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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawWill Insurance Soon be Required in Thai Retirement Visa Applications?

Will Insurance Soon be Required in Thai Retirement Visa Applications?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai retirement visas; specifically the prospect of insurance becoming a requirement, and I am talking about medical insurance becoming a requirement, for those who are seeking a retirement visa in the Kingdom.  

Every now and again, news comes up with respect to Immigration and Thai visas and some of it is kind of speculative and I kind of disregard it. Every now and again, something will come up in the media, the press, across various forums, where I see something that I say, "yeah, I can see where that could be a policy shift and we could be seeing a major change with respect to a requirement for a given visa category or just across the Immigration spectrum as a whole here in the Kingdom." For example, just in point of reference, back months ago, I noted that the United Kingdom was going to stop issuing Income Affidavits associated with retirement and marriage visas here in the Kingdom and I made a video that said, "hey, we may be seeing this with respect to the US sometime soon as well."  We didn't know if that was going to be the case at the time we made the video, but I thought it was a possibility that if the United Kingdom was taking a certain course of action, it seemed logical that was possible United States might as well.   

This video is another one of those videos.  It is something that I see could possibly be on the horizon. Maybe not immediately and I can see where this could take a little while for them to fully implement in terms of a regulatory structure, but I do think it is wise for those watching this video to keep this in the back of their mind.  If you are living here on a retirement visa, this requirement might be added sometime down the road. 

In a recent article, December 23, 2018 from the Thai Examiner, thaiexaminer.com, there was a recent article entitled:  “New Health Coverage Proposals for Foreigners in Thailand a Concern for Those with Medical Conditions”. Quoting directly,  "A key government committee this weekend has put in motion a proposal that could see many foreigners, including those that have lived comfortably and well-off in Thailand for years, in jeopardy.  The plan will require all expats applying for 1 year O-A visas, to have appropriate healthcare insurance cover taken out through Thai Insurance companies.  While the measure has been agreed in principle, it will now be worked upon by government departments and insurance experts for a final plan.  This is to be presented to the Thai cabinet.  If the new regulation becomes a law, many middle-aged and elderly foreigners with existing medical conditions will find difficulty in complying and consequently extending their visas in Thailand.” Again this is one of those things that I read that I say “yeah, this is something to keep in the back of one's mind.” I think we are eventually going to see this".  Why? Because I have heard from various Immigration Officers and I have read sometimes between the lines and somewhat implied but also when they instituted various taxes in the past especially out at the airport, they did it citing a lot of these a lot of these concerns. One of the major concerns for the Thai government is foreigners and come here, they are living here on a retirement visa and then they become sick or disabled and due to their financial position, they are unable to pay for themselves in hospital etc. This is a major burden, I think, in terms of resources on the Thai State and for that reason I could definitely see in the future them instituting a program whereby they require some form of Thai Insurance be issued for retirement visa holders here in the Kingdom if for no other reason than to kind of act as a backstop against a bunch of costs being shouldered by the Thai state with respect to those foreigners in the event of a catastrophic emergency or just decline in health.

As this issue progresses, we will keep you updated on this channel. I don't think this is going to happen anytime in the very near future but it is something that I could see on the horizon being a substantial change in probably the next 18 months, something like that, I could definitely see that being a timeline for this being implemented and as the change occurs we will go ahead and keep you updated on this channel.