How To: Extend Your Thai Tourist Visa in Chiang Mai

In addition to border runs and visa runs in neighboring countries, staying for an extended period of time in Thailand involves regular visits to the local immigration office. Good news, though: compared to applying for a tourist visa in Laos, extending your Thai visa in Chiang Mai is a cakewalk.

Here’s all you need to know to get your own visa extension. This blog post details how it takes place in Chiang Mai, and although the process is likely to be more or less uniform across all immigration offices, be sure to check if your local office has specific requirements.

Thai Visa Extensions Explained

Tourist visas can be extended simply by visiting your local immigration office anywhere in Thailand, filling out a form, and paying a fee. Extending your visa should be done before your visa expires; you can get your visa extended on the last day without any problem.

Thai tourist visas and visa exemptions (what people wrongly call “visas on arrival”) can be extended by 30 days at the Chiang Mai immigration office. Visa exemptions used to be only extensible for 7 days, but this changed in August 2014.

At the time of writing, extending your visa costs 1900 Baht. Overstaying your visa costs 500B per day, which might make it a more compelling financial decision than extending for less than four days; however, it’s my understanding that overstaying your visa can compromise future visa applications.

A Note on Attitude

As with all official matters in Thailand, you’re better off dressing in an appropriate manner and behaving yourself while at the immigration office. Showing up in dirty shorts and a Beer Chang t-shirt might complicate matters in ways that are hard to quantify. Not to say that dressing poorly will lead to a denial, but if things get complicated, the way you dress will change the way the officials perceive you.

Likewise, getting angry or impatient with Thai officials will never get you anywhere. Stay polite, smile, and relax; if you stay cool, things have a way of resolving themselves. Just stay patient and polite, and state your point clearly and in a respectful manner.

Mind you, the Chiang Mai immigration office is the nicest bunch of officials I’ve seen in Thailand. They’re generally helpful and patient, and speak good enough English to sort you out.

Step 1: Preparation

You’ll need a few things before heading out to the immigration office. Some of these, like the form, you can do once you’re there, but it’ll save you some hassle if you come prepared.

The immigration office is open 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday, except on national holidays. Make sure to check the calendar of official Thai holidays before heading out. If you want to beat the crowds, you’ll want to get there by 8:00 am at the latest. Arriving at 8:15 am will guarantee you at least two hours of waiting, so either go really early or just take your time. Last time I was at the Immigration office, I arrived at 11:00 am and was out by noon. Obviously, this depends on a lot of factors including time of year, proximity to holidays, and political climate. You’re a lot more likely to have to wait during high season.

Do note also that the staff at the Immigration office breaks for lunch between 12:00 an 1:00. If you arrive just before lunchtime, you may be looking at an extra hour wait.

Do note that getting a queue number doesn’t guarantee that your application will be processed on the same day! If there are too many applicants, you’ll have to return the next business day with the same queue number. If your application is time sensitive, you should make sure to arrive as early as possible.

Just to be on the safe side, plan to spend three hours there, depending on time of year. It’s a fairly comfortable wait, so don’t sweat it if you can’t get up early; but do get there a few hours before they close, or you’ll be forced to come back the next day!

What you should have before heading out:

– Passport
– Departure card
– Passport-sized picture
Thai visa extension request form (TM. 7)
– Photocopies (see below)
– Complete address of residence

Passport-sized picture

You can get these done in any photo shop in Chiang Mai. There are many in the Old City, since a lot of tourists require them. It’s also possible to get your photo taken at a photo booth right next to the Immigration office, but these are more expensive than elsewhere in town and you might lose your spot in the queue. My suggestion is to get a bunch of them, as these always come handy when you travel around Southeast Asia.

You’ll need a picture that’s exactly 4 cm x 6 cm (1.6″ x 2.4″). Make sure to ask at the photo shop. Just keep the extras, because you’ll need them sooner than later. Smaller pictures might get rejected by Thai immigration.

Note that the dress code matters for the picture as well. Improper clothes, especially for women, might make things complicated for you. No need to dress in a tuxedo, but avoid stuff like tank tops or exposed shoulders for women.

Thai visa extension request form

You can download the form online. Enter the required information, print it, and stick your picture on the second page. I recommend doing this ahead of time because sometimes the process can go really quick; you might not have time to fill a form before your number is called.

Photocopies

You’ll need the following photocopies for your visa extension. Make sure every number and date is clearly legible, as you may be asked to do it again otherwise. I’m not sure you need the visa page, but it doesn’t hurt to include it. The immigration officer will ask you to sign all the copies.

– First page (picture page) of your passport
– Current Thai visa stamp
– Current Thai visa page (if you have that)
– Departure card

Complete address of residence

For some reason, the immigration office requires you to have your complete address of residence, including tambon, amphoe (district), province, and postal code. Make sure you have all these in hand when you fill out the form. If you’re in Chiang Mai, they’ll probably be able to help you figure it out at the immigration office.

Step 2: Getting to the Visa Extension Office

ChiangMaiPromenada(Click to enlarge map)

Getting to the visa extension office is pretty easy. If you’re anywhere near the Old City, just flag a songthaew and ask for “Promenada.” Be aware that drivers often try to overcharge foreigners going to the Immigration office, so don’t hesitate to bargain or walk away to find another songthaew. Expect to pay somewhere around 100-200B. Tuk-tuks are unlikely to charge any less.

Another option is the free shuttle bus that goes to Promenada. You can find more info on the Promenada website. You’ll probably need to go inside the hotel where you want to get on board and ask the front desk.

The immigration office itself is on the ground level of building A, which is connected to the parking garage. Make sure to go in the immigration office that’s attached to the Promenada, and not the one across the street.

Step 3: Getting Your Visa Extension

Once you get to the visa extension office, head inside right away and go to the counter. Tell them you’re here to extend your visa, and they will give you a queue number. Time to wait.

When the officers finally call your number, walk up to the counter and turn in your documentation, along with your 1900B fee. They’ll give you change if you don’t have any, so don’t worry. An immigration officer will check all your documentation, and because you followed my instructions, he’ll begrudgingly admit you got it all right. Go back and sit down.

This part of the wait is mercifully very quick. 10-15 minutes later, you’ll be called to the front again, and you’ll get your passport, your change, and a receipt. (Check that you have your change, as some report that they had to ask for it.)

Your Thai visa stamp should now have an extra stamp next to it stating that you can stay in the country longer. Note that when extending a visa exemption, sometimes they might stamp your passport saying your extension request has been denied. Not sure what’s the deal with this, but as long as your new exit date is good, you’re good to go. Good job!

To head back into town, go inside Promenada and ask at the information desk for a ticket for the free shuttle. Make sure you go on the right bus, as there are two different routes. Also, be aware that the bus leaves strictly on time. The shuttle leaves from the entrance to Building A, near “Wine Connection.” For more details including schedule, check the Promenada website.

Any questions? Any other tips or updates to this visa application guide? Please share in the comments below!

Chiang Mai immigration office image source: Chiang Mai Locator

2014-09-15: Thanks to John Wallen, as well as David Rose of Roses on the Road  for up-to-date details about the extension process.

2015-08-10: Thanks to Karen Kimble for info on the new visa extension office location.

2015-12-22: Thanks to Zaengi for details about the free shuttle to Promenada.

About Daniel Roy

Daniel is a writer, backpack foodie, slow traveler, and endurance runner. He is the author of the upcoming book, "The Way of Slow Travel: A Hands-On Guide to the Best Travel of Your Life."

347 comments

  1. Great article. Very clear.

    I would recommend adding the necessary photo size to the article. Places where you can get your photos would be nice too. Thanks!

    • Great suggestions, thank you. I’ll add this right away.

      • Hi Daniel.
        Me and my friends had a bit of a problem with travelling to Vietnam. So we have now used the second entry on our multiple entry visa much earlier than intended. However we want to go to Cambodia for 10days and then come back to Thailand again for another month. When we come back could we claim our original 30days that you normally get free when you enter? As we never used this because we had our multiple entry visa at the time? Or could we buy another 30day visa or would we just not be allowed back in? Thank you

    • Don’t worry about getting photos done before getting to the office – You can get them done there for a few bahts. A local with a digital camera and printer provides the necessary in seconds! – It also gives the locals a bit of income. Colette & Roger.

  2. Thanks for this post. It’s very helpful!

  3. Hi, if my visa runs out on a Saturday and I go there on a Friday will the extention be adding after Saturday or friday? Thank you!

    • Hi Stephanie! I checked in my passport, and the visa extension starts AFTER your initial visa expires; meaning it adds 30 days to your original visa even if you get it done a little bit before your visa is set to expire.

      So, in your case, the extension will start for 30 days after Saturday.

  4. i already have tourist visa for 3 month, but i lose one month now at my country and will travel soon., i want ask i still can use this visa ? and how many time i can renew this visa there at thi ?? thx

    • Hi Khaled!

      The “Entry Before” date is the latest date at which you need to ENTER Thailand. Even if you enter on the last day, you’ll still get 60 days, which you can extend to 90 days by visiting Immigration in Thailand. So you’re good!

      To “renew” the visa, you need to leave and re-enter Thailand before the “Enter Before” date. The “No of Entry” date tells you how many times you can do this.

      Hope that helps!
      Daniel Roy recently posted…My Interview with Oxygen.imMy Profile

      • Hi Daniel,

        I’m glad you posted this bit about the “Entry Before” date. My husband and I were trying to figure out how to make our third Tourist Visa entry last longer, but were getting hung up on the “Entry Before” date. It’s good to hear that I can extend my 60 days to 90 days even if I’m past my “Entry Before” date. Phew! I was afraid that the “Entry Before” date was synonymous with “Expiration”.

        Very helpful article, bookmarking it for future use! Thanks for posting!

        -Melanie

  5. Hi there. I’m still really confused and stressed out about this “Enter before” thing. I have a double entry torus or visa. I entered Thailand March 13 and just did my 60 day renewal for the last 30 days of the first entry. Immigration office in Bangkok gave me a stamp for June 13th. So I thought I had to leave by then and then I would have a new 60 days plus another 30 day extension.
    The original visa sticker however says “Enter before May 16”. Does that mean I should have entered Thailand initially before that? Or does it have something to do with my second entry and visa expiration?

    • Hi Kevin,

      The “Enter before May 16” is the last day you can re-enter Thailand and activate one of the remaining entries on your tourist visa. That means if you leave Thailand after May 16th and re-enter, you WON’T be able to use the tourist visa; you’ll get a visa exemption (AKA visa on arrival) instead.

      Sorry!
      Daniel Roy recently posted…My Interview with Oxygen.imMy Profile

  6. My visa on arrival from Australia will expire mon 19 may , have ticket to fly out return to Australia May 31
    What is the best way to extend my visa ???

    • Hi Fred,

      Your best bet is to do a border run and get an extra 15 days for a visa exemption (AKA visa on arrival). Thai Immigration have announced they will clamp down on “out-in border runs” starting in August, but until then, doing this will get you an “O-I” stamp in your passport, that’s it.

      If you just leave Thailand for a few days and re-enter, there’ll be no problem at all from Immigration.

  7. The info in this article is spot-on. Thank you so much for posting this Daniel!

    Following the instructions here, I was able to get my visa extension, no problem. The whole process took a little less than an hour.

    I have a few things to add from my experience this afternoon:

    – Once you get to the immigration compound, there are a few buildings. The building that’s right in front of you as you enter is the wrong one! Look for building #2 across the parking lot from the main entrance (there will be a big sign that says “Visa Extension”; it’s hard to miss).

    – When you get to the visa extensions room (no really; that’s what it says on the door), you no longer have to take a number to get a number. Instead, just walk up to the center counter (it has a sign that says “Information” right above it), and tell the person that you want to extend your visa. She’ll ask to see your passport, and then she’ll give you a number.

    – They have plenty of blank TM-7 forms available, so if you aren’t able (or don’t want) to print up your own, you can take a blank one and fill it out while you wait for your number to be called. No guarantees that they will have pens available for you to use, though!

    – If you do not have a photo or document copies, you can get them at the LPG across the street.

    – When you pay for your visa extension, you won’t get your change right away. Instead, they will give you your change (and your receipt) when you pick up your passport. Curiously, they will staple your change to your receipt (I’d hate to see what they do for coins!).

    • Thanks a lot for your feedback, Phoenix! I’ll add your updates and clarifications to my blog post. Glad this was helpful!

    • Just wanted to throw my experience from today into the pot. It was very much like Phoenix. Main difference is they checked my filled out forms/passport *before* giving me a number, so account that in your time.

      I went on a Friday (today!) and while I meant to show up at 8, we had something come up and didn’t get there till 9. Then it took another 15-20 to get our form, fill it out and get passport copies and pictures. There is a building at the back of the parking lot (it has a sign that says “Photo & Copy”) to do this at. Fine prices, as of today it was 2 baht per copy and 100 baht for 4 photos.

      It seemed quite busy (and note, once the waiting room fills you will be outside, so a water bottle some tissues would be good to have!) but I still got called in maybe 90 minutes. Many people are there for more complicated things than an extension, so do not be worried at the crowd. After handing in my papers it was another 20mins before I got called to the counter to have a picture taken, then another 15-20 before I got my passport and change. Altogether maybe two hours of waiting?

      Afterwards we took the very short walk to Central Plaza down the road got some lunch and enjoyed the air conditioning before catching a songthaew back home.

      • Oh one more thing! If anyone is a worrier like me and wondering what to put in “Reason for extension” please do not worry. I think I put “To visit more of Thailand”. They did not ask about it at all, I don’t believe it matters much.

  8. My boyfriend and I are heading to thailand in october. I got a gig as a teacher so my visa situation is pretty clear. to me. My boyfriend’s however is still unclear. He can apply for a tourist for, which is good for 60 days and then extend it for another 30 days. My question is this: How many times can he extend his visa? My contract with the school is for 10 months. So he needs an additional 7 months. I’ve been researching the web and found this: 1 year multiple-entry visa. Do you anything about this? Any help with this conundrum will be greatly appreciated 🙂 Thanks.

    • Hi Stephanie,

      Congrats on the teaching job in Thailand! 🙂

      For your boyfriend, he has a few options:

      – He can get a double-entry tourist visa ahead of time. He should get it fairly shortly before arriving in Thailand, because there’s an ‘Enter Before’ date that starts from the moment you enter Thailand. With a double entry, he can stay two months, extend by one month, leave Thailand and re-enter, then do the 2+1 months again, for a total of 6. After that, he an just leave and re-enter once, and he’ll have a total of seven months. Another option is to enter Thailand by air for one month, then travel to Vientiane to get a double-entry tourist visa, which will last him a total of 6 months.

      – He can get an ED visa. That’s the one-year multiple entry one. I can’t help you for this, unfortunately, as I don’t know about them very well. But essentially, he can enroll in a Thai language school, and get a one year visa out of it. Some schools are good and WILL teach you Thai, others are more or less a formality to get you the visa.

      You can only extend a current visa once per entry. So, for instance, with a double-entry tourist visa, you can extend it once for the first entry, and once for the second.

      I think your boyfriend’s best bet is to arrive in Thailand with a visa exemption (visa on arrival) for 30 days, and within these 30 days travel to Vientiane and get a double-entry tourist visa that will sort him out for the next six months after that.

      Hope that helps!

  9. This helped me out loads today so thanks Daniel and also to Phoenix for the excellent update in the comments.

    I arrived at 15:20 and was out for 16:30. A further two people were seen after me but obviously try getting there earlier as I must have been fortunate going off other stories I’ve heard.

