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BANGKOK 17 October 2018 14:32

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Hello!

Looked around  for a few years off and on. I'm retired now. Both my wife and myself are over 50. I'm American, my wife is Viet. She has been living in the US for 12 years as a Permanent Resident/Green card. We'd like to spend a year or three in Thailand and have just started looking at getting a retirement visa or visas. We have a few questions though. 

1. Will my income (pension & social security) cover both of us (provided it is the required 130K baht), or will each have to have a separate income/savings to fulfill visa requirement?

2. We'll travel back to the US every 4-5 months and stay for up to a month. So, would another type of visa be a better choice for us?

3. Medical insurance - we're both cover by my medical/dental. But I understand Thai hospitals won't accept my US coverage. Is this correct? What would the best avenue to have insurance coverage be?

Thanks for any guidance, I know these questions may be basic

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Both of you must get a Non immigrant "O"-VISA and theh after that you can apply for an extension of stay in Thailand (NOT a VISA) and you wife can apply the same as a dependent of you, not having to show anyh income....

 

Ubonjoeand others will answer you shortly more in detail...

 

glegolo

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I concur with glegolo.  Once you have your visas, you can obtain Re-entry Permits to keep your visas alive while you are out of Thailand. Conversely, if you do not obtain these, your visas would be voided when you left Thailand, and you would have to start over.

Shorter term visas are for people who can't meet the qualifications for annual ones (and of course, for those only intending to stay for a shorter period).

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30 minutes ago, andynphuong said:

3. Medical insurance - we're both cover by my medical/dental. But I understand Thai hospitals won't accept my US coverage. Is this correct?

Are you sure such insurance will be valid for long stays overseas?  Most is not.  As for hospitals accepting insurance some do accept some types of insurance for direct payment of in patient charges - but as said there are very few US policies that cover expat living.  

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1. It has to be separate incomes if both of you apply for extensions of stay at immigration based upon retirement. Your wife can apply for an extension for being your spouse that is based upon your extension without financial proof.

2. After getting your extensions you will need re-entry permits to keep them valid if you want to travel.

3. You need to check with your insurance provider to get the correct answer.

Another option is to get a OA long stay visa at the Thai embassy or one of the official consulate in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. The OA visa is multiple entry visa that allows unlimited one year entries for one year from the date it is issued. You can get almost 2 years of total stay by getting a new one year entry just before the visa expires.

Info is here: http://thaiembdc.org/consular-services/non-immigrant-visas/non-immigrant-category-oa/

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Wow, Thanks for the prompt reply!

I guess the main thing, we're trying to avoid  having to leave every 3 months, since we'd be returning to the US about every 5th month, for maybe a month. We'd still be keeping address/bank, etc in the US, wouldn't be "cutting ties". So was thinking my insurance would be sufficient - if the hospitals accept. I'll have to check if it is voided after a certain period of time out of country. Blue Cross Blue Shield, if that info helps. 

The OA long stay visa requires you to leave the country every 90 days?

So, if my wife is over 50 years old, she is still eligible for the non-immigrant "O" or dependent visa? She would not be required to have a retirement visa?

This is a bit confusing. Thanks for the advice.

We've been here since March, bouncing back and for the between Bangkok and Vietnam. We just enjoy time in Thailand so much more than VN.

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11 minutes ago, andynphuong said:

The OA long stay visa requires you to leave the country every 90 days?

The OA visa allows unlimited one year entries for a year from the date it is issued.

You wife would get a single entry non-o visa that would allow a 90 day entry that can be extended for the length of your OA visa entry.

11 minutes ago, andynphuong said:

So, if my wife is over 50 years old, she is still eligible for the non-immigrant "O" or dependent visa? She would not be required to have a retirement visa?

She can apply for the extension of stay (it is not a visa) based upon your extension at any age. The is no maximum age for her to get it.

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It doesn't matter if your wife is over 50.  She can still be your dependent.

