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Should I definitely convert from OA (retirement) to O?


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I hold US passport and live in Bangkok.

I'm doing my annual OA extension next month and in August will be going to Hong Kong before returning to Thailand in December. Is there any reason at all why I shouldn't return visa exempt and convert to O when I return? I'd need to decide before my trip because I'd have to get a re-entry to keep OA active or not get one in order to nullify it and enter visa exempt. (BTW, Hong Kong does not issue O for retirement.)

I know O has the no-insurance-needed advantage. But does it have any disadvantages compared with OA? Last year, when I returned from Hong Kong, they allowed OA holders to enter Thailand weeks before O holders. That made me uncertain about switching. And could we expect OA-type insurance requirement added to O in near future?

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The only drawback would appear to be whether you can prove you have 800k in a Thai bank account that came from outside of Thailand.

 

It is my understanding that this is required if you are applying for the Non-Immigrant "O" Visa within Thailand.  Further, the 65k monthly income method while acceptable for annual extensions of stay is not allowable under the rules for obtaining the Non-Immigrant O Visa.

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3 minutes ago, soisanuk said:

The only drawback would appear to be whether you can prove you have 800k in a Thai bank account that came from outside of Thailand.

 

It is my understanding that this is required if you are applying for the Non-Immigrant "O" Visa within Thailand.  Further, the 65k monthly income method while acceptable for annual extensions of stay is not allowable under the rules for obtaining the Non-Immigrant O Visa.

No need to prove where the 800k came from.

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9 minutes ago, puchooay said:

No need to prove where the 800k came from.

As he wrote it is needed to apply for a 90 day non-o visa entry at immigration unless the 800k baht has been in the bank for a long time (but some office may still want the proof).

 

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13 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

As he wrote it is needed to apply for a 90 day non-o visa entry at immigration unless the 800k baht has been in the bank for a long time (but some office may still want the proof).

 

Hmm, I must have missed that I will not be allowed to continue the 65K monthly transfers that I have used for my O-A Extensions for the last decade. I’ll have to look for a “work around”. Cannot see selling stock, paying the capital gains tax to park 800K in Thailand.

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Please stop encouraging Immigration to add insurance requirements to O NIV. So far even immigration have seen that OA applicants are wanting to stay for 2 yrs and go in and out at will and avoid confirming financial arrangements hence the stipulated insurance. 

Yes you should certainly change to a NI O to renter the country as long as you wish to live here and regularise your Thai finances.

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1 hour ago, ubonjoe said:

As he wrote it is needed to apply for a 90 day non-o visa entry at immigration unless the 800k baht has been in the bank for a long time (but some office may still want the proof).

 

Is it true that the 65,000 monthly income cannot be used to apply for a 90-day non-O visa entry (and subsequent annual extensions)?

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1 hour ago, Srikcir said:

Is it true that the 65,000 monthly income cannot be used to apply for a 90-day non-O visa entry (and subsequent annual extensions)?

The requirements shown here does not include transfers of the 65k baht for the 90 day non-o visa. It only mentions proof from a embassy. See: https://bangkokimmigration.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/08-edit_NON-O.pdf

If you have a year or more of them they may be accepted if your show them the proof.

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On 6/19/2021 at 6:14 AM, david_je said:

I know O has the no-insurance-needed advantage. But does it have any disadvantages compared with OA?

Disadvantage: The 800k deposit needs to be in a Thai bank for at least 5 month within a 12-month period, and not less than 400k baht the remaining time.

 

In my opinion non-O is to be preferred rather than non-OA, if you are planning for staying a longer period, and can afford the deposit method, which is easy, and more easy than transferring not less than 65k baht a month from abroad, especially if you can afford just to place 800k baht in a 12-month fixed deposit.

 

With non-O you also have more freedom to choose insurance, and even the option of self-insurance, if you can afford it.

🙂

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1 hour ago, Srikcir said:

Is it true that the 65,000 monthly income cannot be used to apply for a 90-day non-O visa entry (and subsequent annual extensions)?

See my reply to another post here.

 

33 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

The requirements shown here does not include transfers of the 65k baht for the 90 day non-o visa. It only mentions proof from a embassy. See: https://bangkokimmigration.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/08-edit_NON-O.pdf

If you have a year or more of them they may be accepted if your show them the proof.

 

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With the possible soon to be 3,000,000 baht health insurance, including Civic cover requirement for NIV O-A extensions, I did some quick research. For me, it would be a premium of around 70,000 annually. If I exclude the outpatient cover of up to 3000 per day 'unlimited number of vists, it is 56,000 baht. 300,000 baht deductibles for both scenarios, it's 35,000 and 28,000 respectively. Im 63.

 

At 65, same prices quoted.

At 66...93,000, 83,000 with no deductibles, for 3,5000,000 coverage, outpatient coverage up to 40,000 per year. Only bigger and more expensive cover available.

At 71, 133,600 & 123,600 respectively...

At 76...48,000,000 minimum coverage, cost 337,000, 160,000 deductibles takes it to 253,000.

