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News Forum - Thailand to require 3 million baht insurance for non- OA immigrant visas


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On 10/20/2021 at 11:05 AM, AlexPTY said:

i may be wrong, but it will only apply to new visas, issued by overseas consulates. Will not apply to existing visa extensions 

Yes, you are correct.  For those of us here on O Visa's, we do not have to provide proof of insurance and Thaiger should be clear when they are commenting.  I've seen serveral forums going into panic because people think it means all Retirement Visas

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26 minutes ago, HolyCowCm said:

My take on it is xenophobia and only wanting their own kind here

You are from the USA right? 

Is it easier for a 

1) Thai to holiday in the USA than for an American to holiday here?

2) an American to stay years on end in Thailand as many do. Can a Thai do that in the USA? Is it easy for any Thai? 

Or is it that America is more xenophobic?

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26 minutes ago, RobMuir said:

You are from the USA right? 

Is it easier for a 

1) Thai to holiday in the USA than for an American to holiday here?

2) an American to stay years on end in Thailand as many do. Can a Thai do that in the USA? Is it easy for any Thai? 

Or is it that America is more xenophobic?

#2, yes, its called a green card. The only caveat is the cost of living is much higher. Not sure nowadays, a green card holder must fill out forms each year like expats here but notify by mail, no long lines. Not sure if they did away with that or not.

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2 minutes ago, RobMuir said:

You are from the USA right? 

Is it easier for a 

1) Thai to holiday in the USA than for an American to holiday here?

2) an American to stay years on end in Thailand as many do. Can a Thai do that in the USA? Is it easy for any Thai? 

Or is it that America is more xenophobic?

@RobMuir.

You are trying to twist it the other way and I am plainly not going for that reasoning. Yes I am from the USA and if Thai people can demonstrate they have enough funds and will not disappear (as is wanting the American dream), and sometimes having a guarantor as sponsorship, then yes they can go visit there no problem. I don't think trailer trash in the USA have the funds enough to visit Thailand and so could never demonstrate. I also do believe that USA visas are for 10 years? Wow, isn't that amazing and only USD $160 or just over 5000 baht. Wow? And in the USA my Thai wife has open doors to become a citizen or get a PR. Another Wow? and in the USA you could retire if you have a family member or employer to back you, and then do the paperwork. Yes, I know of lots of Thai people in the USA who went and can stay with ease.

Most retiree for Thailand can legitimately demonstrate they have adequate funds to support themselves, and this insurance BS needs a different approach as is literally very cheap in public hospitals or even low end private ones. So is the USA xenophobic? Way much much less than Thailand.

And BTW, you do not need insurance to visit or stay in most US states.

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5 hours ago, MikeTexas said:


I've said it before - Vietnam is the next Thailand. The more difficult Thailand makes it to enjoy the country the more attractive Vietnam looks. 

What about their Commie government?

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1 hour ago, HolyCowCm said:

Who knows. Speculation of hearsay is that as long as one is married to a Thai and with family, which is have kids being the extra bonus, then there might be a quiet leniency around that. So thus the theory of Thai wife who can take care of the sick aging husband. The point that always gets me is there is no compassion when a man's Thai wife soul mate passes away as if he doesn't have any kids then he has no hope in hades to stay here and is basically tossed out and destitute. Now this is ruthless as a double hurt slap to his face. I don't know same as the rest of us, but for me, I have kids and a wife here and so the house is just is base ground of home for all of them no matter what happens. A vehicle or two could sell, but only if needed to, and then even still what would the purpose be unless the funds are skinned or low.

For retiree, yes you are probably correct if you are tight on money and budget and know the health insurance is the breaking point or you can't get it or afford it after some time. So time to get out now or plan on staying here in intervals. 

For marriages as I have been through way too many interviews for renewal, it has to be bonafide married as the immigration officer always takes a deep look into the couple sitting in front of them. Seasoned and real couples who get a long just have a look anyone can tell is no act. 

