There is often quite a lot of confusion regarding the Thai Non-Immigrant O Visa and the Thai Non-Immigrant O-A visa, with many thinking that the visas are the same. From the outset, in this article, we would like to state that there are NOT the same, and indeed there are some major differences. Holders of either visa should take the time to understand what their visa allows and doesn’t allow, and we will look at both individually.
As the leading visa agency in Bangkok, we ensure that our clients get the correct visa for them. We always take the time to explain the various options as well as the requirements. Our friendly and professional team will work with you throughout the application process and will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. We liaise with the Thai Immigration Department daily, which puts us in the perfect position to offer you the most up to date, but more importantly, correct advice.
Thai Non-Immigrant O Visa
The Thai Non-Immigrant O Visa is a visa for “Other Purposes” can is, therefore, less specific than other forms of visa. It is a form of visa covering a broad spectrum of aliens, including those over the age of 50, those looking to stay with family or someone travelling to the Kingdom to receive medical treatment. However, for this article’s purposes, we will focus on those over the age of 50 and are looking to retire in Thailand. The visa must be applied for outside of Thailand.
How long does the visa last?
The Non-Immigrant O Visa is a single entry visa that is valid for 90 days from the date of issue. Effectively, this means that the holder must enter Thailand within that period, and the 90 days will begin on the day that the holder enters the country. Should the holder wish the leave and re-enter Thailand during this 90-day period, they will be required to apply for a re-entry permit before leaving. It can be obtained at the immigration department or at the airport.
Can the visa be extended?
The Non-Immigrant O Visa can be extended when in Thailand. Generally, the extension would be permitted for one year, and again this would commence on the date of entry into Thailand. All extensions of stay are at the discretion of the immigration department, so although likely, they are not guaranteed. The visa can be revoked at any time should the holder breach any of the conditions of stay and this may result in being prevented from re-entering the country in the future.
What documents are required?
The Non-immigrant O Visa is one of the easiest visas to obtain if you meet all the criteria. To apply for the visa, you must have a passport with a validity of at least six months with two blank pages remaining. Of course, you will need to complete the application form and submit two recent passport-sized photos. In the case of those over the age of 50, wishing to retire in Thailand then will also need:
- Proof of income of at least THB65,000 per month or at least THB200,000 (or currency equivalent) in a savings account (this does not need to be in Thailand) if there is no intention of extending the stay beyond the initial 90 days
- Valid health insurance which provides a minimum of THB40,000 outpatient cover and THB400,000 inpatient cover
- After the visa has been granted, currently, proof of booking for Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ), a Fit to Fly Certificate and a negative COVID-19 test not more than 72-hours before your departure
How long does it take to get the 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
The Thai Non-Immigrant O-A Visa is commonly referred to as the Thai Retirement Visa. It is a visa that is applied for once you are in the Kingdom or can be applied for prior to travel and is valid for a period not exceeding one year. Applicants must be over the age of 50 and not wishing to work in Thailand. It 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.
What are the criteria?
The applicant must be aged over 50 years of age at the time of the application and have no criminal record in any country, and must be free from the following diseases:
- Drug or alcohol addiction
- Third phase of Syphilis
There are also some quite strict financial requirement associated with this visa, including the applicant must have “not less than” THB800,000 is a Thai bank account or an income of not less than THB65,000 per month or a combination of the two equating to THB800,000. A copy of bank statements and a letter of guarantee from the bank will be required. The amount needs to be held in a Thai bank account for two months prior to the application and three months after.
What documents are required?
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. You will need three copies of every page of your passport, which must be signed along with two passport-sized photos and the proof of funds outlined above.
Where to apply for a Non-Immigrant O-A Visa
The visa can be applied for at a Royal Thai Embassy or Thai consulate outside of the Kingdom. If you are 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 which are usually issued within three working days.
90 Day Reporting
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 your whereabouts. It is an easy task to complete but one that can feel somewhat laborious. At Thai Visa Expert, we can assist you with your reporting so that you don’t need to attend the immigration department in person.