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CM Immigration Q&A (2018)


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8 hours ago, NancyL said:

Based on what a visa agent presented at the recent CM Expats Club General Meeting, yes, we were told that those who initially entered the country on an O-A visa and have been extending it each year will be asked for proof of insurance if they apply for an extension after October 31.

 

The visa agent pointed out the "non-imm O" loophole, which applies to Hubby and me.  I specifically asked about it.  A dozen years ago Hubby got an O-A visa from the Thai Chicago General Consul and I received an non-imm O as his dependent.  After entering Thailand, at some point I deposited 800,000 baht in a Thai bank solely in my name and received my own one-year retirement extensions.  So now we're both here on back-to-back one-year extensions due to retirement.

 

According to the visa agent speaking at the meeting, Hubby will need proof of insurance since he came in a dozen years ago on an O-A, but I won't since I came in on an O.

 

The way to check what you have if you no longer use the passport with your original visa is to look in the first page of visa stamps, where Immigration "transferred" your visa information.  It will clearly show if you had a "non-imm O" or an "non-imm O-A"

 

 

Read the latest edition of The Phuket Gazette as this ruling for health cover is dead in a ditch.

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Nonsense posts removed.   This is not a topic for "fun" or stupid quips or a place to try out poor attempts at humour. Any further instances in this topic and they will be dealt with ha

Questions and Answers on all ""Immigration" issues in Chiang Mai.   Posts that are off topic, argumentative, etc. will be aggressively removed to keep this topic with useful information

Until we get actual first-hand reports from applicants extending O-A visas at Chiang Mai Immigration, I think links to threads about other peoples' experiences overseas or in other provinces isn't rel

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On 10/28/2019 at 10:11 AM, Dcheech said:

Re entry – multiple re entry visa.

As there was too big a mob scene last week when I did my non O extension. What is a good time to turn up at CM immigration say on Wednesday or Thursday? Just doing the Re Entry nothing else. Mid-morning or 1330 ok. Or do I need to turn up at 0620   - Again (!!)
 

Do I get a ticket up at main office front desk again? Or shunted off upstairs? Any help for a newby appreciated.

 

Thanks

Once Thai Immigration requires health insurance for the one year visa extensions, there should be no more "mob scenes" at immigration.

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10 hours ago, Hugh Jarse said:

Read the latest edition of The Phuket Gazette as this ruling for health cover is dead in a ditch.

Well, delayed at least, and we most earnestly hope dead. You mean this: https://www.thephuketnews.com/health-check-phuket-immigration-confirms-mandatory-health-insurance-for-o-a-retirement-visas-not-in-force-72365.php#VVzZQPvi4qeHG1L7.97
I was hoping that Medicare in the US would fill any requirement, but it doesn't pay in Thailand. That's what I want to know! My friend has been paying about $1500 a year to keep her Medicare insurance so she could return to the states in case of a major emergency. Seems kind of strange that she wasn't allowed to leave either hospital after two major surgeries ten years ago until her bill was paid, so I don't understand how the medical system has been getting stuck. Perhaps the health insurance requirement isn't such a bad idea, but if the fees go over 100,000 baht at age 70, surely much more later, then that isn't a good deal at all. Thankfully, I'm in darned good health and well insured, but 1,000% sure I'll never run up a medical bill that I couldn't pay out of pocket if I had to and would most likely find a way to die before that happened. 

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21 minutes ago, cusanus said:

.....so I don't understand how the medical system has been getting stuck....

Nor do I.  According to multiple newspaper accounts, this new requirement all came about due to Thai hospitals (whether all or just government hospitals, they haven't said) losing a total of 16 million (US) dollars per year because of "foreigners" not paying their hospital bills. Would note:

(1)  They never mentioned who these "foreigners" were.  If they were including Lao, Burmese, and Cambodians, they likely outnumber westerners by 50+ to 1 and that group is probably a heck of lot more likely not to pay their hospital bills than westerners.  As to why they would target O-A visa holders, that's beyond me as it would seem that they (having to prove adequate funds in their home country bank) would not likely be the ones stiffing the Thai hospitals.

(2)  And the 16 million dollar figure is peanuts compared to what all of us expats pay to the Thai hospitals every year (and be mindful the Thai government has blessed the practice of private hospitals charging us more than Thais for the same services).  And that's not even dealing with the tons of money that Thai hospitals take in via medical tourism.  All in all, I'd think that Thai hospitals (at least the private ones) would be in bankruptcy proceedings but for the expat and medical tourism money.

(3)  I presume...but obviously don't know...that the Thai insurance companies lobbied for the new rule as they (and the few elite Thais who own those companies) are the ones who'll make some money on the new scheme.

