Extending Your 30 Day On Arrival Tourist Visa in Bangkok, Thailand

Extending Your 30 Day On Arrival Tourist Visa in Bangkok, Thailand

If you are a citizen of one of the many countries that are eligible for a visa exemption you can travel to Thailand without first applying for a visa and receive a 30 day visa on arrival at the airport. If you are planning a trip to Thailand and are planning on staying for more than 30 consecutive days your best bet is to apply for a 60 day tourist visa before you leave your home country. If you are a procrastinator (like me) or don’t know where you will be in 30 days (also like me), then you may find yourself wanting to extend the 30 day tourist visa you receive when you arrive.

You can leave Thailand and come back and get re-stamped which is fine if you have another country you would like to travel to for a bit. Some things to consider:

  • Thailand is supposedly cracking down on folks who like to do border runs by leaving and re-entering the country in the same day.
  • If you do manage to do a border run, you only get 15 more days not 30.
  • To get 30 more days you have to fly into the country.

Fortunately, in August of 2014 Thailand increased its on arrival visa extension from 7 days to 30 days without upping the price of 1,900 Baht ($US 58). So, unless you feel like flying to Cambodia and back in the same day it is much easier to just pay a visit to the Immigration Division in Bangkok and get your 30 days extended to 60 days.

Note: This article is specifically about the immigration office in Bangkok. There are other offices throughout Thailand. Please see the end of the article for a link.

Getting There

If you are traveling solo it is probably best to hop on the BTS and take it to Mo Chit or the MRT and take it to Chatuchak Park. From there you’ll have to grab a taxi. Tell them, or show them, that you want to go to:

Immigration Division – The Government Complex

If you just say “Immigration” they’ll probably know. Depending on traffic, it will take about 20-30 minutes in the taxi. Fare is around 140 Baht ($US 4.25).

If you are a couple or are traveling with friends, it might make more sense to just grab a taxi from where ever you are depending on where you are staying in Bangkok. By the time you buy multiple BTS/MRT tickets it could turn out to be cheaper to take a taxi the whole way. Since it is a ways out there the taxi driver might try to charge you a flat fee so make sure that they’ll go on meter.

Image of The Government Complex in Bangkok
The Government Complex is an easy building to recognize and is much bigger than it looks. – Photo by Phillip Roeland

What You’ll Need

  • Your Passport
  • Your Departure Card
  • 1,900 Baht
  • One passport photo
  • Copies of your passport photo/declaration page, the page with your entrance stamp, and your departure card.

You Can Get Photos, Copies and Money at the Government Complex

No need to run around looking for photo & copy places before heading to immigration, just grab your passport and departure card and go. Once you enter the Government Complex building, bypass the immigration office and take the escalator to the basement. Follow the very prominent signs to one of the photo/copy places and get your passport photos taken (4 for 100 Baht). While those are being printed, give your passport & departure card to the girl behind the copy counter. Don’t worry about what specific pages you need copied, she already knows and will take care of it. With those in hand, head back upstairs to the immigration office. If you forgot to grab money before going, no problem. There are ATMs there as well.

The Immigration Office

Enter the first small office that says Immigration Division I and go to the desk. Tell them what form you need. In this case the visa on arrival extension. There are counters with pens and paste for you to complete the form and attach your new photo. Don’t freak out about the “Reason for Extension” field. Just because it has room for a paragraph doesn’t mean you need to write one. I was apparently being too verbose by writing a complete sentence as the guys filling out their forms next to us used one word answers and had no problem getting their extensions.

Once you have completed your form you will walk through a door to the next counter where an official will look over your form and passport to make sure you have filled out everything properly. They will then issue you a queue number ticket. The queues are labeled by letter so just find your queue, grab a seat and wait for your number to be called.

Image of Queue ticket from Immigration office Bangkokq
The Queue Ticket: Queue K1, Number 23.

When your number is called you will go to an immigration officer’s desk and give them your form, passport and money. They may ask a clarifying question or two but other than that they’ll take your picture with their little web cam thingy and send you back out to wait. 30-40 minutes later someone will come out to return your passport and you’re all set. Head outside and grab a taxi as there is a line waiting there and get on with your day. They open at 8:30. We didn’t get there until 9 and were on our way back by 11. They do close for lunch between noon and 1pm so take that into account.

Image of Visa Extension Stamp Thailand
My original 30 day stamp is in the upper left. My new 30 day extension is the big stamp in the middle.

