What is the difference between a Non-Immigrant O & Non-Immigrant O-A Visa?

Introduction: The Thai Non-Immigrant O Visa and the Thai Non-Immigrant O-A Visa are often misconceived as being the same. However, it is important to note that they have distinct differences. At Thai Visa Expert, we aim to clarify these disparities and provide comprehensive guidance for both visas. As the leading visa agency in Bangkok, we pride ourselves on offering accurate and up-to-date information to help individuals make informed decisions about their visa applications.

Understanding the Thai Non-Immigrant O Visa and Thai Non-Immigrant O-A Visa

There is often confusion between the Thai Non-Immigrant O Visa and the Thai Non-Immigrant O-A visa, with many mistakenly believing that the two are the same. This article aims to clarify that they are not the same and there are significant differences between them. It’s important for holders of either visa to understand their rights and limitations, so we will delve into each visa individually.

Visa Application Form
Visa Application Form

Thai Non-Immigrant O Visa

The Thai Non-Immigrant O Visa is a versatile visa that offers various options to individuals. We are dedicated to providing our clients with in-depth explanations of the different visa choices and their corresponding requirements. Our professional team is committed to guiding applicants through the application process and addressing any concerns. With frequent communication with the Thai Immigration Department, we ensure that the advice we provide is accurate and up to date.

Eligibility and Purpose

The Thai Non-Immigrant O Visa is a visa for “Other Purposes,” making it less specific than other visa types. It encompasses a wide range of aliens, including individuals over 50 years old, those intending to stay with family, or individuals seeking medical treatment in Thailand. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on individuals over 50 years old who wish to retire in Thailand. The visa must be applied for outside of Thailand.

Duration and Extension

The Non-Immigrant O Visa is a single entry visa valid for 90 days from the date of issue. This means that the holder must enter Thailand within this period, and the 90-day duration starts upon entry into the country. If the holder plans to leave and re-enter Thailand during this 90-day period, a re-entry permit must be obtained before leaving, which can be acquired at the immigration department or the airport.

The visa is extendable while in Thailand, typically for one year, starting from the date of entry into the country. However, all stay extensions are subject to the discretion of the immigration department and are not guaranteed. Violating any of the stay conditions can lead to the revocation of the visa, potentially barring re-entry into the country in the future.

Document Requirements

The Non-immigrant O Visa is relatively easy to obtain if all criteria are met. Applicants need a passport valid for at least six months with two blank pages, must fill out the application form, and submit two recent passport-sized photos. For individuals over 50 looking to retire in Thailand, the following additional documents are required:

  • Proof of income of at least THB 65,000 per month or a savings account with a balance of at least THB 200,000 (or equivalent in another currency) if not planning to extend the stay beyond the initial 90 days
  • Valid health insurance providing a minimum of THB 40,000 outpatient cover and THB 400,000 inpatient cover
  • Upon visa approval, a booking confirmation for Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ), a Fit to Fly Certificate, and a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before departure

Processing Time for Thai Non-Immigrant O-A Visa

Applications that are submitted online and the passport subsequently sent take approximately three working days. However, there may be some delays due to the current COVID-19 situation.

Thai Non-Immigrant O-A Visa Overview

The Thai Non-Immigrant O-A Visa, also known as the Thai Retirement Visa, can be applied for once you are in the Kingdom or prior to travel. It is valid for a period not exceeding one year. Applicants must be over the age of 50 and not wishing to work in Thailand. This is one of the most popular forms of visa and, like the O Visa, is relatively easy to obtain, assuming that you meet all the criteria.

Eligibility Criteria

The applicant must be aged over 50 years at the time of application, have no criminal record in any country, and must be free from specific diseases including Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Drug or alcohol addiction, Elephantiasis, and the third phase of Syphilis. Additionally, there are financial requirements associated with this visa that include holding a certain amount in a Thai bank account or having a monthly income of a specified minimum.

  • Minimum age: 50 years
  • No criminal record in any country
  • Free from specific diseases
  • Financial requirements: not less than THB 800,000 in a Thai bank account or not less than THB 65,000 monthly income

Required Documents

The applicant must have a minimum of 18 months validity remaining on their passport, unlike the six months for the O visa, but again, there must be two free pages in the passport. The application will also require multiple copies of passport pages, signed passport-sized photos, and proof of the specified funds.

  • Minimum 18 months validity on passport
  • Three copies of every page of the passport
  • Two signed passport-sized photos
  • Proof of specified funds

Application Process and Fees

Applicants can apply for the visa at a Royal Thai Embassy or Thai consulate outside of the Kingdom. If in Bangkok, the application would be submitted in person to the Thai Immigration Department at Chaeng Wattana and costs THB5,000 for a twelve-month multiple entry visa, usually issued within three working days.

90 Day Reporting Requirement

If the visa holder doesn’t leave Thailand within 90-days, they will be required to report to the Thai Immigration Department every 90 days to notify them of their whereabouts. Thai Visa Expert can assist with reporting to avoid the need to attend the immigration department in person.

Thailand Temple
Thailand Temple

Conclusion: Understanding the differences between the Thai Non-Immigrant O and Non-Immigrant O-A visas is crucial for those considering retirement or others seeking an extended stay in Thailand. It’s essential to carefully consider the specific criteria and requirements for each visa type in order to make an informed decision. Consulting with a reputable visa agency can provide valuable guidance and assistance throughout the application process, ensuring that you meet all necessary conditions and have the support you need for a smooth visa application journey.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The main difference lies in their specific purposes and eligibility criteria. The Non-Immigrant O Visa caters to a broad spectrum of purposes including retirement for those over 50, whereas the Non-Immigrant O-A Visa is specifically for retirees over 50 who do not intend to work in Thailand.

The Non-Immigrant O Visa is initially valid for 90 days from the date of issue. It can be extended in Thailand for one year but is subject to the discretion of the immigration department, with all extensions commencing from the date of entry into Thailand.

For those over 50 looking to retire in Thailand, the visa necessitates proof of income or savings, valid health insurance with specific coverage limits, and certain COVID-19 related documents after the visa has been granted.

Applicants for the Non-Immigrant O-A Visa must be aged over 50, have no criminal record, and meet certain health requirements. Financially, they must have not less than THB 800,000 in a Thai bank account, a minimum monthly income, or a combination of both.

The Non-Immigrant O-A Visa can be applied for at a Royal Thai Embassy or Thai consulate outside of Thailand. In Bangkok, the application is submitted to the Thai Immigration Department at Chaeng Wattana, with a fee of THB5,000 for a twelve-month multiple entry visa.

Visa holders who stay in Thailand for 90 days or more are required to report to the Thai Immigration Department every 90 days to notify them of their whereabouts. Services like Thai Visa Expert can assist with this reporting process.

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