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Retirement visa ...is insurance required?

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I am inquiring for someone who is 74 years old and currently in Thailand on a retirement visa (pension + funds in bank combination). They got a visa (not sure O or OA?) at the end of 2019 and are good through 2020. I read that insurance is now required for retirement visas, is that correct?

Is the insurance only needed when applying for a new visa at the embassy? Or also when applying for the next 1 year visa extension inside Thailand?

And what is the difference between an O visa and an OA visa?

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7 minutes ago, Malawi said:

He does not have a Visa.

He has an extension of stay.

If his original Visa was a Non Imm O-A Visa he will need insurance.

If his original Visa was a non Imm O Visa he will not need insurance.

Not if he obtained a Non Imm O ME or O-A Visa from a Thai Embassy/Consulate at the end of 2019, they would both still be valid.

The OP needs to be more specific where he obtained this Visa from and the type.

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1 hour ago, Tanoshi said:

Not if he obtained a Non Imm O ME or O-A Visa from a Thai Embassy/Consulate at the end of 2019, they would both still be valid.

The OP needs to be more specific where he obtained this Visa from and the type.

As he mentioned pension and Funds in bank I am assuming he is talking about an extension.Yes he does need to be more specific.

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10 minutes ago, Malawi said:

As he mentioned pension and Funds in bank I am assuming he is talking about an extension.Yes he does need to be more specific.

Reading between the lines he could have entered on a 90 day Non O late 2019 and obtained a 1 year extension based on retirement early 2020, (combo method) so is good through 2020.

In which case Health Insurance is not a requirement to extend again in 2021.

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The time is drawing close that I must make the decision. 73 with pre-existing medical conditions that any Thai required insurance will not pay for. Entered Thailand on an "O-A Visa" July 2011 after demonstrating no underlying disease, no criminal record, ability to be financially independent in retirement in Thailand. Sooo, "Extension of Stay" based on the original O-A Visa expires July Choice ... pay the 11,400 baht (200,000 baht deductible) for unusable insurance and remain based on O-A Visa. Or ... exit the country allowing O-A Extension of Stay to expire, re-enter Thailand Visa Exempt and go though the process to apply for a new "O Visa" (no insurance required). Here's the thing. On the O-A Extension of Stay, I need not leave Thailand at any time during the year. With the O Visa, I would be required to make an exit and re-entry every 90 days. So, O-A = 11,400 insurance cost. O requires 4 border runs = cost? Your thought?

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32 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

If you get a single entry non-o visa you would then apply for a one year extension of stay based upon retirement. It is no different than the extension you have now.

Only a multiple entry non-o visa that is valid for one year requires leaving every 90 days.

Thanks, Joe. Now to figure out if I can leave Thailand and return. Then I need to renew my US Passport by November (to allow 6 months remaining on current Passport - Expires May 2021).

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28 minutes ago, wwest5829 said:

Then I need to renew my US Passport by November (to allow 6 months remaining on current Passport - Expires May 2021).

There is no 6 months requirement to apply for an extension. It is only needed to apply for a single entry visa at a embassy or consulate.

For a extension they will issue the extension but it would only be valid to the day your passport expires if there is less than one year remaining.

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1 hour ago, wwest5829 said:

The time is drawing close that I must make the decision. 73 with pre-existing medical conditions that any Thai required insurance will not pay for. Entered Thailand on an "O-A Visa" July 2011 after demonstrating no underlying disease, no criminal record, ability to be financially independent in retirement in Thailand. Sooo, "Extension of Stay" based on the original O-A Visa expires July Choice ... pay the 11,400 baht (200,000 baht deductible) for unusable insurance and remain based on O-A Visa. Or ... exit the country allowing O-A Extension of Stay to expire, re-enter Thailand Visa Exempt and go though the process to apply for a new "O Visa" (no insurance required). Here's the thing. On the O-A Extension of Stay, I need not leave Thailand at any time during the year. With the O Visa, I would be required to make an exit and re-entry every 90 days. So, O-A = 11,400 insurance cost. O requires 4 border runs = cost? Your thought?

