Last year, not being able to get paperwork processed in time for a new work permit in Thailand, I had to come back to Bangkok by getting a double-entry tourist visa at a Thai embassy in Europe. The double-entry tourist visa allowed me to stay in Thailand until my new work permit was processed.
A double-entry tourist visa for Thailand can also be a wonderful way of being able to legally stay longer in the country so you can travel more, or a stop-gap while your work permit is being processed (perfectly legal, by the way). But if you don’t know how one works, a double-entry tourist visa can be extremely confusing.
In fact, it’s important you understand how a double-entry tourist visa works as, if you don’t use it correctly, you could lose it when you try to leave Thailand and re-enter on the second entry. Thus making your return into the country extremely problematic.
What is a Double-Entry Tourist Visa For Thailand? – Exactly as it sounds, a double-entry tourist visa allows you to enter Thailand on a tourist visa once, leave, then come back on the second entry – thus allowing two trips to Thailand on one visa. Very convenient for travelers who want to spend more than 3 months in Thailand (allowed on a single-entry tourist visa), but don’t want the hassle of applying for yet another visa in a neighboring country.
Where Can You Get a Double-Entry Tourist Visa? – It used to be you could get a double-entry tourist visa at any Thai consulate or embassy in any country neighboring Thailand (ie: Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar etc) as well as in most other countries that had a Thai embassy (Japan, Korea, England, the US, Australia etc).
In recent years though, it’s become almost impossible to get a double-entry tourist visa at a Thai embassy in a neighboring country to Thailand, as the Thai government is trying to clamp down on people illegally living in Thailand on them.
Now, just about the only places you can get this type of visa are in Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East etc. Most Thai embassies in Asia don’t offer them (with a few exceptions), so don’t waste your time trying.
How Does a Double-Entry Tourist Visa Work?– A double-entry tourist visa basically means you’re allowed to come and go into and out of Thailand twice on one visa.
When you first arrive in Thailand, your passport will be stamped allowing you an initial 60 days stay. At the end of these 60 days, you must go to a Thai immigration office in the country and pay 1,900 baht for extra 30 days. So, for your first entry on your double-entry visa, you’re allowed 90 days stay in Thailand.
On the day your initial 90 days expires, you must exit Thailand by entering into another country. You can immediately turn around and come back and the second entry of your tourist visa will be activated, giving you a second 60 days. Just like the first time, at the end of this 60 day period, go back to Thai immigration and pay another 1,900 baht for another 30 day extension.
All told, a double-entry tourist visa gives you 180 days (approximately six months) in Thailand legally, before you have to leave and get another visa somewhere else.
Simple now, right?
Don’t forget though……..if you leave Thailand before your first 90 days are up, you MUST apply for a re-entry permit (cost 1,000 baht) at a Thai immigration office, if you want to stay in Thailand for the FULL number of days allowed on the first entry (ie: 90 days). If you don’t, when you come back in the country, your second entry permit will be activated and you’ll lose all the days you still have legally left on the first permit.
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