The process for other extensions seems to be pretty similar so if you need to extend your 60 day tourist visa by an additional 30 days just head to the Government Complex.

One caveat: You actually have to get into the country first. If you are leaving the United State for Thailand, don’t have a tourist visa and only have a one way ticket the airline company could ask you for proof that you have a flight out of Thailand. If you can’t produce proof of an exit/return flight (and only a flight, no other travel arrangements are valid) they may not let you on the plane. If you have the 60 day tourist visa you don’t need proof of a return flight. If you need proof of a return flight, your best bet is to buy a fully refundable airline ticket that you can cancel once you are in country. We didn’t have this issue as we flew to Bangkok from Istanbul and Turkish Airlines didn’t ask for return flight proof.

Other Immigration Offices in Thailand: There are satellite offices in Thailand. I have no specific details on any of them other than Bangkok. Here is a map that shows their locations.

photo credit: Philip Roeland via photopin cc

124 Responses to Extending Your 30 Day On Arrival Tourist Visa in Bangkok, Thailand

    • You can request the extension at any time during your 30 day stay.

      I need to check, but you might even be able to extend it after the 30 days is up though there is a daily fine for overstaying your visa that you would have to pay.

  1. Hi,
    Thanks so much for this information. It helped me apply for my visa-on-arrival extension for an additional 30 days.
    Do you know if I can apply for yet another extension, or must I leave Thailand and return? If this is the case, how long do you need to stay out of the Thailand before flying back in to obtain a new visa-on-arrival?

    • Cool. Glad we could help.

      I think you can file for another extension when the date passes into your second thirty days. I think but I don’t know for sure. There is a lot of conflicting info out there and the rules seem to change regularly and are dependent on who is enforcing them.

      From what I’ve read if you leave and fly back in, even after just a few days (3-4) you can easily get another 30 day visa on arrival at the airport. People seem to have a far easier time when coming in via the airport than via a land border. There’s supposedly a six months in one year limit for tourist on arrival visas so you should be able to leave and come back multiple times as long as it looks like you’re traveling and not trying to get a job. If you’re going to stay that long anyway it is probably best to apply for an extended visa.

  2. Really useful info here. Thanks. Got 30 days tourist visa on arrival extension today. Definitely helps getting there early as it gets really busy towards lunch time. I got there around 10:15am, filled the form, and the lady at the counter issued the queue ticket at around 10:30am. Quickly went downstairs to the photocopying shops, handed the passport and the staff there photocopied the necessary pages. only the page with your photo and the opposite page, alongwith the page that contains your visa on arrival and departure card attached to the opposite page are needed (the lady/gentleman handing the queue ticket will do the necessary so the departure card is on the opposite page of the original tourist visa – departure card is usually stapled to the opposite page)

    Headed back upstairs. At about 11:15am, my queue number was called. Had the interview with the immigration officer and my photo taken using the webcam. Was asked to pay the fee of 1900 Bhat. Then told to wait in the waiting area until the passport is returned.

    At exactly 12pm an officer goes around asking everyone to vacate the waiting area, as it is lunch. My passport was returned just prior to the luncheon interval.

    The form you will need to complete is titled “Application for extension of temporary stay in the Kingdom”. I am attaching a link to where you can download a scanned version, so you can see the details you need to complete. (the Actual form is Available on the Thailand Immigration Bureau website).

    http://www.keepandshare.com/doc8/5620/application-for-extension-of-temporary-stay-in-the-kingdom-tm-7-pdf-896k?da=y

    http://www.keepandshare.com/doc8/5617/thailand-immi-counter-ticket-k-76-jpg-249k?da=y

    http://www.immigration.go.th/nov2004/en/base.php?page=download

  3. Your article is fantastic and really helped us find our way around. I highly recommend arriving before 10 if you want to receive your visa before they close for lunch. Unfortunately I missed the cut having received my queue ticket at 10:30am.

  4. Hi i am going to extend my 60 day tourist visa for another 30 days and have just purchased a departure ticket,am i able to write ticket information on extension application form or would it need to be a print out of the ticket?

    • You don’t need your departure ticket info to extend your visa. Airlines just check that you have one before you fly to Thailand because they can get fined by the Thai government if you were to overstay your visa.

  5. Just wanted to clarify: my wife has a one entry 60 tourist VISA. We will need to extend her stay another 30 days. Are we able to do the 30 day extension in Thailand on top of the 60 day tourist visa we purchased prior? Thanks!

