How to extend your visa in Thailand

how to extend visa in thailand

Millions of travellers visiting the kingdom of Thailand year after year. The land of smiles is a famous tourist destination due to its perfect sunny weather, the variety of attractions, the beautiful exotic beaches, the friendly locals and the delicious food.

But what happens when you want to extend your stay for a little bit more. Having visited Thailand for many years now we decided to make this informational article in order to help all those who wish to enjoy a few more days or even months in this amazing country.

Most nationalities are allowed to enter Thailand on a 30-day tourist visa for free (visa on arrival) but there are several ways to extend your stay in Thailand. Check them out and choose one that is more convenient to you.

Apply for a longer stay visa before arriving in Thailand

The easiest way to stay longer in Thailand is to pay the extended visa at the local Thai embassy of your home country before leaving. Call the embassy and ask if you are eligible to apply for the 60-day, 90-day or even 6-month multiple entry visas. It is a hassle-free process, you can communicate better in your home country and you can travel more relaxed knowing all the dos and don’ts.

Exit and re-enter Thailand(Visa Run)

This can be done in multiple ways. If you love exploring new places then I would suggest visiting the neighbouring countries Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia or even the beautiful Vietnam. Stay there, check the diversity of the culture, enjoy the food and come back to Thailand after a few days. Now if you return back through the land borders then your visa will be extended only for 15 days (this may have changed to 30 days) but if you fly back then you will have 1 month more.

And while you are in one of the neighbouring countries you can apply to either a Thai Embassy or Consulate for the 2-month visa by paying about $50. This procedure takes about 2 days, you apply on day 1 and on day 2 you have your papers done. The visa can be extended for another 30 days at the local Immigration office. The countries with the best service to get the job done are Penang and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Hanoi in Vietnam and Singapore. In Vientiane and Phnom Penh the embassies are crowdy almost every day and this will slow you down.

Extend at a local immigration office

The ‘easiest’ way to extend your 30 or 60-day tourist visa in Thailand is to visit a local immigration office. All the major cities have an immigration office and there you will have your visa extended in a few hours if you arrive prepared.

All the papers you need are:

  1. Your passport (valid for at least 6 more months from the day of application) and a photocopy of the data page, arrival stamp, visa-departure card (2 sets)
  2. One photo (or you can get one for 50 baht at the spot)
  3. Copy of your address in Thailand, one of the following should be fine:
    A. business card of the hotel and a receipt of the money you paid for your stay B. copy of ID card of the house owner C. copy of the contract of the place you rent.
  4. 1.900 BAHT to pay to the immigration officer
  5. Application of extension TM 7 (get it at the immigration office)
  6. Notification form for the residence owner (get it at the immigration office). This document is not necessary if the hotel/house owner has properly registered you.
pattaya immigration office

Maybe it seems too much but the first time it always does. It’s an easy procedure just remember our tips:

Concerns section 3 and 6 above. In order to get approved, your hotel/guesthouse/apartment must register you and every guest within 24 hours of their arrival through an online system. Some hotels are working without a legal permit and won’t register their guests. If you are not registered you won’t get the extension visa. Ask the reception if they have registered you and tell them that you are applying for the extension visa (they know what it needs).

If there is any problem the immigration officer will let you know and will call the hotel to announce them the fine and tell you to come back the next day with the manager. Still, because you are in Thailand, the hotel manager in order to avoid the visit to the immigration may refuse to come with you and the best solution is to ask your money back and find another place to stay (i have been in this situation before).

Concerns section 4 (1.900 BAHT to pay to the immigration officer). Usually, outside each immigration department, there is a small office that provides any kind of service for tourists. Except having the photo required and maybe some photocopies do not pay anything extra. There are always some guys there who speak good English and will ask to help you by doing everything for you with extra charge. Even if they will try to convince you that the law has changed, remember that you don’t need to pay anything and anyone extra. Avoid the scam and just do everything yourself!

Concerns section 6 (Notification form for the residence owner). This paper is supposed to be filled by the hotel or the apartment owner but none of them will agree to sign it. I don’t know why. I gave it half-completed and the immigration officer doesn’t seem to bother at all.

Apply for non-tourist visa

If you are serious about staying in Thailand and not just for travel purposes then you can apply for the following type of visas if you meet the conditions.

One Year Non-Immigrant (ED) Visa

This type of visa is granted for educational purposes only. You can apply for studying in a Thai university but unfortunately, there’s no way to work legally when you are in Thailand on a student visa. If you get an official job with the according visa and a work permit, you can also study on this visa, but not the other way around. Recently in this section are included studying martial arts, Muay Thai, Thai massage or attending cooking lessons. Of course, those categories comes with a set of guidelines different from those of enrolling in a Thai university. If you are interested you can find a detailed post here.

Marriage Visa or Retirement Visa

As long as you meet all the special financial requirements for the application you will be granted the visa. To obtain a Marriage Visa in Thailand you must simply be married to a Thai national. Otherwise, if you want a Retirement Visa in Thailand, you need to be 50 years old or above.

Business visa

This visa is specially designed for people who want to do business legally in Thailand. You can get a work permit, open a bank account however you still need to do a visa run every 90 days.

Re-entry permit application applied by Tony Stark (Iron Man) LoL 😜

Note that this post is written for an informational purpose and will be updated periodically but we recommend to check with your local Thai embassy as the laws in Thailand are changing constantly. Don’t forget also that every passport is treated differently and not all the nationalities have the same rights when it comes to extending visa in Thailand.

You can also check this app released for tourists by the Chonburi immigration (only for android devices) but if you are already in Thailand then a short drive to the local immigration is always the best solution.

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