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oldcpu

Successful Phuket entry on valid Type-OA visa today

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I had a successful entry today 29-Feb-2020 on a Valid type-OA visa (issued 28-March-2019 and valid until 27-March-2020) at Phuket airport immigration.  I was with my Thai wife and we went through the Thai citizen line.  There was no mention of Health Insurance (nor did I expect any as my understanding is only when one goes for an extension of a Type-OA visa  based on retirement is such Health Insurance proof required).   This was the 1st time in which I left Thailand and returned on a valid Type-OA visa.

 

My passport was stamped with a permission to stay until 27-February-2021 (which was the approximate date expected).

 

A likely 'mute' comment of mine, ... in the TM-6 under "Purpose of Visit", I entered "RETIRED WITH THAI WIFE".  I suspect that wording made no difference.  I do note in February-2021, I currently plan to apply for a 1-year extension based on 'marriage'.   While I have excellent health insurance (superb coverage for both my Thai wife and myself) it is not on the Thai approved health insurance company list for foreigners applying for extensions (on a Type-OA Visa) based on retirement.

 

I plan to leave Thailand mid-March-2020 for 1-month, and I will be out of Thailand when my Type-OA visa "valid until date of 27-March-2020" expires.  Hence either next week, or the following week, before I leave Thailand for a month, I plan to go to Thai immigration in Phuket and apply for a 'single re-entry' permit on my 27-February-2021 permission to stay.  Hopefully by obtaining that re-entry permit, I will have in issue when returning to Thailand in mid-April-2020.

 

The single re-entry permit requires one to specify specific date of planned departure and date of planned arrival.  I know my dates (as flights are booked) but I am a bit concerned the CoronaVirus could affect my flights.  When leaving Thailand back in February, we had a last minute flight change by Cathay Pacific, and I figure there is a risk I could end up leaving Thailand or returning to Thailand, on a different date than that specified in my re-entry permit application.  Hopefully that does not cause an issue.   I could go for a multiple re-entry, but if I did that it would make it more difficult for me to change from a Type-OA to a Type-O visa, if I should ever decide to do such.

 

I debated on whether to post the above, is the above is all as expected ....  But I decided to do so, as it can be good to have posts confirming things are working the way expected.

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Removed a troll post.

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You will note that a re-entry permit is not restricted by other than its expiry date which is the same as your permission to stay expiry date

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You will have ZERO issues when re-entering Thailand before your permission to stay date of 27 Feb 2021 expires.

The Single Re-Entry Permit you intend to buy before exiting, will keep that permission to stay 'alive' - after re-entry the Permit will be void because used.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Peter Denis said:

You will have ZERO issues when re-entering Thailand before your permission to stay date of 27 Feb 2021 expires.

The Single Re-Entry Permit you intend to buy before exiting, will keep that permission to stay 'alive' - after re-entry the Permit will be void because used.

I have elected to apply (tomorrow) for a single re-entry on my 'permission to stay' (for each visit outside of Thailand), as opposed to a multiple re-entry (on my permission to stay), even thou I have 4 trips planned outside of Thailand between now and 27-Feb-2021 when my permission to stay expires.  This will keep the 'door open' for me to 'void' my Type-OA if at any time Thai immigration rules change, making the Type-O more suitable for my case.   Fortunately for me, the local Thai immigration office is only a 15-minute auto drive away.

 

As posted in other threads, my current plan in February-2021 is to apply for a 1-year extension based on marriage (to a Thai woman) with my Type-OA visa permission to stay ... but between now and February-2021 I will continue to read the experiences of anyone else with similar circumstances to myself (Type-OA 1-year extension based on marriage and Health Insurance NOT on the relatively limited Thai 'approved' list).  If that 'remain on Type-OA' approach of mine needs to suddenly change, then I will have an easy option to leave the country to change to a Type-O (on one of my 4 trips outside Thailand).

 

Originally, I had planned to leave Thailand in February-2021 to go downhill ski in a colder climate, but I think I will move that ski trip up to January-2021, and instead stick around Thailand in February-2021 so to better process my 1-year extension application.

 

17 hours ago, Mr Smithy said:

You will note that a re-entry permit is not restricted by other than its expiry date which is the same as your permission to stay expiry date

Thanks.  That is good to read.  I nominally plan to make this single-re-entry application tomorrow.

