New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

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Gaybutton
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Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by Gaybutton »

Ok, if I am understanding these posts correctly, as long as someone already holds an O-A visa and has continually been renewing the extension of stay, he is exempt from this insurance requirement. Is that correct - at least correct in Buriram . . . ?

If that is correct, the next question will be is it also correct in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Pattaya. That remains to be seen.

Once again, no matter what kind of visa you hold, I suggest doing whatever renewals, extensions, or anything else as far in advance as possible - to give yourself enough time to do whatever you need to do, if anything, if problems arise. I think everyone here has seen instances where what is acceptable at the immigration office in one province does not guarantee it will be acceptable in another. I, for one, don't want any unpleasant surprises if I walk into immigration just as things are about to expire.

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Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by Dodger »

Gaybutton wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:40 pm
Dodger wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:22 pm
renewing their O-A Visa's, and does not apply to those who are already retired in Thailand on Extension of Stays.
Am I missing something? What's the difference between renewing an O-A and extending it?
The only difference I can see is that you cannot get an extension of stay on an expired O-A Visa. If it expires you have to renew it. If it has not expired you have the option of requesting an extension of stay.

An O-A Visa is considered a "Visa Type", the same as an O Visa and all the other visa's. An Extension of Stay, the way this is administered by Immigration, is considered a Visa Classification. Where this gets interesting (for the lack of a more suitable term), is that there is no definition of the Extension of Stay Classification in the Thai Immigration Act (Law), or documented in Royal Thai Embassy Visa Requirements, which is one of the the main sources of confusion.

As a side note: According to the description of visa types you see posted on the Thai Embassy Website, a Type O Visa is only valid for those who would be residing with a Thai family, married to a Thai national, or coming to Thailand to perform volunteer work. God only knows how the Type O Visa's have been issued to those who don't fall into these categories.

Too much fun!

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Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by Dodger »

Gaybutton wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:02 pm
Ok, if I am understanding these posts correctly, as long as someone already holds an O-A visa and has continually been renewing the extension of stay, he is exempt from this insurance requirement. Is that correct - at least correct in Buriram . . . ?
Yes

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2lz2p
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Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by 2lz2p »

Gaybutton wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:02 pm
Ok, if I am understanding these posts correctly, as long as someone already holds an O-A visa and has continually been renewing the extension of stay, he is exempt from this insurance requirement. Is that correct - at least correct in Buriram . . . ?

If that is correct, the next question will be is it also correct in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Pattaya. That remains to be seen.

Once again, no matter what kind of visa you hold, I suggest doing whatever renewals, extensions, or anything else as far in advance as possible - to give yourself enough time to do whatever you need to do, if anything, if problems arise. I think everyone here has seen instances where what is acceptable at the immigration office in one province does not guarantee it will be acceptable in another. I, for one, don't want any unpleasant surprises if I walk into immigration just as things are about to expire.
Since only Thai Embassy/Consulates in a person's country of residence can issue a Non-Immigrant O-A Visa, then the only reason for any of our local Immigration Offices to be involved would be to issue an extension of the permission to stay granted by an O-A Visa. If not having health insurance has no bearing on granting such extension, then there would have been no reason for Chonburi (Pattaya) Immigration to post the following sign:


Image


Since they did put up this sign at Desk 8 where retirement extensions are processed, it would appear that Pattaya Immigration will be asking for health insurance documentation if your extension(s) of stay are based on an Non-Immigrant O-A Visa. The person who sent me the photo of the sign from Jomtien Immigration Office, who is on a retirement extension of stay based on the O-A Visa said that he inquired at desk 8 on whether he would need it for his next extension (he was in for his 90 day report), he showed them his passport entries and said he was told "yes" - you will need health insurance.

Likewise, the Immigration Bureau issued revised criteria for granting extensions of stay for the purpose of retirement in October. The revision was to add a requirement for the applicant, if they are on an O-A Visa, to show evidence they have health insurance from one of the companies on the TGIA webpage. IMO, if it was not going to be a requirement for extensions, then there would have been no need to issue revised rules to incorporate the requirement.

