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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawCan I Convert from an O-A to an O Retirement Visa in Thailand?

Can I Convert from an O-A to an O Retirement Visa in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video: 

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing O and O-A Visas. These are both Retirement Visas or they can be I should say, but a question I get a lot especially under current circumstances and folks have had a lot of consternation regarding COVID insurance and Retirement Visas or insurance in general and a question I get a lot is: "Is it possible to convert from an O-A to an O Retirement Visa?" 

I am going to preface the article I am going to quote with everything depends on circumstances. Each case is unique so don't view any one video or any one article or anything out there as being completely dispositive as far as your case. You may have a situation where you can do something and another person that is seemingly in a similar situation may not be able to do the same thing you can do; so every case is different, always bear that in mind.

In a recent article from the Pattaya Mail,, I thought was very insightful with respect to this topic. The article is titled: Initial Confusion over Virus Insurance for Retirees in Thailand Clears a Bit and quoting directly from a small excerpt to that; I urge those who are watching this go to Pattaya Mail, there is a lot of information in that article but quoting directly: "Reality is that most retirees in Thailand have an O visa either granted by the Thai Embassy abroad or more likely awarded by the Thai Immigration Bureau. They do not currently require any insurance to renew their annual permission to stay and there is no mention of them in the Cabinet announcement. Some holders of O-A Visas have changed to "O Visas" yes but many Immigration Officers require you to leave the country first to cancel the O-A." I think that is a fair, a really accurate statement actually but I want to get this across as much as I can. Every case is unique so the factual circumstances in your case are going to drive the analysis as to whether or not you can in fact do that; convert from an O-A to an O. Again it is going to be different depending on the situation; it may differ depending on the Immigration Office you are dealing with.

It is not a terrible idea I don't think, if folks that may be in this situation where they do want to convert to maybe contact a legal professional, gain some insight and guidance into how best to proceed because one thing you don't want to end up with is a situation where you inadvertently cancel your original Visa without actually getting a new Visa, that can cause a real problem and I have seen that happen. So again everybody's situation is different. It is not a bad idea to contact somebody who has regular dealings with this to gain some insight and we will certainly keep people updated on this channel as the situation progresses.