Your extension expires in July. 

To leave the country and return as an "O" before then may be difficult as Thailand currently remains closed to international travel. I doubt the doors will be thrown open by July. You appear to be between a rock and a hard place, and paying the 11,400 baht extortion may be your only way to go at this stage. You can always make a change in visa category before the next extension is due, presuming legislation remains as is. 

I was in an almost identical position - age 72, arrived 2010 on an O-A, money not an issue, but have health concerns. However, my local IO has been granting one time, further extensions without the onerous insurance clause. A sensible decision considering people are trapped in situ and unable to explore other options. I believe my Province to be the only one doing this. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, wwest5829 said:

Thanks, Joe. Now to figure out if I can leave Thailand and return. Then I need to renew my US Passport by November (to allow 6 months remaining on current Passport - Expires May 2021).

If I'm correct by your statements, you current permission of stay expires July 2020?

Your Passport has 11 months validity and expiring May 2021?

 

Ideally if possible, you could exit and either;

a) Obtain a new Non O 90 day single entry from a Thai Embassy/Consulate (old Passport)

b) Re-enter VE, then apply for a conversion to a 90 day Non O at Immigration. (old Passport)

 

Within that 90 days, obtain a new Passport then apply for the 1 year extension on the new Passport to obtain the full 1 year permission of stay, which would then run from Oct/Nov 2020 - Oct? Nov 2021.

 

Alternately, bite the bullet for this year, obtain the required Health Insurance, but you'll only be granted permission of stay to your Passport expiry date, not the full year.

Renew Passport at beginning of next year.

Edited by Tanoshi
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2 hours ago, wwest5829 said:

"Extension of Stay" based on the original O-A Visa expires July Choice ... pay the 11,400 baht (200,000 baht deductible) for unusable insurance and remain based on O-A Visa.

Easy decision: Trying to do a border crossing mid July will probably be chaotic, if even possible -- and at the very minimum, stressful. The LMG insurance you're talking about doesn't require a physical, as they've really carefully worded their contract language -- fib on application, no money honey. But, who cares -- this is just a piece of paper (albeit for 11,400) to allow another one year stay on your original O-A visa. Next year, when things calm down, do the border crosssing. And, if the insurance scam tightens (i.e., they now want insurance for Non Imm O extensions), at least you'll have an established policy, thus renewals not (normally) requiring a physical.

 

I'm kinda in the same boat, although my O-A based extension doesn't expire until mid Sept. But, I've really examined all the alternatives -- and LMG looks the way to go. And what, really, is 11,400? I lost that much, and more, between my last two Transferwise transations, what with the baht strengthening. No, easy decision, IMO.

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Posted (edited)

@wwest5829 > Excellent information provided by UbonJoe, Old Croc, Tanoshi and Jim Gant.

I PM-ed you a comprehensive guideline outlining all details/options to apply for or convert to a Non Imm O - retirement Visa.

Edited by Peter Denis

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2 hours ago, ubonjoe said:

There is no 6 months requirement to apply for an extension. It is only needed to apply for a single entry visa at a embassy or consulate.

For a extension they will issue the extension but it would only be valid to the day your passport expires if there is less than one year remaining.

Yet again you give me information I did not consider. Thanks again, Joe.

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1 hour ago, Old Croc said:

Your extension expires in July. 

To leave the country and return as an "O" before then may be difficult as Thailand currently remains closed to international travel. I doubt the doors will be thrown open by July. You appear to be between a rock and a hard place, and paying the 11,400 baht extortion may be your only way to go at this stage. You can always make a change in visa category before the next extension is due, presuming legislation remains as is. 

I was in an almost identical position - age 72, arrived 2010 on an O-A, money not an issue, but have health concerns. However, my local IO has been granting one time, further extensions without the onerous insurance clause. A sensible decision considering people are trapped in situ and unable to explore other options. I believe my Province to be the only one doing this. 

Thanks for taking your time to advise.

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