Thailand immigration holidays upcoming, insurance requirements alert

There’s the usual Monday morning busy hour as foreigners at Jomtien-Pattaya Immigration rush to finalize their documentation.

Immigration bureaux nationwide will be closed on Thursday July 28 and Friday July 29 for the public holidays of His Majesty the King’s birthday. Friday is an extension of the celebration to create a long weekend via government policy to boost domestic tourism during the Covid crisis. Monday July 25 is the last publicized date for application of the so-called 60 days Covid extensions of stay, technically created for foreigners unable to return home, Whether a further extension of the application deadline will be given awaits a formal notice from immigration command. Previous announcements have often been late.

September 1 is an important date for upcoming immigration news. All those applying for the O/A retirement visa at Thai embassies – or annually extending at Thai immigration – will need general health insurance of at least US$100,000, or over 3 million baht. Most Thai embassies have already implemented the rule, but Thai immigration offices are still using the previous formula of 400,000 baht (inpatient) and 40,000 (outpatient). In anticipation, many O/A visa holders have already left the country without a re-entry permit and have used a 30 days visa exempt or a 60 days tourist visa to convert to an O retirement track which is currently exempt from insurance demands at Thai immigration.

10 year LTR or long term resident visas also formally begin on September 1 with the registration fee reduced from 100,000 baht to 50,000 baht. They offer to super-rich executives, professionals, retirees and global travellers multiple-entry permits with perks such as digital work permits, exemption from 90 days reporting, tax incentives and possibly the right to buy a freehold property under strict conditions. The pre-approval financial requirements vary from category to category but all demand proof of assets worth millions of baht and a determination to invest heavily in Thailand.