How to apply for visa extension in Thailand?
Dreamy beaches, delicious food, and cheap living...There are so many reasons why Thailand is so popular among tourists and people willing to move somewhere for a living. However, what if you do not suspect the impact it will have on you, and suddenly realize you would like to stay longer than planned? Surely, the first thought that would come to your mind would be about the formalities and how to extend Thailand visa. Because it would be really sad not being allowed back into this heavenly country for ignoring the appointed departure date on your visa, wouldn’t it?
There is no doubt that you are already on the good side of the law if you are looking into this topic online. I am happy you have found yourself reading these lines here because I will try to give a short overview of things there are to know about extending your visa. You will find out that there are more options than the classic Thailand 30 day visa extension and some technical details to save your time during the planning process. For example, how much is a visa extension in Thailand, and how long does it take to make it happen. Let’s kick it off with some introduction and general information.
What is there to know about the Thailand visa policy?
Even my most seasoned friends that have lived in this country for years (and have had to extend their stay numerous times) were slightly discouraged when I asked them to tell me more about the visa policy in Thailand. You see, this country has many opportunities for foreigners to arrange their living situation in this country.
Simultaneously, it is also a flaw because navigating all of these options might be slightly complicated and time-consuming. Additionally, the procedures are generally considered quite easy, but the requirements are not always set in stone and differ from case to case. Looking through all of the options will take days. This is why this article will focus more on the general information concerning the tourist visa Thailand extension with a few remarks on differences compared with other most common visa types.
What are the types of extension of visa in Thailand?
As I mentioned, we will focus on tourist visa Thailand extension. The most standard extension is the one that allows you an additional 30-day stay. Thailand 30 day visa extension is easily attainable and would usually follow your standard 60 allowed days. Generally, it is possible to obtain this extension just once, but some say it might be possible to get more of those if you have a substantial reason behind the request. Even though the official information says that the expected scheme is 60+30 days, my expatriate friends say it is more like 60+60. Double of whatever the initial visa was. So don’t get confused if you find conflicting information reading different online blogs.
If you already know that you will want to stay longer, you might consider a nonimmigrant O visa extension Thailand. This visa is the option for people who intend to become residents. It has to be obtained until you get the visa, but no longer than 90 days. These three months will give you enough time to arrange the formalities for one of the two - either retirement or marriage visa. Both of these can be considered a 1 year visa extension Thailand, as they add one year of uninterrupted stay in the country after your O visa runs out.
For example, if you don’t have a marriage visa but have a child in Thailand, a visa extension baby Thailand could be requested. In the case of visa extension baby Thailand, you will also need a nonimmigrant O visa that you will use as the base for this extension. You can get an extension for a business visa or an extension of your long-term Thai visa, too. However, let’s stick to the main avenue - the general information about the process and technicalities.
How to extend visa Thailand?
The process is considered very simple. If you would like to extend any visa, you are usually required to do it when you are already in the country. Even though initial tourist visas are issued online, the extensions are always handled in person. That means you will have to pay a visit to the Thai Immigration Office, fill in a TM7 visa extension form, and pay the fee. That’s it! For different visa types, the form will differ and the amount of the fee to pay. How to find the Immigration Office? Ask around in the hotel where their office is, and they will help you.
What are the requirements for visa extension in Thailand?
To extend the tourist visa, you will need a very few basic things. First, the previous visa has to be still valid and not extended before. From documents, you will need just a copy of your passport (identification page and pages with Thai visas and stamps), as well as a passport-sized photo. The list of, for example, requirements for Thailand marriage visa extension, will be a bit more complicated. You will need to present the marriage certificate and bank statements that prove the income of your spouse. Currently, it is a minimum of 400 000 Thai Baht. Then again, you will need to submit detailed information on your business activities for business visa extension, including a registration certificate and bank statements. If you are looking for Thailand marriage visa extension requirements or other ones, please check with the authorities to have the most precise information.
How much is a visa extension in Thailand?
As for the tourist visa Thailand extension, the fee will be 1900 Thai Baht (about 58 USD). You would expect to pay a similar amount for any non immigrant O visa extension Thailand. That means if you want to get a 1 year visa extension Thailand either for marriage or retirement, then the fee will be the same. The fees are paid at the Thai Immigration Office at the visit when you go to submit the application form.
What is the processing time of the extension of visa in Thailand?
Unfortunately, it is hard to say the exact amount of days you will have to wait. With the tourist visa extension, it sometimes happens that you get it right away, but with the other visa types, it might take even 3 weeks or more. This is why you should never leave the application for extending your stay to the last moment.
If you are now in there and want to obtain an extension of visa in Thailand, then I am truly envious of your situation. Whatever the motivation for doing this is, I wish you a fast and smooth process of application. And hopefully, soon enough, you will be allowed to have the privilege of walking the Thai land for at least a few months more.
* Nowadays, during the COVID-19 crisis, the visa extension procedures might differ slightly from the norm. Please consider this, and consult with the local authorities to find out the latest information. Nonetheless, if you already happen to be in the country and know that your current visa is about to run out, don’t be discouraged yet. The Thai government has introduced easier possibilities to extend the visas because the virus might affect peoples’ ability to return home. You will likely be able to extend your current visa and be asked of fewer requirements than you would in a normal situation. Just check with the Immigration Office to find out the latest information, as the regulations change every few months.
By the way, if you are just planning your trip to Thailand in the unforeseeable future due to COVID-19 restrictions, then you should read more about the “Phuket sandbox” program that the Thai government has just introduced. Fully vaccinated travelers from lower-risk countries can access Phuket Island without the need to quarantine for 14 days after arriving. Traveling to any other part of the country would require spending two weeks in isolation, but this program makes the beauty of Thailand much more accessible nowadays. It is a great opportunity to dust off the depressing home routines, and finally enjoy life a bit in a destination that will make you feel alive for the first time in a long period.
Ieva Miltina is an activist and entrepreneur of many sorts. By profession project manager of marketing and culture events, in her heart she is a passionate traveler and a cook, soon to become a pastry chef. Deeply rooted in non-formal education she has been involved in youth work since her teenage years and up till nowadays holds a deep interest in innovative approaches to learning and personal development, which she transfers to people from all Europe during various international trainings. Always looking for new discoveries and adventures she happily shares her positive view on the world and the neverending stories with the people who cross her path. While studying hospitality and tourism management she wrote a thesis on home-chefs, which ignited her dream of owning her cozy and heartwarming home restaurant, which will hopefully materialize very soon. Meanwhile writing articles and doing food photography she is working towards another dream of hers - becoming a published author someday.