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 (the Thai government has changed this visa waiver to
45days starting from 1st October 2022 until March 2023). You can enter by land, sea or air.
And should you go for it, it’s really 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.
Table of Contents
How Many Thai Visa Waivers Can I Get & Extend?
There are a lot of conflicting reports online that you are allowed up to six per calendar year and some say only two.
My take is this: a big part of this depends on your personal travel history and stamps in Thailand, and whether the immigration officer had a bad day.
Personally, I think you would be fine since your last entry was a long time ago. But do have an onward ticket.
Which Border is the Best for Visa Run?
While Laos still remains the safest and easiest of all, Malaysia is just fine. Have not heard any bad news about it pretty recently.
You can take the overnight sleeper train to Penang besar. From there you can take another train to penang, if you wish to stay in Malaysia but it is not really required.
And in case you want to try the Myanmar one, the Mae Sot border- what I know is that you’ll be required to wait in the office while your passport is stamped and then asked to return immediately to Thailand.
You can’t stay there overnight. You are only permitted to cross the bridge for the purposes of a border run.
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.
What to Do about Onward Ticket for Thai Visa Extension?
This is something that a lot of folks have asked about in the comments. The thing about the onward ticket is that, while you do need it while extending the visa, there are a bunch of airlines that would not let you board if you don’t have one.
Been there and done that.
The best solution to this is to simply rent a flight ticket. There are a lot of other solutions that might or might not work for you. Here is a whole post on getting a travel itinerary for visa purposes.
Here is what you do. Rent the ticket a day or two before your original visa waiver or SETV runs out, without taking the extension into account. That means, if your SETV is for 60 days, you rent a ticket to leave Thailand on the 58th or 59th day.
Then once you are in Thailand, and when it is time for the extension, either buy a real ticket if you are gonna fly out or a bus/train ticket to Laos or some other country or rent a flight ticket again.
Do You Need Insurance for Thai Visa Extension?
No, for the extension itself, you don’t need insurance, although you would have gotten it in the first place for entering Thailand.
That being said, we always recommend to our readers that they are fully insured when they are traveling. And for what it’s worth, we believe at close to 10 USDs per week and covering almost everything including COVID, SafetyWing is one of the best providers.
This is something that we have already used ourselves. And if you are having doubts, here are 18 backpackers who could throw some light on why backpacker travel insurance is super important.
When to Get Thai Visa Extension
You must apply for a 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 can also refer to this map for Thailand Immigration Offices, however, please note that sometimes the locations can change. Please do some homework before you show up.
You must visit in person to apply for the extension. The extension gives you an additional 30 days on your current entry.
New Location for Extension on Visa Waivers in Bangkok
There is a new location (because of Covid) for the extension of Visa Waivers in Bangkok: IT Square Laksi Plaza, 3rd Floor ( 8.30 am – 4.30 pm)
If you came with SETV to Thailand, then the location to get the visa extension is Chaeng Watthana.
Immigration offices are open Monday-Friday and closed on local holidays.
These locations in Bangkok have changed in the recent past. So make sure to confirm before showing up.
Here is Billy’s experience with Visa Extension in Ayutthaya.
It went quickly (11am Friday). Can do photocopies (3 baht/page) and pictures across the street at a small shop with a camera sticker on the window.
The receptionist at immigration called my hostel, but not sure if actually checking that I was staying or just if it existed.
Then a desk to fill out a few forms – one worker was very helpful and spoke some English. (And had white-out for things like when it said “date” but then the next line had month and year)
Then the office, where I was seen immediately. Around 10 minutes of her doing paperwork, a webcam pic, then you pay and another officer signs off on your passport. Takes up about 1/3 of a page.
(Oh and no problem not having a collar in my photo, I’d read that elsewhere)
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.
- Thai visa extension photo requirements:- 1 passport photo, 4x6cm
- 1,900฿ fee for extension paid in cash
Some immigration offices can ask for TM30 optionally. Usually they don’t since the hotel has the responsibility to get it for you, although you can do it as well. This can be done online or by visiting the local immigration office. There have been cases where people dug up a screenshot of the filing done by the property manager from phone and business card, and that worked. But don’t count on luck.
All copies must be signed. There’s always a photocopier and a photoshop on-premise or nearby where these can be arranged for a small fee.TM 6 used to be a requirement, but it belongs to history now, at least for those who fly in.
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, the reason for the extension, address in Thailand etc. Then gather the 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.
Read More Thai Visa Experiences
- Thailand non-immigrant visa
- 60 Day Thailand Tourist Visa
- Thailand Work Permit Visa
- Thai Visa on Arrival
- 90 Days Report in Thailand
- Thailand Visa in Nepal
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