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Retirees in Thailand: Be Careful Trying to "Outwit" Immigration

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing retirees in Thailand, the insurance requirements and trying to "outwit" Immigration Authorities here in Thailand or sort of "outwit" the Immigration system here in Thailand. The reason I thought of making this video, I made some similar videos here recently that kind of complement this one but I really wanted to put a fine point on this because I think there are going to be some major changes coming and I think people should kind of be on their toes.

The reason I thought of making this video was because I read a recent article in the Pattaya Mail,, the article is titled: Thailand Immigration holidays upcoming, insurance requirements alert. Quoting directly and I urge those who are watching this video, I am going to quote an excerpt but that is a lot of information in there, I urge you to go check out that article for yourselves. Quoting directly: "September 1 is an important date for upcoming Immigration news. All those applying for the O-A Retirement Visa at Thai Embassies - or annually extending at Thai Immigration - will need general Health Insurance of at least US$100,000 or over 3 million Baht. Most Thai Embassies have already implemented the rule but Thai Immigration Offices are still using the previous formula of 400,000 Baht (inpatient) and 40,000 Baht (outpatient). In anticipation, many O-A Visa holders have already left the country without a reentry permit and have used a 30 days Visa Exempt or a 60 days Tourist Visa to convert to an O Retirement track which is currently exempt from insurance demands at Thai Immigration." So as we have discussed in other videos, yeah there are folks that are doing "Visa Runs", leaving Thailand coming back in and then getting onto an O Retirement Visa.

As we have discussed in other videos, that is not necessarily a foregone conclusion. Conversions are by definition discretionary so thinking that this is all going to be an automatic process is a bad way to look at it. The other thing to remember is getting a Visa at a Thai Embassy abroad, again not a foregone conclusion and travel is still a little bit precarious as of the time of this video. So there are a lot of moving parts out there associated with visas and immigration to Thailand. My opinion, not a really good time to presume that it is going to be possible. Meanwhile we are seeing things like the COVID extension coming to an end and generally speaking, Thai Immigration has had more discretion during this whole COVID situation than they have had prior to status quo ante COVID and I think it is prudent to presume that the overall situation will revert back to less discretion, maybe not in the immediate future but sometime in the future.

So those who are watching this video trying to make especially longer term plans, I think it is very, very wise to not presume the ability to convert status the way that we are talking about here and it is just not wise to try and outwit Immigration. Now there may be a means and method of getting long term retiree status in Thailand without the need for insurance. If you are looking into that, it may not be a terrible idea to contact a legal professional, gain some insight and guidance into how best to proceed.