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Insurance Coverage Gaps on Thai O-A Retirement Visas

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Insurance in the context of the O-A visa; that is also known colloquially as the Retirement visa and sometimes it is also used interchangeably with the term, depending on who you are talking to, for Extension of Stay based on Retirement

 Now I should preface this video by saying we have yet to see the full regulatory scheme on this fully rolled out but based on recent announcements and analysis of those announcements as well as information that has come out from various organs of the press here in Thailand, I think it is fairly safe to presume we have got a good idea of what this Retirement Visa scheme is going to look like with respect to insurance and things that may be prudent to worry about moving forward and down the line with respect to insurance coverage and Retirement Visa extensions.

In a recent article from that article is titled Thai Government's New Compulsory Insurance May only Apply to Retirement Visas for Foreigners.  There was this section to quote.  Quoting directly:  "New regulation imposes another duty on Retirement Visa holders in addition to financial ones. Under the new rules which already have the weight of the law," which I think that's a little too soon to presume at the time of this video because I believe  the new rules don't come into effect until July which was announced in the Nation, and I have seen that in various different places but that being said, it is safe to presume moving forward. Let's put it that way. Quoting further, "Foreigners applying for a new Non-immigrant O-A long-stay Visa or extension of visa to stay in Thailand must submit evidence of health insurance. The new criteria also allows for a requirement that foreigners show that appropriate health insurance has been in place for the duration of the period since the last renewal once the new regime comes fully into effect. In the future, any lapse in the health insurance cover requirement will be considered to be grounds for termination of the Visa. This could also theoretically open up foreigners to prosecution under the Immigration Laws if cases were to be pursued."  With respect to prosecution for Immigration violation, it is possible. I think it could happen depending on if someone was willfully sort of defrauding the Immigration apparatus by like claiming they had insurance or having it briefly, letting it lapse and then coming back and try to get a new visa and just having Insurance momentarily. I could certainly see maybe that would cause a problem.  To quote again. I just want to put this back out there.  "In the future, any lapse in the health insurance cover requirement will be considered to be grounds for a termination of the Visa." Now I haven't seen that specifically noted by Immigration Officers but I think it is logical to infer that that will probably be the case because the requirement exists and the policy reasoning behind it is to mitigate those who get sick in Thailand and need hospital coverage and can't pay their bills. So I think it probably is okay to go ahead and presume that moving forward into the future when this insurance requirement comes into effect, that those who have a lapse in their insurance coverage that could go ahead and be construed as a grounds for denying a future renewal or possibly revoking one's Visa status if that lapse is discovered by an Immigration Officer in the course of one's physical presence in the Kingdom in retiree status.

Again, exactly how exactly this is all going to shake out remains to be seen but I think it is prudent to presume that Retirement Visa insurance needs to be maintained for the entire duration of one’s stay in the Kingdom of Thailand as a retiree.