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Future Thai O-A to O Retirement Visa Conversions?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing O-A to O Retirement Visas so a conversion from Visa status. No let's preface this by understanding matters pertaining to in-country conversion are discretionary on the part of the Immigration Officer in the country. That will be dictated to by the circumstances of a given case as well as the demeanor of the Officer as well as a lot of other factors may play in. I mean you know sometimes there is a situation like what we had in this COVID situation where just exigent circumstances came up and a lot of conversions and extensions were accorded that under standard operating procedure would not have been done. 

So the thing to understand is never presume a conversion is a foregone conclusion which then leads us to the fundamental question posed by this video: "Are we going to see a lot of people transfer or converting from O-A status into O status in the future?" I think it is probably likely a lot of people will want to but what exactly will this look like. Well as a practical matter, it remains to be seen. That said the overriding policy is in favor of these insurance requirements and possibly these heightened financial requirements and heightened financial requirements doesn't necessarily look to me to be an issue internally; it looks more like it is going to be an external issue and then once you get to Thailand you don't have to meet quite that high a financial threshold. 

Leaving that aside though, insurance is a concern for some folks especially costs associated with that and I have heard a lot of feedback from people that a lot of folks just want to stay in their O retirement status, I totally get that, but a lot of folks looking to come in want to know well, "At what point could I possibly convert down the road?" It is going to depend. I know I am a broken record with that and folks don't always love hearing that. That is part of it. Factually it is going to depend on the circumstances in the case. I don't think though there is going to be an affirmative policy precluding that, so I don't think you are going to see them going out of their way at Immigration to try and keep that from happening but timing may be an issue. Long story short, the facts of the case may be an issue. For this reason, it may not be a terrible idea to go ahead and contact a legal professional, gain some insight and guidance into how best to deal with that overall issue.