Anyway, I would hope they do something to at least honor marriages and not hit at them too or come up with some sort of plan that allows foreigners to put up a fee of 15k - 20k baht in order to be covered in their health care system. If I ever had to I would move to another near country and just do multiple intervals here covered by travel insurance for their greedy uncaring little needs. At least with travel insurance it is pretty easy to get and can be just throw away.

Good thinking - we are looking into that arrangement as we speak - living in a nearby country and paying regular visits using travel insurance.  I have an Aussie passport so I can walk in easily - and I can get a 60/90 day Visa easily too (use a friend in Australia). The wife of course can also walk straight in at anytime. Short trips and inexpensive airfares - way cheaper than Aust to Thailand airfares.  Lots of options and it is all a matter of working out the numbers. 

Unfortunately there has been a lot of old Expat bastards who conned much younger Thai girls into believing that they had lots of money and that they would get it when they died. They had none and couldn't pay the hospital bills - just a matter of time until they crack down on them.  That is not as such the problem (mandatory insurance), the problem is mandating the ripoff Thai insurance currently being forced onto O-A Visas.  I hope it never happens - but I believe that if the Junta wins/stays in 2023, then it will eventually happen. 

 

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46 minutes ago, JudyQ said:

Yes, you are correct.  For those of us here on O Visa's, we do not have to provide proof of insurance and Thaiger should be clear when they are commenting.  I've seen serveral forums going into panic because people think it means all Retirement Visas

In 25 years of asking, I have yet to see a 'Retirement Visa'. Perhaps you could be a dear Judy and post a copy of yours to enlighten and educate others.
I've seen a Non O Visa, applied for on the basis of retirement.
A Non Imm O-A Visa, applied for on the basis of retirement.
An extension of one's permission of stay, applied for on the basis of retirement.

But alas, the elusive 'Retirement Visa', No!
It's hardly surprising that 'panic' starts to set in when the majority of foreigner have no understand of their Immigration status in Thailand. Each year, providing they get that 'stamp' in their Passport and can stay another year - job done.
They don't read the forms they fill in and sign, they'll sign anything without any understanding, just to get that stamp and because the Immigration calls it a 'Visa' it must be, after all he's a competent official.

Yet when you go to a fruit market and purchase 6 apples, but the fruit seller, who must be competent because that's her job, supplies a bag of 6 oranges, you'll question it, why, because you see they are not apples. In the same way, if you read the forms your asked to complete and sign at an Immigration office you'd clearly understand that whatever the Immigration refers to it as, it certainly isn't a Visa.

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27 minutes ago, Inlandchris said:

#2, yes, its called a green card. The only caveat is the cost of living is much higher. Not sure nowadays, a green card holder must fill out forms each year like expats here but notify by mail, no long lines. Not sure if they did away with that or not.

Yes being married to a US citizen is very easy for a Green Card. 

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1 hour ago, JudyQ said:

Yes, you are correct.  For those of us here on O Visa's, we do not have to provide proof of insurance and Thaiger should be clear when they are commenting.  I've seen serveral forums going into panic because people think it means all Retirement Visas

All Retirement Visas are O-A Visa or O-X Visas. There is no O Visa for 'Retirement'.  Mandatory insurance definitely applies to all new O-A Retirement Visas and has since October 2019. And as some already have found out, the rules are that all future Annual Extensions require the mandated insurance but it has to be a policy that has been approved from an approved Thai Company (there is a list link in the original story). However, some local Immigration offices seem to not be applying that rule for Extensions of older O-A Visas (pre-2019) - unlikely to last forever.  

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We're starting to go off topic guys. This isn't about comparisons to other Countries, it's about the mandatory Health Insurance requirement for Thailand and Thai Immigration requirements.

Future off topic posts will be removed.

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5 minutes ago, AussieBob said:

All Retirement Visas are O-A Visa or O-X Visas. There is no O Visa for 'Retirement'. 

Yes there is Bob, it's just that the Thai Embassy and Consulates in Australia don't offer it.
It's available at many other Thai Embassies and Consulates throughout the world.

