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Insurance Documentation Issues and Thai Visas

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Insurance in the context of Thai Immigration and Visas. 

A recent letter that was sent to the Bangkok Post, Postbag, this was in the print edition of the Bangkok Post December 19th, 2020. It was titled: Immigration Games and the sender was Farangs Anonymous. Quoting directly: "Why does Immigration refuse to accept notifications from Government agencies and/or insurance companies that clearly state bona fide payments to recipients on a yearly basis? I am talking about Social Security payments, government pensions as well as private pension payments. Stated requirements say they are perfectly acceptable as a proven source of income." I am not getting into the "proven source of income" part of this. I am specifically talking about the insurance portion of this.  I made videos contemporaneously with this one where we talk about issues pertaining to pension and social security. 

Long story short with respect to insurance, I think what the writer is talking about here is foreign insurance coverage. This can be a problem and I have seen this come up relatively frequently where you have insurance coverage from a provider abroad that does meet the requirements pursuant to Thai Law and it just becomes very, very cumbersome to deal with the Immigration Officer who is adjudicating the extension application because basically it is a foreign policy. Oftentimes it is not written in Thai. In fact most of the time we see it is not written in Thai so you have to deal with some sort of translation. Then on top of that that Officer is just uncomfortable with going ahead and approving that based on that Foreign Insurance documentation notwithstanding the fact that that documentation may be fully up to par with respect to Thai Immigration regulations. This comes down to the fact that at the end of the day, Thai Immigration Officers aren't Insurance experts and they are definitely not experts with respect to Foreign Insurance. 

Now I am not saying that that makes this situation okay. What I am saying is when they are dealing with so many different people; there are a lot of retirees in Thailand; there are tens of thousands of them to be precise. If each one of them has a different type of insurance or large groups of them have different types of insurance from abroad, it is difficult to the point of I would argue impossible, for an Immigration Officer to be up to a level of expertise on Foreign Insurance to be able to gauge whether or not it meets the requirements. Again this isn't an excuse, it is just in my mind I often find that folks once it is explained why a situation is what it is, notwithstanding the fact that may still be frustrating, it is a little bit easier to deal with it and just move forward in finding a solution because they know why it is the way it is. It doesn't seem just arbitrary and capricious, there is an actual reason behind the situation. In this case with respect to Foreign Insurance, yeah I do understand people's frustration but at the end of the day, again a Thai Insurance provider where the policy is all in Thai and that Officer can just quickly go to the relevant sections to make sure that it is in line with Thai regulations, that is going to be a much smoother process than one who has insurance from abroad and is trying to operate and deal with Immigration where that officer cannot readily point to exactly where that insurance fits with the requirements required by Thai Immigration Law.