    • Excellent! Glad I could help! 🙂

      • hi there, my friend has 2 months tourist visa and he can extend for another 30 days. He was supposed to go and extend his visa on June 28, but he totally forgot to do that. What should he do? He is now on his way to Chiang Mai immigration. Any advise please???? thanks a lot!

        • Hi! I don’t know if you’ll get this message in time… But what your friend should do is indeed go to Immigration. They’ll charge him 500B/day of overstay (so if his visa expired on June 28th, he’ll have to pay 2500B), and then he can extend his visa for 30 days.

          Note that the extension will be from the date of the visa expiry, not from today!

          They might give him a bit of a hard time, but there shouldn’t be any major trouble. People overstay their visa all the time. 🙂 The fee is unfortunate, but that’s all there is to it!

  10. Hi daniel,

    thanks for the helpful info. but when i download the application form its a lot of squares on the form is that normal ? or is it some kinda of “error” on, it looks weird, just alot of squares all over beside the titles

    • Hi!

      It sounds like you’re missing the Thai font. How to get them depends on your OS, I believe… I wouldn’t worry too much about it, though; just grab a printed form at the immigration office!

  11. Hi,

    Thanks for this helpful post 🙂 I will be going to Thailand for 4-5 months, and will apply for a double entry tourist visa before I leave. I was wondering if anyone can tell me the easiest way to do the re-entry, after my 2+1 month period expires. I think I will be staying in Chiang Mai, is it an option to just cross the border to Myanmar, and come back? Or do I have to arrive by plane (I think I read that somewhere). Will be thankful for any help 🙂

    • Hi! Things tend to change quickly these days in regards to Thai Immigration, but normally, to activate the second part of your tourist visa, you just need to leave and come back. If you’re based in Chiang Mai, an easy border is Mae Sai. It’s also possible to fly for cheap from Chiang Mai Airport, if you want to make a trip of it. 🙂

      The issue with flying in versus border crossings, so far, has only been about getting a visa exemption (aka visa on arrival).

      Enjoy Thailand!

  12. Hey Daniel, thanks for the info! I’m extending my tourist visa in CM as I write this!

    With the latest news about the crackdown on in/out and tourist visas, would you still recommend I try the Mae Said border run once my 30 day extension is finished? (It would be after August 12) I’m on a double entry tourist visa that I obtained in Canada.

    I’m seriously considering flying to Malaysia, spending a few days or a week there, then flying back in to Thailand hoping that they’d let me in and activate my next entry. But I still can’t find guarantees anywhere that flying in versus land crossing makes a difference, and who knows how strict they’ll be after August 12.

    I’m also considering not even chancing activating my second entry , and getting an ED visa as soon as I can. I had planned to do that after my double entry was finished.

    Any advice? Thanks!

    • Hi Matthew!

      It’s really difficult to know for sure what Immigration has in mind… They haven’t been very consistent lately. Normally you should be perfectly fine hopping over the border at Mae Sai to activate the second part of your tourist visa, but in recent weeks, in the south, people have been prevented from doing exactly that. You’re probably going to be OK, but if flying is an option for you, I’d say it’s definitely a safer bet. In general Immigration seems much more consistent at airports.

      As for getting an ED visa, that sounds like a very solid option to stay a while in Thailand, yes. Don’t have recommendations, though, as I stayed in Thailand on tourist visas before this crackdown started! I would definitely go the ED visa route today, though.

  13. One small error I noticed is the “visa on arrival” you mention. This is actually not a visa at all, but rather a visa-exempt entry. Most articles on the internet make the same mistake though, so you’re not alone.

    I’ve read that they will increase the possible extension on the visa-exempt entry to an additional 30 days instead of 7. This will help take away some of the hassle for tourists that the new visa regulations are causing, hopefully.
    Ryan recently posted…Thailand’s Crackdown on Long-term Stay with Tourist Visas – Other Options?My Profile

    • Yes, thanks for pointing this out. It’s actually a pet peeve of mine (calling visa exemptions “visas on arrival”) and yet you caught me at it. 😀 I go into this at length in my other visa-related blog posts…

      Interesting about the extension being lengthened to 30 days. At the same time I read that they’re gonna shorten the visa exemption overland to 15 days again (after extending it to 30 for G8 countries earlier this year.) It’s hard to make heads or tails of it all. 😀

  14. Hi Daniel,

    Your imformation is excellent and so easy to understand. One thing I cannot find out anywhere, and Ive left comments on other pages who never replied, was wether or not its possible to attain a 60 day tourist visa in chiang mai. Ive entered the country twice by plane and now just did a visa run to mai sai cause I couldnt afford another flight out then in. They gave me 14 days at the mai sai border. I have a job in pai but I need to prove I can stay longer than 2 weeks. Do you know if this is possible? Thanks again for all your info, it is hugely appreciated.

  15. Daniel,

    I have been reading through your information and it seems to have brought clarified answers to many. My friend and I are going to Phuket beginning of September to take the 4 week intensive TEFL training course and than hopefully find placement as an English teacher directly after. Charise and I have yet to obtain a visa because we are confused on whether we should take the 30-day entry and re-new it if need be and wait until we get paperwork from a school to get the non-immigrant B visa, or apply for a tourist visa now. I appreciate your help greatly, we have been stuck and confused with this for quite sometime now!

    • Hi Brittany!

      I don’t know non-tourist visas really well, but my advice to you is to bite the bullet and get a 60-day tourist visa. Things are never immediate in Thailand… There might be a delay in getting your B visa, and if you have to do border runs to refresh your visa exemption, you might run into trouble with Immigration, who are clamping down on the practice.

      Much better to have a 60-day visa, perhaps even a double-entry, and not have to stress about the paperwork coming through!

  16. Hi Daniel,
    i am looking at getting a 90 day single entry from my consulate here in australia,If looking at a retiriment visa, when soon can i apply for exstension,i know you have to have finances by way of self funds or 800000,can you inform me when i can apply after i arrive, also are most of the immigration centres, Pattaya, chiang mai. BKK, are they as much as the same when applying for visa extensions.

    • Hi!

      I’m not familiar with retirement visas… But I’m pretty sure you can get them in Thailand, in most Immigration offices. I’d double-check with someone who knows to be sure… But I think you’ll be OK.

      And yes, Immigration offices are fairly consistent. The procedure is pretty much the same.

  17. Hey Daniel,

    Wow. Love your site man, a treasure trove of great info!

    Like many others, I’m a tad confused about all this visa business.
    My own situation is I’m on a 60 day triple entry visa here in Chiang Mai, which I’m about to extend by 30 days very soon.

    First thing I’d like to know, I don’t have to leave the country to extend my visa another 30 days, do I?
    The reason I ask is that I rang the Thai consulate in my home country and the lady there was under the impression you do.

    I think she is wrong, as it’s not what I’ve been told, but I’d like to make sure.

    Second question is, when my 90 days runs out, what are my options?

    Can I simply go to somewhere like Malaysia, stay for a few days, come back into the country again with my second entry and get another 60 days…then extend by another 30 days once the 60 days are up?

    Or are they clamping down on back to back tourist visas?

    Patrick

    • Hi Patrick!

      The lady at your home country’s consulate is wrong… You do NOT need to leave the country to extend your tourist visa’s entry by 30 days. The procedure I describe here is what you need to do. She might have been thinking about triggering the second entry of your visa, which DOES require leaving the country.

      As for triggering that second entry… Yes, you should be fine just leaving the country a few days and coming back. It’s true that they’ve started clamping down on people doing out-and-in visa renewals, which really sucks. It’s more obvious when you just leave and re-enter the same day, but I think you’ll be pretty safe if you leave to Malaysia for a few days. They’re much less likely to give you trouble this way.

      Cheers!
      Daniel Roy recently posted…My Interview with Oxygen.imMy Profile

      • Hey Daniel,

        Nah she definitely knew I was talking about the 30 day extension, I was very clear as to what I meant.

        But yeah, I knew she was wrong when she said it, but thought I’d check here to be 100%.

        Anyways man, thanks a mill for the reply, muchos appreciation!

        Pat

  18. Hi! Just like to ask, if my 60-days visa will end on August 22 when should I need to apply for the 30-days extension. Others are telling me that I should apply with at least 15 working days or 15 days left on my visa, does that mean I should apply for extension on or before August 7?

    • There’s no requirement as to how early you need to apply for the visa extension. Patrick (below) seems to say there might be issues on getting it on the very last day, but just a few days leading up to expiry is perfectly fine. Absolutely no reason to go out of your way to renew it 15 days ahead!

  19. I got my extension today in CM a few days before it runs out, took 90mins overall.
    So it would appear you can go right up until the date it expires.

    However! (and this is only rumour so make of it what you will..) if you go on the DAY it expires (eg mine says 4th August), they can refuse you.

    Now, like I said, it’s only something I’ve heard so it could be BS, if anyone could confirm whether that is actually the case it would be great.

    Patrick

    • Interesting. First time I hear of this… Especially weird considering that you can show up a day or two AFTER expiry and they’ll grant you the extension and a 500B/day penalty. But with the way Immigration has been tightening their policies lately, who knows… Definitely better safe than sorry.

  20. So it’s a 500B/day penalty fee for overstaying? My ED visa expires 8/10. I leave CM for BKK airport the evening of 8/11, and will leave the country 8/12 in the morning.

    Paying a 1000B fee sounds better than extending my stay for 1900B. Can I do this? Will the Thai government/officials be angry at me? Who will charge me and when will I be charged? Do you advise this? Thank you!

    • Also, if I don’t want to pay a fee at all, is it possible to “check-in” at the airport the night of 8/10, and stay there until the morning of 8/12 and just leave–avoiding any sort of fee?

      • Hey Pim,

        I’d pay the visa extension fee.
        For the sake of 900B, you won’t run the risk of dirtying your bib with the Thai authorities.

        Patrick

    • Hi Pim,

      I agree with Patrick. It’s better to pay the extra 900B to extend your visa properly, rather than risk running into trouble with the Thai authorities. They take overstays pretty seriously, and although 2 days over isn’t usually a big deal, you never know what they might do… It’s technically illegal to overstay, so it’s better just to extend it even if it means paying a bit more money!

  21. Daniel, any ideas on B Visa extension in the same manor? My B Visa has expired and I have but a few days left on this entry, I won’t need to get a new B Visa as I shall not be spending much time here for the next 6 months, but I would like to extend another few weeks before I head back home. Any understanding on this, is there a process similar – I had heard that you could get a 30 day stamp at the back end of your last 90 days B stamp… any ideas would be appreciated.

    • Hi Michael,

      Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with the workings of the B visa… You can probablyextend it in the same manner; wouldn’t hurt to pay a visit to Immigration and ask them!

  22. Super useful! Thanks for this post! Will try this on Monday! Cheers from Chiang Mai!

  23. Helloooo,

    I hope you’re well.

    I hope you can help me, me and my boyfriend travel to Thailand 3rd November so were going to travel round the south for about 6 weeks and then were going to fly to Goa/ India for a few weeks for Christmas however after that we want to fly back to Thailand and travel the north. whats the best visa to get? Can we get two separate single ones or is there one where were allowed re entry?

    Any ideas would be helpful! 🙂 thanks!
    xx

    • Hi Amy-Rose,

      Your best bet is to get a single-entry tourist visa. This will last you 60 days, and you can extend it an extra 30 days if you need, using the method I describe here.

      This is the best option if you’re going to stay in Thailand the whole six weeks. If you plan to leave and re-enter Thailand, you could be OK if you watch your stay… Flying in will give you 30 days, and crossing a land border will give you 15 days. Note that Thai Immigration frowns on tourists who stay 30 days, leave, and re-enter the same day… But if you’re going to travel around Southeast Asia and you’ll stay in neighboring countries for a while, then it’ll be perfectly fine.

      You can get the single-entry tourist visa in your home country ahead of time.

      So, in summary: get a single-entry tourist visa if you’re going to stay in Thailand six weeks. If you’re going to travel around, you’re probably fine just getting the visa exemption as you fly in.

  24. Hi Daniel..need an advice about the visa. I badly count the days when I was in Cambodia.. so I have visa until 2nd September and my flight back is on the 3th of September. To pay 1900THB seems quite a lot, what do you think I should do?

    Thanks a lot.
    Kind regards

    Adela

    • Hi Adela,

      It’s better to avoid overstaying your visa whenever possible, BUT for one day you should be fine. You should arrive a bit early at the airport, and expect to pay a fine of 500B for overstaying your visa one day. They shouldn’t give you trouble beyond that, especially considering you’re heading home!

  25. Hello Daniel thank you very much for this post i really like it, but i still have a question to ask. If i miss place my Departure card will it be impossible to still extend my visa Thailand?

    • Hey Frank,

      From what I understand, that’s not a big deal and it happens. You can just go to Immigration and explain that you lost your card. They should be able to replace it for you and extend your visa!

  26. Hi Daniel

    Me and my girlfriend are flying to Thailand 20 of October and are going to stay for 42 days. Since the 7 days extention of the “Visa on arrival” doesn’t apply in our case we have been looking for other ways.

    We have thought of spending 1 week in thailand then take the bus to cambodia and spend a week in Siem reap and afterwards fly back to get another 30 days of “Visa on arrival”. Is that possible or have they changed something after August 2014?

    Other choices were to go for a border run Chiang mai Laos or to get a tourist visa. Do you know how it’s currently looking with the border runs? do they still allow it?

    What would you recommend doing (preferably the least complicated way)? 🙂

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi!

      By far the easiest option, considering you have plenty of time, would be to get a 60-day tourist visa in your home country before you fly. Is that an option for you?

      Otherwise, you’d be perfectly fine flying in, spending a week in a neighboring country, then re-entering by air for an extra 30 days. Thai Immigration is suspicious of people doing border runs to stay a long time in Thailand, but as you’re clearly a short-term tourist they’re not likely to mind at all.

      Border runs are getting iffy, though… I wouldn’t recommend this option, since they might frown on the same-day exit and re-entry. Most likely it would be OK, but there have been instances recently where they’ve been difficult about this behavior.

  27. Hi Daniel,

    I am currently here in Thailand with Non-Immigrant “B” visa which I got in HK (good for 90 days), to have a business trip in here to support our product launching here in Thailand… But recently, there were some issues with our launching schedule, which lead to the fact that I had to extend my stay here in Thailand…
    Got any idea if it is possible for me to extend my stay here in Thailand without leaving Thailand.. (it is quite cheaper to re-schedule my flight, than to purchase another round trip ticket).. btw I am a Filipino working in a company located in both China & HK..
    Hope to hear some advise from you soon, tnx.

  28. Hi!
    I have been searching the internet for information, but still finds this the most helpful page, so I hope it’s ok that I ask another question about visas.

    I am going to apply for a double-entry tourist visa before leaving for Thailand.

    I am arriving in Thailand Oct 21st, and I will be going on a trip to Laos around Nov. 28th to Dec. 5th. When I re-enter Thailand, will I have to use the second part of my double entry visa? Or is the first still valid, as it has not been 2 months since I first entered yet?

    If I have to use the second visa already when returning from Laos, after those last 2+1 months, is there any possibility of staying longer in Thailand? If I travel to another country for some days, and get back, can I get the 30 days visa on arrival?

    • Hi!

      You CAN re-enter Thailand on the second part of your double-entry visa… But there’s one catch: it has to be before the visa expiry date. You should get your visa close to your departure date to make sure this date is as late as possible.

      If you re-enter Thailand before this expiry date, then you’re all good for a 2-month visit, which you can extend to 3 months.

      After you’ve extended your visa for one month for a total of 3, you have to exit Thailand. There’s no other way. But you can exit and re-enter and get a visa exemption, as you describe. (If you fly in, it will be 30 days, otherwise it might be 15.) Since this will be your first time doing it, you should be perfectly OK! It helps if you have a plane ticket showing that you’re going home after.

