Gaybutton wrote: ↑
Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:17 am
travelerjim1 wrote: ↑
Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:02 am
Again...We will watch for added developments and will post as known.
And again confusing, conflicting information coming from the Thai authorities themselves.
Thai Immigration has amended their rules effective 31 October 2019, regarding applications for extension of stay for those that entered Thailand using a Non-Immigrant O-A Visa which will require they show health insurance from one the companies listed athttp://longstay.tgia.org/home/companiesoa
- new rules can be viewed here: https://www.immigration.go.th/read?cont ... sLUU_LlGn0
. It applies ONLY to those that entered Thailand using the O-A Visa and not to the many of us that either entered using the Non-Immigrant O Visa or applied for the O Visa from Thai Immigration (entering on Visa Exempt or Tourist Visa).
The Thaivisa.com thread yesterday that mentioned the requirement and had the link to the new Immigration amended rule, also mentioned that the Thai Foreign Ministry would be making an announcement later that afternoon (but, so far, I haven't seen any information on such an announcement) on the rules for obtaining an O-A Visa (issued by Thai Embassy/Consulate and available only in your country of residence). It further indicated that a person could have health insurance from their country of residence so long as it met the requirements (400k inpatient/40k outpatient) and covered the insured in Thailand.
Thus, it appears that applying for the O-A Visa from a Thai Embassy/Consulate, you can do so without having to have one of the Thai health insurance policies) - BUT, when the holder of the O-A Visa goes to Thai Immigration to extend their permitted stay, then only a health insurance policy from one of the listed Thai Insurance companies will be acceptable. So, for those that have a health insurance policy from their own country and do not wish to obtain the Thai health insurance policy, it appears they will have to return to their country of residence and apply for a new O-A Visa -- these visas are usually multiple entry and receive a one year permission to stay on each entry during the validity period of the Visa (usually one year from issuance date). If the holder leaves Thailand and returns before the expiration (enter by) date on the Visa, they would receive another one year permission to stay - but it appears for any additional entries using that Visa, proof that the health insurance has not expired will be necessary or having one of the Thai health insurance polices for O-A visa holders - see page 11 of the pdf file showing the new Thai Immigration rule.
IMO, and that is just that, my opinion, the Immigration Bureau did not want to be involved in trying to determine if foreign health insurance policies would meet the requirements; thus simplifying their work by limiting extensions to the Thai policies being offered specifically for O-A Visa holders. Whereas, the Thai Embassies/Consulates may be in a better position to make such a determination as they are located in the country where the health insurance policy is issued -- of course, what documentation they may require for acceptance is yet to be seen.
Note -- I have seen several articles regarding the implementation of the change which are for announcements made by the Ministry of Public Health - as with the MofPH's initial announcement several months ago, they make reference to "retirement" visas with no distinction that it applies only to the Non-Immigrant O-A Visa, thus adding to the confusion. The Immigration rules are fairly clear that the health insurance requirement will only apply to holders of O-A Visas -- when issued, it is most likely the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requirements will also apply only to the O-A Visa (it is my understanding you cannot get an "O" visa from the Thai Embassy/Consulate in your country of residence if you apply for it for the purpose of "retirement", requiring instead that you apply for the O-A visa).