 

 

 

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Health insurance will benefit the insurance companies but be of little help to the hospitals because much of the hospital fees will not be covered by the insurance due to preexisting conditions exclusions.

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3 hours ago, CMBob said:

(3)  I presume...but obviously don't know...that the Thai insurance companies lobbied for the new rule as they (and the few elite Thais who own those companies) are the ones who'll make some money on the new scheme.

Without question, and certainly why the issue is so clouded with uncertainty. Maybe I'm not typical, but I would never have come to Thailand 15 years ago if I'd had to factor that in. I've not paid much into health care, well under 5,000 baht, but I've pulled roughly 15 million baht into the Thai economy. I know quite a few like me, but never met anyone who left a hospital holding the bag. In my mathematician mind, the Thai government would be shooting Thailand in the foot for billions of bahts if this requirement is enforced. Of course, none of us has access to the statistics that could answer that question with any certainty. It's no more likely the Thai government does either, so what you have is an insurance lobby picking at the military mind. At this point, many would have little choice but to put up with it, and we will, but it won't help Thailand (IMHEO).   

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16 hours ago, Hugh Jarse said:

Read the latest edition of The Phuket Gazette as this ruling for health cover is dead in a ditch.

I can't see where it says that all.  Link please?

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1 hour ago, cusanus said:

Without question, and certainly why the issue is so clouded with uncertainty. Maybe I'm not typical, but I would never have come to Thailand 15 years ago if I'd had to factor that in. I've not paid much into health care, well under 5,000 baht, but I've pulled roughly 15 million baht into the Thai economy. I know quite a few like me, but never met anyone who left a hospital holding the bag. In my mathematician mind, the Thai government would be shooting Thailand in the foot for billions of bahts if this requirement is enforced. Of course, none of us has access to the statistics that could answer that question with any certainty. It's no more likely the Thai government does either, so what you have is an insurance lobby picking at the military mind. At this point, many would have little choice but to put up with it, and we will, but it won't help Thailand (IMHEO).   

I know dozens of people who have left a hospital "holding the bag".  I agree with the comments that tourists and seasonal "snowbird" visitors should have health insurance too.  

 

I don't understand why someone would retire to Thailand and not think about how they were going to cover major health crises -- yes plural.  Bills in excess of 1 million baht are more common than you think.  It's just that the health insurance plans being shoved down our throats are ones that address the real problem.

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2 hours ago, NancyL said:

I know dozens of people who have left a hospital "holding the bag".  I agree with the comments that tourists and seasonal "snowbird" visitors should have health insurance too.  I don't understand why someone would retire to Thailand and not think about how they were going to cover major health crises -- yes plural.  Bills in excess of 1 million baht are more common than you think.  It's just that the health insurance plans being shoved down our throats are ones that address the real problem.

Wow! Well, you definitely know a different class of people than myself, and different hospitals than the ones where my friend had surgeries years ago and wasn't allowed to leave until the bill was paid. Anyway, that was my point, wasn't it, that there isn't any data that we can be sure is on the level, not yours or mine, only that anybody in my class will not come to retire and dump everything they've got if they have to buy Thai insurance. What makes you think that people who don't have Thai insurance haven't thought this through, really, that's quite a judgment call? Should I take it personally? My cost for Thai insurance over 15 years would be more than $30,000 while all I've had to pay so far is about $150. But oh, God, who knows when I'll have a coronary and not be able to pay up (a million baht really isn't that tough for me to grub up)? My friend in your eyes is also irresponsible, though covered far better through Medicare. Yes, Medicare doesn't pay in Thailand, but is she not allowed to return to the states and collect on her investment? A lot of us didn't come to Thailand unprepared with empty pockets and heads. We have plans and back up plans that do not include ripping off the Thai medical system, only bringing everything we've earned over a lifetime and leaving it here. 

Oh, yeah, I posted the article you were asking about in an earlier post, but this should get you there:http://bit.ly/2BYdPZ2

 

 

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15 minutes ago, cusanus said:

Wow! Well, you definitely know a different class of people than myself, and different hospitals than the ones where my friend had surgeries years ago and wasn't allowed to leave until the bill was paid. Anyway, that was my point, wasn't it, that there isn't any data that we can be sure is on the level, not yours or mine, only that anybody in my class will not come to retire and dump everything they've got if they have to buy Thai insurance. What makes you think that people who don't have Thai insurance haven't thought this through, really, that's quite a judgment call? Should I take it personally? My cost for Thai insurance over 15 years would be more than $30,000 while all I've had to pay so far is about $150. But oh, God, who knows when I'll have a coronary and not be able to pay up (a million baht really isn't that tough for me to grub up)? My friend in your eyes is also irresponsible, though covered far better through Medicare. Yes, Medicare doesn't pay in Thailand, but is she not allowed to return to the states and collect on her investment? A lot of us didn't come to Thailand unprepared with empty pockets and heads. We have plans and back up plans that do not include ripping off the Thai medical system, only bringing everything we've earned over a lifetime and leaving it here. 