      Hope that answers your questions!

  29. There should be a link to this site from the Thai immigration portal.

    I just wanted to clarify one thing.

    I have the 60 day tourist visa. I want the 30 day extension but have only two options (as I’m traveling within Thailand). I can do it on the day before or about 14 days before it expires.

    Does the extension always add the 30 days to the 60 making the entire stay 90 days… or will I get the 30 days extension from the day I visit the immigration office?

    Thanks in advance
    Tom recently posted…SBM 018 : The Simple Approach to Health and Fitness with Chike LindsayMy Profile

    • Hi Tom! Haha, that’d be the day. 🙂

      The days of the extension add to the END of your visa; so yes, you can make it in advance. I’m not sure if they’d let you apply for an extension 14 days in advance, though. It’s perfectly fine if you apply the day before. As a matter of fact, you could go on the day of expiry and it’d be fine, too.

      So, to confirm: the 30 days are added AFTER the end of the visa, not from the day you apply.

  30. Excellent information. I read all the post so hope I did not kiss the answer to this question. I am planning on coming to Thailand with my husband and 3 kids for 90 days. I am going next week to get the 60 day visa and an to extend it by the 30 days. Just a question about location/timing we are in Chiangmai for three weeks the fly/ ferry to koh phangnan for the remainder of the time. Can I renew in the first 3 weeks of the 90 days ? Or perhaps find an office in Koh phangnan?

    • Hi,

      I’m not sure how much in advance you can get your extension… I’m pretty sure more than a month in advance would be too far. If you’re going to Koh Phangan, you can get your visa extended at the Immigration office on Koh Samui; the process should be fairly similar there.

      Enjoy Thailand! 🙂

  31. Hi, i read with interest on the option to extend a 2 month tourist visa and would like to know if it would be acceptable to say ” that i am considering retirement in Chiang Mai ” would be a valid reason for the immigration to say yes to the application .

    • Hi,

      I think it’s best not to mention retirement while renewing your tourist visa… You don’t need to justify your extension beyond just a cursory statement, and mentioning another type of visa might just complicate matters.

  32. Kudos to you Daniel Roy. Terrific info on the multitude of Thai visa issues.

    I am in Chiang Mai on a 30 day tourist visa exemption stamp received on arrival on 17 Sept. This expires 16 October.

    My departure flight is at 12:30 AM on 28 October, so will be passing thru immigration in BKK on 27 Oct.

    I am planning to obtain the 7 day extension which will expire on 23 October.

    I’ll ask about the 10-day extensions when we apply for the extension but don’t have high hopes based on what I read here.

    Should we expect issues with just paying the over stay fine for the 4 days we’ll be here beyond the 7 day extension? We plan to return to Thailand in 2015 and wish to avoid visa issues.

    Today is 2 October so have time for a trip out of Thailand. Were we to visit Laos would we get another 30 exemption stamp when we return to Thailand?

    Looking for the most logical, expedient and economical method, while hoping to avoid future visa problems.

    Thanks again for your excellent blog.

    • Hi David,

      I have good news for you! Starting this summer, extensions to the Thai visa exemption is now 30 days!

      The price remains the same (1900B). This means you can apply for the extension and stay 30 days longer.

      Cheers!

  33. Hi Daniel,
    I hold an Indian passport and a visa on arrival until the 16th October. I’m looking to extend my visa until 30th October which is another 15days. Will it be the same visa extension rule for me? And I’m looking at getting it done in Chang Mai.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Colin,

      I do believe you’re eligible for the 30-day extension as well, but since your visa on arrival is different from the visa exemption that, say, Canadians get, I’m not 100% sure. Your safest bet would be to ask your consulate, or ask Indian nationals who have had recent experience with this.

      Enjoy Thailand!

  34. I am currently waiting for my visa application for a double entry visa to Thailand. It takes some time, and they can not answer me when I call them to ask about the process. I have not booked a return ticket from Thailand yet, and I have only enclosed a copy of my two entry tickets with the application. I am worried that will be a problem, and that I don’t have time to send a new application before I leave the 20th of October in case it won’t be approved. Does anyone know if it’s required to have a return ticket with the visa application?

  35. Hi Daniel,

    Great post, very informative. I was hoping you could help me.

    I fly out to Thailand in November where we will stay for around 10-15 days before visiting Cambodia, Vietnam & Loas. After we have visited these places we will be re entering Thailand via Loas and travelling down Thailand into Malaysia and Indonesia before returning to Thailand for our flight back to the UK. If I understand correctly we would receive 30 days visa exemption when entering Thailand initially by air and then get a 15 days visa upon arrival back to Thailand from Loas by land, which obviously wouldn’t be long enough to travel down Thailand into Malaysia (we would most likely need 30-40 days), so could we apply for an extension? And would there be any issue with us entering Thailand for a 3rd and final time before we fly home, when we arrive back from our Malaysia and Indonesian travels?

    I realise that we could both apply for a triple entry Visa for £75 each which would be for 180 days in total but I was wondering if there would be a more cost effective method, as we are only travelling for 5 months in total.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    • Hi Daniel!

      You can do the trip you described without applying for a triple-entry visa, indeed. Since you’re a tourist and you’re traveling to neighboring countries (and not just hopping in and out to extend your stay) they won’t give you any hassle.

      For your stay longer than 15 days, you can apply for a visa extension as described here, in any Thai immigration office. This will grant you 30 extra days on top of the first 15, and it will cost you £36 each. So you’ll be saving a little on visa fees. It’s up to you whether that extra cost is worth it for the flexibility.

      Hope that helps! Enjoy Thailand!!
      Daniel Roy recently posted…My Interview with Oxygen.imMy Profile

  36. Hi Daniel.
    Great post btw!

    I arrived on a standard 30 day Tourist visa (UK citizen).

    If I understand correctly, I can go to immigration in CM and grab a further 30 days by paying the fee?
    The 30 day extension applies to 30 day Tourist visas?

    Also, if I do a visa run tot he border will I also receive an additional 30 days?

    Thank you in advance for your reply.

    Nev

    • Hi Nev!

      Just to clarify, what you have is called a 30-day visa exemption. Yes, if you go to a Thai immigration office, you WILL get a 30-day extension by paying 1900B. It does apply to visa exemptions as well.

      If you do a border run overland, you’ll also get a new 30-day visa exemption, since you are a UK resident. Other countries outside the G7 (and Russia, I believe) receive only 15 days overland, and 30 days if they fly in.

      So if your question is, Should I just go across the border and come back? The answer is, It’ll probably be OK, but there’s a small risk that the Thai Immigration frowns on you border hopping to get a new exemption. If you travel to another country, spend a few days there, then come back, then it won’t be a problem at all.

  37. Hi, great resource, thanks!
    I just had a quick question regarding my own trip (sorry if this has already been covered).

    I am a UK citizen and am travelling for tourism purposes.
    I am first entering Thailand (via air, from the UK) on Nov 7th and am then leaving for Cambodia on Nov 8th (2 days). I am then entering Thailand again on Dec 2nd (on land, from Laos) and staying until Dec 15th (14 days).

    I had a query on the type of visa I would need, as I know that as a tourist from the UK that the tourist visa exemption is available for 30 days, but I was confused as to whether this would work for me – so I am only spending 16 days in total in Thailand (2 days in Nov & 14 days in Dec), but the time from when I first enter Thailand (Nov 7th) to when I leave for the last time (Dec 15th), is 39 days.
    Does the 30 day tourist visa exemption only include the days I am in Thailand, or does it count from first arrival on my first entry to my last day on my second arrival (meaning I would need a longer visa)? Or would I get a new one for each entry?

    Also, for the second time I enter Thailand (Dec 2nd) – would I need a new visa or would this need to be part of a double entry visa?

    Sorry for such a self involved question, I’ve just been finding it hard to get a definitive answer and you seemed to have the most knowledge I’ve been able to find!
    Thanks!

    • Hi Chrisy! No problem, I’m happy to help! 🙂

      The visa exemption is over once you leave Thailand. So you don’t need to worry about timing if you’re going to Cambodia.

      When you fly into Thailand, you’ll get a 30-day visa exemption. It’ll expire as soon as you exit Thailand to Cambodia. Then, when you re-enter Thailand, you’ll get a new visa exemption for 30 days, since you are a UK citizen. (Non-G7 members get 15 days overland).

      So no need to worry, you’re all good! 🙂

  38. hi daniel, nices post!!

    I tell you, my love and me, have lived in Thailand for 7 and 6 months respectively, our visa expires on 18 December, the last time we went to thai consulate in laos for double entry, we are thinking to do the same, do you know if it is possible?? I mean we can obtain this kind of visa again???

    thx,

    Tararosa

    • Hi Tararosa,

      Yes you can. This is actually what they want you to do, instead of just hopping over the border. I believe you can get three visas in a row before you can’t use this method anymore. A second one will definitely be OK.

  39. Hi! This is a very helpful post.
    I am just wondering which kind a reason for the extension that will be accepted? And also do i need to have my tickets out of Thailand when i enter the country?

    • And also can a visa on arrival apply for extension?

    • Hi Signe!

      To answer your questions:

      1) You don’t need much of a reason. Just say you need the extension because you’re staying longer in Thailand or something like this… This is usually what I said. Something like “Leaving later than expected.”

      2) You technically need a return or onward ticket to enter Thailand. I say “technically” because Thai immigration NEVER check this. That being said, your airline might give you trouble; sometimes they require a return or onward ticket to let you get on a flight. Doesn’t happen often, and certainly not in Thailand since you can leave easily overland… If I were you, I’d prepare a story about leaving Thailand through a land border such as Cambodia or Laos, just in case.

      3) Yes, you can apply a 30-day extension for a “visa on arrival,” which is known as a visa exemption.

      • Thank you so much for the great reply! My situation is that I would like to stay here for about 90 days and I havn’t got any visa. So therefore, first of all I am applying for at visa exemption, so that gives me a total of 60 days. Then I am planning on going for a 7 days holiday around when the 60 days expire and then re-enter thailand and then get the 30 days stamp for the rest of my trip here. Do you know if that will work or are there any rules about how long I have to wait before i re-enter Thailand?

        • Hmm, do you mean you’re applying for an actual 60-day tourist visa?

          The only thing you need to be careful with is the visa exemption when you re-enter Thailand. If you’re not from a G7 country (I’m guessing you’re Scandinavian?) you’re entitled to a visa exemption when you re-enter Thailand overland. If, however, you re-enter via an airport, you’ll get 30 days.

          The way I see it, you have a few options:

          1. Get your 60-day visa, and extend it to 90 days in Thaiand;
          2. Get a double-entry tourist visa (two entries of 60 days each);
          3. Get your 60 days, exit Thailand, re-enter for a 15-day visa exemption, and extend that exemption by 30 days as described in this post.

          Hope that helps!

          • Okay, I will try to explain you my situation and maybe you can help me sort out which options I have.

            I arrived to Phuket, Thailand 2 weeks ago. And I want to stay here for 90 days. I came here without a visa and got the stamp at the airport, so I am allowed to stay here for 30 days. Then my plan is to apply for a further 30 days extenstion of my already 30 days stamp. Before the total of 60 days run out my plan is to leave Thailand by flighr/air to go on a holiday for about 7 days and then return with a flight and then get the last needed 30 days stamp again? Is that way possible?

          • Hi Signe,

            Yes, the scenario you describe works perfectly. Get your current visa exemption extended by 30 days a little before it expires, then after 60 days, leave to another country and come back by air. This is exactly right!

  40. Hi Daniel,

    My girlfriend and I are travelling around SE Asia and doing it all via land, we left the UK under the impression we could get an exemption at the border of Thailand, I hold an Italian and she holds a British passport. These new rules have totally perplexed us! Could you tell us in the simplest form possible if we’re able to get a 30 day exemption at the border or if there’s a possibility of extending it at Chiang Mai if we end up only getting a 15 day exemption. We would obviously go to Vientianne to organise this properly but we have only just found out about this and we’ve literally just stepped off the bus from there a few hours ago. Any advice would be amazing!

    • Hi Ronnie,

      You are correct, you can get a 30-day visa exemption when you enter into Thailand via a land border. This is because both you and your girlfriend are citizens of a G7 country. Other countries only get 15 days overland.

      So you’re all good. 🙂 You can get a 30-day exemption overland, and if you need it, you can extend for 30 days at the immigration office.

  41. Your site is the best I have seen but I am still confused. Not difficult, call it my age. How do we apply for this extension on a ’30 day on arrival visa’ or should we just go to the Chiang Mai Immigration office? We only want to extend for 5 days. If we can extend when we get there it would help so much. I HAVE looked on many sites, I am not being lazy, but it is all so unclear. Thank you.

    • Hi Vanessa! No problem, I’m happy to clear it up for you!

      What you call a “30-day on arrival visa” is what is officially known as a visa exemption. This is what I refer to in this post. If you want to extend it, you can go to Chiang Mai Immigration Office and pay 1900B to extend it for 30 days. They only do it 30 days at a time… So you can just apply for that.

      Hope that’s clearer!

      • Has anyone (or everyone?) told you what an excellent website this is? One of the best and up to date I have found. One last question. We are in Thailand from the 9th December to 15th January and in Chiang Mai over Christmas and New Year. To obtain a 90 day visa in the UK would be very costly as it means a train journey to apply and another to pick the visa up. We cannot apply by post as we work in Spain and would not have sufficient time back in the UK. Can we extend at any time during our stay in Thailand or only at the end when the 30 days have run out? That would mean not being able to extend in Chiang Mai which I presume is a much better option than applying in Bangkok.
        Thank you once again, from everyone!

        • Thank you for the kind words! 🙂 I had to do my own research when I first got to Thailand, so I was glad to see this post was helping others by saving them the hassle I had to go through!

          You’re supposed to extend your stay near the end of it, I believe. I’m not sure you can just go to the Immigration office in the first few days of your stay. You should definitely go BEFORE your visa or visa exemption expires, however! Otherwise you’ll pay fees for overstaying, and they might give you a hard time.

          I think you’ll be totally fine extending in Bangkok. Many foreigners do it there, so it’s not difficult. I haven’t done it myself, but I wouldn’t worry about it… Just go the Immigration office a few days before your visa expires, and apply for an extension. It’ll be a very similar process, and the fee (1900B) will be the same.

          Cheers!

  42. Thanks for a great post!
    I am from Canada and got a 30day visa exemption upon arrival. I already extended my stay once by 30 days at the immigration office in Oct. I want to stay longer. Will the immigration office give me another extension?

  43. Hello,

    Nowadays, what time is it necessary to arrive at Immigration Office in Chiang Mai in order to avoid to wait for many hours to get back the passport with the extension ?
    I have read on some blogs and forums that it needs to be there before 07.00am or even earlier …

    Thank you 🙂

    • Usually if you arrive early in the morning, you’ll be fine. You may have to wait, especially as we’re getting closer to tourist season; but if you get there in the morning, you’re pretty certain to go through on the same day. Some even get there in the afternoon, but sometimes when Immigration is backed up they’ll give you a number for the next day and ask you to come back.

  44. If I’m just 5 days over it sounds like I can just pay 2500 bhat at the airport? Seems way easier than dealing with this and for the extra $25 completely worth it.

    • You SHOULD be OK with a 5-day overstay… But do note that it is technically illegal, which means they might give you a hard time for overstaying. You’ll probably be fine, though!

  45. Are there any rules for how long you should stay outside of Thailand before you can go back and get a 30 days stamp/visa on arrival again if that was the way you stayed in Thailand on your first trip?

