Everyone seems to know at least one person who has moved to Thailand from Australia, and who could blame them? From the weather, the people, or the low cost of living – everyone has their reasons.

One thing few Aussies know is how easy it is to move to Thailand. That is why we’ve written this guide.

We have done all of this ourselves, and so have thousands of other Aussies.

The main hurdles for you to overcome are your visa and your finances. These are easier than you think.

Thai Visas for Australians

This could be a whole article in itself, in fact, it’s several.

The most common (and best) visas are the Retirement Visa for those over 50, Elite Visa for wealthy individuals, Marriage Visa for those married to a Thai National, and Education Visa for those who don’t fit the above categories.

We recommend reading other articles on specific visas or downloading our Thailand Country Guide.

There is almost certainly a visa category for you. The only demographic that may run into issues are young digital nomads who don’t have the money for an Elite or LTR visa. In this scenario, an Education Visa is likely your best choice; we’d recommend learning Thai.

There are several more niche visa options for business people, investors, and volunteers.

Banking in Thailand for Australians

Although a hassle at first, once you work out your financials you should have few issues banking in Thailand as an Australian.

Assuming you’re financing your time in Thailand with Australian savings or income, this is what you should do. Set up a Wise account for converting your Australian Dollars to Thai baht, open a Thai bank account once you’re in Thailand, then use the Thai bank account to withdraw cash or QR pay for all your daily expenses.

This method is far more convenient and affordable than using a foreign card. Wise has the lowest exchange fees, your Thai bank card will save you ฿220 ($10) per cash withdrawal and a local bank account will make local bank transfers far easier.

Thai banking apps are generally usable, include the English language, and offer different types of electronic payment that are great for larger value purchases and convenience.

We’d recommend having an Australian ATM card with at least two different banks for backups. Read here for a brief but very useful guide on banking overseas as an Australian, complete with essential security tips.

Can You Get an Australian Pension if You’re Living in Thailand?

If you’re eligible for the pension in Australia, you can still receive it in Thailand. However, there are a few caveats.

You must have been a tax resident of Australia for at least 35 years. If you have been a tax resident for less than this, your pension payment will be pro-rated relative to the 35-year threshold.

You won’t receive the energy supplement, and your pension supplement will drop to the basic rate (Maximum loss of $64 a fortnight).

If you don’t have a pension yet, you will have to apply from within Australia and stay for two years

Aaron made a great video with a worked example of just this:

If you’re receiving an Australian pension and want to move to Thailand, you are in a great position. The pension will make you eligible for a Thai Retirement Visa.

Where to stay in Thailand

Thailand is a diverse country with many different places to stay. Bangkok is one of the most exciting and worldly cities in Asia, the south is home to stunning beaches and laid-back towns, and mountainous Northern Thailand boasts incredible cuisine and a low cost of living.

The most important factors you should consider are lifestyle and cost of living – as these vary the most between locations. Look for a place that offers the lifestyle you want and consider the variation in the cost of living.

Generally, Bangkok is the most expensive, followed by the touristy areas in the south, from there the rest of the country is about the same price, with the north and Isaan being the cheapest regions.

Some popular places to live are Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Phuket, and Koh Samui. We outline the cost of living by location and region in our Thailand Country Guide.

What about accommodation?

Getting a monthly rental is the best option, at least to begin with. Getting a rental is far easier and quicker than in Australia.

Go to an area you like and inspect a few apartments, find one you like, and move in. You will probably need to sign the rental agreement and pay the bond and a month’s rent upfront.

If you’re looking to buy your own place, a condo is the best bet. Australians can’t own land in Thailand but can own condos and apartments.

All the locations mentioned above have plenty of options for those looking to own their own place.

Leaving Australia

When you leave Australia you’ll want to have a few things in place.

Make sure you notify your Australian banks that you will be leaving. Look into any expenses you can cut (e.g. vehicle registration) and consider selling anything that you will no longer use or that might depreciate in value while you’re away.

Just don’t burn the boats. Although most people never look back, if you don’t like living in Thailand, heading home can be much harder if you’ve sold all of your possessions.

This is why we always suggest living in Thailand for at least a few months before you decide to move here full-time.

Let’s Recap

Now that you have a better idea of how to move to Thailand, let’s do a quick recap:

You’ll need to find the most suitable visa for your situation, organise your financials (a lot of this will be done in Thailand), and get an idea of where you want to live in Thailand.

You can start most of this right now, have a read through the blogs linked above and check out our Thailand Country Guide, the guide breaks down the need-to-know of moving to Thailand.

Thanks for reading, feel free to reach out if you need some help.