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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawAre Insurance Rules for Thai Retirement Visas "Discriminatory"?

Are Insurance Rules for Thai Retirement Visas "Discriminatory"?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing whether or not Thai Retirement Visa rules especially regarding insurance, newly discussed; we have been discussing this for about a month now. I know it is causing a lot of consternation and concern out there amongst the retiree communities but the question posed is "Are they discriminatory?" 

The reason I got to thinking about this is I was reading an article from the Pattaya Mail,  that is, the article is titled: Pattaya Retirees feel "trapped" in Thailand. I urge folks who are watching this video go check that out. Quoting directly: "A random group of 20 western foreigners holding both O and O/A Retirement Visas and extensions of stay have told Pattaya Mail that they must reluctantly remain in Thailand. They say that the latest rules of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, enforced by Embassies, are hugely discriminatory to retirees wishing to take a break abroad." Quoting further: "Pattaya Expats say the entry rules are discriminatory because other elderly expats have a much easier time. "Those on one year marriage or family visas or those with an Elite Visa are not subject to these extra insurance regulations" said Charles Fraser who wants to return to UK to see his relatives but is afraid he can't get back." 

So a couple of things here. I think we have done this. We did videos on the Thailand Pass system and the only visa category to the best of my knowledge right now that does not require at least some form of insurance to get back into Thailand in the sense that insurance that has to be purchased in addition to whatever they are doing, is B Visas; B Visas with Work Permits. We discussed that in another video specifically on insurance requirements associated with B Visas. Everything we have been seeing with regard to the Thailand Pass system which is a Ministry of Foreign Affairs creation, everything else that I know of requires some kind of insurance. It may not be the same level of insurance as Retirees and I will get to that in a minute, but there are COVID insurance for lack of a better term requirements, associated with even family-based visas, Elite Visas that we have seen thus far. Now that may change so we will certainly update you if the situation evolves but back to retirees and back to the notion of discriminatory. Well the question becomes "discriminatory compared to what?"

As stated, with the exception of Business Visas under these new Thailand Pass protocols, the Thai Business Visa and specifically those who have a Business Visa with a Work Permit who can provide social security documentation or documentation from their corporate employer regarding insurance or regarding some kind of coverage documentation, those are the only folks I have seen that don't fall under the standard Thailand Pass insurance requirements. However I do understand, setting aside the notion of discriminatory, it doesn't look like that necessarily to me, but I do understand folks’ consternation with respect to these insurance requirements. They are certainly becoming more cumbersome to deal with; they are certainly becoming a more stringent requirement than they once were even compared to October 2019 because those who want to leave the country, and again this article "are hugely discriminatory to retirees wishing to take a break abroad", well in the sense it is discriminatory, I guess it is discriminatory if you just want to stay in Thailand on an O Retirement Visa and just keep extending, there presently is not an insurance requirement that I can see. If you do want to leave in a de facto sense, yeah there is an insurance requirement. It is not for the Visa itself, it is for the Thailand Pass system to be able to get you back into the country. So in a sense I guess it does discriminate against retirees who might want to leave and come back in as opposed to those who just want to stay in Thailand and aren't really looking to change their location any time in the foreseeable future.