Thai Visas

There are several different kinds of visa available for a visit to Thailand – tourist, non-O retirement, non-OA retirement, etc. The non-O is good for 90 days; the non-OA for a full year. We wanted to get the OA, but the requirements were quite ridiculous. We valiantly attempted to jump through the many hoops (FBI criminal check, proof of pension/adequate funds in bank, etc.) but got held up with the requirement for medical insurance. Our medical insurance does cover us overseas, but that was not good enough for the Thai government. They have a special form that your insurer must fill out that certifies that your policy adheres to all the pertinent laws in Thailand. Of course, no insurer will fill that out (we did try). So, we investigated insurance through a Thai company. Our cheap nature got the better of us; we would have to pay over $200/month for policies that would replicate what we already had! And, since Clayton is over 65, he would have to undergo a health screening and have his doctor submit forms documenting all his medical conditions.  

This was way too much of a hassle, so we opted for the non-O. The good news is that, though the non-O is only good for 90 days, it can be extended for a full year, giving us 15 months of validity on the visa. It will entail another trip to immigration, but we are hiring an immigration attorney (one we met with on our last trip to Chiang Mai) to assist us with the process. The downside of the non-O visa is the requirement to have 800,000 Thai Baht in a Thai bank for at least 60 days before applying for the extension. We did open Thai bank accounts on our last trip and have funded them with the necessary funds for the visa extension.  

Rather than filling out documentation and then mailing your passports to the Thai Embassy, Thailand has an E-Visa process in place. Just like going to immigration in Thailand, they require a ridiculous amount of paperwork, much of which is redundant. But I am an expert hoop-jumper and so we were both able to secure our visas. 

So, we should be good to go!