On an older post I wrote about the Thai tourist visa I mentioned that you can extend each entry to 30 days for a total of 90 days. To get the 30 day extension you have to make your way to your nearest Thai immigration office. In Bangkok I head to the Chaeng Wattana office, which is about a 20 minute taxi ride if you’re coming from the Chatuchak area.
It’s a pretty straightforward process, as long as you have everything ready. You’ll need:
- 1 Passport sized photo
- A copy of your passport photo page, tourist visa page, departure card and entry date page.
- Tourist visa extension from which you can get at the office
- 1900THB which is the fee for extension. Kind of pricey don’t you think?
The Thai immigration building is huge and there are many government complexes nearby. You’re goal is to make it to Building B which is the immigration office. There are free buses withing the grounds that take you to building B or you can take one of the motobike taxis. They only charge 20THB which isn’t a bad deal at all.
As I said it’s a big building but there are many information kiosk all over the area so people can point you to the right way easily. There are photo copy and passport photo services on the floor below, just use the escalators. Photo copies cost 1 Baht each, don’t remember how much the passport photos cost but it I believe it’s around 200THB for 8 or 10 photos. Lots of coffee shops, stores and a big decent food court can be found there too.
The immigration office opens at 8:30am and closes from 12pm to 1pm for lunch. I believe the office closes at 4pm – 4:30pm. But as long as you have a numbered ticket on your hand they have to service you, even when the office officially closes.
So how long does it take to get the tourist visa extended? From my experience it takes about 2 hours, which is from the time I finish filling out the visa extension form, get my ticket number, get my application reviewed by the immigration officer and finally getting my passport back with a 30 day extension stamp.
But here are a few tips to avoid getting delayed and waiting longer at the immigration office.
Make sure you put down the address you are staying in Thailand clearly. And include your mobile telephone number. Avoid visiting the Thai immigration office before and after a major Thai national holiday where government offices are closed.
I once made made a visit to the immigration office after a big holiday and man, I had to wait like 4 to 5 hours. What made it even worse is that traffic is really bad in the area when 5pm rolls around.