6 Southeast Asian countries with retirement visas for foreigners

Travel Guide

Southeast Asia has become a sought-after destination for retirees worldwide due to its appealing tropical climate, low cost of living, and rich cultural experiences. This article explores five Southeast Asian countries that offer retirement visas tailored for global retirees, allowing them to enjoy their golden years in the region’s exotic charm.

1. Indonesia: A Visa for a Serene Retirement

Indonesia, as the largest economy in Southeast Asia, welcomes retirees with its one-year retirement visa, which can be renewed annually for up to five years. Holders of this visa are not permitted to work in the country. To be eligible, foreigners aged 55 and above must provide a guarantee letter from a tourism board as a guarantor and demonstrate a monthly income of at least $1,500, along with adequate health insurance. Moreover, proof of accommodation in Indonesia and employing an Indonesian maid or domestic helper is required.

2. Malaysia: Embracing Retirement with “Malaysia My Second Home Program”

Since 2002, Malaysia has been attracting retirees through its “Malaysia My Second Home Program.” This retirement visa policy is divided into age-based categories: 25 to 49 years and 50 years and above. Foreigners can live in Malaysia for up to 10 years under this program. For applicants under 50, liquid assets worth a minimum of RM500,000 ($118,500) and an offshore income of at least RM10,000 ($2,370) per month are prerequisites. For those aged 50 and above, a minimum of RM350,000 in liquid assets and an offshore income of RM10,000 per month are necessary. The retirement visa enables foreign retirees to invest in property, start a business, and hire domestic help.

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3. Thailand: A Blissful Haven for Retirees

Thailand has recently introduced a special policy catering to retirees aged 50 and over. The policy includes a 10-year multiple-entry renewable visa, fast-track service at Thai airports, tax exemption for overseas income, and a work permit, among other privileges. To be eligible for this visa, foreign retirees must possess an annual pension or stable income of at least $80,000 per year during the application process. Thailand’s serene landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality make it an attractive choice for retirees seeking a fulfilling retirement.

4. The Philippines: A Special Residence Retiree’s Visa Program

With over 64,000 foreign retirees, the Philippines has embraced its status as a retirement haven. The Special Residence Retiree’s Visa program allows wealthy foreigners to hold a multiple-entry visa, granting them the right to reside indefinitely in the country. For retirees aged 50 and above, the requirements include a $10,000 deposit and a monthly pension of $800. Applicants aged 35 to 49 must deposit $50,000, while those above 50 without a monthly pension must deposit $20,000. The Philippines’ breathtaking landscapes, friendly locals, and affordable lifestyle make it an attractive choice for retirement.

5. Vietnam: An Untapped Potential for Retiree Tourists

Although Vietnam is considered to have great potential as a paradise for global retirees, the country has yet to implement specific policies to attract retiree tourists. Currently, Vietnam exempts visas for 24 tourism markets, but the stay duration is limited to 15-30 days. Nevertheless, with its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and delicious cuisine, Vietnam remains an appealing destination for adventurous retirees looking to immerse themselves in a unique cultural experience.

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6. Cambodia: An Affordable Retreat for Retirees

Cambodia offers a retirement visa program allowing foreigners aged 55 and above to stay for up to 12 months, with the option to apply for an extension for another year with multiple entries after it expires. The visa fee is $290 per person. This visa enables retirees to rent and own property and even purchase a car. To be eligible, foreigners must prove retirement, unemployment, and sufficient financial means. Cambodia’s low cost of living, ancient temples, and warm hospitality make it an attractive and affordable retreat for retirees seeking a peaceful and culturally rich retirement.


Southeast Asia has undoubtedly emerged as a paradise for retirees, offering a diverse range of experiences across its unique countries. From the serene shores of Indonesia to the bustling markets of Thailand and the rich heritage of Cambodia, each country offers its distinctive charm for retirees to embrace. So, whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or cultural exploration, these Southeast Asian countries beckon you with open arms to embark on a fulfilling retirement journey.


  1. Can I work in Indonesia with a retirement visa?
    • No, holding a retirement visa in Indonesia does not permit you to work in the country.
  2. What are the requirements for Malaysia’s “Malaysia My Second Home Program”?
    • The requirements vary based on age, with specific liquid asset and offshore income conditions.
  3. How long is Thailand’s retirement visa valid?
    • Thailand’s retirement visa is valid for 10 years, with multiple-entry privileges.
  4. What are the deposit requirements for the Philippines’ Special Residence Retiree’s Visa?
    • Retirees aged 50 and above need to deposit $10,000, while those aged 35 to 49 must deposit $50,000.
  5. Is Vietnam a popular choice for global retirees?
    • While Vietnam has the potential to be a paradise for retirees, specific policies for retirees are yet to be implemented.
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