    • Yes, I believe so. From what I can find that has always been the case. It seems that they are just trying to cut down on border runs, but it isn’t a problem if you go through the proper channels. If you plan on staying longer than 90 days you may want to ask the folks at immigration if there is anything special you need to do.

  6. I am currently planning on flying into Thailand without a visa, and plan to stay for only 35 days. I already bought a return ticket. When is the right time to applying for the 7 day extension? Can I apply when I have gone over the 30 day limit?

    • You can apply any time during your first 30 days. You don’t want to wait until after the deadline because you can be fined for each day you overstay your visa.

      • I will be flying in and out of Thailand for 8 weeks and not staying in Thailand for more than 2 weeks at a time. I wanted to know if it’s worth getting the extension. Also if I get extension does that allow multiple entries or is it only valid till I leave Thailand?

        • I don’t think you need to extend your visa if you will be leaving and coming back regularly. Also, I’m not sure that this extension allows for re-entry. There may be an extension that does allow for re-entry but in your case it would be easier and cheaper to just leave and come back.

    • But what about the requirement of having return ticket? I am also planning a 35-37 day trip, but there are some doubts: First: Is the prolonging of permission to stay guaranteed? And secondly: what about air carrier at airport of departure? They are obligated to check that you have return ticket in line with the 30 day rule. But I want to stay 35 days!!! Complicated….

      • Depends where you are flying from and with which airline you’re flying. The safest bet is to get a 60 day visa before you travel.

  7. Hi
    I am planning to travel to bangkok this july. I’m planning to stay for 1month and 20days. My 1month stay will be covered by the 30days free stay on stamp on arrival right?. How can I extend for my 20 days of stay? I have a return flight at august 20. I heard about 30days extension of stay but I do not have a tourist visa I only have on stamp arrival. I came from dubai and wanted to stay in thailand for 1month and 20days, I have ticket going to Philippines on August 20,2015.

  8. Hello,

    When I came to Bangkok, I had a 60 day tourist visa. I already extended it an additional 30 days. I believe I am able to extend it, an additional 30 days once more. Is this true? I need to do it this way because I am not able to get a work visa yet :/ please help!

    • I believe you can extend more than once. After your first 60 days ends and your 30 day extension starts, head out to the immigration office and give it a shot.

  9. Thanks for this information. I am definitely a procrastinator like you, but I do know that I plan to travel to another country before 30 days is up. What I’m worried about is being denied at the airport if I get a visa on arrival because I don’t have proof of onward travel yet (beyond my flight back home 2 months later). Do you think I need to have my other flight information or travel plans (if overland) to convince them that I plan to leave within their 30 day time frame?
    Tracie Howe recently posted…Vasque Pow Pow boots reviewMy Profile

    • Where are you flying from and what airline are you flying with?

      Since you actually have a return ticket booked you should be fine especially if it is with the same airline. The airline counter people don’t care about your visa status, just your return flight. The immigration people don’t care about your return flight, just your visa status. As long as you have a returned flight booked, the airline shouldn’t care.

  10. Hiya, just to reiterate, i’m planning on arriving in Bangkok staying for 3 nights to do some site-seeing then flying to Laos, travelling around Laos then on to Vietnam then Cambodia and from Siem Reap will be flying to Krabi in Thailand and doing a few islands there before heading back to Bangkok to get a flight out.
    So I will be able to get a 30 day tourist visa on arrival and leave after 3 days and then get another 30 day one on entry to Krabi before leaving Bangkok with proof of onward travel.
    Thanks a lot!
    poppy recently posted…Our Nineteen Hour Bus Ride in Vietnam the Week Before TetMy Profile

  11. If I bought a ticket with return date of 30 days from my departure, but while in Thailand I find I want to extend my on arrival visa another 30 days (to stay 60 days), what happens in regards to my flight ticket? Will my return date be able to be changed to honor my extended stay in Thailand?

    • That’s down to the airline/booking service. At the least you’ll have to pay a change fee. At the most, depending on ticket restrictions, you may have to buy a new ticket. You just need to look at the conditions on the ticket.

  12. You can extend your 30 day visa at any local immigration office not just Bangkok. I recently extended my daughters visa who.entered with me on a UK.passport and granted 30 days on arrival. We renewd her visa in Siracha, took less than 40minutes and they gave a 12month extension. Cost 1900 bht. She was born in Thailand.