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9 minutes ago, AussieBob said:

However, some local Immigration offices seem to not be applying that rule for Extensions of older O-A Visas (pre-2019) - unlikely to last forever.  

To my knowledge only one.
I stand to be corrected, but I think it was either the Phuket or Pattaya office.
@BlueSphinx may recall the exact Immigration office.

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4 minutes ago, Faz said:

Yes there is Bob, it's just that the Thai Embassy and Consulates in Australia don't offer it.
It's available at many other Thai Embassies and Consulates throughout the world.

My understanding is that you cannot apply overseas for that, but what you can do is apply for 90 days non-immigrant O Visa, and then once you are in Thailand you can apply for an annual extension for reasons of 'retirement'.  Please correct me and provide refences/links if I am wrong.

My point about the mandatory insurance when applying for an annual extension for 'reasons of retirement' (either O as above, or the full O-A), is that it will probably be clamped down on in the near future. In fact my understanding is that the rules require the insurance now when applying for an extension, but some Immigration Offices are not applying that rule (yet?).  

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14 minutes ago, AussieBob said:

They had none and couldn't pay the hospital bills - just a matter of time until they crack down on them.

What gets me is Thai can be very smart in how to arrange and get money. If they had any practical sense then they would plainly just institute the idea of everyone pays up and is insured and the fee would be based on your length of stay. The idea has already been tossed out there by them for tourists (not the latest exit fee), so why would it be so hard to validate it and make it reality for everyone to pay a fee so there would never ever be any costs burdened on the Thai system. This would be for general health care not 5 star. The foreigner should have the choice of having top level health care if they want, but even in CM there are many pretty low affordable private hospitals here that would easily fit into that doable category. So same as you AB, if I am forced into jumping into something, it is exactly to do the stay in another close country and do multiple visits here while using travel insurance. Honestly I would even be open to having to have 1 million baht in the bank locked and pay a yearly 20 - 30k baht coverage fee to get renewal and be covered every year until I am 70-80-90-100 or kick the bucket. But whatever it is, I am not prepared to leave S/E Asia and not being pretty near my family. USA is a no for me unless visiting.

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6 minutes ago, Faz said:

To my knowledge only one.
I stand to be corrected, but I think it was either the Phuket or Pattaya office.
@BlueSphinx may recall the exact Immigration office.

I am told it is Phuket for sure - and it would not surprise me about Pattaya.  I understand (rumours of course) that both those Province Offices have been instructed to clamp down on the 'sexpats'.  

But as we all know, it is down to the IO you get on the day (or through an Agent) - they have a large amount of autonomy to make whatever decision they want in each situation. I do like that 'flexibility' but with it comes the inherent risks of corruption and favouritism. 

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3 minutes ago, HolyCowCm said:

What gets me is Thai can be very smart in how to arrange and get money. If they had any practical sense then they would plainly just institute the idea of everyone pays up and is insured and the fee would be based on your length of stay. The idea has already been tossed out there by them for tourists (not the latest exit fee), so why would it be so hard to validate it and make it reality for everyone to pay a fee so there would never ever be any costs burdened on the Thai system. This would be for general health care not 5 star. The foreigner should have the choice of having top level health care if they want, but even in CM there are many pretty low affordable private hospitals here that would easily fit into that doable category. So same as you AB, if I am forced into jumping into something, it is exactly to do the stay in another close country and do multiple visits here while using travel insurance. Honestly I would even be open to having to have 1 million baht in the bank locked and pay a yearly 20 - 30k baht coverage fee to get renewal and be covered every year until I am 70-80-90-100 or kick the bucket. But whatever it is, I am not prepared to leave S/E Asia and not being pretty near my family. USA is a no for me unless visiting.

Ditto mate - we are leaving here for sure - maybe returning when we hit 85+ (or sooner if things go wrong medically).  I recall both Singapore and Malaysia required Expats to lodge a large (refundable) deposit into a local Bank - it was meant to cover any major expenses, especially medical (maybe Indonesia too, not Philippines if I recall).  Given I am going through the processes, I think I will do a comparative analysis between them all and publish here on TT as a post.  It will take a while so dont hold your breath 😁.