Oh, yeah, I posted the article you were asking about in an earlier post, but this should get you there:http://bit.ly/2BYdPZ2

 

 

Your Phuket story is from August 3, hardly recently news.  Right now, Phuket Imm and others are trying to figure out how to handle the "non-O retirement loophole" about insurance as reported by the same publication in the past few days.

 

Yes, I do know a "different class of people" than yourself and "different hospitals", i.e. the government hospitals through my involvement in helping people in need through Lanna Care Net http://www.lannacarenet.org/what-we-do/  You said your cost for Thai insurance over the years would have been over $30,000.  I hope that means you've banked all that money in Thailand where someone could get at it if you're in a coma to pay the hospital.  Many of our clients should have been so wise.  Many Thai banks will release funds to pay hospital bills for ongoing treatment even if the customer can't authorize the transaction; foreign banks won't, of course. 

 

People in comas, with compromised breathing, etc usually can't travel back to their home countries for treatment.  It's amazing how fast a hale and hearty older person can go from being completely fit and seemingly healthy to frail and needy after an accident or major health event.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, NancyL said:

Yes, I do know a "different class of people" than yourself and "different hospitals", i.e. the government hospitals through my involvement in helping people in need through Lanna Care Net http://www.lannacarenet.org/what-we-do/  You said your cost for Thai insurance over the years would have been over $30,000.  I hope that means you've banked all that money in Thailand where someone could get at it if you're in a coma to pay the hospital.  Many Thai banks will release funds to pay hospital bills for ongoing treatment even if the customer can't authorize the transaction; foreign banks won't, of course. People in comas, with compromised breathing, etc usually can't travel back to their home countries for treatment.  It's amazing how fast a hale and hearty older person can go from being completely fit and seemingly healthy to frail and needy after an accident or major health event.  

Yes, indeedy, I've all that taken care of far better than you think. You're not the smartest cookie in the jar, believe it or not. By the way, I was licensed in life and health for 13 years and understand the way the game is played and also the value of risks, even far better than that because I had eight years university math and science (probability theorem of my own http://foosresearch.appspot.com, if you have Adobe Flash). Now, let me explain something else. I risked a bullet in Vietnam just to pay for those degrees while I very nearly starved and worked like a dog at least 14 hours a day. A year after I graduated I was hit with a major illness that put me in a hospital for seven days. While there, I was flatly denied any kind of diagnostics or even the chance to speak to a doctor while the MDs filled their pockets with insurance money. The flap cost me my career, my house and everything and rendered my degrees useless. I should have known better really, because of childhood experiences with doctors.  Jump ahead to ten years ago when I accidentally ate a plate of poisonous mushrooms after eight others in the village had died from them. My Thai neighbors dragged me off the lawn to the hospital, where the doctors asked me why I wouldn't let them "help" me. Well, honestly, I didn't know if I wouldn't end up with someone else's liver and a three million baht tab. What I did know was that the mortality rate from mushroom poisoning is three times in the US what it is in other countries that used treatments of large doses of vitamin C, ALA and silymarin, so I walked to the nearest drug store with a blood pressure of 55/54 and bought a pile of those. I also knew that if I made it through the next ten days that I was good, and if I didn't, well there's a better life after this one for some of us, so it's a risk I can take.  Not many would miss my passing. I might add that for many reasons, Thai medicine is better, but I still can't trust it. Seriously, premiums large enough to cover a worst case scenario far exceeds anyone's resources, yours or mine included.


Now, the friend I referenced was too frail to walk by herself when I brought her here. If I can't get her out of a coma and back to Medicare before she runs out of money, that 400,000 baht insurance coverage will have run dry a long, long time ago. If the doctor's can't get her started well enough for me to get her on the plane, that's a risk they can safely assume. Meanwhile, yeah, sure, go ahead and have her pay 107,000 baht / year as the article estimates, meaning that the money will run out that much faster and the doctors will be that much short in the end. 400,000 baht won't save her, and yet the premium for four or five million baht insurance would exceed her income and either leave her without food to eat or drain her account far faster than her life expectancy.  All that the insurance accomplishes is that either the family or the doctors are stuck for the amount of the premiums in the end. It WILL NEVER cover the medical bills. That's eight years university math talking, but 1+1=2 will still get you there. 

