Easy as Pie: Extending a Tourist Visa at Chiang Mai Immigration Office

Well, today is our 3 month anniversary of being in Thailand!!  Yea!!  It’s also the day I needed to extend my Tourist Visa in Chiang Mai.  Opposite of Yea! (It was not bad, read on…)

In Thailand, one of the most common visas is the “3 month tourist visa” that you obtain from a Thai Embassy/Consulate outside of Thailand prior to your entry into the country.   Without one, you get a 30 day entry stamp instead.  You may recall our Laos Visa Run episode, where (I) obtained a “Two Entry” Tourist Visa successfully, thanks to our local Italian/Canadian friend (hero), Gino.  That basically meant that I have two – 3-month visas, back to back.  Nice.

When you get the 3 month tourist visa, what may NOT be obvious is that you will get an entry stamp that expires in 2 months after entry.  You’ll get the third month by putting in an extension at the local Chiang Mai Immigration Office.

If you have a 30day visa on arrival the only way to extend is by crossing over by land for 15 days, 7 days at the immigration office (1800b, if I am correct), or leave and return by air to get 30 more days. Or do what we did, apply for visa in another country, or apply before you arrive.  We have done both.

CM Immigration Office is between Airport and “Airport Plaza-Central” Mall

View Larger Map

Here’s a step-by-step checklist of what you’ll need to do (I promise it’s not 100 steps, as in the Laos post).

  1. Pick up your forms ahead of time, as in any other day before you actually submit the form.  You can walk in, and to your right, you’ll see 3 trays, look for the “Application for Extension of Temporary Stay in the Kingdom.” Pick up a couple, just in case you mess up.
  2. The form is fairly self-explanatory, with your passport number, address, type of visa you currently have (Tourist, in this case), arrival/departure card number, and your phone number.  Write in “30″ for number of days you want to extend.
  3. You’ll need ONE passport sized photo.  It just saves time to glue it on yourself ahead of time.
  4. You’ll need one copy each of the following passport pages: a)main page w/pic, b) page with departure card, and c) page with your visa stamp.
  5. If you forget to make copies, the little restaurant behind the Office also has a copy center, for 2 Baht/page, quite reasonable.  You can do this while you are waiting for your number to be called.
  6. Now that you have your paperwork done, let’s go to the Immigration Office!  You can go on your visa expiration date, assuming it doesn’t fall on a weekend.  If you go after your expiration date, you’ll pay an “overstay” fine of 500 baht per day (will need to verify with a second source).
  7. Get there early, around 7:30am.  The doors open around 8am, and you’ll pick up a blue, laminated card with a que number from a display inside the entry.  That’s not the official number, but the number you’ll need to get your official que number (via an ATM-ish machine) from an attendant who will show up between 8 and 8:30am, when things start to get going. {Update Dec. 16th, 2011: Instead of the blue number outside the doors, you will now sign your name on a tablet on counter 1, then once business hours start, the names will be called, where you will assigned a ticketed number from the ATM-ish machine…}
  8. The official number is needed because all visitors are sorted into the type of visa you carry.  Since I was amongst the first 10 to arrive (number 9, baby!), I was actually #002 in the Tourist visa line.  Getting “007″ would have been cool, too.
  9. You’ll see horse-track like scoreboards everywhere, and look for your specific number to be called (some start at 501, 201, etc. depending on the counter).  Once gent next to me freaked because he had #210 after seeing my #002.
  10. Then, drop off your passport+documents at the correct counter.  The official will look over your documents, collect them, and collect the fee, which is 1,900 Baht (as of today).  I got a receipt and change back, so don’t sweat if you forgot to bring exact change.
  11. Then, sit and wait.  The middle of the front counter is the pick up area, and it’s often difficult to make out your own name being called, so just check once in a while to see if it’s ready.
  12. Once you’ve picked it up, you’ll see a new stamp with a new visa expiration date.  Pick up a mint from the candy bowl, and that’s it!

Fairly painless, only 12 steps!  Hmm, should have called it “Twelve step program for…” oh never mind.  I was out of there by 9:15am.  All because I got there early and beat the rush. It was a Friday, and I’m not sure which day would be ideal – guessing beginning of the week, but probably irrelevant if you get there early enough.