The "90 day reporting" referred to on the consulates website is not a requirement that you leave the country. It is not actually part of the visa, and it applies to all foreigners who are here in Thailand for 90 days or more. It is simply a requirement that you confirm your place of residence.  Forgetting, or failing, to do it does not void your visa, though there is a fine payable.

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27 minutes ago, andynphuong said:

Blue Cross Blue Shield, if that info helps. 

FEP/Blue Cross Blue Shield has an international policy but believe most others are subject to local/state regulations so check carefully.  FEP does have direct billing with a handful of hospitals in Bangkok, using AXA, but for most usages would be reimbursement after filing overseas claim form.

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Quote

1. Will my income (pension & social security) cover both of us (provided it is the required 130K baht), or will each have to have a separate income/savings to fulfill visa requirement?

The requirement is 800,000 baht in the bank.

Or 65,000 Baht monthly income.

Or a combination of the two.

 

Your Wife would not need any income if she applied as your dependent.

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Posted (edited)

you might consider using tourist visas for this.  you get 60 days with a single entry tourist visa (SETV) and it can be extended for another 30 days at the immigration office near where you will be staying in thailand.  before your 90 days are up, you fly to vietnam to visit and you can apply for another tourist visa there.  that gives you 60 more days, maybe you return to USA after that (no need to apply for the 30 day extension).  then just repeat this process for your next trip.

 

you say you might only do it for one year and i assume you would plan to visit vietnam at some point during your stay(s).  so you aren't really going out of your way to get the tourist visa in vietnam.  as long as the timing of your visit there is flexible.

 

i just offer this up as an alternative.  if you are leaning more towards 3 years than 1 year, the OA is a better option.

 

edit - i now see a comment, 'we are trying to avoid leaving every 90 days'.  so the option i note won't work with that in mind.

Edited by buick

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Also, be aware that both of you need to report your address in Thailand to your area immigration office every 90 days of continuous stay.

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just be aware that is you come and go too many times here Immigration may Red Flag you and tell you to

get the correct visa (if u come and go on a tourist visa) so the 6 month visa option must be better. i have some

friends who own villas here or are working in the off-shore field and use thailand as their base, and only recently because they arrived on tourist visas so often during a certain period maybe 1 year they were told this and would not be allowed back in next time unless correct visas, another was simply put back on the plane to HKG. they too young to get retirement visas so opted for the Thai Elite card which is expensive but solved their immediate problems as all had personnel items here including cars/motorbikes and maybe families.... good luck.

 

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17 hours ago, andynphuong said:

Blue Cross Blue Shield, if that info helps. 

For Bumrungrad Hospital as an example you need FEP to issue a Benefits Guarantee Letter to the hospital's Third Party Services Group in advance of your medical needs but after you have a confirmed appointment date. Depending on your medical needs the letter may indicate that you will need to pay upon check-out a deductible according to your specific FEP policy. According to current Medicare, when you reach 65 FEP, FEP can get supplemental Medicare payments applied towards your deductible after filing your claim.

You can file your claim online along with attachments such as receipts. FEP has translators who can read Thai if necessary. Claims are usually processed within 30 days or less. So when you must pay upfront for any of your medical needs using an American credit card, you'll likely get your reimbursement before your card payment is due.

Best to contact FEP before you leave the US for all your questions.

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Posted (edited)

When you get the retirement visa from the Thai embassy in the US it will be a multiple entry visa for the first year.  So you can leave and come back in that year no problem.  After that if you get a 1 year extension from immigration in Thailand it will cost your 1,900 baht each.  For an additional 3,800 baht each you can get multiple entry again.  But if you are only leaving once or twice a year it is cheaper to get a single use reentry, 1,000 baht each.

 

As far as medical you can go to a government hospital here and see a doctor for about $1.50.  I recently had a growth removed from my back at the local hospital, outpatient, and the total cost including medicine to take home was about $23.  Private hospitals here are more expensive, some much more so such Bangkok Hospital, but more likely to take your insurance IF it covers you living here.  There is insurance you can buy here from companies such as BUPA that are pretty cheap for coverage just in Thailand.  But they will exclude lots of stuff for preexisting conditions. 

Edited by rwill

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