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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawThe Discretionary Nature of Thai O Visas

The Discretionary Nature of Thai O Visas

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai O Visas generally. Now this is I think a misconception out there on the internet. It is kind of one I have noticed; I have talked to people in person, folks that have seen the channel, folks that have just been talking to me, friends of mine and things and I noticed kind of a common theme just in having conversations which is I don't think people really understand what the Thai O Visa category in and of itself is. That is it is a discretionary sort of catch all Visa category. I kind of view it as the miscellaneous category. Some people have told me over the years, in fact kind of old Thailand hands if you will that can actually remember the promulgation of the Immigration Act going back into '79, and then can remember sort of the rise of Work Permits from the '80s and things. I have heard of this from a lot of people and I have heard stories about how this all works or information about how this all works over the years and from my own research, I have concluded that the O Visa is essentially exactly what the title suggests, it is very discretionary, it is kind of a miscellaneous category. I often wonder if O didn't imply the word "other", it was just the "other" category. 

Now there are some visas which can be obtained for Thailand which fall under the O category for example Marriage Visas which I do believe statutorily was kind of in the framers of the statute's mind when they created it where they said "look, there are going to be people married to Thai. We are going to just say you can go and get an O Visa." That is sort of a miscellaneous thing. What came along later was the Retirement Visa. I need to do some deep diving on that and do some research on exactly when the Retirement Visa was created but it occurs under the O category and as we have stated in other videos, and I have done the videos where I have laid out the statute on that, that is basically "or other categories as dictated by Ministerial Regulation" that's basically the wording in the statute. O Retirement Visas definitely fall under that. O Marriage Visas do fall under that but I think were much more in the mind of the people that created the original Act with regard to O Marriage Visas so I think they are a little bit more concrete although I don't see the O Retirement Visa going anywhere. The O-A Retirement Visa falls under this as well. It is an O category, it is a subcategory A for the O visa and then there is some like discretionary visas just kind of generally, a Non-Immigrant O Visa. In the past you would see this issued primarily in association with those who own a condo in Thailand although that has kind of fallen by the wayside. I made another video contemporaneously with this one where we discussed that in a little bit further detail.

Long story short, understand the underlying nature of the O Retirement Visa in Thailand is very much discretionary, it is very much sort of a catch-all category for those who wish to live on a year-to-year basis here in the Kingdom of Thailand.