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Options for staying in Thailand six months before retirement

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Hello everyone,


I entered Thailand in January 2018 with an METV which expired in August 2018, and then immediately got a 9-month Thai ed visa to study beginning Thai (which started in Aug 2018).  


In late May 2019, after my first Thai Ed Visa expired, I got a 30-day tourist visa on arrival before getting a second Ed Visa (taking Chinese) at ProLanguage which ends in April 1, 2020.


Here's my question. I turn 50 in November 2020 and plan on getting a retirement visa. But I need to stay in Thailand between April and my November birthday. What are my best options? Here is what I am considering:


1) Get a third Ed Visa to study intermediate Thai (assuming that is possible after 2 previous Ed Visas)

2) Go back to the US and get a second METV (but I've heard entering Thailand might be problematic)

3) Leave Thailand on April 1, 2020 and reenter on a 30-day Tourist Visa on arrival (and extend to 90 days, taking me to August 2020)

4) Then, use land entries to make it to my birthday in November 2020 (I have not entered by land for the last 2 years)


I have only had one 30-day tourist visa on arrival in June 2019, so I'm not sure if immigration will give me any problems.

I already have a Thai bank account and will have been transferring 65k from abroad for 6 months, and will have 20k baht on hand.


If all else fails, I would have to move to Phnom Penh for all or part of the time and (hopefully) be able to enter Thailand from time to time to visit my apartment which I plan to keep while all of this plays out and I get my retirement visa in November 2020.


I would appreciate any advice.

Thank you.



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1. That should be possible.

2. That is an option but as you wrote you could have problems on entry to the country.

3. Getting a single entry tourist visa might be better than getting a 30 day visa exempt (it is not a visa of any kind) entry. 

    Not sure how you think you can get 90 days from a visa exempt entry. The 30 day entry form one can only be extended for 30 days.

4. After 3 you could do up to 2 visa exempt entries at a land border crossing get almost 4 months by getting a 30 day extension of them.


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Until a few months ago, I would have strongly advised you just to get tourist visas in the region and enter by land. I still think this is your most convenient approach. However, some of the consulates that used to be recommended for getting the visas are no longer safe bets.


Assuming no further changes between now and April 2020, I would suggest you go to Kuala Lumpur for a single entry tourist visa, returning by bus from Kuala Lumpur to Hat Yai. After extending, in July get an eVisa for Myanmar, fly to Yangon, get your visa and return to overnight bus to Myawaddy, entering Thailand at Maesot. This will take you to October and, if all goes well, you can then just do a border bounce by land for the final month you need. If any of your applications for a tourist visa is denied, use one of your emergency visa exempt entries by land to return to Thailand and reevaluate.


If you are staying in Cambodia, regular short visits to check up on your apartment is not going to be straightforward.  I am afraid that is just wishful thinking. You have the same two visa exempt entries by land (avoiding Poipet/Aran) and no easy ways to enter Thailand after that.

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