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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawWhat Type of Insurance will Qualify for Thai Retirement Visas?

What Type of Insurance will Qualify for Thai Retirement Visas?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Insurance in context of Thai Retirement status and most notably we are talking about insurance that has now been made mandatory for those who are seeking retirement visas abroad and retirement visa extensions here in the Kingdom.                                        

A question that has come up is "What type of insurance will qualify?" "Can I use my own insurance or do I have to buy the insurance that is set forth in the regulations?"  We will go ahead and put these regulations up on the screen real quick. I am going to go ahead and read from one that is very notable:  "Only for an alien who has been granted Non-immigrant Visa class O-A  must buy Thai  health insurance online which covers the length of stay in the Kingdom with no less than 40,000 baht coverage for outpatient treatment and no less 400,000 baht for impatient via the website long-stay.tgia.org  

So it appears to me Thai Immigration is being rather specific in stipulating that “No, you need to go ahead and get this specific policy in order to obtain a Visa.” This is the requirement. You have to have this specific type of insurance in order to get the visa.  That being stated, we have seen and this point to me is probably going to be one that we see fully defined over the course of the next six or eight months when the actual rules on this come into effect. For those who are unaware, these rules with respect to mandatory Health Insurance, are not coming into effect until October 31, 2019 so as of the time of this video, they have yet to be enacted. That being stated, it looks like it is going to happen. They have been signed into law. They have just basically put folks on notice that this is coming down the pipe. Now, how exactly this will play out with respect to Insurance remains to be seen. I have read different and conflicting stories that would seem to point to the possibility at least, that Thai Immigration will have the discretion to make decisions with respect to other types of insurance policies when determining whether or not one can extend their retirement visa status. That being stated, as a practical matter I think it is oftentimes not the greatest position to be in where you are basically trying to get a Thai Immigration Officer to analyze something in order to determine whether or not it comports with the relevant regulation and I say this because Thai immigration Officers are not Insurance brokers, they are not financial experts, they are not Insurance experts. Their analysis in my opinion is probably going to be limited. Frankly, their analysis would be as limited on insurance presumably, as someone who is just for example like a beat cop, a police officer on the street. Getting somebody like that to analyze whether or not an insurance policy meets certain criteria that can be a bit of a tall order. It is not because there is anything wrong with them, it doesn't fall into their usual bailiwick of what they are used to dealing with. This just isn't something they deal with on a routine basis. I suspect as years go by and this becomes more defined, the overall policy becomes more defined, Immigration Officers may be better in a couple more years with respect to analyzing an insurance policy and whether or not it provides the requisite coverage that it needs to provide in order to go ahead and approve someone for Retirement Visa status.  But I would say that in the near-term, those who are looking at getting a retirement visa for the first time especially, probably not going to be a terrible idea to go ahead and seriously consider just going ahead and purchasing one of these insurance policies as outlined on that website because I think it is fairly safe to presume it is going to be a bit difficult to get an Immigration Officer to do the analysis and determine whether or not your personal for lack of better term, your narrowly tailored insurance policy is going to comport with the regulations and thereby allow a retirement visa to be issued.