On various local forums, many people commented that they had a good experience with the CM Immigration Office, and I agree.  Over all, people were friendly, and the first attendant (the que guy)  speaks good English if you have any questions.

Oh, and guess who I ran into there today?  Our fabulous Mr. Gino!!  You’ll probably see familiar faces if you go repeatedly, once you’re on the same “Visa Schedule.”

On behalf of Mr. Gino, “Ciao!” and  “Bon journo!”

  63 comments for “Easy as Pie: Extending a Tourist Visa at Chiang Mai Immigration Office

  1. October 23, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing all those tips! We’re heading to Chiang Mai next month for a short visit and if we fall in love with the place like everyone else seems to than this post is going to come in so handy!

    • October 26, 2010 at 3:26 pm

      Hi Tracy! Thanks for the comments, and definitely get in touch with us when you are headed to CM. You can find the Team Chiang Mai page on FB, that A and I administer. You can get a feel for what our group is up to!

  2. November 2, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    AWESOME! I need this! I was contemplating doing a visa run to Burma or Malaysia before I head down to the islands…this would be much easier. Thanks!

  3. November 11, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    This is going to be bookmarked, we’re planning to stay for 2 and half 3 months and extend whilst we are in Chiang Mai. This has now made that process a whole lot easier :-)

  4. December 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Thank you for instructions, it was easy :)

    The sign near forms says you can apply for 15, 30 and 60 days extension. Do you know anythings about 60 days extensions?

    • December 19, 2010 at 8:41 am

      Hey D,
      Not sure about 60 days, but I read somewhere in the Thaivisa forums that if you are a tourist visiting family then you might be able to get 60 day extensions. Will look into it in the future. Cheers!

  5. Bruce
    February 4, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Thanks for the detailed explanation. It helped a lot. I was on my way to the bus station when I found this web page and info from thaivisa.com. This is the first time I’ve tried it so didn’t even know I could do this. Of course it’s also the first time I’ve been in Thailand with a visa beforehand.

    I just want to say all the info was correct and give my time-line. The first day I got there at 11am and there was a sign saying closed till 1pm on the counter. The place wasn’t full but I decided to come back the next day. I got there today, Friday Feb 3, 2011 at 7:30am. The doors were open and there were a few people already there. I grabbed my first number (6) and sat down. The next 15 min only a few people came in and thought there wasn’t too much of a reason to rush but by 7:50 it was starting to fill up and they ran out of paper numbers so everyone left were huddled around in confusion by the door. 8am they started calling out numbers to get our new numbers from the “ATM-like” machine. Just a few minutes and I got my new number (1). 8:40 I was called up (first one) and he went through my paperwork. I had to get another copy made because my departure card and entry stamp were on separate pages (2 baht behind the office) while he waited.
    Then I waited for processing around 45 min and people were starting to get their passports back and I started wondering what was going on. Even another guy that came 10 min after me that also had a tourist visa extension but soon found out that it was because I overstayed my visa one day (500 baht and four forms I had to sign) so it cost me another 20 min or so.

    In by 7:30, out by 9:45 – 2 hours 15 minutes total time.

    1 passport
    1 passport size photo
    4 pages from passport copied (info&photo, visa stamp, departure card, entry stamp)
    1,900 baht for extension
    500 baht for 1 day overstay

    Photos are also available behind the office for 100 baht (each? the sign didn’t say). I got mine at Central – 5 for 100 baht.

    The first young woman at the counter called my name surprising well. The second used my first and middle name so it threw me off a bit.

    • February 5, 2011 at 8:49 am

      Haha, great detail, Bruce. Now that we’ve been to the CM immigration office a few times, it doesn’t stress us a bit, but we understand how it felt the first time around – the confusion, anxiety – I can see it in the faces of those visiting the first time… I’m glad things worked out for you.

  6. March 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Thanks for the tips!

    I got there today (Monday) at 10am picked up a number (in the 60s) when the current number was in the 20s. I worked out that it would be about 2 hours before my number would come around. I went home for a few hours and came back at 2pm when the number was about 115 and just went straight to the counter with my rather old number. The clerk was rather surprised my number was so low but accepted it anyway.

    Had to wait about 45 mins from handing in my passport to collection.

    BTW – there was a sign saying the counters were closed from 12noon to 1pm. Apparently the office closes for the day at 4:30pm.

    I didn’t get the impression it was any more or less busy in the morning/afternoon.

