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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawIs It a Thai O-A Visa or a Thai A-O Visa?

Is It a Thai O-A Visa or a Thai A-O Visa?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing O-A Visas or A-O Visas as I have seen them described, but basically we are discussing Thai Retirement Visas.

I have seen in many forums and in comments on this channel, there are people that sometimes refer to the Visa as an A-O Visa. It should be noted that strictly speaking the label for a Retirement Visa O-A is O - A.

Now I can see why people can get confused about this because on top of it, we have a Thai O Retirement Visa and there are O Visas that are for retirement. I have gotten into this in other videos on this channel pretty in depth. My personal opinion is all of them fall under the miscellaneous category under the Thai Immigration Act and therefore they all basically could be just described as O Visas; they are just different subsections. O-A in the past always seemed to describe a Thai Visa issued abroad which was issued for a 1 year validity; the A meaning Annual, so it was an O which was granted with annual status. At the same time in country, a Thai visa extension for retirement can sometimes be designated an O Visa and the A isn't noted. 

I think all of this is kind of semantics. At the end of the day I think ultimately we are going to end up with a pretty unified or for lack of better term monolithic legal framework associated with Retirement Visas.  They are all going to end up after some period of time goes by, all needing to deal with the same sort of rules.  At the present time, it appears there seems to be some differentiation with respect to how people are dealing with extension of O Retirement Visas and this may stem from the fact that there is a great deal of latitude left to Officers with respect to interpretation and discretion in the regulations promulgated with respect to Medical Insurance. That is where this had come up a lot is whether or not Medical Insurance applies to certain types of retirees versus other ones. I think there may be some who may fall into a set of factual circumstances where an Immigration Officer will use their discretion to allow continued extension notwithstanding a lack of requisite insurance.

That being said, I think ultimately down the road we are probably going to end up with a very unified system with respect to Retirement Visas wherein everyone who is in retirement status in Thailand is going to be required to have Medical Insurance in order to obtain and maintain that retiree status.