 

Figures are rounded, for convenience. Info from:

https://misterprakan.com/en/main

Edited by Scott Tracy
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4 hours ago, ubonjoe said:

See my reply to another post here.

 

 

Income proof no longer available from the embassy.

I have been using 65k/mo. since then (first entered in 2013) with Thai bank documentation of foreign transfers (ie., CAR's, bank letters).  Best maybe to discuss with Immigration beforehand if such income method is allowable for non-O in my case.

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11 hours ago, Srikcir said:

Best maybe to discuss with Immigration beforehand if such income method is allowable for non-O in my case.

Best to ask immigration about it.

I think they did not change the rules on the assumption that most people would not be able to show the 2 or 3 months of transfers into the bank that is in the rule for the first extension.

If you can show a year of transfers they should accept it.

 

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2 hours ago, Srikcir said:

Income proof no longer available from the embassy.

I have been using 65k/mo. since then (first entered in 2013) with Thai bank documentation of foreign transfers (ie., CAR's, bank letters).  Best maybe to discuss with Immigration beforehand if such income method is allowable for non-O in my case.

If you originally had a Non Imm O-A, another option is to apply for a Non O at a Thai Embassy Consulate rather than at Immigration.

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14 hours ago, Scott Tracy said:

With the possible soon to be 3,000,000 baht health insurance, including Civic cover requirement for NIV O-A extensions, I did some quick research. For me, it would be a premium of around 70,000 annually. If I exclude the outpatient cover of up to 3000 per day 'unlimited number of vists, it is 56,000 baht. 300,000 baht deductibles for both scenarios, it's 35,000 and 28,000 respectively. Im 63.

 

At 65, same prices quoted.

At 66...93,000, 83,000 with no deductibles, for 3,5000,000 coverage, outpatient coverage up to 40,000 per year. Only bigger and more expensive cover available.

At 71, 133,600 & 123,600 respectively...

At 76...48,000,000 minimum coverage, cost 337,000, 160,000 deductibles takes it to 253,000.

 

Figures are rounded, for convenience. Info from:

https://misterprakan.com/en/main

The 3M figure has already been revoked / rubbished as an error / misunderstanding .     The whole question of Health Insurance (especially for retirees) is under revision and sooner or later , as stated , we will all have to have medical insurance but just what type , what policy and how much will be promulgated in the near future .  The Thai Hospitals have had enough of unpaid medical bills !   Anyone here on an O or O-A needs to have proper medical insurance .

It is being mooted that one proposition is that all those that stay here over six months pay into the Thai Social Security Scheme .

Hopefully the Covid Insurance will go away once we are vaccinated although I have a feeling that Covid vaccinations may become an annual thing like the flue jab !

I am keeping my O-A as I am over 70 and if one does away with it and applies/obtains the O visa , with reduced insurance requirements , then in the future if Health Insurance is required ,it may be difficult to "get on the ladder" for insurance as many companies have a stipulated maximum age for joining PLUS I have now built up my no-claims bonus .

My advise would be to wait and see how things pan out with the government looking into this and changes very likely .       

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10 minutes ago, Jen65 said:

The 3M figure has already been revoked / rubbished as an error / misunderstanding .     The whole question of Health Insurance (especially for retirees) is under revision and sooner or later , as stated , we will all have to have medical insurance but just what type , what policy and how much will be promulgated in the near future .  The Thai Hospitals have had enough of unpaid medical bills !   Anyone here on an O or O-A needs to have proper medical insurance .

It is being mooted that one proposition is that all those that stay here over six months pay into the Thai Social Security Scheme .

Hopefully the Covid Insurance will go away once we are vaccinated although I have a feeling that Covid vaccinations may become an annual thing like the flue jab !

I am keeping my O-A as I am over 70 and if one does away with it and applies/obtains the O visa , with reduced insurance requirements , then in the future if Health Insurance is required ,it may be difficult to "get on the ladder" for insurance as many companies have a stipulated maximum age for joining PLUS I have now built up my no-claims bonus .

My advise would be to wait and see how things pan out with the government looking into this and changes very likely .       

The most coherent post in this entire thread.

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On 6/20/2021 at 12:31 PM, ubonjoe said:

As he wrote it is needed to apply for a 90 day non-o visa entry at immigration unless the 800k baht has been in the bank for a long time (but some office may still want the proof).

 

Does CW require this proof? My 800,000 has been in bank for several years for OA extension, but I doubt I could get documentation that it was originally transferred from abroad. And if proof required, what kinds of proof are accepted? This is what is meant by Immigration Non-o requirements document clause 5.3 -- "evidence of foreign currency fund transferred to Thailand," correct? Or is that a separate thing?

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I just realized -- If in my plan to eventually convert to Non-O, if I don't get a re-entry on my OA extension when I go abroad in July (family matter), then I take the risk that I may not be able to return to Thailand as planned in December if Covid still keeps borders closed to all but Thais and holders of long-stay extensions. Correct?

By any chance could I get a re-entry just in case and have the Thai consulate cancel it if it turns out I don't need it to return to Thailand?

Thanks.