    Hope some people find this useful!

  7. Coco
    November 9, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Hi!
    By the positive comments it seems you’re giving great advice, something I’ve found hard to come by…perhaps you could advise me?
    I’m here on a 30 day tourist visa which runs out in 10 days, I came to CM to join my other half, she emigrated here in September for a job (work permit sorted etc), I joined her three weeks ago to see if we could make a life for ourselves here – obviously my time is running out and we’ve decided we want to stay so I’ll be seeking employment (teaching – I hold a degree in English and a dusty old TEFL from years back) – we basically packed up and left it all behind in Ireland so I want to make sure I do it right, and I need an extension to seek work. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!

    • November 9, 2011 at 10:43 pm

      Greetings,
      Glad to hear that you’ve chosen to stay! Well, your 30 days was considered an ‘entry stamp’ not a true visa per se. Your choices are several: Make a day trip run to Mae Sae (Myanmar border crossing), cross on foot and back, and upon entry (by land) you get 15 days. By air, it’s 30, as you know. So you could also find a cheap fare hopefully to KL and back to get another 30days. Or, you can head to Vientiene, Laos, and apply for the 2 entry Tourist visa at the Thai Consulate there, which is 60 days, which can be extended in CM Immigration for another 30 days. Then you’ll need to cross a border (land or air) and your 2nd 60 days will take into effect. Essentially, you can stay for as long as 6 months on a 2 entry tourist visa. You could have applied for that from Ireland before you arrived, but you’re already here, so…
      Email us at gotpassport (at) gmail if you want to follow up and chat about your visa options. Of course when you land a job your employer should be able to sponsor you for a work visa, which typically is good for one year, and all you need to do is go to CM immigration office and fill out a 90 day report form (free), just a formality. No need to cross international borders within that year, unless you want to.
      Good luck!

  8. Coco
    November 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Thank you so much! It’s a pity I didn’t get such good advice before I came….I’ll send on an email this evening if that’s okay, cheers!

  9. December 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Great advice – just one extra note though, if you do this, just make sure that you make your second entry to Thailand before the “enter before” date on the visa – if you don’t do this you end up with only a 14-day re-entry instead of the 3 months you were hoping for (unfortunately I learned this from experience last year!).

    This is normally 3 months after the visa is issued, so if you extend the visa by 1 month on the first one, then you’re cutting it very fine for the second re-entry.

    • December 16, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      Yup, definitely good advice. That’s a shame you lost the 2nd entry… Thanks for dropping by!

  10. peter
    December 16, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    60 day visa expires sunday 18/12/2011,
    will i have to pay 500 baht overstay at c.m.immigration on monday?
    and get a big,horrible stamp in passport?
    spent 2 hours whizzing about looking for the office this friday p.m.
    usually best to pay a tuk-tuk and follow him.
    ah,mae sai sunday,methinks,to avoid the stamp.

    • December 16, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      Hey Peter, what’s up?
      Well, most likely you will pay the overstay on Monday. I don’t know exactly what the repercussions will be with an overstay, I imagine (only imagining) it might not be a big deal, but your border run seems like a wise choice. When we go to Mae Sai, we try to have fun along the way, enjoy the temples, food, etc… ;-)

  11. December 27, 2011 at 11:37 am

    This is the clearest explanation I’ve found. My wife and I will be extending our visas this week, so thank you for these tips. Hope to connect with you in the future through Team Chiang Mai!

  12. barry wicksman
    December 31, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    my visa expires on the third jan 2012. i am leaving on the morning of the forth. what can i do? is chiangmai immigration open on the 3rd.

    please respond to bwicksman670@yahoo.com

  13. Ben
    January 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Hi.I have a 6 month visa(3 entry)issued at Hull before i came.When this is up (april 3rd) can I extend it for another 30 days at CM immigration for 1,900b like the guy above.This would save me time and money.
    Thanks

    • January 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      Hi Ben,
      If your visa is triple entry, 2 months each, then you should be able to extend at the end of each 2nd month. When you add each extension to the total that should give you 9 months here on the visa.

