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Wednesday, December 26th 2018

Amendment to Change Long Stay Visa in Thailand to Require Insurance Clears First Hurdle

Written by

Rafael Bracho

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Medical insurance required for long stay visa

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Next year will be the fortieth anniversary that the Immigration Act 1979 was ratified in Thailand. In it, it listed a set of key factors that were required for foreigners to be approved for the one-year Non-Immigrant “O-A” visa—also known as the “Long Stay Visa”.

Now the Medical Hub Committee—a key organization in the overseeing of immigration policy in Thailand—has approved to amend the criterion through which foreigners can apply for this Long Stay Visa.

If passed, Long-Stay Visa applications will require insurance.

Medical Hub Committee representative Dr. Kittisak Klapdee—who was hand picked by the Public Health Minister of Thailand—and Tourism and Sport Vice Minister Ittipol Khunplome has spearheaded the initiative to change the requirements for a one-year, Long Stay Visa.

If this amendment to the Immigration Act 1979 takes affect, all foreigners wishing to apply for this visa will require Thai insurance policies covering the entire duration of their one-year stay. This policy will require a minimum of a 40,000 THB out-patient medical bill coverage, as well as a minimum 400,000 THB in-patient medical bill coverage.

THE NEXT STEP FOR THE AMENDMENT’S RATIFICATION:

All guidelines further detailing the specifics of the amendment are being formulated by a joint council comprised of representatives from the Interior Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, the Public Health Ministry, the Immigration Bureau, the Office of Insurance Commission, the Thai Life Assurance Association, and the Thai General Insurance Association. Once the amendment criterion is formally articulated, it must then be approved by the Cabinet before it is deemed as formal policy.

This amendment to the criterion for the one-year Long Stay Visa is aiming to ensure the health and well-being of elderly foreigners, as well as benefiting the nation by aiding Thailand’s public and private hospitals.

The good news is that if you already have overseas insurance policy coverage that is valid in Thailand for the policy listed above do not need to get Thai insurance as well. Their current insurance will qualify them to apply for the Long Stay Visa. For those, who have comprehensive expat medical insurance valid anywhere in the world, it seems that their bets will covered.

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