    • A few days is definitely OK. Thai Immigration looks down on people who hop over the border and right back into Thailand, because these might be people working illegally and trying to extend their stay in Thailand… But they’re well aware of tourists traveling to neighboring countries and coming back… You’ll have no trouble at all!

      • You might remember me because I keep asking you questions, but you seem to know a bit about this!! Great, and even though I leave Thailand with a 30-days stamp and a further 30 days extension of this, there should be no problem for me to re-enter Thailand after only 7 days away again without no visa?

        Your help is really much appreciated!

        • Hi! Yes, I remember you… Always happy to help! I know how stressful visas can be… I lived in Thailand for almost a year! 🙂

          If you leave the country for seven days then come back, you’ll have absolutely no problem with Immigration. They’re suspicious of foreigners leaving and re-entering on the same day, but what you describe is normal tourist behavior… They’ll have no trouble with it at all.

          It’s a good idea to have your ticket home when you enter Thailand, as sometimes Immigration can get picky… It’s highly unlikely in your case, but it’s worth having it printed with you, just to be safe!

          But in general, the type of travel you describe is very normal for a tourist… They won’t have an issue with it at all.

  46. My wife and I intend to visit Thailand for two, possibly three months…Dec, Jan, & Feb of 2014-2015. I had intended to use the fly-in visa exemption for a 30 day stay and subsequent visa runs to extend for 30 or 60 days. We also wanted to use the visa runs to see parts of Laos and Cambodia (but the majority of our time will be in Thailand). NOW I have become aware of the “crack- down” on visa runs and I have heard only 15 day extensions are permitted/granted at border locations. Can you clarify the following for me:

    Is it possible to enter Thailand by air, get the 30 day entry stamp, and obtain an extension for another 30 days without actually leaving Thailand?

    Is it possible to still successful visa run to a border country and extend our time by 30 days each run?

    If we try to obtain a 60 day visa in Cambodia or Laos, can we expect to be successful, assuming we meet their requirements? i.e. are visa requirements and regulations enforced uniformly from location to location?

    Is it true that people are permitted to re-enter Thailand by air for 30 days visa exempt so long as we do not exceed 90 days in any six month period?

    Thanks for any and all clarification you provide. I appreciate the clarity of your responses to other questions.

    Bill

    • Hi Bill,

      To answer your questions:

      Is it possible to enter Thailand by air, get the 30 day entry stamp, and obtain an extension for another 30 days without actually leaving Thailand?

      Yes, that is totally possible. You’ll get 30 days flying in, and you can visit an Immigration office, as described in this post, to get another 30-day extension. You won’t need to leave Thailand to do this.

      Is it possible to still successful visa run to a border country and extend our time by 30 days each run?

      Yes, although that’s the part where there’s been a bit of crackdown. It’s not the recommended method. If you leave Thailand for a few days before you re-enter, then that’ll be no problem. Remember that Thailand is trying to crack down on illegal workers… Tourists coming in and out are perfectly normal. Especially if you’re there for a limited time and have a ticket home, you should be fine if you bring it with you when doing these runs.

      If we try to obtain a 60 day visa in Cambodia or Laos, can we expect to be successful, assuming we meet their requirements? i.e. are visa requirements and regulations enforced uniformly from location to location?

      Absolutely. The visa application process is fairly consistent, and you can get one either in Laos or Cambodia, no problem. That’s what I’d recommend, actually. It’s what Thai Immigration prefers for sure.

      Is it true that people are permitted to re-enter Thailand by air for 30 days visa exempt so long as we do not exceed 90 days in any six month period?

      It’s not clear whether this rule is strictly enforced or not. Flying into Thailand is usually not a problem, especially if you spend a few days abroad before you return. I wouldn’t worry too much in your situation… You’re a tourist, visiting the region for three months. That’s standard behavior, and Thai Immigration is used to it.

      Do note that you can get a single-entry tourist visa ahead of your trip… This way, you can enter Thailand on a 2-month visa, then extend it by 30 days at an Immigration office. If you’d rather travel around to neighboring countries, then you should be fine simply re-entering Thailand and getting visa extensions as needed.

      Let me know if you have other questions!

  47. Very helpful and clear information. Your blog was the one I referred to while getting this done today. I’ve pointed to your blog on my website too 🙂 Thanks, again…

    http://www.sagarsonker.com/travel/thailand/chiang-mai

  48. hello!!
    i have 90 days on arrival, can i extend the visa for 30 days without leaving the country??

    • 90 days on arrival? Wow, lucky you! 🙂

      I’m not familiar with these 90-day visa exemptions… It’s better if you ask. My impression from checking a few websites is that you CAN’T extend this past the 90 days… You have to exit and come back. But you should ask the Immigration office to be sure!

  49. Hi!

    Very Very helpful article. I’ve gathered all my materials and making the trek tomorrow. Just wondering one thing… What should I put as my reason for the extension?

    Thanks
    – Shay

  50. I wish I would have located your site earlier….it could have saved me lots of time. The information is very much appreciated. The Thai website in Canada is very confusing, and it took me a phone call to the Royal Thai Consulate in Vancouver to sort it out (visa extension protocol on the Canadian website said one had to see an immigration official in Bangkok…we had been there before, and found out we could do the extension by seeing an official in Chaing Mai).

    • Yeah, that sounds like my typical experience with consulates abroad… It’s particularly irritating when you see how easy and straightforward visas are in other countries… In Mexico, for instance, Canadians get 6 months on arrival free, period.

  51. Should there be any problem if I am staying for longer than 90 days in Thailand for a period of 6 months, only with visa on arrival stamps? I have been travelling a lot back and forth to Thailand.

    • Yes, they will eventually deny you entry if you take successive visa exemptions (aka visas on arrival). I think the limit is 3 consecutive visa exemptions. It’d be best if you applied for a tourist visa in a neighboring country. Officially, you can’t stay for more than 90 days on visa exemptions per six-month period.

  52. Found this extremely helpful, thank you.

    I currently have a 30 day exemption which runs out Christmas Day, I would like to spend Christmas/New Year in Thailand if possible… Have heard so many different things about extending the visa, I am getting very confused.. I will be in Chang Mai in a few weeks, will it be possible for me to go to the Thai Immigration Office here to extend?

    Look forward to hearing from you

    Naomi.

    • Hi Naomi,

      Yes, you can definitely extend your 30-day visa exemption in Chiang Mai, as I outline in this post. It will grant you an extra 30 days on your current exemption. Just follow the instructions in this post!

  53. Hi Daniel,

    Many thanks for the detailed information for this visa extension. Superb! Just done my extension today, with complete success. If I may add one detail that hasn’t appeared anywhere above, is that the immigration staff take an hours lunch between 12 and 1pm. I arrived at 11, got my passport back at 2, even though it was very busy today, but it was the lunchtime break that made it longer. Might be worth noting for anyone going at that time.

    Also my tourist visa expired on the next day, but ain’t wasn’t a problem. They gave the 30 days continuing from the end of the tourist visa.

    Knob khun kap again for all the wonderful details.

    G

  54. Oops….of course meant khob khun kap! So much for predictive text!! 🙂

  55. Hi Daniel

    Great blog, very informative.

    Just to be completely clear on things for my situation, I am a UK citizen, been in Thailand since 4th Nov on a 30 day exemption. I had planned to go to Mae Sae next week but read about the clamp downs. I am in Chiang Mai till 3rd March, but heading to HK at Xmas for a week so will re-enter on another visa exemption, and then may need another extension, maximum two before I head home in March. (depending…I may fly somewhere else for business in Jan/feb which will negate needing a second extension)

    Is the Mae Sae route closed now? From reading your blog I am thinking I’ll be best off heading to the Visa office by the Airport to extend, would you agree?

    But will I be able to do this again in Jan/Feb when I am back in CM and have returned from a week in HK?

    Hope that makes sense!

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Charlie

    • Hi Charlie!

      Mae Sae is risky for visa exemptions. I think you’re MUCH better off visiting the Immigration office near the airport, and getting a 30-day exemption. Then, when you return from HK, you’ll have a fresh visa exemption, which you can extend AGAIN for 30 days.

      You can only extend each individual exemption once, but each visa exemption can be extended, no problem.

  56. Just an update from 1st December 2014.

    We went to get our 30 day extensions today and the instructions on this blog were invaluable. We wouldn’t have had a clue what to do otherwise (as evidenced by the dozens of people who hadn’t read this post and quickly got lost and confused).

    We both have 60 day tourist visas, and went to get our extensions on day 25. So to answer anyones concerns about when you get an extension, there does not seem to be a minimum amount of time you have to be in Thailand for. Also, to echo someone else’s point, we didn’t get 2 number cards, just the final one.

    We arrived at 0750 and it was already packed, though we got numbers 014 and 011 so presumably most of the people in the room were there for other reasons. We didn’t end up leaving until 1120 though, so if you want to get out quickly, you might need to be there even earlier.

    We did learn that the extension stamps seem to processed in piles of 10 or so, and then handed out. This meant that my 011 number was processed in the first batch of the day. Whereas my partners 014 number had to wait until there was another 10 to stamp, which added an hour onto the wait.

    So like the post says, be prepared to wait a while, no matter how early you get there!

  57. Thanks for this helpful article,one important question, this visa extension request(1900 baht) how many extra months it gives me? one , two or three months?? And if visa extension is possible then why do people do the visa run??

    • Hi Sami,

      The visa extension is exactly 30 days. You can do it only once, after which you need to leave and either come back with a tourist visa or enter on a visa exemption.

      Which is why people do visa runs… It’s 30 days, and it’s only once per visa/visa exemption. Eventually you have to leave the country anyway.

  58. Hey there Daniel,
    So there doesnt seem to be a minimum amount of time you need to be in Thailand for before you apply for the 30 day extension? (I’m planning on getting a 60 day Tourist Visa and looking at my Thai massage course schedule, i only have limited weekdays where i can go and line up for the extension..i think i can do it after around a 1 month stay)

    Thank you so much!
    Happy holidays 🙂
    -melody

    • Hi,

      Nope, I don’t believe there is a minimum amount of time you need to be in Thailand before applying. I’ve heard people extending it pretty early. Especially considering your massage course, I’d say you have the perfect reason to extend early if they ask. 🙂

  59. Hello there I wondered if you could help, my visa runs out tomorrow and I am going to the immigration centre with all of the documents you have advised me too but I am missing my departure card do you know if this will cause any king of a problem. Neither me or my girlfriend have it on us at all but both have evidence of us leaving the country withing the month In the form of a flight itinary and e ticket receipt. Kind regards mike.

    • Hi Mike,

      I’m not sure exactly how Immigration will want to proceed, but in the event of loss of your departure card, you have to go to Immigration to get a new one. It’s a normal procedure, so I wouldn’t worry. You’ll have to see with them how they want to proceed with it, but you’ll be in the right building to do it. 🙂

  60. Hi Daniel,

    I was wondering if you are able to advise my boyfriend and I fly out on Wednesday to Thailand for 35 days with a return flight on January 14th we have not got a 60 day exemption visa. Will we be able to obtain and extension when we are in Thailand?
    We are planning on travelling to Cambodia for a week and I thought I would be able to get an additional 15 days for leaving and re entering, however I am reading conflicting information about ‘border runs’ being banned since may. If you could help I would really appreciate is I am so concerned we might not even be able to get in to Thailand at all without this 60 day visa and we have no time left to get one.

    • Hi Callie,

      You’ll be fine either way. Don’t worry!

      Visiting Cambodia for a week doesn’t constitute a ‘border run’ in the eyes of Immigration. It’s normal tourist behavior. They’ll definitely allow you to re-enter and get a 15-day visa exemption, no problem. If you decide to stay in Thailand for 35 days instead, you can just apply for a visa extension. Note that your visa exemption expires when you leave Thailand, so there’s no point in extending your original visa exemption if you’re going to Cambodia before the end of the 30 days.

      Enjoy Thailand!

  61. Hi Daniel (and anyone else who may be able to help!)

    I’m going to extend my non-b visa in Chiang Mai tomorrow for the first time and have been told by other teachers at my school that you need to get to immigration really REALLY early to make sure you get seen that day. Some have said you need to get there as early as 5:30am even though the office doesn’t open until 8:30am. They have said that if you get there later than 7:30 then you won’t get seen that day and will be told to come back the next day. This seems crazy! What is the general consensus?

    My visa expires on 14th December so I have a few days to get it sorted but ideally wanted to do it all in one day.

    Thanks for your help 🙂

    Lauren

    • Hi Lauren,

      Are they saying this based on recent experience, or in general?

      From everything I’ve read and experienced, in general, if you arrive fairly early (around opening time), you’ll wait for sure, but you’ll be processed the same day. You may even arrive late and get a good chance of getting through.

      However, this is high season right now, so there’s a chance that they’re getting backed up… Might be worth checking with someone who’s been in the last few days.

      • Thanks for replying Daniel.

        I think the early start is for non-b visas in general. Everyone I had spoken to before had gone really early to avoid being turned away based on stories they’d heard so (begrudgingly) I conformed because I didn’t want to risk it. Unfortunately, I think the rumours are true because I arrived at the immigration office at 6am and there was already a queue of 50+. I think most people were there for non-b, education, retirement and business visas, so based on most comments on here it sounds like the early start isn’t necessary for tourist visas.

        The officials started giving out the queue numbers at about 6:45, and by 7:30 I had my second queue number for a non-b extension. I was number 47 and was told to come back in the afternoon so I knew then that it must be a long process if it was going to take all morning to process 46 people. I came back at 1pm and my number was called at about 4:30pm so it really was an all-dayer! I was done by 5:15pm.

        I had spent the day before complaining about the early start and blaming it on people wanting to be seen first and avoid the queues. This inevitably means that people end up getting there ealier and earlier which, in most cases, results in people not being seen first and still having to queue only at an ungodly hour in the dark instead of when the place actually opens! But having gone early I actually think that the early starters who I had been calling fools all day previously are actually right. I arrived at 6am, was number 47 and didn’t get seen until 4:30pm when the office was due to close. If I’d have arrived 10 or 15 minutes later in the morning I doubt they would have been able to see me that day.

        On the plus side, the people who work there are really lovely. Even by late afternoon when the office should have been about to close the officials were friendly and helpful. And even though it was a really long day, the whole process was well organised. They started handed out the queue numbers well before the office was due to open so it wasn’t a case of getting there at 6am and waiting 2 hours before anything happened.

        It’s also worth mentioning that I went the day before a public holiday so it’s likely that it was even busier than most days as the office is shut today.

        All in all, not my favourite day in Thailand but it needed doing and in the end, I think the early start was unavoidable.

        Sorry, this has turned into an enormous post!

  62. Thank you so much! You have been a life saver!! 🙂
    Mike

  63. A word about my experience ( yesterday ) : arrived at 13h01. Left at 16h50 with my visa extension which is not so bad I would say.

    1 – the youngest girl at counter one is as rude as hell. I wonder if that is made on purpose just to see how you will react. It seemed to be an act or, she should really go and work in the back.

    2 – everybody else was really pleasant and, although it was longer than last year ( did the same process last year and was out of there after 2h30 ), I think this is pretty decent time and I didn’t have to get there at 5h00 in the morning!

    3 – for some reason, it took 1h00 after I gave my papers to get them back. I read on here that it was a 15 minutes process which was conform to my memories of last year but this time it was way longer.

    4 – you receive only one number now. Once you received it, you might as well try to see how many they process in an half hour and depending on your number, go home or shop a little / grab something to eat at Airport plaza which is 10 minutes away walking before coming back for your turn.

    5 – there is a photocopy and picture taking place on the compound of the office in case you forgot about something so no big worries.