  14. Tom Clarke
    March 9, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Just got back from immigration, couple of points to add. I arrived at 2:30PM and was out in an hour. :) The ticket machine had some paper across it blocking certain options, which left the touchscreen with the top option and the very bottom both in thai. touch the top option which should get you a number being served by counter 1, (far left if facing counters), for 30 day extensions. the bottom option is for 60 day extensions and a different counter on the far right.
    I think I would have spent more time trying to find glue or a stapler, than the 3 seconds it took the gentleman behind the counter to staple my picture so don’t worry about it saving time, just have a picture. The form has 2 sides, the back is where you enter address and phone so bring a card from your hotel/apartment. You also sign your name on both sides.
    The only hiccup was one of my copies was in correct. I had main passport page, Thai visa page, and departure card copied. however they want to see the blue inked date stamp on the visa, on the departure card AND the date stamped onto the page in your passport. Mine was underneath the departure card, so not visible in the copy. He removed the staples, repositioned it, re-stapled, and sent me outside, behind the building, for a new copy 2 baht. Walked back in handed it back to him, and waited 10 minutes till my name was called. To clarify, they want to see in the copies, the three corresponding blue inked date stamps, the one on the actual visa, the one on the departure card, and the one on the passport page, and the main passport page.

    • March 9, 2012 at 11:09 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Tom. I think once people have gone through the process once, it takes away the mystery and anxiety about the process.

  15. March 9, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Hey there – Shawna and I arrived in Thailand overland from Cambodia on March 5th. We received a 15-day stamp (not visa), expiring on March 19th. We are leaving tomorrow (March 10th) for Chiang Mai for 5-6 days. We then head back south ideally towards the islands, but obviously if we have not done so at this point we will need to get extensions before hitting the beach. Shawna leaves Thailand for Indonesia for 2-3 weeks on April 1st, so it is ok if she gets just 15 days, but I am needing (at least) 30 days as I have a retreat in Thailand April 1-10.

    After that we would love to stay in Thailand (likely Chiang Mai) until end of May.

    Right now Shawna is considering taking the train down to the Malaysian border, and then get a 15-day extension and heading back up to the islands. That makes sense, right? Alternatively, while we are in Chiang Mai we could maybe do a border run to Burma, right? That would be another way of getting us 15 days, yes?

    But for me, who needs 30-days…how do I accomplish this? Can I get a 30-day extension from flying back into Thailand from the nearest airport in Malaysia? Do I actually need to be in KL and apply for a visa? I am a little fuzzy on the difference between the visa and the entry stamp….

    Thanks so much for your help,

    S&S

    • March 9, 2012 at 11:16 pm

      Hi Skott and Shawna, nice to meet you! Entering the country, either by land or air, without obtaining a Thai visa first, is considering an ‘entry stamp.’ It’s not really a visa on arrival, since you won’t get a tourist visa, or pay for one.
      Yes, by air it is 30 days upon entry, so you could fly maybe air asia R/T to KL and get 30 days upon arrival to Thailand again.
      If you’re staying till May, then you probably should get a tourist visa (60 days standard, and can be extended for additional 30 days at CM immigration office). You have many choices of Thai consulates in nearby countries, like Laos, Malaysia, etc., so it depends on your budget and preference of destination. We have a post on getting a Thai tourist visa from Vientienne, Laos, just search for it. It’s a common visa run destination, and can be done all by bus.
      Oh, yes, you can go to Mae Sai, the northern Thai border town, and cross and back for 15 days on entry. It can be done as a day trip, but start early so you can catch the last bus back to CM from Mae Sai on time.

      I hope that helps a little, and have fun in Thailand!

      J.

      • March 9, 2012 at 11:35 pm

        Thanks for getting back to us so quickly. We are thinking that we will now stay in Chiang Mai until the 18th – do a border run that day, and then head down towards the islands. That will carry her right until April 1st when she is booked to fly out to Indonesia. I am thinking that on March 28th I will fly to Singapore and back the next day (only because it seems to be the cheapest Air Asia deal). That will give me 30 days… so until end of April (almost). Do you know how much a 60-day visa would cost and processing time? Alternatively, we could also just make sure we did two more 15-day extensions in Mae Sai (or would it be 30 if we flew in and got 30 days entry stamp?) while we were living in Chiang Mai, right?

        Is there a limit to the number of times you can cross exit and re-enter at Mae Sai?

        • March 14, 2012 at 10:33 am

          Hi Skott & Shawna,
          Not sure how much tourist visas are, you should try to google that, as in the past they were free; but not sure now. Yes, to the items about crossing borders and re-entering, 15 by land, 30 by air. Not sure of the limit issue, but certainly it would not look good if you have too many back to back.

