Dodger wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:54 pm
The MoPH Official stated that although the Cabinet had approved a requirement for health insurance for O-A Visa applicants and renewal (?? this has been unanswered question since the announcement since there is no such thing as a renewal of an O-A Visa - the question being will it also apply to those that entered Thailand on an O-A Visa and apply for an extension of stay or continued renewal of such extension),
I have to disagree when you say there is no such thing as a renewal of an O-A visa because this is done all the time. I traveled to and from Thailand for years on an O-A visa which I renewed every year. I never requested or received an Extension of Stay until the time came for me to retire and live here full time.
Those who have O-A visa's, and those renewing their O-A visa's, are required to show proof of insurance beginning in July. Those who are currently retired on Extensions of Stay do not.
As far as your question: Will health insurance be required for those who enter Thailand on an O-A visa and request an Extension of Stay? My assumption would be yes, they will be required to have health insurance for the mere fact that they are holding an O-A visa. The line in the sand has been etched. Those with O-A must have it - those with EOS don't.
Once a person receives an Extension of Stay (EOS) for Retirement purposes, that EOS takes the place of the original visa. That EOS stamp you get in your passport is technically considered a type of visa. The fact that this is not clearly described in Thai visa literature has led to a lot of confusion.
You say "I traveled to and from Thailand for years on an O-A visa which I renewed every year. I never requested or received an Extension of Stay until the time came for me to retire and live here full time." In "years" do you mean within the 2 year validity period of the initial O-A Visa? You also say, "That EOS stamp you get in your passport is technically considered a type of visa. The fact that this is not clearly described in Thai visa literature has led to a lot of confusion."
An O-A Visa has a validity period of one year from the date of issue which is shown on the Visa as the "Enter by Date" - thus after that date they expire and are no longer valid for entry. They are also Multiple Entry Visas as denoted by the "M" in the number of trips shown -- thus, during the one year of validity, the holder can leave and return to Thailand - each time receiving a one year "permission to stay" (which is not a Visa, but rather how long a person may remain in Thailand based on the valid Visa they hold upon entry). So, the maximum one can stay without obtaining a new "O-A" Visa would be close to two years provided they initially entered Thailand within a day or two of its issue getting a one year permitted stay from date of entry and left and returned to Thailand on the "Enter by Date" receiving again a one year permission to stay -- however, to keep that stay alive if they chose to leave and return to Thailand again, they would have to have obtained a Re-Entry permit. In these cases, the O-A Visa is not renewed - it the same O-A Visa that was issued by the Thai Embassy/Consulate - once it expires (passes the Enter by Date) it is no longer valid for entry.
A permission to stay stamp or extension of a permission to stay stamp is technically not a visa - a Visa and "permission to stay" are two separate things. The following is from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (http://www.mfa.go.th/main/en/services/4 ... -Visa.html
Q: Please give me some advice. I am a bit confused. I am a Moroccan and going to visit Thailand for pleasure with my family. I already got
a Thai tourist visa from the Honorary Consulate-General in Casablanca. I understand from what is written in the visa stamp that the visa is valid
for 3 months. Does it mean that I can stay in Thailand for 3 months?
A: That is not a correct understanding. The validity of visa and the duration of stay are not the same. The 3-month validity of the visa means that you must use the visa within 3 months from the date of issue. The duration of stay is the period in which you are permitted to stay in the Kingdom granted by the Immigration Officer once you arrive in Thailand, that is, 60 days from the date of entry.
As to applicability of a health insurance requirement for obtaining an extension of the one year stay granted by an O-A Visa and any subsequent renewals of the permission to stay, you say "My assumption would be yes, they will be required to have health insurance for the mere fact that they are holding an O-A visa. The line in the sand has been etched. Those with O-A must have it - those with EOS don't." Yes, an "assumption" which may or may not be valid and as I mentioned, it is the unanswered question at this time until the rules for implementation are issued and, of course, for Immigration offices, how they choose to interpret such rules.
Also, for Undaunted, July 1 is not a magic date for implementation. As I recall the MofPH Official's announcement, he said the new health insurance policy would not come into effect until July - nothing about it being the first day. Also, it was his expectation rather than a set time period. The reason he said July was because the MofPH, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Immigration had to get together to come up with the procedures -- which, IMO, may take longer than the MofPH official expects, e.g., not until August or sometime thereafter.