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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawHow Will Thai Retirement Insurance Rules Impact Visa Applications Abroad?

How Will Thai Retirement Insurance Rules Impact Visa Applications Abroad?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Retirement Visas; specifically insurance associated with those looking to retire here in the Kingdom. 

For those who are unaware, there has been recent news wherein the Immigration apparatus will now be requiring those who are wishing to apply for a Visa or obtain a visa extension in the Kingdom to go ahead and have insurance in order to cover expenses of 40,000 baht in outpatient care and 400,000 baht in inpatient care for those who are going to be living in Thailand over the age of 50 in retirees status. 

Now the question has been posed, “how does this impact people who are applying for their Retirement Visas outside of Thailand?” Not people who are extending Visa status in-country but those are applying abroad. "What if I don't have Thai Insurance the way that insurance providers provide such insurance for retirees wishing to live in the Kingdom?" Well there has been some insight into that from some of the media organs that have put out information on this topic thus far.

Recently, in the Phuket News, that is, there was an article.  Cabinet Approves Mandatory Health Insurance for Long-stay Visas.  Included therein was a quote from Doctor Nattawuth Prasert- siripong, Chief of the Department of Health Service Support. He was quoted as saying: "I have to talk with Consular Officials on the process of checking that oversees policies are valid."  Then in another article from TTR Weekly that is, the title of that article is:  Hefty Insurance Hovers over Thai Visa. Quoting directly, ”Authorities will have to resolve issues on the validity of health insurance purchased before the traveler leaves home to ensure the cover is genuine. Visa applicants could file bogus insurance papers to gain a visa while the policy might cover a shorter period than stated in the visa application." 

So a couple of things worth noting here. First of all it is clear Consular Officials are going to be dealing with the issue I should say of Retirement Visa Insurance a little bit differently than I think it is safe to say that Immigration Officers are going to deal with it here in the Kingdom. What are we talking about? I think it's analogous to the financial requirements that are already in place with respect to those who want to go ahead and file for an extension of retiree status here in the Kingdom need to go ahead and show 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account with certain stipulations attached which we have gone into in great length in other videos on this channel or they need to show 65,000 baht/month in income coming into a Thai bank account.

Now those who get their retirement visas abroad, for example that United States, they might not have those kind of funds either coming into Thailand or being held on balance in Thailand. Those folks may go ahead and hold their financial instruments, in the United States for example, if they are applying from America. Under those circumstances, Consular Officers have had the discretion in the past and I think it is safe to say they will have the discretion in the future to go ahead to adjudicate Retirement Visa applications based on documentation that might not otherwise be particularly useful here in the Kingdom. They can basically use their Consular discretion to approve those cases notwithstanding the fact that the individual might not have money in Thailand because they do have the requisite funds and can show evidence thereof in the United States. I think something similar will probably evolve with respect to this issue with respect to Retirement Insurance where one may be able to show their insurance in the United States and the coverage associated therewith and be able to go ahead and get a one-year Retirement Visa to come to Thailand notwithstanding the fact they don't have Thai insurance; insurance obtained here in the Kingdom. 

So I think it is fairly safe to assume Consular Officers abroad are going to be able to make adjudications based on different types of evidence, or evidence of a different sort I should say, compared to those who are seeking Retirement Visas here in the Kingdom.