  16. Max
    March 14, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Just want to say…. THANK YOU.

    I’ve had this page bookmarked for months. This stuff stresses me out like nothing else, and I wanted everything to be perfect. I followed the instructions exactly as stated, including the updates. Everything went EXACTLY according to plan! Thank you!

    Deets:
    Arrived at 7:10AM. My name was #35 on a handwritten list outside. Doors opened at 8:15AM. Abt 20 mins later, I was assigned #002 for 30 day visa extension. About 1 minute later, my number was called. I brought up all my documents, paid the fee, and waited. About 9:15 they call my name, picked up my passport, and BAM! Done.

    Again… Thank you!

    • March 14, 2012 at 9:54 am

      Hey Max,
      I’m humbled that you bookmarked something we wrote, and happy that it was helpful.

      Cheers,
      J.

  17. James
    March 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Hi : Thanks for this page, like the above poster, I bookmarked it two months ago and today walked to the immigration office and had no problems extending my tourist visa by 30 days. Arrived at 7:30, was #23 on the outside list. The office opened late, around 9:00, and I was assigned #002. I was set to go about an hour later :)

  18. Rob
    March 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Hi J,

    I just did a visa run to myanmar today for another 14 days in Thailand. Problem is, i wanted to stay through songkran in chiang mai but now have to leave on the 12th. Any way around this or would i have to make one more run? Thanks! -rob

  19. March 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Rob,
    Anyone with a ‘visa on arrival’ by land or air can do the same extension for 7 days (instead of 30 if you came in with a tourist visa). Fee might be the same, at 1,900 baht, but might be worth it to save you another border run up north.

    • Rob
      March 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Yea, seems worth it, thanks! Ill try to remember to post back on the fee

  20. Mark
    April 1, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Hi
    I have a non-immigrant visa that expires on June 21st. My flight out leaves on the 22nd, I miscalculated my 90 day stay when booking my flights. Do you think it is better to apply for a visa extension or just take the fine for overstaying my visa by one day?

  21. Pedro
    April 10, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Hi, thanks alot for the tips… I really had to get my extension this couple of days and I went there today… Due to the holidays the place was full of people when I got there at 7.30… my number was 127(!)…
    The worst queue eas the photocopies and photos… 1 and a half to more to do that… I recommend people to have that taken care before u go there, it will save you some stress while waiting for your number…
    The rest, just like you described…
    Cheers

    • April 11, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      Glad it worked out, Pedro! Yes, the crowds are amazing, I hope they expand that office, as CM is becoming a popular destination for tourists and retirees.

  22. Maria
    April 10, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Hey,

    Thanks a lot for the tips! I have only 2 questions more: What should I write for the reason of the extension, just tourism? And is it going to be a problem if we dont have a flight ticket out of the country yet, because maybe we are going to leave by bus?

    Thank you very much in advance,
    Maria

    • April 11, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      Hey Maria,
      Yes, vacation, or tourism are good words to use. If departing by land, it should be reflected in your arrival/departure card, so that should not be a big deal; very common for tourists to leave by land.

  23. Gillian
    July 9, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Hey

    I just got back from getting my Visa extented for 7 days. It took one hour and they were friendly and helpful.
    - I would recommend getting there at 8.30 (when it opens) we got there just after and it was already busy.
    - Have your photo copies ready (1 passport, 1 copy of your departure crd which should be stapled in your passport already) (You can get this done there for 2thb but sometimes there is a que).
    - you also need one passport size photo
    -cost is 1900THB.
    -It is not open and weekends – check open and closing times!!

    Dress smart and BE FRIENDLY…getting impatient wont get you anywhere.

    MARIA – I just wrote that I wanted to explore more of thailand – so tourism is fine, maybe give them a little story.
    - also we did not have a ticket flight out.

    Usually you get a ticket number when you arrive however I went up to the desk with all my forms done and the photocopies and money and they did it straightaway – we just waited half an hour for cashier to sort out the payment.

    Was stress free!! :)

    Good Luck

  24. Sam
    October 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I went to the CM immigration office this morning for a 30 day extension of tourist visa, and it was painless thanks to your advice!