If it were me, which fortunately it isn't as I am my extensions are based on a Non-Immigrant O Visa, I would want to visit the Immigration Office where I get my extension very soon to see what the Immigration Officer there says rather than wait till time to renew my extension. Thus, if needed, would have more time to either get the insurance or explore other available options. I certainly agree with GB's above comment: "I, for one, don't want any unpleasant surprises if I walk into immigration just as things are about to expire."

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Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by 2lz2p »

rocket wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:48 pm
I think I might let my non oa retirement visa expire in March of next year and just get the non o visa for three months for staying next winter. As of now I stay five months, November thru March and I don’t want to pay for a whole year of health insurance.

Is there a way to add a month to the three months the non o visa gives you? I mean together so it would be four months total with no time gaps.
No -- but you can extend the 90 day permission to stay for one year on the basis of retirement showing you meet the age & financial requirements - same as would be needed for extension of O-A without a health insurance requirement. You might consider the multiple entry Tourist Visa, but that would require a border run (it is valid for entry for 6 months from issue date) -- you get 60 days on entry which can be extended one time for 30 days at Immigration - on next entry you get another 60 days permission to stay, which could also be extended 30 days.

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Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by Dodger »

2lz2p wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:43 pm
Since only Thai Embassy/Consulates in a person's country of residence can issue a Non-Immigrant O-A Visa, then the only reason for any of our local Immigration Offices to be involved would be to issue an extension of the permission to stay granted by an O-A Visa. If not having health insurance has no bearing on granting such extension, then there would have been no reason for Chonburi (Pattaya) Immigration to post the following sign:
I wouldn't jump to any conclusions just yet, as the sign posted at desk #8 can easily be misinterpreted the way it was written. It may be intended for those who walk into Immigration holding an O-A Visa requesting an extension for retirement for the first time. as they are now required to have health insurance, as confirmed by multiple sources dealing with Chonburi. It appears that one of the clerks at desk 8 did a piss poor job with that misleading sign they showed your friends, which comes with the territory.

We'll know soon enough when the reports from retirees start rolling in.

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Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by gera »

Gaybutton wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:50 pm

It's not a question of rights being violated. Thailand has a right to do what is being done, but they're unfair in doing it. It's a question of sheer stupidity, greed, and unfair treatment of foreigners. If it is going to completely disrupt the lives of foreign retirees and force them out of Thailand, some of whom may have lived here many years and never violated any rules, then what's the fair part? And the embassies seem perfectly willing to sit back and just let this happen. Why? Are they all afraid of ruffling the wrong feathers or they don't consider it important enough to give a damn?

And if any embassies have indeed contacted Thai authorities about this, why have they not told us? Either none of the embassies have contacted any Thai authorities on our behalf or for some reason telling us about it is a big secret. Guess which one it is . . .


I agree. Many countries offering retirement visas (e.g. , Malaysia) do impose requirement to obtain health insurance from local company. It is a retroactive imposition of this requirement (to those residing in Thailand for many years) seems to be unfair. And I would not blame embassies: they just conduct policies of corresponding governments. US government never gave a shit about US citizens living overseas ( think about taxation and Medicare).
In any case, IMHO the situation in US is deteriorating so rapidly (no matter whether Trump will stay or Warren wins) that I would not consider returning to US no matter what.

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Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by Gaybutton »

gera wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:10 pm
think about taxation and Medicare
That is a very good point, especially Medicare. From every paycheck I've ever received since Medicare began in 1965 I've been paying into Medicare. But because I live in a foreign country I am rendered ineligible to use it or any part of it unless I return to USA soil. Even under retirement I still pay into Medicare.

So, the USA is certainly no angel regarding citizens who are expats. One can get very tired of being screwed over, but there's nothing we can do about it unless Congress changes the rules - and I think we all know the chances of that ever happening.

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Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by Up2u »

Dodger wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:22 pm
Anybody hear anything different lately?
The reports on TV are completely opposite from your friends experience in Buriram. Apparently the only IO that is not asking for medical insurance is Chaeng Wattana (and now Buriram). Perhaps you can ask your friends to photograph their appropriate passport pages (the first page which shows the visa type and their new extension page). I would then post this information on this forum and TV as people are looking for any glimmer of hope with all the negative news. Thanks!

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Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by Gaybutton »

Up2u wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:08 am
The reports on TV are completely opposite from your friends experience in Buriram.
Why am I not surprised?

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