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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawCan O Retirement Visa Holders Enter Thailand?

Can O Retirement Visa Holders Enter Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing O Retirement Visas and I want to be clear, we are discussing these as opposed to O-A Retirement Visas. 

For those who are unaware, there is a distinction. I would call it a cosmetic one but it is a distinction nonetheless. O Retirement Visas generally speaking are issued under the auspices of the Ministry of interior; specifically the Immigration Police or Immigration Bureau here in Thailand which operates under the Interior Ministry. This is a different type of status than is granted by a Visa which is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Thai Embassies and Consulates abroad. That type of Visa is an O-A Visa. 

I am going to go ahead and throw this up on the screen here. This is from the Thai Embassy in Denmark and there is similar information on the Royal Thai Embassy website for the Thai Embassy in Washington DC but we have got this one. I am going to go ahead and throw this up and frankly the graphic on this it is a little easier to follow. If you look along the left side of this page in section 7, it says:  "Foreigners under a special arrangement non-immigrant OA/OX, APEC Card, Thailand Elite Card and their spouses and children 20 years old." Notice what it doesn't say. It doesn't say O, it says OA and OX, APEC Card Thailand Elite. Meanwhile, under section 2 up there it says “spouses, parents or children of Thai nationals”.  So what does that mean? Well O Visas, and I have gone into great detail in other videos on this channel, O Visas are truly a miscellaneous category so there is a section under the Immigration Act that basically just stipulates "or any other Visa as dictated by the Thai Ministerial regulations", the regulations issued by Interior Ministry and in this case it would be Immigration regulations specifically. So it should be noted O Marriage Visas can be issued abroad for those who are married to a Thai National and they are very clearly covered for issuance of a Certificate of Entry to come to Thailand. Now they are stating O-A visas and those are issued generally speaking by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Here in Thailand, if you extend your stay in retiree status, you may do so under O retiree status, O retirement status and Thai Immigration here in country has the authority to do that under the law. However, that is not strictly speaking necessarily an O-A. An O-A is issued generally speaking by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that O-A Visa then is then dealt with through Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Once you come to Thailand, you can extend status in O-A status and maintain your status that way. So if you are someone that came to Thailand and came into Thailand in O-A status and extended your status in Thailand in O-A status and then went abroad and you got trapped abroad as a result of the shutdowns and you are trying to get back in, you may be eligible to re-enter Thailand on a Certificate of Entry but it looks to me at least is at the time of this video that if you are using a Thai O Retirement Visa to maintain lawful status in the Kingdom of Thailand then it may be possible, and I think it is more likely than not based on our reading and research, that at least for the time being it is not going to be possible to obtain a Certificate of Entry to enter Thailand.