|Culture show at the Rose Garden in Bangkok|
Many tourists come to Thailand on 60-day tourist visas. But, some tourists don’t realize you can get a 30-day extension on your tourist visa, giving you a total stay of 90 days in Thailand, if you know how.
Getting a 30-day extension on a tourist visa in Thailand is actually easy. Plus, it’s a much better option than having to do a visa run ie: go to a country bordering Thailand, leave Thailand then turn around and come right back. If you decide, when you come to Thailand, you want to stay longer in Thailand than the original 60 days, follow these quick directions and you’ll have no problem getting a visa extension.
Where to Go to Get a Tourist Visa Extension in Bangkok – It used to be a lot easier to get a tourist visa extension in Bangkok as the immigration office was in downtown Bangkok near a sky train station. This month, the Thai government in all their wisdom, decided to move the main immigration office of Thailand to the far suburbs of Bangkok, a trip in a taxi of between 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic. In order to get a 30 day extension on your tourist visa though, you have to go to the main immigration office in Bangkok, so you have no choice.
The new immigration office in Bangkok is on Chaengwattana Road, in northern Bangkok (for address see bottom of article). In other cities in Thailand, there will be an immigration office for each area, and the following instructions for getting a 30 day tourist visa extension will apply there too.
What You Need to Get a Tourist Visa Extension – Before you go to get your Thai tourist visa extension, you must have the following: your passport with the departure card from Thailand still firmly secured inside it, a photocopy of the photograph page of your passport, a photocopy of the page where the tourist visa is stamped in your passport, 2 passport sized photographs, and a 1,900 baht fee (approximately $60).
How to Get a Tourist Visa Extension in Thailand – Go to the Immigration Office and sign in at the reception desk. The receptionist will give you a form to complete, asking for your address in Thailand and why you wish to stay another 30 days. Complete the form, attach one of the photos to the form with the pot of glue provided, and return to the receptionist to have her/him check the form and then give you a number. At this point, the receptionist will tell you where to go to wait for your number to be called.
Normally, for tourist visa extensions, the wait is no longer than around 15 minutes. When your number is called, go to the counter that is calling you, hand in your completed application form, the photocopies of your passport, the second photograph and your 1,900 baht fee. The counter clerk will give you a receipt and tell you to go back to your seat and wait.
Within 15-20 minutes, you will be called back to the window, your passport will be handed to you with the extra 30 day permission to stay stamp inside it, and that’s it. You are now allowed to stay an extra 30 days in Thailand.
Please also note, if you should need to stay longer, you will have to leave the country and go to a neighboring country like Malaysia or Cambodia in order to get another 60 day visa. This normally requires a 2-3 day trip.
However, if you want to just stay an extra few days once the 30-day extension has expired, you can go back to immigration, do the same process again, pay another 1,900 baht and, this time, will probably receive another extension, but only for 15 days. This can be repeated one more time, for another 7 days, but then you will be required to leave the country and, at 1,900 baht per time, it’s often cheaper just to leave the country and apply for a second tourist visa in a neighboring country.
Thailand’s visa laws are not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. They make it quite difficult for people to stay in Thailand longer than 60 days, which is also why they are losing a lot of tourists to countries like Malaysia, where you get an immediate 90 days upon arrival at the airport and can apply for a second 90 days within Malaysia. But, it’s not that difficult to get 90 days total in Thailand, if you simply follow the above instructions.
Bangkok Immigration Office (new location)
Chaengwattana Building B, No. 120, Moo 3, Chaengwattana Road, Tungsonghong Sub-District, Laksi District, Bangkok 10210 Tel: 02 141 9889