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39 minutes ago, Faz said:

To my knowledge only one.
I stand to be corrected, but I think it was either the Phuket or Pattaya office.
@BlueSphinx may recall the exact Immigration office.

When meeting certain conditions the Phuket Immigration Office does not require the mandatory 400K/40K health-insurance when applying for the 1-year extension based on your original Non Imm O-A Visa for reason of retirement. 

The website of the Phuket Volunteers < https://piv-phuket.com/long-stay-extensions/retirement/ > specifies:

– If the Non-OA visa from your home country is issued In or BEFORE 2017 then the health insurance is NOT required for your extension.
– If the Non-OA visa from your home country is issued in 2018 or later but the last entry date is before 1 October 2019 then the health insurance is NOT required for your extension.
– If the Non-OA visa from your home country is issued in 2018 or later but the last entry date is AFTER 1 October 2019 then the health insurance IS required for your extension.

Note that also when you are over +75 years and thus not able to subscribe to TGIA approved Thai health-insurance for meeting the Non Imm O-A extension requirement (none of the approved insurers would be willing to accept your application), the Phuket Immigration Office will exempt you from that requirement.

But afaik Phuket is the ONLY Thai Immigration Office that applies the above exemptions.

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2 minutes ago, AussieBob said:

My understanding is that you cannot apply overseas for that, but what you can do is apply for 90 days non-immigrant O Visa, and then once you are in Thailand you can apply for an annual extension for reasons of 'retirement'.  Please correct me and provide refences/links if I am wrong.

Gladly Bob.

From the Thai Embassy, UK.
https://london.thaiembassy.org/en/publicservice/84508-non-immigrant-visas?page=5d6636cd15e39c3bd00072dd&menu=5f4b6eb3f6ae4b236972c562

This page lists all the available Non Imm type Visas available.

  • Non-Immigrant Type (Retirement (pensioner aged 50 or above with a state pension who wants to stay in Thailand for no longer than 90 days) - single entry only)
  • Financial evidence e.g. A copy of pension statement if the applicant is a pensioner, or a copy of 1-month bank statement showing your income from pension, or 3-month bank statement of at least £10,000
  • Confirmation of legal residence in the UK or Ireland. Copy of health insurance that covers COVID-19 related medical expenses, both inpatient and outpatient, no less than 100,000 USD for the whole period of your stay in Thailand.
  •  

Thai Embassy DC USA.
» Visa and Certificate of Entry for Non-Thai nationals who wish to obtain a retirement visa or a long-stay visa (Non-Immigrant Category O (retirement) / O-A / O-X) or who is currently holding re-entry permit for such visas (thaiembdc.org)

 

Non-Immigrant Visa Category “O” (retirement)

Purpose of Visit: This type of visa may be issued to applicants aged 50 years and over who wish to stay in Thailand for a period of not exceeding 90 days without the intention of working. Holder of this type of visa is allowed to stay in Thailand for 90 days. Employment of any kind is strictly prohibited.

Eligibility:
1. Applicant must be aged 50 years and over (on the day of submitting application)
2. Applicant not prohibited from entering the Kingdom as provided by the Immigration Act B.E. 2522 (1979)
3. Having the nationality of or residence in the country where applicant’s application is submitted
4. Applicant must have a Thai health insurance for the duration of stay, with coverage for outpatient treatment of no less than 40,000 baht and inpatient treatment of no less than 400,000 baht

 

I think your misunderstanding and confusion Bob, is probably based on past information.
In your case, where your Thai Embassy/Consulates don't offer the Non O (90 day) single entry Visa for the reason of retirement, the alternative is to enter Thailand either Visa exempt or on a Tourist Visa.

Immigration offer a service to change your status from one as 'Tourist' to 'Non Immigrant'.
As your aware you cannot apply for a 1 year extension of stay from a 'Tourist' status, you must have a 'Non Immigrant' status. If you entered VE, you must complete form TM87 requesting a Non Imm O, or if entering on a Tourist Visa, form TM86 requesting a change of Visa status to Non Imm O.