    Thanks Daniel for your site, I checked if I remembered to bring everything and it was reassuring to see that I did. Take care and have a safe trip

  64. How many days before my tourist visa expires can I get it extended at the Immigration? Is it a few days before it expires, or also weeks before? Thanks!

  65. Hi Daniel! Thank you so much for this page!

    I’m really sorry to ask you questions you’ve probably answered tons of times already, but it’s hard to find the specific answers we need through it all!

    My friend and I (both British passport holders) are travelling in India, then onto Thailand, Vietnam, Japan etc. We needed to get Thai visas in India because they start from sate of issue and we are in India for around three months, and planning to stay in Thailand for just under two months.

    We tried to apply for the 6 month visa at the Thai Embassy in Goa but were told by the lady there that we needed to provide her with hotel vouchers of hotels booked throughout the whole of our stay in Thailand, including train tickets, internal flights etc. not just the ones we already have booked. She wants proofs of hotels throughout the WHOLE time. And she also wanted them for the rest of our time in India and possibly Vietnam, including proof of flights to Japan and then back home. Considering we already have tourist visas for India and Vietnam, and the very nature of travelling is to go with the flow and have plans change or decide when you’re there,this all seems very extreme.

    Basically we are panicking at this point.

    From your post and the comments above, we could just get the automatic 30 day visa on entry, and then apply for a 30 day extension once in Chiang Mai (our initial destination)?

    Is this correct? Or will it be too risky? Also, (I couldn’t find this answer in the comments) can we apply for the extension as early as possibly, or is the extension valid from issue, so we will need to wait till the end of our initial 30 days..?

    So sorry for the hassle! p.s. thank you again!

    • Hi Abigail,

      Wow, that lady at the consulate in Goa is being a total asshole! I’ve applied for Thai visas in a few different countries and they NEVER ask for all that.

      If you’re going to stay two months, then you’re PERFECTLY fine with getting a visa exemption. You can apply for an extension at any point during your stay, so you can get it almost as soon as you arrive, if that’s what you want.

      If, for some reason, you end up wanting to stay longer, you can just travel for a few days to a neighbor country, and re-enter Thailand. As UK citizens, you get a 30-day exemption across land borders too.

      So really, forget the Goa lady… She must’ve had a bad day or something! You’ll be 100% fine without a visa!

      • WOW, thanks Daniel!

        I can’t tell you how much relief your comment gave us. Thank you so much, and for also responding so quickly.

        I guess we should have researched this aspect of obtaining the thai visa, but my travel partner had emailed them months prior to see if we were able to get one in Goa, and we were just trying to be organised. I suppose this is our first big lesson as travel newbies. It’s already cost us a bit to attempt that first application (which the lady took by the way, THEN called to say it’s not enough).

        You live and learn.

        But thank you soooooo much again and we will follow your blog step by step in Chiang Mai, to be sure!

        • Wow, that woman is a crook! I’m glad you don’t need to deal with her any further. I learned a similar lesson in India myself: sometimes, trying to plan your trip is just asking for insanity and stress. 🙂

          Really glad I could help! Enjoy India and Thailand! 🙂
          Daniel Roy recently posted…My Interview with Oxygen.imMy Profile

  66. Hey,

    Thanks – a really great post.

    We’re in Chiang Mai at the moment for 2 months and then want to head south for a month.

    How far in advance can we request to extend our visas? I don’t want to book accommodation / flights etc and then find our visa request is denied.

    Any advice would be great.

    Thanks

  67. This is great info, thanks for writing this!

    I went yesterday and have some helpful hints to add:

    Hopefully you read this article at least a week before you have to go. Do not wait until the last day!

    I read this Dec 31, and thought I had until Jan 5. But, I really had until Jan 3. Either way, I thought plenty of time.

    I was wrong. When I looked at the Thai holidays link he puts here, I saw that the office was closed for 3 days + weekend until Jan 5.

    I didn’t have to pay the late fine, but the office was a zoo. There were about 250 people there at any given time. I think they served about 700 people that day.

    I went at 9 am. They gave me a ticket and told me to return at 2. I got back at 2, submitted my paperwork, paid, and waited until 4:45 for them to finish it.

    The lesson is: read this article well ahead of time, know when their days off are, and go a few days before your visa expires. They stamp you 30 days more from the date of expiration, not when you go renew, so the earlier you do it the better.

    Avoid going right after they have had a holiday, even if it means you go renew a week or more early. Usually in tropical nations people don’t work so hard Mon & Fri, and the best time to do bureaucratic stuff is Tues-Thurs.

    Also, I’d ignore the advice about dressing nice unless you have to do something more complicated where they might interview you. I wore pants & a nicer shirt, and there were all kinds of smelly, badly dressed people. I was just really hot & uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter what you wear apparently.

    • Thanks for the clarifications, Joe. You’re right, it’s pretty hellish around Christmas… Must have been unpleasant.

      I should clarify what I meant about dressing nice… You’re right that there are tons of people dressed poorly there, and for the most part it doesn’t really matter. But appearance matters to Thais in general, and they WILL pay attention to how you dress when they interact with you. Doesn’t mean they’ll be an ass about it, but if worse comes to worst, dressing simply but smartly can make a difference. Doesn’t mean you need a suit and tie, for sure.

      Cheers, and thanks for the added info!
      Daniel Roy recently posted…My Interview with Oxygen.imMy Profile

  68. Great post I was able to follow your instructions and have everything prepared when I arrived. I was in about 10 AM and out in less than half an hour. Thanks.
    John recently posted…Extending Your Visa in Chiang Mai, ThailandMy Profile

  69. Another tip. I went to get my passport picture taken and there was a sign advising women against wearing “rude clothing”for the pictures. For exaple wearing tank tops for the photo, there were no examples of men in tank tops as a no-no. When we got there people said they had been there since 6 am!

    • Interesting… I’ll add a note in my post about that. In general, when dealing with Thai officials, it’s always a good idea to dress “properly.” Thais put importance on appearance. I’ve heard of foreigners having to produce a lot more paperwork than usual when they’d show up dressed improperly.

  70. Hi there, i got a 60 day single entry visa from the UK for Thailand. Then I got another 30 days from the immigration office here in Thailand. My 90 days is nearly up. Is it true that if I want another 30 days I can just fly to Kuala lumpur, go through customs and then on the same day just hop on a flight back to Thailand?
    Many thanks
    Ren

    • Yep! That’s correct. That’ll give you a 30-day visa exemption, which you can then extend another 30 days at the Immigration office.

      There’s a limit to how many times you can do this, but one time should be absolutely no problem. If you plan on staying a while, you might want to consider getting a new tourist visa in Kuala Lumpur.

  71. Hi, thank you so much for the complete and helpful info. A friend told me yesterday that they might ask for a paper from your bank, which shows you have money on your acount, and that is also stamped by the bank? Also i wonder why I, and so many people do the long visaruns, if it ‘s so easy and so much less timeconsuming to get an extention at immigration? Just because it ‘s only 500 baht instead of 1900 maybe? But the minivan also costs 650.. I just didn ‘t know about this option before.

    • Hmm. First time I hear about them requesting bank statements for a visa extension!

      Yeah, I dunno why more people don’t just get a visa extension. Sure, it’s a BIT more expensive, but it’s definitely less of a hassle, and you don’t run the risk of being denied re-entry at the border…

  72. Hi Daniel

    We’re travelling with our two little kids and struggling with visa issues in south east asia…. the guidebook sucks and online its hard to find out specific stuff. we expected to extend our Lao 14day visa-on-arrival (free of charge for swiss people…) for 2$/day in luang prabang. but unfortunately this is only possible with a 30day visa….
    So we’re a bit scared entering thailand overland from Lao and have the exact same issue at the chiang mai immigration office with the thai authorities…
    question: is that granted that we get the 30day extension on top on the 14day that we get in houa xai border?
    if not we gotta fly in to thailand to get at least 30days… which is simply crazy… putting all the air-pollution in the air just to get a 30day stay in thailand…
    we did already a visa run over land in nong khai / vientiane 14 days ago, hope that affects not our next entering to thailand by landborder.

    Thanx for your help!
    Reto

    • Hi Reto!

      Thailand doesn’t work like Laos on this point. If you have a 15-day visa exemption, you can still extend it by 30 days, no problem. It’s a fairly straightforward process, so I wouldn’t worry about it!

      I don’t think re-entering Thailand will be a problem either. They might stamp your passport to show you’re doing consecutive border hops without a visa, but since you’ve stayed a while in Laos, this is normal tourist behavior, not serial visa extension!

      Hope that helps you relax a little! 🙂

      • Thank you a lot Daniel! After a yoga session here at the mekong i’m totally relaxed 😉
        We even try to extend the waiver visa at the immigration office in Nan first. If its gonna fail we’re heading towards Chiang Mai and do it there. All the best for you. Cheers, Reto

        • I’m sure it’ll be fine. 🙂 Enjoy!

          • Hi Daniel

            Just to finish this thread with a happy end, we got the 30day extension here at the Nan Immigration Office. The process was straight forward and no queue/people at all. The Office just moved out of town (6km), which is not so comfortable. The Immigration Officer mentioned another topic, that might be interesting. With a visa weaver/exemption you’re only allowed to enter the country FOUR times per year… we’re gonna stretch this exactly before we return to Switzerland… lucky we did not another run over the border.
            Thanks four your help.
            Greetings from lovely Nan, Reto

          • Hi Reto,

            Yeah, Thai immigration frowns on multiple visa exemptions, though if you’re clearly a tourist wandering around Southeast Asia they’re less likely to cause trouble. My advice is to get a double-entry tourist visa in Vientiane. Costs a bit more (2000B), but it’s what the Thai Immigration people expect people to do. You can also get a triple entry visa.

  73. About to get my girlfriend and my 60-day tourist visas extended in Chiang Mai. Quick question — Do both of us have to show up? Or can I just show up with her passport and documents and get both of our applications processed together by myself?

    Then at least only one person has to wait at the immigration office instead of both of us. 🙂

  74. Hi:

    Kudos for your site, time, and service! My 60d tourist visa expires on a Sunday. It used to be fine to go in for an extension on the following Monday…without paying a 500b fine. Is it still so??

    Thanks

    • Thank you for your kind words!

      Hmm! I’m not sure about this. I would presume it’s still the same, yes, but this can always depend on the individual handling your case. You can also do it on the preceding Friday… Don’t have to do it on the same day or after.

  75. By far the MOST informative information on the web! One question. I plan on getting an Ed visa after arriving in Thailand. I am assuming upon arrival I will get a tourist visa at the airport in Thailand but am unsure what the rules are as far as a one way vs round trip ticket. Can I be denied in Seattle from boarding the flight to Thailand with a one way ticket?

    • Hi! Yeah, the airlines sometimes don’t understand how these things work. They’ll read that the country has a requirement for onward ticket and they’ll apply it in a very strict manner, even though Thai immigration itself doesn’t care.

      I haven’t had it happen to me for Thailand, but just in case, what I suggest you do is have some sort of documentation showing that you’ll be traveling onward from Thailand. Say, train schedules to Laos, or a flight information showing onward travel. Basically, give them an indication that you’re gonna leave Thailand at some point. It’s silly, but sometimes these airline employees don’t have a clue and they enforce rules without understanding what they’re about…
      Daniel Roy recently posted…Pink Pangea on Why Slow Travel Is the Best Type of TravelMy Profile

  76. Hi! I just wanted to add to the posts of thanks. This was super useful information. My husband and I went to the immigration office today around 1:30pm and were out around 3:45 – not so bad, compared to a lot of other folks. We were extending our visa-on-arrival for 30 days.

    Some (hopefully) helpful notes:
    – Across from the UN Irish Pub there’s a photo shop that does visa pictures in about 10 minutes. 100 baht for 4 photos, which they trim for you (tho you only need 1). It’s two doors down from the 7-Eleven
    – About 5 doors down from 7-Eleven in the opposite direction, there’s a copy shop that does copies for 1 baht a page
    – At the info desk, we got one number each, and a form to which they stapled our photos
    – There’s a coffee shop there that sells drinks and pens (10baht) if you forget yours
    – Around 2pm, we met some folks who were told the queue was full for the day, so best bet is not to get there too late
    – Counter 1 that you have to go to is all the way on the left. I don’t know why this isn’t labeled
    – It was about 20 minutes after we handed in our papers that we were called
    – Weirdly, they were calling people by first name, middle name and country. Since my middle name sounds nothing like my last name, it took a few tries before I realized they were calling me. I thought it was weird when other people ignored their names being called. Then I realized why.
    – After calling your name, they take a quick photo and then send you back to your seat, but the papers are done about a minute later

    Hope that helps others! Thanks again for the great info!

    • Thanks for the kind words and the additional info, Melissa! That’s good to know.

      That picture thing at Immigration is a new one… Wasn’t like that last time I went. Interesting!

  77. thanks a lot for all these informations. The best website over the subject !

  78. Hello Daniel,

    Kudos to you for writing this great blog. I found it really useful before I went for a visa extension.

    I wanted to let you know about the slightly new process I experienced now in operation at Chiang Mai.

    I got there about 7am and two queues had formed already in front of the office. This is the new system. I don’t think it matters which queue you get in though, as atabout 7am the immigration officers come out and work their way down the queue to look at your applications. They give you a numbered ticket of different colours depending what you are there for. I got a yellow ticket for a visa extension.

    Tip: I would definitely recommend going early. If you get there later you need to go to the information counter (the middle counter in the waiting room) to have your application checked and get a queue number. People who arrived later had to queue for a while to get this number.

    You are then directed inside the office to wait until 8:30am.

    Tip: they announced that you should write your tel number or email on your application form, and to sign the photocopies of your passport and departure card.

    Tip: it doesn’t make any difference WHERE you sit in the waiting room. Initially I thought it did, but it didn’t.

    At this time they start calling people. Visa extensions were handled at counter 1. They announce the numbers over the tannoy in Thai and English. When your number comes up, approach the desk with your application. They will review it, ask for payment and then tell you to sit down and await for your name to be called.

    My name was called about an hour later to take my photo via a webcam at the counter. I was then told to sit down again. About 15 mins later my name was called and I got my passport. All in all about 3.5 hours.

    Good luck everyone!
    Andrew

    • Great. Thanks for the update! I think the length of queues depends entirely on the time of year and the proximity to a holiday… We’re in high season now, so yes, getting there early is a good idea.

  79. Hi Daniel
    We have a different kind of problem, we left Laos earlier than expected. We received a 30 day waver as we are UK citizens but have flights booked back to the UK on the 15th of April 2015 therefore need an extra 45 days (15 days over the visa extension). We are aware that a ‘visa run’ can be done over to Malaysia which we are prepared to do but is there an easier way i.e. by approaching the Thai immigration department? We have been travelling around SE Asia – Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and do not want to fly to any of the Capitals in those countries which is what has been suggested by various people.
    If we do go with the border run into Malaysia can we exit Thailand and re enter on the same day or do we need to stay for a specific period of time?
    Kind regards
    Julie

    • Hi Julie!

      Bad news first: no, there’s no way to stay an extra 45 days beyond your 30-day visa exemption. The only thing you can get is 30 days on top. Overstaying your visa will cost you 500B/day.

      This being said, good news, you definitely CAN fly to Malaysia, or cross overland, and you CAN return on the same day. Since 1) this is only your second consecutive exemption, and 2) you have a plane ticket showing your return to the UK, you should have no trouble at all. This is especially true for air travel, maybe a little bit less so for overland crossing.

      But yes, tons of people do it… It’s really the best solution.

