The Non-Immigrant O Visa is explained here. The most common process in getting a visa based on retirement in Thailand is by obtaining a Non-Immigrant O Visa from your home country prior to arriving in the Kingdom. Although you can obtain this visa inside Thailand, there is an extra step needed with immigration before you can successfully apply for an extension of stay based on retirement. It is highly recommended to acquire the Non-Immigrant O from your home country as the process is not that difficult either.
Obtaining your Non-Immigrant O Visa
Basic requirements in obtaining a Non-Immigrant O Visa overseas are: Duly filled up Visa Application Form; Passport with more than 6 months validity and at least two blank pages, with photocopies; recent photos, taken within 6 months from application; supporting documents for purpose of visiting Thailand; copy of pension statement for pensioners, or a copy of 1-month bank statement showing the income from pension or a 3-month bank statement showing at least sufficient savings.
It is advised to check the requirements before applying for the visa with the Royal Thai Embassies and Consulates
Once the Non-Immigrant O visa is obtained, you may enter Thailand and stay for 90 days and wait for 60 days prior to applying for the retirement visa at the Immigration office. Your first and only appearance for the retirement visa application will be at the Immigration office upon approval. You are required to appear in person with your passport and sign all the visa paperwork in front of the immigration staff, in which your passport will be stamped at the time of approval.
Restrictions on the Retirement Visa
The Thailand retirement visa, once approved, will allow the holder to stay inside Thailand for a whole year. You will not be allowed to seek employment while holding this type of visa. Also, you are required to report to immigration every 90 days and verify with them your current address in the Kingdom.
After obtaining your retirement visa, you should make sure that you do not overstay or invalidate your visa. You should conduct a 90-day reporting to the local immigration office because Thailand has a law stating that every foreigner should notify his or her address if staying in the Kingdom for 89 or more days. This address shall be reported on a TM47 form.