    I arrived there at 6.40am and was no.38 on the list. The first person on the list had arrived at 4.05am!! They opened the door at 8am on the dot, and I was out of there just after 10am with everything sorted.

    Thanks so much for this article it was a real help. :)

  25. eve
    October 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Hello,

    Okay I know this must be a little tedious by now to keep responding with similar (if not the same answers). But I came to Bkk with a 30day tourist entry stamp, which runs out on the 20th November. I haven’t got a big budget to do a visa run to Loas. Can you advise if I can just extend this (for 30days or 60days) at CM immigration?

    Thanks a bunch in advance.:)

    • October 31, 2012 at 12:10 am

      Eve,

      The only way to get another 30-day is to leave the country and return by air. The only way to get 60day is to leave the country, apply for visa at a Thai embassy in another country. With a 30day visa on arrival, you can get 7 days (1800b i think) at CM immigration office or visa run to Mae Sai or Mae Sot by land and get 15 days. You will have to pay 500b in Burma at the border.

      Hope this helps,

      A

  26. Josien
    November 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Hi! I have read your advice regarding a visa in thailand and it is really helpful. I do have another question, and i hope you are able to tell me more. I got into thailand with only a stamp for 30 days. I would like to stay about 2,5 month in total. Currently I am following a massage course in Chiang mai. Do you know if it is possible to go to the immigration office in Chiang Mai with a letter from the massage centre that i will be another 2 months in training? would it be possible to get a student visa or will i need to leave the country to arrange this? thank you in advance for your advice. best regards, Josien

    • November 26, 2012 at 11:21 am

      Thanks for your message. Generally student visas really depend on the school you’re attending and will need to sponsor you in order to get the student visa. Good luck!

  27. John
    November 26, 2012 at 10:18 am

    So to be clear, If you arrive without a formal tourist Visa, and get the “visa on arrival” 30-day visa. The only way to extend it for 15 days is by going out of the country? The immigration office only extends for 7 days?
    Thanks

    • November 26, 2012 at 11:12 am

      Hi John, yes you’re correct: crossing the border by land and coming back in will give you 15 days, of course by air will be 30 days. The immigration office will extend by seven days for 2,000 baht.

  28. Fabian A. G.
    December 6, 2012 at 9:13 am

    ED Visa (Extension) at Chiangmai

    You will probably not get a student ED Visa that easy, because the school or institution , whatever, must apply first at the Ministry of Education to get the Visa , once you have all the documents , stamped from the Ministry you have to apply outside of the country at Thai Embassy and extend it afterwords at the Immigration .
    Take notice there is no paper anymore to sign in your name in the morning early,since 23 of november 2012.Just be there at 8.00 , pick a blue card and get the queue number .You’ll be adviced to come back after 13.00 to pass all your paper’s and pay the fee , no need to wait on the long queue outside.Just walk in ….

  29. December 31, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Thanks for all of this information. Just a quick question–do all parties getting their visas extended need to be present? I’m wondering if I can take care of it for both my girlfriend and I while she is at another engagement. Possible, or not? Thanks.

  30. January 24, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Thanks for a wonderful & detailed write-up guys! Just thought I’d add my January 2013 experience. I overstayed my 30 day airport visa exemption by 2 days. Went down to get a 7 day extension and pay the $500b per day fine. (I’m planning on going to Vientiane, Laos later this week for a proper 60 day visa).

    Arrived at immigration around 11am, they told me to come back at 1pm when they’d be handing out numbers again. I grabbed a form, filled it out, made copies of my passport pages behind the building (where you can also glue your photo to the form) for $4b total.

    Returned at 1pm, number machine in the corner was broken, so went to the center counter and got a number there. Number was called 1.5 hours later. Only took 30 minutes to get my passport back. Whole process took 2 hours.

  31. Kat
    May 3, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Thanks GotPassport for the information. It helped me a lot. I just went today, May 3, 2013. For starters, though I thought to get my copies somewhere else, I realized it is easier to let them make copies out back as you suggested because they know what the office is looking for. Easy, and 6 baht.

    I arrived at 10:30am and they gave me a number (71) and told me that after 1pm, they would begin calling numbers 55 and higher. So, I returned at 1pm with my papers ready. I didn’t have glue for my photo though, and there was a man kind enough to lend me his from his briefcase — thank you. Filling out the extension form, it asks for the arrival/departure card number and I wasn’t sure what it was. You will find that under the bar code on the right side of the departure card. Make sure you sign each copied page of your passport, visa, etc.

