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.
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.
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.
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.