Edited by oldcpu

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2 minutes ago, oldcpu said:

I have elected to apply (tomorrow) for a single re-entry on my 'permission to stay' (for each visit outside of Thailand), as opposed to a multiple re-entry (on my permission to stay), even thou I have 4 trips planned outside of Thailand between now and 27-Feb-2021 when my permission to stay expires.  This will keep the 'door open' for me to 'void' my Type-OA if at any time Thai immigration rules change, making the Type-O more suitable for my case.   Fortunately for me, the local Thai immigration office is only a 15-minute auto drive away.

Yes, if you want to keep your options open to switch to a different Visa Category (i.e. from OA to O) in course of coming year, it is indeed better to apply for a SingleEntry Re-Entry Permit (1.000 THB), as the MultipleEntry Re-Entry Permit (3.800 THB) will make it impossible to change Visa category as it will keep your permission to stay based on your present OA Visa alive.

Please note that if you exit Thailand from one of the main international Airports at Bangkok, Phuket or Chiang-Mai that you can also buy the Re-Entry Permit at the departure hall, but you would need to do this before passing Immigration and being 'stamped out'.

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Added note, at DMK The reentry office is just other side of passport control..

Simple process at airports.

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16 hours ago, oldcpu said:

I have elected to apply (tomorrow) for a single re-entry on my 'permission to stay' (for each visit outside of Thailand), as opposed to a multiple re-entry (on my permission to stay), even thou I have 4 trips planned outside of Thailand between now and 27-Feb-2021 when my permission to stay expires.  This will keep the 'door open' for me to 'void' my Type-OA if at any time Thai immigration rules change, making the Type-O more suitable for my case.   Fortunately for me, the local Thai immigration office is only a 15-minute auto drive away.

 

As posted in other threads, my current plan in February-2021 is to apply for a 1-year extension based on marriage (to a Thai woman) with my Type-OA visa permission to stay ... but between now and February-2021 I will continue to read the experiences of anyone else with similar circumstances to myself (Type-OA 1-year extension based  ion marriage and Health Insurance NOT on the relatively limited Thai 'approved' list).  If that 'remain on Type-OA' approach of mine needs to suddenly change, then I will have an easy option to leave the country to change to a Type-O (on one of my 4 trips outside Thailand).

 

Originally, I had planned to leave Thailand in February-2021 to go downhill ski in a colder climate, but I think I will move that ski trip up to January-2021, and instead stick around Thailand in February-2021 so to better process my 1-year extension application.

 

Thanks.  That is good to read.  I nominally plan to make this single-re-entry application tomorrow.

Good to hear you have had zero issues thus far.

My own experience with a O-A visa issued in Australia before the 1st November 2019 was arriving in BKK not acceptable without insurance resulting in a 30 day to get me back to CNX.  In CNX I eventually had my visa reinstated but not the multiple re-entry . I now have to get a re-entry each time I leave Thailand.    In summation I would suggest avoiding re-entry via BKK, their interpretation was polite but unrelenting about the need for insurance. CNX seems a little more understanding as long as it does not have to be ' kicked up stairs to BKK for a ruling '.

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3 hours ago, Capt Rob said:

Good to hear you have had zero issues thus far.

My own experience with a O-A visa issued in Australia before the 1st November 2019 was arriving in BKK not acceptable without insurance resulting in a 30 day to get me back to CNX.  In CNX I eventually had my visa reinstated but not the multiple re-entry . I now have to get a re-entry each time I leave Thailand.    In summation I would suggest avoiding re-entry via BKK, their interpretation was polite but unrelenting about the need for insurance. CNX seems a little more understanding as long as it does not have to be ' kicked up stairs to BKK for a ruling '.

Hi Capt Rob > Sorry to hear about your misfortune.  In the first 2 weeks of November 2019 there was indeed total chaos at Bangkok Airports where people entering on a pre Oct 31 Non Imm OA Visa were - incorrectly - denied the 1-year entry that Visa provides because of 'no health-insurance'.

Then a Top IO meeting at Suvarnabhumi clarified that it was a mistake and everyone being incorrectly denied their 1-year permission to stay could have it rectified at their port-of-entry.

Occasionally in the weeks/months after that clarification, a report was posted on the Forum of someone being queried by a border-immigration official for health-insurance when trying to (re)-enter Thailand on his pre Oct 31 issued OA Visa.  But in all of those cases a senior official clarified that it was not necessary and those queried where let through with the 1-year permission to stay they were entitled to.  This being Thailand, the excuse to avoid loss-of-face for having made a mistake often sounded like 'OK this time, but next time make sure you have the insurance'.  Total BS of course.

