry permit or you will invalidate your visa status and would have to start the process again for a 1 year retirement visa or 1 year marriage visa. Many expats who do retire do get married in the end. Many settle in Chiang Mai or the Isaan region and it is very rural and isolated but also very cheap. The Marriage in Chiang Maiquality of the air is much better than Bangkok and the people are far more friendly than in the cities of Bangkok or Pattaya.

When you get married you need to obtain a letter from your embassy that you are single and can get married in Thailand. If you are divorced you need a copy of your divorce decree from your home country as the embassies do not have it. Or if your spouse passed away then a death certificate is needed. Once you get this letter you need to take this letter to the department of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok to have the letter certified. This then goes to the Amphur’s office in Thailand where you wait for your marriage certificate. You can go to any Amphur’s office in Thailand for this. All in all it should not take you more than 5 days in Bangkok if you are living in Chiang Mai. Speak to us online and allow our law office in Chiang Mai to forward it to our Bangkok office for attention. You might not even need to leave Chiang Mai for this as Law Firm in Thailand will take care of the paperwork and registration for you.

Call us today!


Living in Thailand

Living in Thailand

Many expatriates decide to make Thailand their retirement home as the cost of living is cheaper, medical assistance if first class and there are numerous private world class hospital in Thailand and all at a fraction of the cost compared to Spain or Costa Rica which is the normal retirement destination for Europeans and Americans. This is a brief overview of living in Thailand.

Any expat will tell you that Thailand is what you make it. Some take time to adjust to the lifestyle as it is very laid-back more so Chiang Mai which has a rural feel to it. Over the years many have called Thailand their home. The US Embassy has an office in Chiang Mai and those retired from the military can still get mail in Bangkok as there is a mail drop service for military and retired military personal in Thailand. There are a number of common issues which we will cover briefly about moving to Thailand.

Retirement in Chiang Mai

If you want to retire in Thailand then you need to be 50 years or older on the day of application. You need top apply for a Thai OA Visa or Retirement Visa at a Thai embassy before you enter Thailand. Once you enter you have 3 months or 90 days to apply and obtain your retirement visa in Bangkok or at Thai Immigration in Chiang Mai. The requirements for retirement do change but at present you need to show and income of at least 60,000 Baht per month in income or a deposit in a Thai bank account. Speak to the online assistance to get a full briefing on the requirements and the process as these rules do change often. You would need health checks, the financial requirements need to be met and you should have no criminal record. DUI is another issue. As stated speak to an operator or call our toll-free US and UK hotline for help from an English speaking adviser.

Retirement Reporting

Once you obtain your 1 year visa having been extended in Thailand you now need to report your address in Thailand to Thai immigration every 90 days. If you fail to do this they might not renew your visa the following year. It can be done in person, someone can do it for you and you can now also do it by mail. The 90 day reporting is very important.

Retirement Customs

Once you have your 1 year retirement visa you have 6 months to bring any of your goods still in your home country into thailand duty free. The lawyer doing your retirement visa will normally assist you with the customs issues and how best to get your goods into Thailand trouble free. Note that this is once off as shipping normally takes 30 to days and to clear customs. The clearing agent normally drops your goods off at your new home. Chiang Mai costs a bit more by sea as it needs to be trucked from clearance in Bangkok. Its well worth the time taken.

Cost of living

Many people want to know how much it costs to live in Thailand. The answer is always as much as what you have. You can live in Thailand reasonably well of U$1,000 per month without much issue if you are not into the nightlife and parties. Your food on average costs about U$1 per plate of food, rent depending on where you live can range from the low end of U$150 per month to as high as what you want. Medical help in Thailand is cheap as you can have all your filling done at a dentist for about U$100 and that is about 9 fillings and cleaning.  Medicine is mainly generic brands and cheap and hospitalization can cost you as little as U$70 per day. Always ensure that you have cash for the hospital as you have to settle the account before you leave and claim from your medical insurance if you have one. Failure to settle the account normally gets Thai immigration involved and that is not good!


Most expats rent before they buy as they might not know the are well. Always rent before you buy in the event you don’t like what you see later. We have a number of articles about rental agreements in thailand and also buying property. Normally lower end rentals are simple. You leave 1 months deposit and you work on a monthly bases. If you move out within 6 months they don’t give the deposit back so ensure you stay in the condo or unit for at least 6 months. These are unwritten rules which most Thai landlords operate on.

If you have any other questions – ask us and we will be more than happy to assist you with your retirement in Thailand. Our office in Chiang Mai will be able to solve all your legal issues in a cost effective manner. We have the best reputation with expats in Thailand and offices in all the major cities. Ask around – Law Firm in Thailand gets things done!