  80. Hello and thank you so much for your great information 🙂 me and my friends are leaving Thailand 4/3from Bangkok. Our visa exempion expires 23/2 so we are going to extend it. I read on an other website that you hade to bring the original returnticket so they can see that we were planning on leaving earlier but changed Our mind. But we only have The ticket for 4/3. Do you think that will be a problem? 🙂

  81. Hi Daniel,

    I looked over most of the comments but couldn’t find this info. I’m a family of 5 and was wondering if my entire family needs to go to the immigration office or just myself? Greatly appreciate all your help!

    Adventure is out there,

    Jacob

  82. Hi Daniel,
    I am currently in the process of applying for a double entry 60 day tourist visa for Thailand.

    I am sure you have been asked a few times now, but how soon after entering Thailand can you apply for the 30 day extension? I plan on doing some remote volunteering a couple of days after arriving and am not sure when id be back in Chiang Mai.

    Also on the visa extension form where it asks reason/reasons for extension, what have you found to be the simplest and most generic response to this? Have you ever heard of anyone being denied their extension?

    Sorry for all the questions.

    • Hi Phoebe,

      You can ask for a visa extension 45 days in advance of your visa expiry, up to the very last day of your current visa. Not sure how that fits with your plans.

      For the reason, I always put down something simple like “Decided to stay longer in Thailand.” I don’t think it really matters… I personally have never heard of anyone being turned down for an extension.

  83. Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for your information.
    I thought I was lucky in the beginning, because I got there early and they just gave me a final queue number. But unfortunately, they only gave me 7 days instead of 30 days, telling me I should have got a tourist visa in China, not just a stamp on arrival which allows me to stay for only 15 days. With these 7days, my visa will expire on 21st Feb, but my flight is on 5th, May. I wonder whether I can do a visa run, because I have already got my visa extended for 7 days. Thanks.
    BTW, if there’s any Chinese, don’t fly to Myanmar with the hope to get a Thai visa from the Thai embassy there. I tried and failed. They won’t give you unless you have a FRC. And if you don’t stay in Myanmar for 90 days, the Burmese Immigration office won’t let you apply for FRC. It’s been like this since last year. I feel it ridiculous. It seems it’s only open for business people. Well, For other nationals, you can get a two-month Thai visa there, $40 without any ridiculous things.

    • Wow, that sucks! I don’t see why they wouldn’t give you 30 days, as it’s really routine… But that’s the thing with Thai Immigration, I guess. Impossible to predict what they’ll do with 100% certainty.

      Your best bet, especially considering you’ve only gotten a 7-day extension this time, is to go to a neighboring country and get a proper tourist visa. The best places to do this are Malaysia and Vientiane. Depends where you are in Thailand right now.

      With a single-entry tourist visa, you’ll be set until around end of April, and you can extend it then. Pain in the ass, I know…

  84. Hi! Thanks for this it was so useful! Just wanted to let you know that you also need a copy of the passport page with your pic on now! In addition to the stuff you mentioned.

  85. Thanks Daniel, your post is amazing. I came to Thailand end of December on a 30 days visa exemption and have been able to extend it to end of February very easy by following your guide.

    After two months in Thailand without a visa (only an exemption of 30 days, extended once for 30 more days, 60 in total), I am very tempted to stay one more month before coming back home. Do you know what are the options (ideally without having to leave the country)? I don’t think we can extend the visa exemption to 90 days, so I am wondering if I can get a tourist visa or any other visa suitable my situation from Chiang Mai immigration office.

    If ever it is mandatory to go to Vientiane to get a proper visa, do you know how long is the process? Is it 100% sure (basically, can I leave my luggages in Chiang Mai and good there for a couple of days).

    Thanks a lot for your help, it is much appreciated!!!

    • Hi Denis!

      Unfortunately, there’s no way to extend your stay in Thailand without leaving the country. Immigration only gives one extension only. Overstaying your visa by a month would land you in trouble, and cost you a hefty fine of 15,000 Bahts.

      That leaves you with two options:

      – Cross the border either by air or by land. If you’re from a G7 country (US, UK, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy), this’ll give you 30 days extra either way. If you’re not, you’ll get 15 days by land and 30 by air. Although this is a second consecutive visa exemption, you’re highly unlikely to get in trouble over it.

      – Go to a consulate abroad and get a proper tourist visa. That’s the solution Immigration will prefer. It’s usually pretty routine, but with Thailand you never know 100%… I’d advise taking your luggage with you, or at least everything you’re not willing to lose in a bind. This process usually takes about three days, and can be done from Vientiane, but also from Kuala Lumpur, and basically any consulate abroad. (I flew cheap out of Chiang Mai to Hong Kong once to visit friends, and had my visa made there.)

      Here’s a guide I wrote about getting your visa in Vientiane. Obviously you can ignore the stuff about Khon Kaen, but it’ll give you a good idea as for how the process goes. Make sure you check the holiday calendar, by the way:

      http://www.thewayofslowtravel.com/2013/10/06/khon-kaen-vientiane-visa-run

      My recommandation would be to simply go somewhere interesting outside of Thailand for a weekend, and get the visa exemption on the way back.

      Good luck!

  86. I was expecting this to be a pain to get done but went really smoothly. Thanks for taking the time to share!
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  87. If you extend tourist visa, do you need to provide proof of departure?

  88. This post is sooooo extremely helpful! I’m loterally sitting here at the immigration office and waiting for my passport to be stanped and returned! By far the best explanation on how to extend your Visa in Chiang Mai I could find on the Internet!

    Thank you so much!
    Tess

  89. Hello Daniel!

    I was hoping you might be able to clarify a Thailand visa question for me. Last month I extended my Thailand visa for 30 days, so I’m now rolling up on 60 days in the country. Do you know if it is possible to do a second extension, which therefore would give me a total of 90 days in Thailand? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Michael,

      No, unfortunately that’s not possible. Your best bet is to exit Thailand and re-enter to get a second visa exemption. Thailand doesn’t do more than one extension for a given visa entry or visa exemption entry.

      • Hi again Daniel.

        Thanks a lot for the response! After a stop at the Chiang Rai Immigration Office today, I found out what your confirming, a 2nd visa extension is not possible. No worries though, Myanmar is less than an hour away! Thanks again.

        P.S. – Totally dig your “Ten Principles of Slow Travel”! I’m a big fan of super slow travel as well, hence the visa extension question!

  90. This was VERY helpful!!!!

    We studied your instructions and got our extension today!

    We arrived at immigration at 8:30am and were given a yellow queue number (so we skipped the blue one, I guess). Our name was called. We signed all the copies and paid. Got called again to take the picture. Got called one last time to get our change and receipt. An hour and half in total.

    Thanks to you helping us prepare, the process was as smooth as these sort of things can be.

    Much appreciated!

  91. what a fantastic article! awesome mate! Cheers

  92. I came in thailand with two entries visa but i didn’t not know it was two entries because it was my first traveling to thailand i took the enter before date like my visa expired date.when i entered they openned two months at the airport and later i went to immigration to open the last one month for me.after i realised it was two entries visa,i meant 6 months visa how would i do to get my last 3 months before the expired date?

    • Hi! I’m not 100% sure I understand your question, but from what I understand…

      Your “enter before” is the last day you can activate your second entry. If you leave Thailand and re-enter Thailand BEFORE that last day (say, the day before), then you will get two months extra. And, as detailed in this post, you can then extend that two months by one more month.

      Does that answer your question?

  93. Nice explanations ! Very useful, it’s a nice advice to come fully prepared, i didnt have to queue for photo or photocopy. I just came back from immigration office, it took about 45min from start to finish, and everything went well as you said, thx !

  94. Hey there, thanks for all the great info. Really helpful.

    Can I just ask, I am going to the immigration office in a few days to get my visa exemption extended by another 30 days, do I need to bring a TM.7 as well? or another similar document?

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Scott,

      As I explained in this blog post, yes, you do need to submit a TM.7 form. They’ll have it there for you if you just want to fill it out once there, or you can print it off before and just bring it with you.

      The documentation requirements are the same whether you’re extending a tourist visa or visa exemption.

  95. Hello Daniel
    What a lot of people you help!
    I was in Thailand 1 year ago and overstayed my visa by a day. I didn’t realise until it was noticed at the airport, but the man was very sweet and didn’t charge me or even seem to mind at all.
    I flew back to Thailand from India on the 27th of April, getting a 30day visa at the airport. My boyfriend is flying over from New Zealand on the 28th of May and will get a 30 day visa at the airport. I am visiting Laos for a week and a half and then flying back from Vientiene to Bangkok on the 28th to meet him at the airport.
    Unfortunately I just realised last night that the tickets back to New Zealand that he has booked are after 31 days not 30. First of all I know he won’t be allowed to even board in Wellington without sorting out another plane or train ticket or something.
    Do you think for myself that I will be allowed to board in Vientiene using the over by one day ticket to New Zealand as proof of onward travel?
    And from there I’m not sure what we should do. My boyfriend could always book a bus or train ticket from Thailand to Laos or Cambodia and use that as his proof of onward travel, and then overstay by a day and maybe maybe not be charged 500baht at the airport. Or he could actually Use the ticket and renter Thailand getting another 15days.
    But as for me, I don’t know how many times I can just go back and forth. If I am already in Thailand and leaving for a week and coming back in, can I go back out and come back in AGAIN? Bearing in mind that I was also here exactly a year ago.
    Also I know it probably seems silly but I’ve been traveling for more than a year now and am down to the last of my money, so to pay 1900baht just to extend a visa for a day seems too expensive to me. I know there’s no way you can predict what happens at airports, but I’d appreciate some advice! First of all for whether you think I’d be allowed to board in vientiene. Second, what you think might happen at Bangkok airport if I tried to fly out having Already overstayed by a day previously. Third, do you think I’ll be allowed to leave and renter Thailand one more time so as not to overstay by a day…or finally should I just pay 1900 baht.
    Sorry! I tried to explain that as succinctly as possible but it’s all a bit of a muddle in my head let alone trying to type it out. Thank you, Misma

    • Hi Misma!

      I initially wrote this blog post from my own notes as I tried to figure out the Thai visa system, and I wanted others to benefit from it… Didn’t expect it to help so many people, though. Very happy about that!

      As for your situation…

      As you say, it’s impossible to predict totally how immigration agents will react, but I’m pretty sure both you and your boyfriend are in the clear on this.

      For yourself, although Thailand frowns on serial visa exemptions, you’re clearly not piling them on and staying in Thailand. You flew in, and will fly in again after spending more than a week in another country. I expect they’ll have no problem at all letting you in.

      If they point out the 30-day limit, just tell them you’ll extend it in two weeks. Simple as that. Although mind you, I highly doubt they’ll ask you for your proof of onward travel in the first place. I’ve flown to Thailand countless times and neither the airline nor immigration asked for proof of onward travel, simply because people cross over the Thai border to neighboring countries all the time.

      Which is the same for your boyfriend. My advice would be to have an itinerary prepared in his head for how he’ll depart Thailand. That could be as simple as taking the train down to Malaysia. Just have a story ready to show how you’ll depart Thailand. If you want, you can print out bus or train schedules to back that claim. Again, Immigration has never ever asked me for proof of onward travel. I know airlines demand it, but they’ve never asked me about flights to Thailand either, simply because it’s so easy to leave the country by other means than flying out.

      Finally, for the one-day overstay… While it’s never advised to overstay a visa, one day is really not that big of a deal. You already saw how it went the first time… I say you guys should just show up at the airport and pay the 500-baht fee. The ideal would be to take a side-trip and get an overland visa on arrival, but it’s not the end of the world if you leave one day late.

      There, I hope that puts your mind at ease! As always, this is based on personal experience so who knows if a certain Thai immigration officer won’t wake up grumpy that day… But I’m pretty confident you guys will be OK.

      Enjoy Thailand!

  96. Guygoinachiangmai

    If I have been told two separate times in Bangkok immigration office my elgibilty for retirement VISA will be a snap when 50 years old, would it be necessary for a VISA run if having a “VISA on arrival” that will begin third week of May, or you feel some form of extension would be available until second week of September, which will be my 50th birthday, so no VISA run is necessary? I know a bus across the border from Chiang Mai is inexpensive, but I am trying to finish some writing and would rather find a base much sooner than later. Packing and moving is beginning to wear me down in a huge way. You seem very up on recent changes there as for immigration, so I thank you now for input and advice.

    • Hi!

      No, you won’t be able to stay in Thailand with a visa exemption (visa on arrival) up until September. Visa exemptions give you 30 days when you fly in or if you’re from a G7 country crossing the border, and can be extended by a further 30 days. So if you arrive the third week of May, and you extend your visa exemption within 30 days, then you’d be able to stay in-country until mid-July.

      Not only that, but you’re likely to need some time to get your retirement visa in order, so I don’t think you’ll have it in hand for the second week of September. It’s certainly better not to plan on this… You might have a second visa run to anticipate in September if things don’t go as swimmingly as you thought. This is Thailand, time can be a bit fluid sometimes…

      I know the bus sounds daunting, but you can do it in a day and leave most of your stuff back in Chiang Mai. It’ll waste a day, which sucks, and it’s a lot of busing just for a silly stamp… But it’s the way things go in Thailand, I’m afraid.

      Good luck!

  97. Hi I am going to go from a 60day tourist visa single entry to a non-imm o visa, I did this before, and all seemed ok at CM. I have heard conflicting reports that the only place I can do this is BKK. do you know if it can currently be processed in Chiang Mai
    Thank You

    • I’m sorry, but I don’t know about O visas. You might want to ask on the forums at ThaiVisa.com… They’re up-to-date and pretty responsive.

      Good luck!

  98. Presently I have a 60 day Thai Visa, and would like to expend it another 30 days. At this point I’m admitted until the 21st of May. I believe I need to go to the border to request the extra 30 days. Is that right? I have misplaced my Departure Card from Thailand. Will that be a problem at the border when I request the additional 30 days? Thank you in advance for your reply. Galen

    • Hi Galen,

      Nope… Read this very blog post. You can get a 30-day visa extension at any Immigration office.

      As for your departure card, you can also get it replaced at Immigration.

  99. Hey there! I was just wondering. . .My visa runs out in 10 days. If I extend at immigration tomorrow will the new visa start from tomorrow or the end of my current visa?

    Thanks 🙂

  100. Hi Daniel,

    Excellent post! Thank you.

    I was wondering how many days prior to my visa expiration date can I already ask for an extension ?
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  101. Thank you so much for this post. Super clear and to the point. My husband and I just finished the process a few hours ago and wanted to mention one thing that you may want to update. As of July 20, the office where they’re processing visa extensions has been moved to the Promenada (about a 10k drive from the Immigration office). There is a free shuttle running between the two locations until August 20. The new office is at the ground level if Building A which is connected to the parking garage. The process remains mostly the same, however when you arrive, go straight to the desk to get a colored queue number corresponding to your request type. The entire process took about 2 hours today.

    Good to know: there is a copy store right next to the new office as well as a place to get passport photos, and a small coffee shop. 🙂

  102. Hi, i have the following situation, i have plane tickets for Thailand 22 august-14 September and i might not get the tourist visa on time or be able to change my tickets. If i get a round trip from BKK to Cambodia for 10 days and then come back to Thailand to get my flight do you think it might work? Even if I have to pay the visa twice?

  103. Hi Daniel,
    I’m half way through my third tourist visa of 30 days, (I’ve been here for 75 days and have done two border runs to Malaysia). I want to stay longer because i am trying to obtain a work permit so I can get a non-immigrant visa. Do you know of any way I can stay longer without a work permit or anything else? Thanks

    • Hi Aaron,

      By “tourist visa,” since you mention border runs, I suppose you mean visa exemptions at the border?

