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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawWill Immigration "Phase Out" O Retirement Visas?

Will Immigration "Phase Out" O Retirement Visas?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the notion of phasing out the O Retirement Visa. I have had a couple of people, actually multiple people including by email, I think even in comments on the channel and two different people, independently friends of mine who are in the retiree age bracket have asked me: "Do I think that this O Retirement Visa and let me be clear, as opposed to the O-A Retirement Visa, do I think the O Retirement Visa will ever be phased out?

For those who are unaware, the O Retirement Visa, there aren't as many requirements most notably Insurance isn't necessarily required on an O Retirement Visa and it is just different because you deal with it in an extension context here in Thailand as opposed to through Ministry of Foreign Affairs at a Thai Embassy or Consulate abroad. 

Long story short, they were asking me “do you think they will ever just consolidate the O and the O-A category?” My personal opinion is I strongly doubt it. Bureaucracies, Immigration Apparati, whatever you want to call them, are not real prone to making huge changes frequently. I would say that the insurance requirement for retirees was a pretty substantial change in October, 2019 and we are probably looking at having that at least for the foreseeable future that I can see, 5 years out, minimum. Again, pure speculation. They could change it tomorrow; I don't think they will. 

Another thing to bear in mind is that there are people who will remain in Thailand in retiree status. They will eventually for lack of a better term age out with respect to ability to get insurance. My personal opinion is I think that the O Retirement category has been held over as a sort of repository Visa category for folks that may sort of age out of an ability to get insurance. So somebody is in O-A status for a prolonged period of time, they get to a certain age where no insurance provider will continue to provide coverage. They want to remain in Thailand and boom there you go, you deal with Immigration and perhaps a conversion can be affected and they can maintain status in Thailand. 

Again all of this remains to be seen. It is to some degree an exercise and speculation. My personal opinion is no, I do not believe they will phase out the O Retirement Visa anytime soon. That said, we will certainly update you on this channel if that situation should evolve.