Policy change to Non Imm O-A (Long stay) ‘retirement visa’ allows foreigners to self insure

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A change in policy regarding the insurance requirements for the Non-Immigrant “O-A” (Long Stay) visa states that foreigners are now able to self insure.

A Non-Immigrant “O-A” (Long Stay) visa is typically obtained from a Thai Embassy or Consulate overseas and should not be confused with the annual retirement extension (often erroneously referred to as a ‘retirement visa’), which is obtained at an immigration office in Thailand.

Applicants for a Non-Immigrant “O-A” (Long Stay) visa must be 50 years or over and be able to show funds totalling 800,000 baht.

Previously, foreigners who applied for a Non Imm O-A (Long stay) visa were required to have insurance which provided inpatient cover up to 400,000 baht.

However, from 1 October 2021, the compulsory insurance requirement was increased from 400,000 baht to 3 million baht (or USD$100,000).

The introduction of the compulsory insurance requirement, and its increase, created a problem for foreigners who were not able to obtain insurance cover due to their age or because they have a pre-existing health condition.

After the requirement was introduced, there were reports of foreigners who had returned to their home countries during the pandemic only to be unable to apply for a new Non Imm O-A (Long stay) visa because they were unable to get insurance.

In order to solve the issue, information released by the Ministry of Public Health confirms that applicants for Non Imm O-A (Long stay) visa who are denied insurance can now self insure.

However, they must be able to show evidence of a bank deposit or assets totalling 3 million baht. That’s in addition to the 800,000 baht they need in the bank to meet the initial financial requirements in order to be granted a Non Imm O-A (Long stay) visa.

The requirements regarding self insurance are as follows:

3) In the case of risk groups who are totally or partially denied insurance purchase by
the company, they shall have additional documents as follows: (1) the letter of denial [(1.1) if the denial is issued in Thailand, follow the criteria, but (2) if it is done in foreign countries, coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the applicant’s country to sign the notary by the authorised person] (2) documents demonstrating properties, bank deposit, health insurance or others whose coverage shall not less than 3 million THB in total in accordance with the criteria prescribed by the Immigration Bureau.
These criteria are amended to solve the problem of insurance purchase that may occur
and to raise the standards of the screening of non-Thai nationals who intend to enter Thailand.

H/T Richard Barrow