      The way for you to stay longer in Thailand is to get an actual double-entry tourist visa. These will last a total of six months with two extensions and one border run to activate the second part. You can get them from Thai consulates in neighboring countries.

      I’ve written a post about getting a tourist visa from Vientiane, Laos. Just ignore the stuff about getting there from Khon Kaen… The rest should be informative. I especially recommend this as at one point Immigration might give you trouble for successive border runs.

      http://www.thewayofslowtravel.com/2013/10/06/khon-kaen-vientiane-visa-run

  104. Hi,

    can I get a visa exempt on arrival with a oneway ticket if I plan to go to a close country by land?
    can I get a visa exempt on arrival if I have a flight to myanmar/laos/vietnam/cambodia 59 day after my arrival?

    Thank you for answer

    • Hi,

      Generally, yes. Thailand requires proof of onward travel to fly in, but in my experience Immigration has never asked for it, since it’s so easy to leave the country overland. Note, however, that airline companies will sometimes enforce this policy and not allow you to check in if you don’t have proof of onward travel.

      In other words: it’s very unlikely, but it is possible.

      In your case, if you have an onward ticket to a neighboring country within 59 days, you should be perfectly fine. If there’s an issue with the length of your visa exemption, just explain you’ll get it extended for a total of 60 days, thus covering your intended stay.

      I wouldn’t worry too much about it… 99% chance it will be a non-issue. But I always prefer to have some sort of printed bus schedule to show I know how to get out of the country should it ever come up. I’ve been to Thailand many times and it never has.

  105. Hi… Great informative article…this may be a re-hash so my apologies in advance, but here goes anyway.

    My wife and I are arriving in Thailand (from Canada) in late Nov-2015 on a one way ticket. We plan to buy a ticket to from Bangkok to Sydney AU once we get there. That flight will leave sometime late March 2016. (We have to be in Sydney in early April and have an itinerary that shows that). From Nov to March we are going to be touring. Our current plan is to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and the area, then into Laos for a couple weeks, Vietnam (for at least a month), then into Cambodia for a few weeks before returning to Thailand for probably 3 or 4 weeks before leaving for Sydney…I’m tired already! I should mention that the current plan does not involve any other flights. We are planning to do this all via land transportation, although that too may change. We are not bound to any schedule and just plan to go where the mood takes us. The only accommodations we will have booked is our first week in Bangkok.

    I have started getting concerned with all the visas we are going to need. Do you think we will have any issues, or is there anything we need to plan for other than wait times? Do we just take our 30 day Thai visa, get out before its done and then reapply to get back into Thailand from (where ever we cross) in Cambodia?

    Thanks for your opinion!

    • Hi Jack!

      From a visa standpoint you won’t have any problem. You’ll get a 30-day visa exemption when landing in Bangkok, which you can extend for an additional 30 days if you need to. When you return from Cambodia overland, as Canadians, you’ll get a new 30-day exemption, which could be extended too. Since you will have been in bordering countries for that time, there will be no problem with Thai Immigration.

      The only potential problem would be if you had successive back-to-back visa exemptions, because that could indicate you’re actually staying in Thailand on tourist visa exemptions. If you’re getting them in the course of traveling around the region, there’s absolutely no problem!

      • Hi Daniel… wow…. fast response! Thank you.
        We went to the Thai embassy here in and they have a 60 day, double entry visa for $80 CAD (Sept. 2015). This visa gives us the option to arrive and stay up to 60 days. We can then leave and come back in a second time for an additional 60 days. This visa is good for 6 months. While not free, it does save us the hassle(?) of worrying about how many days we have left. This being our first excursion of extended travel, I think we are going to take the path of least resistance.

        Thanks again! This is a great site with lots of useful information and advice (even if we don’t follow it *grin*)

        • A proper tourist visa is always a good option if you have the foresight to get it, yes. 🙂 You’ll need to make that second entry into Thailand before the expiry date on your visa, by the way. But as long as you activate the second part before the date, you’re good for the full length of the visa (60 days, extensible to 90.)

          Enjoy Thailand!!

  106. Daniel:

    Thank you so much for this site!

    We currently have a 60-day single entry tourist visa. When we tried to apply for a multiple entry visa in Bali, we couldn’t because we didn’t have a second ticket into and out Thailand.

    Here’s our situation: We will be traveling to Japan 5 days after our current visa expires. And we would like to return to Thailand.

    Is there a way to convert our single entry visa to a multiple entry at Thai Immigration before it expires?

    If so, I assume we would still need to file for an extension to cover us before we leave for Japan?

    If we can’t covert to multiple entry in country, do we need to have two plane tickets out of Thailand when we apply for a new visa in Japan?

    Thanks so much for your help!

    • Hi John,

      Refusals of visa issuance vary from consulate to consulate… Other consulates besides Bali usually don’t have a problem issuing a multiple-entry tourist visa.

      If your current visa is set to expire 5 days before you leave, you’ll need to apply for an extension as described in this post. This will give you 30 extra days, so plenty enough.

      There’s no way you can “convert” your single-entry visa into a multiple-entry, unfortunately. What you can do instead is either get a new tourist visa in Japan, or just get a visa exemption when you land in Thailand (30 days, extensible to 60).

      Normally the Thai consulate in Japan won’t ask you for proof of onward travel… But it does happen randomly. What you can do is have a “story” ready of how you plan to leave Thailand. For instance, are you planning on going back home after Thailand, or perhaps travel to Cambodia or Laos? That should usually do the trick.

      Depending on how long you plan on spending in Thailand when you come back from Japan, you should be fine with just the visa exemption on arrival. This would last you 30 days which you can extend to a total of 60 days by doing a visa extension as outlined in this post.

      Hope that answers your questions!

  107. Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for these clear instructions. Just one point about the photo. I went today with all forms filled out as suggested. The passport photo exactly fitted the size of the blank space provided on the form. However, this was too small and was not accepted. I had to produce another photo from the shop next door at a cost of 200 baht. Sounds a bit like a scam to boost photo sales!

    Also note that the return songtaew to Thapae Gate was 200 baht, not 20 baht mentioned. Thanks.

    • I’ll clarify the picture size issue. I believe a “passport-sized photo” would be slightly oversized for the document, but you might have gotten a smaller version for ID cards. I remember having to cut my passport photo make it fit the form.

      As for the songthaew, woah… Sounds like that driver knows there are stray tourists there and took you guys for a ride. :/

  108. Just a quick heads up: For Westerners the immigration building is at the actual Promenada mall. There is another building, which our redtruck took us to, that is across the street. That station is for Loas and Cambodian citizens only as I understand it now. Luckily a very nice lady came up to us after not too long and pointed us in the right direction.

    Also, the redtrucks waiting at the promenade when we finished were really taking advantage of the situation. Even after haggling they were still asking taxi prices. We went out to the street and even then it was more than normal. Other than that the experience was even smoother than at the old building, very straight forward and easy.

  109. Hi, I have used visa exemption(UK PP) a few times this year, never overstay and usually not return for at least a month, my next trip 15Nov will be after two months home UK but I want the 30 days and have tickets already, do you know if I will have trouble to get another exemption?
    (since 03May a total of 69 days in Thailand, total over six months 15May to 15Nov will be 53, does the 90 days over six months apply?).
    Thanks

  110. Hey,

    What about proof of an onward ticket? Not required?

    • Hey Will,

      Onward ticket is not required as a general rule for applying for a visa extension. If you ever get asked, you can always explain you will leave overland to a neighboring country.

  111. Hey !

    Me and my boyfriend (we are from Belgium) arrived in thailand by bangkok airport on the 22 of october so we had a visa good until the 20 of novembre but we decided to go to cambodia by bus for 5 days only and then come back to Thailand but we didn’t known that the visa we get after was only for 2 weeks !! So now the visa is only good until the 14 november and our flight is on the 19 november ! Do we have to pay an extension ? Or the first visa until the 20 of november is still good ?

    Thank you !

    • Hi Emilie,

      I’m afraid you’ll have to pay for an extension. Your original visa exemption until November 20th was canceled when you crossed into Cambodia.

      Another option is to take another bus trip outside Thailand after the 6th of November!

  112. Great info, thanks! Just a quick correction, the visa extension photo size is not 3.5cm x 4cm as you state, it’s actually 4cm x 6cm.

    There is a photo booth at the Promenada right next to the Immigration office but they charge 200 baht, double what they do outside.
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  113. Hi! I have a question, my passport is kept by the motorbike company that I rent my bike from, and when I checked it my visa expired today. I went by the immigration office, but it was closed for the Kings birthday which is a holiday here, it will be closed Monday too. Do you think I might still be able to extend my visa on Tuesday? That’ll make it 3 days over expired? Thank you so much!

  114. Hello! I’m on a two month tourist visa and the company I rent my motorbike from keeps my passport as a deposit. Today when I went to check my visa date, it expired today. I went to the immigration office but it is closed due to it being the Kings birthday, it will also be closed on Monday.

    Do you think they will still let me extend my visa for 30 days if I am three days expired? ;(

    Thank you so much,
    Cindee

    • Hi Cindee,

      First, you should never leave your passport with anyone for an extended period of time. That motorbike rental company is wrong to do this. I’m not sure it’s illegal, but you should definitely not agree to this. It means that if they want to cause you trouble they can withhold your passport.

      It seems you have your passport in hand right now, though, which is good! I suggest you change rental companies ASAP. A passport is NOT a valid deposit.

      As for the visa… You can go Tuesday and extend it 30 days, no problem. You’ll be expected to pay a fine of 1000B for the two days you’ve got over the date, but they won’t make a fuss about it since it’s a short time.

      Best of luck!

  115. Just arrived back from immigration office this morning, Monday 21st December 2015

    I arrived at 6:15 and found 4 queues with people waiting on seats.
    Reentry had no-one
    90 Days had 20 people
    Retirement and Medical had about 20 people
    Tourist Extension had 6

    At 8:30 an immigration guy walked the lines telling everyone to have their documents signed and ready, if not, don’t bother waiting. His was very strict about photograph sizes. Mine was a standard UK passport photo, but it was too small so had to jump into shop next door as someone held my spot in the queue, because by this time the Tourist Extension queue was now 40 people long. The tourists appear to like a lie-in!

    The copy shop next door does photographs for 200 baht, but I would suggest you get them done beforehand because it takes forever to print an A4 size of photos and then cut them up.

    I got back to the queue about 20 seconds before reaching the first desk, where I thought we would get a number, but this is where you need to hand everything to the officer, so be ready. They didn’t give out numbers for extensions, but other queues were given numbers.

    You have to listen out for your name. It is best to listen for your first and middle name and country.

    After that I waited for about 30 minutes, got called to the counter for another photo, then 5 minutes after that I was handed my passport with extension. Don’t forget to thank them!

    I was out by 9:20. As I left there was about 20 people still in the queue for extensions and they were still passing the payment point, so not sure how they will all have to wait.

    Be prepared before you arrive. Make sure your photos are the right size. You only need one copy of everything else as mentioned above in the post.

    Thank you to all here with such good advice.

  116. The 20 THB fee for a Red-Cab is a fairy tale:
    Meanwhile the drivers all know to ask for 100-200 THB one way.
    I bargained on 100, and only gave 70 THB upon arrival, blaming him for not going there directly (the ride was 30min from Nimmanhaemin)
    I consider that fair: They want to cheat you, so cheat them back!
    He didn’t really complain.

    For a FREE SHUTTLE BUS check out the Promenada Website.
    http://promenadachiangmai.com/en/news-events
    I can recommend to use it for your trip back to the city. Be aware, that the shuttle leaves ON TIME, so be at the waiting point (Building A entrance near “Wine Connection”) 5-10 min prior to scheduled departure.
    Tickets for the shuttle will be issued at the information desk inside, but it seems not an issue, if you hop into the cab without that.
    Just be aware to choose the right one for your destination (Route 1 or 2).

  117. Hi Daniel, I’m currently on a 3 month tour of South East Asia. I landed in Bangkok for 5 days and obtained a visa on arrival from Thai immigration (I have a British passport). I then moved on to Cambodia etc. I plan on re-entering Thailand around the 20th January and have a flight out of Bangkok back to the UK on the 25th February. I plan on staying in Thailand the whole time. Can I get a 60/90 day visa at the airport when I arrive on 20th January or should I try and get one before? Also, I’m looking at flying into Myanmar, connection via Bangkok on the 3rd January. Will this affect my future visa or will I not need to worry as I’m only in Bangkok for the flight? I’ve emailed the Thai embassy in the Uk, but have had no reply. Many thanks in advance. James.

    • Hi James!

      The only visa you can get upon arrival in the airport is a 30-day visa exemption, sometimes called a “visa on arrival.” If you plan on staying longer than 30 days at a stretch in Thailand, you have three options:

      1) Visit a Thai consulate in Cambodia and apply for a 60-day, single-entry tourist visa;

      2) Get the 30-day visa exemption, then get it extended at any time for an extra 30 days, as outlined in this blog post;

      3) Plan on leaving and re-entering Thailand overland while you’re there to “refresh” your visa exemption. (As a British citizen you’ll get a 30-day exemption overland too.)

      As for your flight through Bangkok, no need to worry. You won’t get a visa exemption if you just transit through the airport. Besides, even if you did, it would still not be a problem.

      Enjoy Thailand!

      • Thank you so much. I still haven’t heard back from the embassy! People like you and other bloggers do such a great service, the embassy should give you guys a commission! All the best for the new year and keep up the good work!!!

  118. Hello Daniel. You have probably posted this already, so apologies if so. Please could you advise me of the best and cheapest place to go to from Bangkok to apply for a 60 day Thai visa? Also, how much time should I give myself for the process. My visa runs out Feb 2 and I want to start a yoga teacher training course on Feb 7.
    Many thanks and kind regards
    Kerry

    • Hi Kerry!

      From Bangkok, you have many options to fly out and get a new tourist visa in a neighboring country. There’s also a possibility to get a bus, but some flights from Bangkok can be incredibly cheap! Check out Air Asia for deals, for instance.

      I think the most popular destination to do runs for new visas is Vientiane, Laos. You can get to Laos via an overnight train from Bangkok. You should probably allow 4 days to be on the safe side… You’re unlikely to get to the consulate early enough on Day 1, and you then need to apply on the morning of Day 2 and pick up your visa early afternoon of Day 3. It’s usually tight to get your visa and then get a transport, so my advice is to plan four days and leave on Day 4.

      Here’s a blog post detailing how to apply for a visa in Vientiane. Note that they only issue single-entry tourist visas nowadays:

      http://www.thewayofslowtravel.com/2013/10/06/khon-kaen-vientiane-visa-run/

      Best of luck!!

  119. Hey Daniel, thnx for the helpful post! My 60 day tourist visa runs out next tuesday and I will need 30 day more.

    When I came to Thailand I had address in Bangkok area, but now I’m located in Samut Prakan providence in Bangkok that has it own immigration office. Which immigration office I should go for the extension: main office in Bangkok or the Samut Prakan corresponding, or does it matter?

  120. hi there,
    Wondering if you can help on a triple entry visa (from September last year which takes me through to March this year) as I’ve seen a lot on the double entry in your blog but wondered if it was the same?
    I arrived in September with my 60days and got my 30 day extension, I then activated my second entry by crossing the border at Myanmar and got an additional 30days, but can i now get an extension on this or do I need to do another border run for 30days and use my final entry?
    Any help much appreciated.

    • Hi Maria,

      I’m guessing you mean you got a second 60 days when you re-entered, correct? Not 30 days?

      To answer your question, yes, you can apply for an additional 30 days on each entry of your visa, not just on the first one. So for your second entry, you can get a visa extension for 30 days again.

