REMINDER : What is a OA non-immigrant visa ?
The retirement visa, also called OA non-immigrant visa, is for people over 50 years old who have decided to retire in Thailand.
This visa does not allow its holder to work, but it gives the right to buy a condo in Thailand, and to stay in the country for one year with multiple entries.
Every 3 months, the visa holder must report to the immigration service to notify his address and state that he still lives in Thailand. After the first year, the document can also be extended by the Thai authorities.
On the 2nd April 2019, the Thai government approved the addition of a condition of mandatory health insurance for foreigners applying for a OA non-immigrant. The regulation came into effect on the 31st October 2019.
What’s new in the visa application process ?
- A health insurance policy, presented at the time of the visa application, must be taken out with minimum guarantees of coverage such as :
- THB 400,000 (EUR 11,904) for inpatient medical fees
- THB 40 000 (EUR 1 190) for outpatient medical fees
- An certificate detailing these amounts must be signed by the insurance company and submitted with the visa application.
You will find here, the form to fill in for the certificate as well as a list of Thai insurances recognized by the local authorities.
Although the official version of the document states the need for Thai insurance, it would appear that foreign insurance is accepted as long as it covers the full amount required.
According to the new regulation, persons already holding an OA visa must now present an insurance when they will extend their visa.
And for those who have just extended their visa, they benefit from a “delay” until the next visa extension.
Why such a directive has been established ?
The aim of this new measure is to alleviate the financial burden of Thai public hospitals. Indeed, a sizeable number of foreigners, and in particular retiree visa holders, are treated in these hospitals without insurance or sufficient resources to pay their hospital expenses.
Today, the medical costs for foreigners over 50 years old would amount around 500 million baht per year according to official figures from the Ministry of Public Health.
NB : the indications given in this article are provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for direct contact with the immigration service you depend on.