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Here is one of the latest links

Try to keep on track

No need to call out people

We are all different here

Some live in there own lives

Others have more more knowledge about a lot of things than we do

That is why we rely on Correct up To date Information

Not just hearsay

We all do not know what will happen from tomorrow at Immigration

We will all have to wait till people actually go to in particular Chiang Mai Immigration

 

 

https://www.thephuketnews.com/mandatory-health-insurance-for-retirees-falls-flat-as-non-imm-o-visa-loophole-exposed-73376.php#LXLK3Cb9RIxrYphH.97

 

 

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2 hours ago, Tracyb said:

Has anyone renewed their retirement extension without needing health insurance after October 31? 

You do realize it's Saturday? Or is Immigration open on Saturdays? Anyway, maybe the government has Halloween confused with April Fool's. Or maybe it doesn't! Yikes!

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17 minutes ago, cusanus said:

You do realize it's Saturday? Or is Immigration open on Saturdays? Anyway, maybe the government has Halloween confused with April Fool's. Or maybe it doesn't! Yikes!

Actually, today is Friday, November 1. No?

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39 minutes ago, Tracyb said:

Actually, today is Friday, November 1. No?

Supposed 2 b a joke. Not funny i guess. Anyway, remember the old Doonesbury comic? Two old dudes are sitting on a park bench with the fall wind stirring up all the leaves. The one fella says, "Windy day, isn't it?" The other fella, maybe you, says, "No, I do believe it's Thursday." The first fella replies, "Hey, so am I. How about we go for a pop?" 
Anyway, Halloween being the 31st is apt. Yes?

 

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57 minutes ago, anwa said:

I have O-A visa from beginning(2013).Have make retirement extension every year.Can I change to spouse extension this year?Do I need insurance?

That's what we want to know, we're waiting on you or a few others to pass go, or not, and tell us what happens. Pretty sure you can change from O-A to O, but don't know exactly how it's done. The spouse option is more hassle so don't do it if you don't have to. Well, that's what the IOs tell me. 

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i changed from married retirement to spouse visa this year

on wife friend advise  in immigration/ as is easier 

as i have had 400000b in bank past 8years was all that was required

you get one house visit to see you are living together /cheers

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Ok, well, I've been called for being off topic, my wry humor not being understood as I struggle not to be blunt and have the mods kick my butt all the way to the English channel. So, the insurance issue has been bugging me more than it should, but was really hoping in vain we'd hear back from someone on it today. My oh my what a mess. I discovered this other thread on that topic which may interest some of you, http://bit.ly/34kOAwn, but still relevant to us. The last (first) person to have directly approached an IO relates that it will only be enforced for first time O-A applicants, which makes a lot more sense to me, and I hope it's always that way because that in itself will be enough to cause major hurt to Thailand, as little as I may be believed about that. Of course, I'm also not pleased with the possible cost to a special friend who like most pays her bills. The cost of her premiums after four years would exceed the maximum amount insured, and then it appears near impossible to even get insurance after 75. That's Halloween in my book. But either way it's the family that will be gouged for those premiums in the end. Most who could be affected should be thinking hard about that. I'll never have to pay for medical insurance personally and so why should I stick my neck out? Because I sincerely care about people and about Thailand and suspect that a statement on this thread might affect the outcome. Understood why my comments sometimes seem off the wall. If anyone has any experience here at CM with extending a visa, please let us know how that issue was dealt with. Also, anyone know the procedure for swapping an O-A out for an O? 

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On 10/22/2019 at 1:49 PM, placnx said:

 

CNX: I did 800K extension yesterday. My helper arrived around 7:30 AM with the documents and a POA and was told that I would have to come back in person to get a queue number. So I got there about 40 min later, got queue 9. My bank letter was from 17th but update on passbook was 15th, less than a week. IO said that they would accept if latest passbook update was 4-5 days before, so I had to go out to update passbook. The passbook had only monthly entries for transactions for Jul/Aug since I failed to update during those months, so the bank's 3-month printout was essential to show activity detail.

I thought only 2 months is required and not 3 months anymore.

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14 hours ago, NancyL said:

Until we get actual first-hand reports from applicants extending O-A visas at Chiang Mai Immigration, I think links to threads about other peoples' experiences overseas or in other provinces isn't relevant. And "entertaining suppositions" or insults about the intelligence of other forum members isn't helpful either.

I've been told I'm wrong about you and owe you an apology. I suppose I do. It simply isn't conceivable to me that anyone occupies such a role. If you're helping people, that's wonderful, but please consider how unfair it is for those of us who have lived here many years to be suddenly paying large sums for insurance that we don't need and with no idea how that helps anyone. What about us?

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44 minutes ago, cusanus said:

please consider how unfair it is for those of us who have lived here many years to be suddenly paying large sums for insurance that we don't need

It does not seem that buying insurance is necessary.  Clearly the issue applies to only a small speicific group and there seem to be very easy alternatives to getting out of that group and into one without insurance requirements.

 

 

 

 

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