      My advice to you if you’re looking to maximize your time in Thailand is to get the visa extension, then leave Thailand and re-enter the day before your triple-entry visa expires. This way you’ll activate your third entry and you’ll be good for three more months if you extend it by 30 days again.

      • Thanks for this – really helpful.
        On my second entry (of my triple), I was only given 30 days as I did the walk over the border to Myanmar and granted only 30days, but am looking to get this extended – and am hoping I can extend by another 30days this week (so a total of 60) and then I still have my final third entry to use, which from what you say, works in the same way e.g. Leave Thailand and get 30days and I can still get an extension on the final triple entry?
        Is that right? So although it’s a six month visa based on the first entry (60+30days) and second entry (30+30) the third entry will grant me a further 30 + 30 extension?? Not that I can use the whole 30 days as my triple entry will expire just before then?

        Does that make sense?

        Thanks Daniel! 🙂

        • It’s strange that they only gave you 30 days. That must have been a mistake by Immigration, as usually triple-entry tourist visas have 60-day entries. But regardless, yes, you can get your current 30-day visa extended by an extra 30 days, that’s correct.

          As long as you re-enter Thailand before the expiry date on your visa page, you can get another visa (normally 60 days, but be sure to show your visa page so Immigration knows you have one) that will take you beyond that expiry date. It only matters that you enter Thailand before the date on the visa to get an extra 60 days, extensible to 90.

          Hope that’s clear. 🙂

          Enjoy Thailand!

          • Hi Daniel,

            You were absolutely right. I went in to get my extension today and told them that I thought the last entry was wrong and they agreed and changed it to 60 days! And can still apply for my 30 day extension next month. 🙂
            So now i’m going to stay until just before my third entry expires and then pop over the border again to get my final 60 + 30.
            Huge thanks for your help!!
            Really appreciate!

          • Ah, so nice of them to change it for you!! Really glad I could help! 🙂
            Daniel Roy recently posted…5 Things I’ll Miss About Oaxaca (and Some I Won’t)My Profile

  121. Hi Daniel

    I am really quite confused on Visas having never had to get one before. I hope you can help with this query.

    Me and my girlfriend(from UK) intend to head to Thailand 7/11/16 (How long in advance should I apply for a Visa?). We were planning on getting the multi entry visa, does this mean I get the option to enter Thailand as many times as I want within the six month period but also have to leave no later than the final day of those six months? I keep seeing abouth the 60 days you get(I understand this just means the duration of a single stay cannot exceed 60 days) Does that mean if I entered Thailand 1 day before my visa runs out I still have 60 days in Thailand?

    We are planning on doing the ‘banana loop’ and then heading further south through Malaysia, Indonesia etc and then eventually heading back to Thailand with the likelyhood of flying out from Bangkok not too long after arriving. As I expect this final entry to Thailand will be after the 6 months multi-entry has expired do I need to apply for another Visa from another country prior to arrival or would I just be given the 30 day visa-exemption on this final leg of the trip?

    Or is there a much simpler method you would suggesting for what we intend to do?

    I hope that all makes sense and appreciate and help you can provide.

    Kind Regards

    • Hi Ben!

      You should apply for the visa about a month in advance to make sure there’s no issue. I’m not sure how long in advance you need to apply for the new multiple-entry tourist visa, so it might be worth asking your consulate.

      And yes, you understand the way it works perfectly. You’re allowed to enter and exit Thailand as many times as you like during the six-month validity period, as long as you exit before 60 days (or 90 days if you apply for an extension, as detailed in this post). Note, however, that the visa is valid for six months from the day it is ISSUED, not the day of first entry into Thailand.

      If you re-enter Thailand one day before the end of the validity period, you’ll still get a 60-day stamp, which you can extend to 90 days. But you shouldn’t worry too much about it either: if you enter after your visa has expired, you’ll get a 30-day visa exemption at the border, which you can extend to 60 days. I really wouldn’t worry about entering Thailand for one last time after the expiry of the multiple-entry visa! You’ll get 30 days without any hassle this way.

      Hope that clears things up!

  122. Hi Daniel,
    Me and the girlfriend are leaving Bangkok on the 5th feb at 5am and flying back to the uk. However our visa runs out on the 4th Feb. Do we need to extend? Can we just do it at the airport as we need to be there for 2am?
    Cheers
    Alex

    • Hi Alex,

      I would say that technically, if you pass Immigration at 00:05 the next day you’d still be overstaying your visa by one day… However, this is certainly a case where you should give it a shot! I’d just show up at the airport and see how Immigration decides to handle it. Worst case scenario they’ll ask you to pay a one-day fine of 500B, so be ready for that. It’s by no means a major offense!

      Your alternative solutions would be to either get it extended beforehand for 1900B (which is more expensive than the potential fine) or arrive real early at the airport and go through Immigration before midnight. As soon as you’re stamped out of Thailand and in the international zone you’re good! But I wouldn’t worry about it and just chance the 500B fine.

  123. Hello, great info… but I have a question… we have a tourist visa for 60 days that we would like to extend for another 30 days. Normally, you do the extension 1 or 2 days before the end of the visa but for personal reasons, we will have to do at least 12-15 days before the end of the 60 days validity. Do you think this is acceptable? We thing of doing it either in Bangkok or Chiang Mai… which one would you suggest?
    Thanks for your help.
    Regards,
    Roxane

    • Hi! You can do a visa extension 30 days prior to the expiry of your visa, so you’re perfectly fine doing it 2 weeks ahead. 🙂 As for whether Bangkok or Chiang Mai is better… I have no idea, sorry. I only ever did my extension in Chiang Mai, but I don’t think there’s a clear advantage for one over the other.

  124. Hi Daniel

    Thank you for your post, incredibly helpful! Would appreciate your advice on the following:

    I arrived in Bangkok from the UK on the 1st March and would like to volunteer for 7 days at an Elephant Reserve in Chiang Mai. Unfortunately I did not pre-book and the first available slot is the 28th March. As I understand it my visa exemption will run out mid way through this period?

    As I see it I have two options:

    1. Book my place on the volunteer program then apply for a visa extension (and hope it’s successful).
    2. Travel out of Thailand to say Cambodia or Vietnam etc. and then re-enter Thailand shortly before the 28th March and receive a new 30 day visa exemption. (Best to do this by plane?)

    Is this correct and if so which would you recommend?

    Thanks
    Ian

    • Hi Ian,

      Yep, your read of the situation is exactly right. Your visa exemption will expire on March 30th or 31st, but you can extend this by 14 days at any point in March.

      There’s not really any reason to visit a neighboring country unless you want to. If you do want to visit a neighboring country before March 27th, you don’t have to worry about doing so by air or anything… If you spend a few days in the neighboring country, Thai Immigration will definitely have no problem letting you back in with a fresh new 30-day exemption. It’s the people doing multiple same-day border hops who are facing issues.

      There’s no point in doing so by air, either. As a UK citizen (which I presume you are) you get a 30-day exemption overland, too.

      Enjoy Chiang Mai!

  125. Hi,

    I entered Thailand in the middle of January with a single entry 60 day visa. I will soon have to extend it more 30 days. Can I just go to the Immigration office and just get an extension there or do I need to leave the country in order to get another 30 days?

    Thanks,
    Hannah

    • Hi Hannah!

      No need to leave the country. You’re allowed one extension without leaving the country per time you’re in Thailand, so you just have to visit the Immigration Office sometime in the 30 days before your visa expires, and you’ll get an extra 30 days.

      If you were to leave Thailand and re-enter, you’d be getting a new 30-day visa exemption, which you can then extend by 30 days using the method outlined in this post.

      Hope that clears it up!

  126. Hi Daniel,

    I arrived with my wife and baby on 14th March and got a 15 day visa exemption. I was under the impression that 15 visa exemption can be extended to 30 days by the immigration at the airport. Unfortunately i had planned my thailand stay for 18 days but the immigration made me buy another ticket returning on 28th to grant me my visa on arrival. Now i want to return on 31st but that is 18 days of stay. What should i do…get extension or pay the fine at the airport. The immigration officer told me herself that if i stay 3 days more i can just pay fine. I calculate that if i take extension it would cost me 1900×3=5700bhat, if i pay the fine then t would be 500×3 for 3 people which is 4500 bhat. Should i not take chance and get an extension or pay the fine and just fly out of thailand. Im worried that u wrote in some cases visa can be denied for no reason, so why waste time trying to get one. Also i read somewhere that there should be valid reason for extension like sickness etc. But i wonder if overstaying will cause my passport to get flagged or blacklisted for next time. Your thoughts??

    • Hi Piyush,

      Hmm, it’s a tough one. Usually extensions are pretty routine, so I wouldn’t worry too much. The “reason” can be as simple as you changed your departure ticket… They’re not very strict about it.

      As for just paying the fine, three days is still short so it might be a good option, but I recommend arriving at the airport early to avoid getting delayed.

      Another option is to visit a neighboring country, and get another 15-day visa on arrival. If you have your onward ticket for the 31st then there should be absolutely no trouble.

      I’m sorry, I’m familiar with how Thai Immigration operates with Western nationals, but I know they can be more difficult to deal with for South Asians (which I presume you are from your name.) Best of luck to you!

  127. Hi Daniel, I flew into Chiang Mai at the beginning of March, and as a US citizen received the airport visa exemption stamp. I have heard visa border runs have changed a lot recently and am trying to find out the latest accurate info. I want to extend my visa exemption. Is it still allowed for US passport holders to cross and reenter at Maesai to receive a fresh 30 day visa exemption? Or is it now 15 days? Is the same-day reentry an issue?
    If not Maesai, which border crossing locations would allow this? My understanding is, if the overland same-day exit/reentry option is not available, I must exit to a nearby country to apply for a proper tourist visa, and expect to get just single entry. I’d appreciate any updated info. you have on this. Thank you for your time!

    • Hi Renee,

      No, Mae Sai is NOT an option anymore, sorry. They only allow multiple-entry visa holders to leave and re-enter there.

      If you want to extend your exemption, why not apply for a 30-day extension as described in this post? It’s simpler and cheaper than a border run.

      As for same-day exit-entry border runs, I’m not fully up to speed on the topic, but I understand that a lot of border crossings now disallow exit-entry border runs:

      http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/855508-reports-thai-cambo-border-check-points-closed-to-visa-runners-with-immediate-effect/

      I think your best bet if you want to take this course would be to visit a visa agency and ask them. Sorry I can’t be of more help here.

      If you do a border run overland, you will get a 30-month visa exemption as an American citizen. Visiting a neighboring country and spending a few days there is a perfectly legit, safe option; it’s the same-day exit/entry that is being frowned upon.

      As for visas, yes, you are correct: if you go and apply for a visa abroad, the only one you can get is a single-entry tourist visa. The visa system has been overhauled in recent months.

      Hope this helps!

  128. Hi,

    I have a 60 day tours it visa. It expires on a Sunday and I don’t think I’ll be able to extend it before. What happens if I go to get a 30 day extension 1 day after my visa expires??

    Thanks

    • Hi,

      You’ll simply have to pay a fee of 500 THB on top of the visa renewal fee. One-day late renewals aren’t a big deal, so I wouldn’t worry about it. Note, however, that you can get it extended any time in the 30 days prior to the expiry, so you have plenty of time.

  129. Hi Daniel,
    I hold an Indian passport and have a 15 day tourist visa (on arrival), is it possible to have it extended for 30 or more days? preferably at Chiang Mai Immigration?

  130. Hi Daniel,

    First thanks for helping me and other travelers with this post.

    I only have the 30 day stamp that you receive when you arrive at Thailand by air. Is this stamp extendable? (I have not fully understood if this stamp is same as visa on arrival or whatever.)

    Thanks and regards.

    • Hi Sergi!

      Yes, your stamp is definitely extensible by thirty days. The stamp you got is what’s called a “visa exemption,” sometimes misnamed “visa on arrival.”

      Cheers!

  131. Just a big thank you for providing the most concise and helpful explanation of extending a stay in Thailand that I have found on the net. you da man!

  132. Hi Daniel…great infos here!!! Thank you!

    I will be travelling to Thailand with a tourist visa on Dec. 5th, which I plan to extend for 30 days already. That will make 90 days until the end of February. I’ll be up north in Chiang Rai/ Chiang Mai then… So far so good.

    Now I’m additionally (!) planning on taking a month long training in March/ April 2017 on the island Koh Phangan. Do you have any experience in applying for another/ second Tourist Visa with the same passport in this short length of time???
    I could for example leave to Malaysia Mid February to do so and then re/enter Thailand in March!? would very much prefer that to a simple “visa-on-arrival”, since the training is already 30 days (I guess I could extend, but then again I don’t really have free days to do so in that month).
    What do you think!?

    Second thought is, that I do have dual citizenship (german/ USA). The Thai tourist visa, which I already have is in the german passport. So maybe it would also be an option to apply for a second Tourist Visa in Malaysia in Feb (or Bali where I am now) with the second passport?! Or do you think they go by name and would find out anyway, that I have been in T. already three months before?!

    Appreciate your expertise :)!!!

    • Hi Jess!

      You don’t need to worry about getting a second tourist visa from Malaysia. This shouldn’t be a problem at all. Consulates limit the number of consecutive tourist visas you can get, but that’s usually three or four. A second one, especially one from a different consulate, should be fine.

      I don’t know how Thailand deals with people getting visas on different passports… I don’t think it’s worth the risk.

      Cheers!

      • Wow, thank you VERY much…that’s comforting to know. That I could even get more consecutive visas :)))! Well for now, one is enough! And then I can do it all with one passport. I feel better doing so, too!!!
        You are awesome, great work!
        Thank you!

      • Hi Daniel,

        Our situation is that we would like to stay in Thailand for up to 6 months next year, so if I apply the above does that mean we can get a 60 visa, and then extend it a number of times to cover the full 6 months? We will be in Chiang Mai, Koh Samui and possibly Phuket during that time.

        Thanks,
        Maureen

        • Hi Maureen,

          If you want to stay six months in Thailand, your best option is to apply for a six-month, multiple-entry visa from your home country. This will allow you to stay in Thailand for 60 days, extend your visa by 30 days following the method I outlined here, then exit Thailand and re-enter to activate another 60+30-day period.

          Otherwise, you can just fly in to Thailand and get a 30-day exemption, but that will require you make two visa runs during your time here:

          1. Stay 30 days, extend by 30 days;
          2. Exit, re-enter, get 30+30 days more;
          3. Exit, re-enter, get 30+30 days.

          Note that Thai Immigration frowns upon these serial border runs. A safer bet would be:

          1. Stay 30 days, extend by 30 days;
          2. Exit, go apply to for a single-entry tourist visa in a neighboring country, then get 60 days + 30 days by extending;
          3. Exit and re-enter one last time.

          This last solution will most likely cause no issue with Immigration.

          As to your question: no, you can’t do multiple extensions. You can only do one per visa or visa exemption, which means you have to exit and re-enter Thailand once your visa extension expires.

          Enjoy Thailand!

  133. Hi! I have a question that I can’t seem to find the answer to. My husband and I were unable to make it to the visa office before it expired. So our tourist visas have expired by a day now and it’s the weekend. What happenes if we go to attempt to renew them? Will we be denied or just fined? We leave in 9 days and don’t have the option of doing a border run. Any advice is greatly helpful.

    • Hi Erika,

      For short overstays such as a few days, you will be fined 500 Baht per day you overextended. Since you could have made it on Friday, they will most likely charge you for the weekend as well. It’s not ideal, but it’s no big deal. Just make sure to go there Monday and expect to pay the fine!

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