    It took around 2 hours, but this was because of some people ahead of me seemed to have some problems. I think the timing is difficult then to say how much time it will take because it just depends on the day. There is a small coffee shop right in front with some tables and cold water to keep you more comfortable while you wait. It is actually relatively simple with nothing to worry that much about if you can prepare properly, and it helped me to understand that this is a small duty that comes with living in a foreign country.

  32. John
    October 25, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Hi.

    Is it normal that there’s no information on my departure card except the 7-letter code in the right corner? And is that the code I’m gonna fill in the form? Thanks.

    • October 27, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Hi John
      In addition to the bar code, there should be a stamp in lower right side box when you entered. The rest you’ll need to complete by hand when you leave the country.

  33. J
    November 10, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    This post has been super helpful so far. Thanks.

    I am receiving some conflicting information on the streets so I have two important questions:

    1) is the visa extension applied immediately from the day it is granted or is it added after the visa expiration date? I wonder if I can I apply for the extension half way through my stay rather than on the expiration date.

    2) is proof of onward travel required when extending a 30 day visa on arrival?

    • November 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      Hi J,
      Please keep in mind that some posts are older and with the fluidity of changes at the immigration office, it’s always good to find out the latest from the source directly.
      As for your questions, 1) My guess is that the extension is effective from the date you apply, so there’s no incentive to do it earlier than your expiration date. But double check that! 2) I don’t believe you can extend a 30 day visa on arrival (if you can it’s only 7 days, again please double check this), but you can extend tourist visas.
      Basically, I’m not too much help here, and there’s some reorganization at immigration, where some requests are handled in different buildings in the complex. You can always walk in any time and verify your questions at the front counter.

  34. Allan
    January 9, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Thanks for the useful info, I went Monday this week and here’s my experience:

    According to the sign on the door they open at 8:30. I was there around nine and there were already a lot of people (maybe because it was the first day they opened after the new year).

    I got number 30 and the counter was at 19, it took 20-30 minutes before it was my turn. Then another 30-40 minutes to actually process my application, so I was out of there shortly after 10.

    What I learned (in addition to the above):

    1. If you have a visa (in your passport) then you must also make a copy of that.
    2. All copies must be signed (by you).
    3. Put phone number and email on the application form (even though there is no field for it).

    • JOHNNY
      January 13, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Hey Allan, i’m filling out the forms right now, and i dont understand what the Arrival/departure card no is? please explain, and the address on the back, what is “tambon/khwaeng” ” Amphoe/khet ” ” Changwat ” ?

  35. Helen
    March 4, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Just returned from getting my 30 day visa extension (Tuesday, March 4, 2014) and appreciate all the information on the process. Just a couple of things to add….

    There is the possibility of getting your Visa appointment number online. A local told me and there is a notice in the immigration office but I couldn’t get the site to work. It is on the immigration site under ‘online queue’. Give it a try.

    Also you can apply for a visa extension one month before your current visa expires.

    I was at the office at 7:15 am and was given number 70!! The place was nearly packed. Eventually I exchanged my blue number for the real queue number and got number 36. By the way, there is no machine that gives out numbers – it’s all done by hand now.

    I believe they stopped handing out numbers around 10:30 am so don’t go too late. We went around 10:30 am yesterday and they were done handing out numbers.

    Every thing else went as as described by others.

    Oh! We did see a couple people come in and speak to the lady at the counter and they were given handwritten numbers after all the numbers were passed out. So if you need your visa and get there too late maybe you can throw yourself on their mercy.

    The whole process took 3.5 hours. Bring a book.

  36. Allan
    April 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I went (again) today, arrived at 9.20 and got number 42, last number called was 13.

    My number was called at 10.50 and my VISA extension completed at 11.10.

    So it seems to take 3-4 minutes for each request. I think new requests arrive at a slower pace, so it might be a disadvantage to come too early, since there is a backlog from all the people who come before 8.30 (based on Helen’s comments, 36 people came before 7.15 to get a VISA extension).

    My 30 day extension is btw from today’s date, not based on the date of my existing stamp. So while you can come a month before your VISA expires, it does not seem like a good idea.

    • Aye
      April 19, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks for this info Allen!!

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