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wealthychef

Should I switch from non-immigrant Retirement O to O-A visa?

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Hello gentle readers, 

Sadly, this is yet another "income verification" flavored question from an American in Bangkok. 

 

BACKGROUND:

I currently hold a non-immigrant retirement O visa with a multiple re-entry permit, good for a year, until Feb 2021.  I recently met a gentleman who told me he has an O-A visa which he renews yearly in the USA. 

I have a lot of money, and a Thai bank account, but I only keep maybe 100k THB in Thailand at any time and with the recent change in the affidavit scheme, I am unable to verify my income for the visa while in Thailand.  I used a "helper" for this which, omitting the gory and sketchy details, cost me $950 this year to extend permission to stay with multiple re-entry permission.  This large expense is something I'd like to avoid in the future.  That is my main motivation for this posting. 

 

Here are the rules on the LA consulate website:  https://thaiconsulatela.org/en/visa/visa-type/non-immigration-category-o-a/

 

QUESTIONS:

My understanding is that it is much easier to verify income if I get the O-A visa instead, because I'll be in the USA and they will accept my bank account statements at the Thai consulate.  Is this accurate? 

Second, the O-A visa appears to require a medical certificate from a Thai doctor.  This seems strange since the application requires me to apply from outside of Thailand.  Am I understanding this correctly?  Here is the medical certificate:  https://thaiconsulatela.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Medical-Certificate-Form-For-Non-Immigrant-O-A-Long-Stay-Only.pdf

 

The big one:  would people here recommend I switch given the difficulty I have in verifying income and the expensive workaround?  Are there other strategies people are using?  Any other advice?  

 

Thank you in advance.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, lopburi3 said:

You did read para 9 that health insurance is now a requirement and as far as I am aware no foreign insurance has been accepted to this date - and the Thai insurance would not be considered proper coverage by most people?

 

 

Oh wow, I thought that my international insurance would qualify as it covers me in Thailand.  Thanks for flagging that

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1 hour ago, Martyp said:

I got my O-A visa at the LA Consulate in 2017. The new requirement you need to consider is that you will have to buy health insurance from a Thai company or get your outside insurance company to sign a Thai government affidavit (which may be difficult). 
 

Otherwise you can use money from your US bank account. You can keep this visa going for almost 2 years. Regarding expenses though, wouldn’t the cost of returning to the US to renew cost at least $1000?
 

In 2017 an O-A visa was the best choice. Now with the insurance requirement I would not recommend it however you have other financial issues to consider. In general though, if you follow their checklist you should have no problem. They were easy and professional to deal with. 
 

I agree with Jack. I keep a million baht in a Thai bank for my annual extensions. That has worked well for me. 

 

Keeping 800k THB ($25k USD) in a Thai bank is unattractive to me, as it represents dead money, costing investment and other opportunities.  I travel extensively, so visiting the US each year is already something I do and having dead money in Thailand thus is even less attractive.  

And thanks to you as well for flagging the insurance requirement as a difficulty.  That might be the thing that kills it.  

I'll have to think about whether it's worse to have 25k in an account or to pay $1k per year to a fixer.  

What are the seasoning requirements on the 800k THB?  Does the $25k have to stay there a certain amount of time?  Could I deposit it 3 months before applying and remove it soon after?  

Cheers

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1 hour ago, DrJack54 said:

Stick with no o and annual extensions.

Put 1mill in FD account in Thailand. Obtain extensions using money in Thai bank method. 

Forget about income method. 

You said you had plenty.

FORGET about O-A

 

Question, what is a FD account?  Would a savings account work? 

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2 minutes ago, wealthychef said:

What are the seasoning requirements on the 800k THB?  Does the $25k have to stay there a certain amount of time?  Could I deposit it 3 months before applying and remove it soon after?  

Cheers

2 months prior to one year extension of stay for retirement and at 800k level for next 3 months - then 400k until two months prior to next extension.  This is a new rule and no information yet on enforcement (was to prevent those people you talk about making a deposit and then taking out when extension granted - but funds are supposed to be available for use by design so defeats that and may not get tight enforcement).  

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1 minute ago, lopburi3 said:

2 months prior to one year extension of stay for retirement and at 800k level for next 3 months - then 400k until two months prior to next extension.  This is a new rule and no information yet on enforcement (was to prevent those people you talk about making a deposit and then taking out when extension granted - but funds are supposed to be available for use by design so defeats that and may not get tight enforcement).  

 

It will be interesting to see where all this settles out over this year as more people get experienced with this. I think for now I'll wait on the Big Deposit and check back on these forums in December, 2 months before I renew.  🙂  It is not hard to get some money here.  My circumstances are quite unusual due to my travel habits.  

Again, thanks for the tips.  I hope others find this useful too. 

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My last extension using income method,showing Thai bank book and bank letter confirming required FTN deposits was all that Immigration required. My embassy also quit income verifications

Edited by norbra

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18 hours ago, wealthychef said:

What are the seasoning requirements on the 800k THB?  Does the $25k have to stay there a certain amount of time?  Could I deposit it 3 months before applying and remove it soon after?  

If you are just talking about getting the visa in the US the money does not have to be in a Thai bank.  You can use the money in your US bank to qualify.

Also you don't need to get the Visa every year.  As long as the visa date has not expired you can leave Thailand then enter again and get another year entry permission.  So you can almost make it 2 years to have to reapply for the visa in the US again.

 

As far as medical insurance I would check out Pacific Cross plans.  They have several plans that work for the O-A visa.  You could look at getting one of the cheaper plans and max out the deductible to make it as cheap as possible if you plan on keep your existing insurance.

Edited by rwill

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8 minutes ago, rwill said:

You could look at getting one of the cheaper plans and max out the deductible to make it as cheap as possible if you plan on keep your existing insurance.

Be aware having more than one insurance can cause an administrative nightmare getting payments in a timely manner.  Not to mention the reputation most Thai plans have.

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7 minutes ago, lopburi3 said:

Be aware having more than one insurance can cause an administrative nightmare getting payments in a timely manner.  Not to mention the reputation most Thai plans have.

What reputation is that?

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2 minutes ago, emptypockets said:

What reputation is that?

image.jpeg.ceaab66a5aa53490ef562ba9349d1814.jpeg

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