Many people decide to retire in Chiang Mai as they do not like the rat race in Bangkok or the party scene in Pattaya. Chiang Mai is one of the most popular cities for American and Brits retiring in Thailand.
When considering retiring in Thailand one has to look at the issue of obtaining a Thai visa for your retirement. There are a number of options as many of those who do retire in Chiang Mai tend to be married to a Thai citizen. They have two options. The first being a marriage visa which is for 3 months and can be extended in Chiang Mai at Thai Immigration. Every 3 months you would then also need to report to Immigration your home address and if you do decide to cross the border in Laos or Burma you would need to obtain a re-entry permit so that crossing the border does not invalidate your extended one year marriage visa.
The other option is obtain a OA visa or retirement visa at the embassy. This visa is a bit more complicated as you need to transfer money into Thailand and obtain a letter from the bank in Thailand to state that you had sent the money from your account back home in your name to a bank account in Thailand also in your name. It is best to speak to an attorney about this as the procedures and financial rules change very often in Thailand. As with the marriage visa, you would need to report to Thai immigration every 90 days to notify them of your address change and where you are living. Also you would need a re-entry permit if you decide to leave Thailand and to return without invalidating your retirement visa.
Speak to any of our attorneys in Chiang Mai with regards to retirement, marriage registration, property transfers or any legal matter that might concern you.