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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawCOVID-19: Will Thai Retirement Visas Still Need to Be Extended?

COVID-19: Will Thai Retirement Visas Still Need to Be Extended?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai Retirement Visas and we are discussing extension of that Visa status here in Thailand in the context or in front of the backdrop if you will of the COVID-19 or Coronavirus pandemic.  

There is a lot of information out there about Tourist Visa status being automatically extended, a lot of information out there about migrant workers and permanent residents, things like that, but this video is being made specifically for those who are in Thailand in retiree status and exactly what is going on with respect to needing to extend that status. 

In a recent article from the Bangkok Post, that is, the article is titled: Immigration Bureau Pursues Visa Relief for Foreigners. I am going to quote this out of order from the article itself. For those folks who are watching this video, go ahead and read this article for yourself. It is very informative but I am trying to do the analysis of this.  This article quotes directly Police Lieutenant General Sompong Chingduang who is the Head of Thai immigration and basically that is the source if you will of Immigration information in my opinion. We are trying to do our best analysis as we can as this thing is evolving so that folks can have a better or more solid understanding of exactly where they stand. So I am quoting this kind of out of order. Again, if you want to read this thing in full detail, check out the article itself but I am going to read this out of order and do some analysis for retirees in Thailand. Quoting directly: "Other foreigners who are now in Thailand and affected by the COVID-19 crisis but aren't covered in the above three categories are advised to adhere to the usual laws." So going back in the article and quoting further: "The foreigners are now divided into three groups: foreigners with resident visas who normally reside in Thailand but cannot return to Thailand due to the COVID-19 crisis, foreign tourists who are unable to depart Thailand due to the crisis, and visitors from neighboring countries who hold a temporary border pass and got stuck in Thailand after the borders were shut."  Clearly Retirees in Thailand, those in Thai Retirement Visa status do not meet those criteria so they are not one of those three. Then finally, quoting further, "The proposed measure however won't apply to those foreigners who are working and/or have a family in Thailand. They will still be required to report to Immigration Authorities regularly he said." 

I don't wish to make assumptions but I think it is logical to infer from the context of the overall article that not only working and having a family but they meant pretty much anybody in non-immigrant status so a retiree as well; they will be required to deal with things regularly.  But further in the article they specifically say "If you are not one of these three categories: residents in Thailand caught abroad, tourists in Thailand stranded due to COVID-19 or migrant workers or folks with border passes who got stuck on one side of the border before the Border got sealed and then got stuck here once the border was sealed; if you are not one of those folks, you are going to have to deal with your Visa in the same manner as you otherwise would. So if you are here in Thailand in retirement status and you want to maintain that status you are going to need to extend your Visa in Thailand as you normally would under better circumstances.