Since January I have not come across on the Forum of cases of people on entering Thailand being queried about health-insurance while on a valid Non Imm OA Visa / extension of stay. 

Note: You state that when they re-instated your Non Imm OA Visa you lost the Multiple Entry that Visa provides you.  I cannot think of any way how that would be possible, as a valid Non Imm OA Visa is by definition Multiple Entry. 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, oldcpu said:

I nominally plan to make this single-re-entry application tomorrow.

As I noted in my quote, I went to Thai immigration in Phuket today and successfully obtained a Single Re-Entry permit on my "Permission to Stay" (from my Type-OA Visa).  I needed the "Re-entry permit" as I will be outside Thailand when my Type-OA valid until date comes and goes.

 

I had social commitments early in the morning so I could not make it to Thai Immigration in Phuket until 10:30am.   It was packed, with over 70-people in line or waiting.

 

Having typed that, I was in and out in less than 40-minutes, and the Phuket Immigration staff/officials were incredibly polite.  Given the stress of handling so many people, I was most impressed with their attitude. 

 

I note I was shaved, neatly dressed, and wearing a yellow shirt with Royal Family emblem on the pocket.  I don't know if that made a difference, but I figure it does not hurt to be both polite and neatly dressed when at Immigration.

 

====

 

As an aside, over 1/2 the foreign people at immigration were Chinese.  I speculate many were trying to get extensions on their permission to stay in Thailand, due to complications in their returning to China.  It must be expensive for them to scramble and find a place to stay in Thailand when going back to China not as straightforward as they may wish.

 

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9 minutes ago, oldcpu said:

It must be expensive for them to scramble and find a place to stay in Thailand when going back to China not as straightforward as they may wish.

I would expect that there is plenty of accommodation available and supply and demand will work in their favour. Them having the finances is another matter. 

Thanks for feedback on O-A stuff.

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6 hours ago, Capt Rob said:

Good to hear you have had zero issues thus far.

My own experience with a O-A visa issued in Australia before the 1st November 2019 was arriving in BKK not acceptable without insurance resulting in a 30 day to get me back to CNX.  In CNX I eventually had my visa reinstated but not the multiple re-entry . I now have to get a re-entry each time I leave Thailand.    In summation I would suggest avoiding re-entry via BKK, their interpretation was polite but unrelenting about the need for insurance. CNX seems a little more understanding as long as it does not have to be ' kicked up stairs to BKK for a ruling '.

A similar thing happened to a friend of mine returning through Phuket in early February - no health insurance so they only stamped him in for 30 days. He eventually did a border crossing and re-entry at Nong Khai to get the 12 month stamp.

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17 minutes ago, vincent13 said:

A similar thing happened to a friend of mine returning through Phuket in early February - no health insurance so they only stamped him in for 30 days. He eventually did a border crossing and re-entry at Nong Khai to get the 12 month stamp.

So it was an obvious mistake by Phuket border-immigration to only provide him with a 30-day VisaExempt entry.

Since you write that he managed later to get the 12-month permission to stay stamp to which his still valid Non Imm OA Visa entitled him, when doing a border-run at Nong Khai.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, vincent13 said:

A similar thing happened to a friend of mine returning through Phuket in early February - no health insurance so they only stamped him in for 30 days. He eventually did a border crossing and re-entry at Nong Khai to get the 12 month stamp.

Its interesting that there were 2 different approaches only a few weeks apart (him arriving early February and having an issue, and myself arriving 29-February with no issue).  

 

When I arrived Phuket airport, there was a massive line in the airport for foreigners to go through immigration (I venture a 30-minute or longer wait).  My Thai wife noted there was practically no one at the Thai citizen line.  So she grabbed me and we both went through the Thai citizen line almost together ... her first and after she completed she pointed me (next in line) to the IO and stated I was her husband.  There was no one (in the Thai line) waiting behind me.  He then waved me to him, and he processed my Type-OA Visa entry correctly (stamping me for a one year permission to stay). He did not mention health insurance at all.

 

I was fortunate to both pass the massive foreigner line, and also have my entry (permission to stay) stamped correctly.

 

I was a bit concerned going through the 'Thai' line might mean the Immigration official in the Thai line would not know the foreigner Visa details, but the IO processed my Type-OA visa quickly and professionally (best that I could observe).

Edited by oldcpu

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21 minutes ago, oldcpu said:

I was a bit concerned going through the 'Thai' line

Why be concerned? I always use the Thai only line when with my wife and there is never a problem. There are no Thai line only IO's

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