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Thai O-A Visa Holders: Extension and Border Run

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the Thai O-A Visa. This is the Retirement Visa generally speaking and we have done a number of videos on this topic.

This type of Retirement Visa is issued under the auspices of Ministry of Foreign Affairs at a Thai Embassy or Consulate outside of Thailand. Folks then generally will come in on the O-A and they are generally, initially at least, stamped into the country for one year. Now depending on the type of O-A you obtain, it may be what is called a multiple entry O-A Visa, and if that is the case it will be issued generally speaking with a validity of one year. The so-called sticker date on the actual Visa itself will be for a one year duration. If you come and go from Thailand, every time you re-enter during that one year period, that is the validity on the sticker, you will be granted a one year stamp; you will be given lawful status for one calendar year from each entry. 

Now in the past, this was used as sort of a backdoor extension if you will to maintain status in Thailand. Folks would come in on a 1-year multi-entry O-A, they would spend some time in Thailand, right before their status was to expire and the sticker date was to expire, they would often leave the country, do a so-called border run, return to Thailand and be stamped back in for that additional year. 

Well with COVID-19, or I should say the response and the restrictions and the lockdowns associated with COVID-19, I don't think that is particularly feasible at least for the perceivable future. So those who are looking to come into Thailand on an O-A Retirement Visa, it is probably a good idea to presume you are going to need to extend your status once in Thailand. You are not going to be able to use a one year multi-entry O-A the same way you used it in the past, i.e. using border runs to maintain long-term one year status, well I should say to get an extra 1 year of status utilizing a border run. 

I suspect that is going to be how this situation is going to operate at least into the foreseeable future and by foreseeable future I would say most of 2021.