The full procedure and requirements based on retirement here:
VE-TV to Non O Retirement.pdf

Similarly, if you had Thai family/spouse but entered Thailand VE, or on a Tourist Visa, you can apply for the Non Imm O based on marriage at a local Immigration office.
The full procedure and requirements here:
VE-TV to Non O Spouse.pdf

I hope this helps to unravel your misunderstanding.

 

 

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Had a mass exodus of Falangs leave since the over qualified Security Guard became chief in 2014! Between the ever changing requirements by immigration  such as doing away with triple entries ,strict limits of  the number of boarder crossings, suspicious activities of falangs working here and the big deterrent, changing the structure of how you fund your Thai bank account! And now this!

Fingers crossed it doesn’t happen to Non O’s  ,cause it will be a flood of Falangs exiting imop

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1 hour ago, AussieBob said:

I recall both Singapore and Malaysia required Expats to lodge a large (refundable) deposit into a local Bank - it was meant to cover any major expenses, especially medical (maybe Indonesia too, not Philippines if I recall). 

In a previous iteration of this new rule, back in June, there was mention that for those who are 70+ or otherwise not able to get insurance, a deposit of 3M baht would be allowed. Did that get cast by the wayside, or is that in the guidance somewhere?

Note: Around mid-August, the Thais lowered the maximum amount of deposit insurance coverage to 1M baht, so we'd need to open accounts across 3 banks to have that much on deposit.

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11 minutes ago, RobMuir said:

But white Aussies, English etc don't need to demonstrate that do we?

Sounds like xenophobia to me mate.

Anyway I am all for the insurance, I am not the type to bludge off anybody, least of all the Thai taxpayer.

No it is based on recorded trends of countries people for what they have done in the past, and for here in Thailand you better bet it is based on us foreigners demonstrating you have enough funds to live on here. Those easy days of skating straight through with only a piece of paper are far gone..

Anyway for you being ok it is a to each his or her own. But from what I was saying it is not the matter of sticking it to them with the health/hospital bill, it is a matter of self funding as pay as you go. For me being here in CM I do not go to high level over priced name brand hospitals. Here in CM there is something for where some of the best doctors actually work at 2 very decent local hospitals vying their time. Funny you slay bludgeon off the Thai taxpayer. I think their own big boys are doing that quite well for siphoning off the well more than any foreigner has ever inadvertently or advertently or intentionally done including dying. My trips and my family's trips to the hospital are like being under a guard and cannot be released until paid all up. I even think that if you a s a foreigner died then your body would not be released until you paid up. One of my largest bills was for my sons broken arms. Came to about 70k after surgery.

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2 minutes ago, HolyCowCm said:

I even think that if you a s a foreigner died then your body would not be released until you paid up.

I believe it is indeed Thai law not to release the body until the bill is paid.

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15 minutes ago, HolyCowCm said:

My trips and my family's trips to the hospital are like being under a guard and cannot be released until paid all up

It doesn't need to be like that of you have adequate insurance.

 

16 minutes ago, HolyCowCm said:

I think their own big boys are doing that quite well for siphoning off the well more than any foreigner has ever inadvertently or advertently or intentionally done

Two wrongs don't make a right fella.

Foreigners should pay their way. 

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27 minutes ago, riclag said:

Fingers crossed it doesn’t happen to Non O’s  ,cause it will be a flood of Falangs exiting imop

I can honestly say that wouldn't bother me in the slightest. The less of us there are here the less we have like the bloke the other day who bashed and raped the massage woman and molested the school kid etc.

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5 minutes ago, RobMuir said:

It doesn't need to be like that of you have adequate insurance.

Two wrongs don't make a right fella.

Foreigners should pay their way. 

Saying fella is not so nice. Now is it?

The only thing you and I agree on is we should pay our way. Now how we do it should be up to each individual as some folk cannot get insurance for certain reasons or it is simply not possible. As for me I am fine.

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