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3 minutes ago, david_je said:

Does CW require this proof? My 800,000 has been in bank for several years for OA extension, but I doubt I could get documentation that it was originally transferred from abroad. And if proof required, what kinds of proof are accepted? This is what is meant by Immigration Non-o requirements document clause 5.3 -- "evidence of foreign currency fund transferred to Thailand," correct? Or is that a separate thing?

I am aware of immigration accepting the application if the 800k baht has been the bank for a long time. The only reason they want the proof it came from abroad is because there is no requirement for it to be in the bank for 2 months.

All you can do is show them your bank book and possibly a statement that the 800k baht has been in the bank for years,

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2 minutes ago, david_je said:

By any chance could I get a re-entry just in case and have the Thai consulate cancel it if it turns out I don't need it to return to Thailand?

A embassy or consulate cannot cancel a re-entry permit. Best to not get one if you plan on entering visa exempt or on a tourist visa. You could also apply for a non-o visa if they are still available at the embassy or official for where you will be located and use it for entry.

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27 minutes ago, david_je said:

I take the risk that I may not be able to return to Thailand as planned in December if Covid still keeps borders closed to all but Thais and holders of long-stay extensions. Correct?

 

Incorrect ... kinda.

 

Always a possibility they change the rules but there is no such rule presently.

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1 hour ago, Salerno said:

 

Incorrect ... kinda.

 

Always a possibility they change the rules but there is no such rule presently.

I am not sure about now, but consulate issued entry certificates only to Thais and long-term visa/extension holders when I returned from Hong Kong late last year.

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2 hours ago, ubonjoe said:

I am aware of immigration accepting the application if the 800k baht has been the bank for a long time. The only reason they want the proof it came from abroad is because there is no requirement for it to be in the bank for 2 months.

All you can do is show them your bank book and possibly a statement that the 800k baht has been in the bank for years,

Thank you for that. And if anyone has actually succeeded doing this at CW recently, I'd appreciate if you could let me know.

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3 minutes ago, david_je said:

I am not sure about now, but consulate issued entry certificates only to Thais and long-term visa/extension holders when I returned from Hong Kong late last year.

 

How "late" last year?

 

Hasn't been the case for months, even visa exempt was reinstated in December. Only entry still blocked is visa on arrival.

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2 hours ago, Salerno said:

 

How "late" last year?

 

Hasn't been the case for months, even visa exempt was reinstated in December. Only entry still blocked is visa on arrival.

Was last week in December.

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5 minutes ago, david_je said:

Was last week in December.

 

No idea what the deal was then as visa exempt had been reinstated by then (and that came after STV and other tourist visas).

 

Anyway, back to your original issue, as it stands there is no real issue ... unless they change the rules again 😁

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Thank you to all for your helpful answers.

This means that if I have had the 800,000 banked for several years for OA extension and I leave Thailand next month, I need not prepare anything at all -- financial or otherwise -- for when I return visa exempt and apply for O conversion in December?

Or should I transfer another 800,000 from abroad in case they do not accept the previous 800,000, which I can longer prove came from abroad? And if so, does the money need to have been in the bank for XXX number of months before application?

 

 

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4 hours ago, david_je said:

Or should I transfer another 800,000 from abroad in case they do not accept the previous 800,000, which I can longer prove came from abroad?

Depends how many years ago but the bank may still be able to provide evidence the original 800K came form overseas. Speak to them.

 

4 hours ago, david_je said:

And if so, does the money need to have been in the bank for XXX number of months before application?

For the Non O application it only needs to be in the bank on the day of application.

For the subsequent 1 year extension of stay, it needs to be in the bank for 2 months prior to the date of application.

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On 6/19/2021 at 11:14 AM, david_je said:

I hold US passport and live in Bangkok.

I'm doing my annual OA extension next month and in August will be going to Hong Kong before returning to Thailand in December. Is there any reason at all why I shouldn't return visa exempt and convert to O when I return?

I assume you're asking this question because of the TGIA insurance requirement, which apparently is insurance, and cost, you don't need ('cause you have other, more valid US insurance, like Tricare)? But, if you're about to renew your extension in a few weeks, you've already paid your renewal TGIA premium for the next extension year; and the 800k in the bank long term doesn't seem to be a problem. So, with all the talk going on about letting O-A extensions use home country insurance instead of TGIA insurance -- I'd just go ahead and get a re-entry permit with your upcoming O-A extension, come back in December with the re-entry permit, and thus maintain your O-A extension status. Then, monitor the situation until your next extension renewal in July 2022. Fingers crossed, you can then extend using home country insurance, not TGIA -- saving you a lot of hassle about entering visa exempt, getting the in-country O visa, etc. Worst case: You come back from Hong Kong visa exempt; eventually get the in-country O; do a retirement extension off of that; and now the TGIA mafia, which has by now thwarted doing away with TGIA for O-A extenders, has convinced the corrupt politicians to require TGIA insurance for all long stay foreigners, regardless of original visa. Seems so logical, sadly....

Anyway, my two cent's worth. And, eventually if it seems going the O route makes sense, maybe by then the borders will be open and you can do an 'out and In' (with the "in" after your extension and related re-entry permit have expired).

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