When you are in Thailand, maybe you want to start a meditation retreat. Maybe you think you’ve fallen in love. Maybe you just want to sit around and drink beer while watching the waves crash on the seashore.
Maybe you are planning to find a job in Thailand (for which you would need a Thai work permit).
And that’s when you realize you want to get a Thai visa extension or extend your visa-exempt entry.
So a 30-day visa extension works out if you :
- Entered Thailand with a 60-day visa or SETV.
- Came with a 6-month visa or METV to Thailand.
- Entered with a visa waiver for 30 days.
And should you go for it, it’s real easy to go to the nearest immigration office and get it for 1900 THB. In reality, what you obtain is the extension of stay. You don’t get a visa sticker on your passport or anything. You simply get a stamp.
COVID-19 Update on Thai Visa
Stay for 45 Days in stead of 30
If you are from a visa-exempt country and entered Thailand on a visa waiver, you can stay for 45 days instead of the usual 30 days, on each visit.
This is in effect until 30 September 2021.
Special 60-day Covid Extension of Thai Visa
Apart from the 30-day extension, you also would be able to get a special 60-day COVID extension. This is in effect until 26th November 2021. I will update the article if this special extension continues beyond 26th November 2021.
You can apply for the 60-day covid extension where you stay. So for example, if you’re staying in Bangkok (and can prove it) you can apply for a covid extension at the Chaengwattana Immigration office.
You might get a 14-day Under Consideration stamp and then go back to the same immigration office to get the COVID extension. In some cases, it can also be for a month.
The under consideration stamp would have the date you’re supposed to return.
You would need to pay the 1900 baht. When you go back on the date given in that stamp with your passport and the blue/green receipt of payment, they will put the covid extension stamp into your passport.And yes, you can get more than one Thai visa extension for COVID.
And should you need it, you need to ask the immigration office to give it to you before your usual 30 days extension.
Some officials might ask you to go for the regular 30 days Thai visa extension first, and then get the special one, while some would be fine with doing it the other way.
7-day Thai Visa Extension
1. Are you from Sri Lanka,India,Pakistan,Bangladesh, Iran,Nepal,Togo,Nigeria or Uganda? You can get a 7-day Thai visa extension only even if you entered with a SETV or METV.
2. Did you get 15 days visa waiver while entering Thailand? Then you can get a Thai visa extension for 7 days only.
3. Did you enter with a Thai visa on arrival for 15 days? You can get Thai visa on arrival extension for 7 days only for medical reasons.
When to Get Thai Visa Extension
You must apply for visa extension before your stay permit or visa expires!
I recommend planning to get your extension a week earlier. It is better to not wait until the last minute.The days are added on to your current stamp, not from the date you apply for an extension. So, you won’t be losing any days.
Where to Extend Thailand Tourist Visa
Each province has at least one immigration office. You can find the list of branches on the official website of Thailand Immigration. The office and its outbuildings act as a one-stop shop for the process.
You must visit in person to apply for the extension. The extension gives you an additional 30 days on your current entry.
Immigration offices are open Monday-Friday and closed on local holidays.
Required Documents for Thai Visa Extension
To extend your stay, you will need:
- TM7 Extension of Temporary Stay form -Must include the complete address of your hotel or apartment
- A copy of your passport ID page
- A copy of your entry stamp or a copy of your visa, if you entered with one.
- A copy of your Thailand departure card or TM.6
- Thai visa extension photo requirements:- 1 passport photo, 4x6cm
- 1,900฿ fee for extension paid in cash
All copies must be signed. There’s always a photocopier and a photo shop on premise or nearby where these can be arranged for a small fee.
Steps of Getting Thai Visa Extension
The whole procedure to extend Thailand visa is straightforward but it can be time-consuming. Expect to spend 1-2 hours at the immigration office. The fastest I’ve completed an extension was in 30 minutes.
Grab the TM.7 application form for Thai visa extension. It’s a 2-page form. You can also download TM.7 form here.
Complete the form. You will need to fill in your personal information, no. of requested days, reason of extension, address in Thailand etc. Then gather necessary copies and a photo. Attach your photo to the designated area in the form and sign it.
Hand over your passport and paperwork to receive a queue number.
When your number is called you’ll approach the indicated desk and your photo will be taken. Pay the 1900 THBs at that time- cash only. You’ll be sent away and approximately 5-10 minutes later you’ll be called by your name.
This is when your passport is handed back to you with an extra stamp permitting an additional 30 days of stay.
Whether you need 3, 13, or all 30 days; the process and the fee remain the same.
Important: Follow The Law
Now some people might be thinking, “Wow! 1900฿, I only need 2 or 3 more days before I fly out. What if I don’t take the time and pay the money for an extension?”
There is an overstay penalty. Every day past your permission to stay is a 500฿ fine. This is usually discovered at departure. People get caught up, forget, change a flight, etc. You will get a stamp in your passport indicating you overstayed and how much you paid.
In the past, if this is an honest mistake and you’ve overstayed a few hours to less than a day, the immigration officials at the airport may waive the fine. How does that happen? Maybe you’ve got a late night or early morning “red-eye” flight.
You arrive at the airport at 23:00 for your 1:30 flight. By the time you check-in and get processed by immigration, it could be after midnight. In this scenario, they are likely to waive the fine.
If you only call it an overstay fine, maybe it doesn’t sound so bad. The truth is you have broken the law. You are illegally staying in Thailand. This is no joke.The maximum fine is 20,000฿ and you may face jail time. You can even be banned from re-entering Thailand in the future.
So, I would recommend you to get a Thai visa extension if you plan to stay longer.
How was your experience extending your Thai visa?
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about Thai visa extension. If you want to add something that you experienced, do let me know. Please share if you think it’s useful.