Guide: VISA Extensions in Thailand

I have written about the standard Thai VISA Extension in Bangkok, but more recently we had to complete one when travelling, and, fortunately we found various immigration offices scattered throughout Thailand. Tycpically there would be one immigration office per province, although at times they do overlap, and each will be used for Thai VISA extensions and 90 day reporting on more long-term VISAs. So, when based in rural Isaan, we did a quick search in the surrounding area, and uncovered a bunch of immigration offices (including Maha Sarakham, Khon Kaen, Roi Et, Buriram, KapChoeng (Surin), and Nakhon Ratchasima / Korat). From this list we then found three which were a ninety minute radius from out current location (as we’re out in remote rice fields). Each of these immigration offices were in different provinces: Buriram, Kap Choeng (Surin) and Chokchai (Korat). But these immigration offices are almost always found in outside areas and within Provincial Government Office buildings. So personal transport does help. Anyway, for my 30 Day Tourist VISA extension, we lumped for the Buriram Provincial Offices.

Buriram Immigration Offices, Thai VISA Extension at Immigration Offices Isaan Thailand Visa Services Buriram, Thai VISA Extension at Immigration Offices Outside of Bangkok incl. Isaan


Opening Hours:

The general immigration office hours will be Monday to Friday, between 08.30 – 16.30, with a one hour break between 12:00 noon – 01:00 pm. It is probably best to arrive early, and to pick up a ticket before waiting in line. But, unlike Bangkok, and other big tourist and expat destinations, the provincial immigration offices will be a lot less busy and easier to complete the Thai VISA extension. For me it took no more than 40 minutes. Note immigration offices will be closed on public holidays in Thailand.


VISA Extension Documents:

Forms and photocopying will likely be available at the immigration offices.

  • Passport with immigration (departure) card,
  • Completed VISA Extension Form (TM7),
  • One passport photo,
  • Photocopies of passport pages (photo page, current visa, immigration card),
  • Payment of THB 1,900.

Potential Fines:

For those NOT staying in a hotel (e.g. in someone’s house) it will be necessary for the homeowner to report, within 24 hours,  that a foreigner will be staying at their residence (TM30). A law which we were clueless about and Fanfan’s mum was inevitably fined 400 Thai Baht for not reporting my stay (and this was apparently leanient where I’ve heard of up to 5,000 Baht in fines). In highsight it would have been cheaper and easier staying at a hotel given the immigration offices were a good hour’s drive from where we were staying.


Alternative Options

I rarely opt for the tourist VISA extension option as it often makes more sense to jump the borders and apply for a new 60 day VISA at embassies outside of Thailand. Plus we almost always have travel planned ahead. So for VISA runs I would schedule them every two months, and I would make them cheap, so in the long run the spending isn’t so different. Yet, at the same time, I gain some great travel experiences to go with. And to date I have covered most of the nearby border options, and some more far flung alternatives. Here for full list of easy Thai VISA runs.

Flying to Asia, Thai VISA Extension at Immigration Offices Isaan Thailand Vientiane Loas, Thai VISA Extension at Immigration Offices Isaan Thailand

14 Comments

  • Ich suche ein Visa Office fuer Thaiperson, in der Gegend Buriram
    Tourist Visa nach Spanien. If you kann bitte Antworte auf meine E-Mail

    • I’ve never had problems with apartments, at least not in Bangkok or the big cities. I think it’s more of an obligation for the owner to register someone staying at the property. Something which really is quite loosely followed. At the same time, those on tourist visas will complete address on the form when arriving at airports etc, It’s more a change of address. I’m a bit unsure about it all tbh.

  • Greetings,
    I am from the USA. I plan to spend 90 day in Maha Sarakham starting this coming December. I would like to know when is the earliest time I can apply for a 30 day visa extension?

      • Just rec’d a correction for another forum participant who corrected the previous response. She is a long time forum participant. She stated that I can apply for an extension the moment I arrive from day one.

          • Here is a definitive answer from the moderator of the Thai travel forum (Very knowledgeable on this topic). I apologize for my haste in submitting my findings without fully digesting the answers I received:

            “It’s not difficult [filing for an extension], just can be time consuming. Make sure you have all photocopies and a passport picture before you get to the office and take a pen with you–they would not let me borrow a pen and I had to go and buy one and come back. Go to the immigration office first thing in the morning and be in line before they open. Looks like you are going in Isaan, so those are not as busy as the more popular tourist areas so should be faster. Also, note that some of the smaller offices are not open daily so check to be sure which days it is open”.

            Here is his initial answer to my question on this subject:

            “If you are on a visa-exempt entry, you can apply for an extension anytime after arrival and they will add the 30 days additional to the end of your stay. If you enter on a TR visa (60 day tourist visa), most immigration offices will require that you wait until you have 45 or less days remaining. That said, the policy is up to the individual immigration office, so you may find something different depending on the office you use”.

  • I just received a response from a Facebook forum stating that an extension goes into effect once it’s has been approved, meaning that if I apply for an extension with 30 days remaining on my visa, then the extension starts upon approval. In other words what ever remaining time is left on your visa will be cancelled ant the 30 days extension goes into effect.

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