    • Yes, that is a good point. I thought I had mentioned that there are other offices outside Bangkok, but didn’t. Will correct the article.

  13. Went there this morning, arriving just before 9am and out before 11am. Overall pleasant and efficient experience. I took the opportunity to use the interview session to ask questions on visa rules and procedures, the immigration officer was very helpful and provided better advice than a lawyer I spoke to a few days ago.

    • Yes. That is exactly what we did. We flew from Istanbul to Bangkok, received our 30 day stamp on arrival at the airport and then went tot he immigration center our first week in Thailand.

  14. Hey, this article is so helpful!!

    I’m planning on flying to Thailand on the 2nd of Jan and return on the 8th of April, during my time I will be visiting the surrounding countries (Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam) and spending some time in a Muay Thai gym in Phuket! However, I have not yet booked my ticket, would I be able to book my flights that state I would be in Thailand for 3 months and sort my visas out once I got there by extending to 60 days and that for another 30?

    Thanks again man, i appreciate it!

    • If you are flying from the United States, even if you have the return ticket booked, there is a chance the airline won’t let you on the plane without a visa since the return flight is over 30 days after arrival. If you have a proof of a flight booked to one of those other countries within 30 days of your arrival, that would be sufficient. But honestly, the best way to go, even though you’ll be leaving and coming back, would be to just apply for a 60 day tourist visa before you even leave. You’ll be covered, the airlines shouldn’t hassle you and it is one less line you’ll have to wait in once you are there. Once you arrive you can then extend it another 30 days.

  15. Hopefully I didn’t overlook this info. I understand proof of an onward flight is required for obtaining a 60-day tourist visa. I was going to simply get a flight to a neighboring country as proof of an onward flight; however, the original flight is much less expensive if I purchase as a roundtrip ticket. What I don’t know is when I could make the return trip for. I’m planning to request a 30-day extension to tack onto the 60 days, but I don’t imagine they’ll want to see a return ticket for beyond the 60-day mark! Do people just pay to change their return flight if the extension is approved? Or do they just eat the cost and avoid roundtrip tickets altogether, making the onward flight strictly one to a neighboring country that isn’t a huge loss if unused?

    Secondly, what are the options beyond 90 days should I wish to remain in Asia longer? For instance, would I be allowed back in Thailand for a flight out after visiting neighboring countries?

    Thanks so much!

    • Sorry for the late response. I didn’t think you needed proof of an onward flight if you got the 60 day visa. I will check into that.

      People go both ways. Sometimes they will book a ticket and then just pay the change fees, other times they’ll book a cheap flight to Cambodia or another neighboring country.

      After 90 days if you leave to travel around SE Asia and return to Thailand, they will let you in again on a 30 day arrival visa. They aren’t as worried about how much time you spend there as they are with you being compliant.

  16. Hi! I was in Thailand about a month ago and without realizing it, overstayed by 3 days. I payed the fine and walked into Cambodia and everything was okay, except my mood. Now I’m going back to Thailand, this time by air, and I’m a little nervous if they will let me in to the country because of my overstaying-mistake. They wrote in my passport that I had payed a fine of 1500 bath and stamped it, so it’s not like I can hide it very well. At least not if they go through all of the pages in my now over-stamped passport.
    Do you know if it’s going to be a problem? And if so, if there’s anything to do about it?

    – Amalie

    • The border crossing to Cambodia can be enough to put anyone in a bad mood.

      You’ve paid your fine, you shouldn’t have any problems.

  17. Hi,
    I am going to Thailand next week Dec. 1. I’ll be staying over 30 days, just under 60. I bought my ticket very spontaneously a week ago and didn’t realize that I would have to get a visa to stay for more than 30 days. I understand that you can get extended beyond the 30 days by leaving the country and re-entering by plane. Is this option pretty air tight? Will I be able to enter the country without a visa if my ticket indicates I’ll be staying for more than 30 days. Do I need to have proof of my departure from Thailand for a couples days in order to enter the country in the first place? Thank you so much in advance for your repose. Your info has been very helpful.

    • Your biggest potential problem is getting on the plane to get to Thailand. Depending where you are flying from, they may check to make sure you have an extended visa since your return flight is more than 30 days after your departure. If you have plans on leaving to visit another country and then returning to Thailand, you will get a fresh 30 days. But you may need proof of that onward flight before you leave.

      If you are near a Thai embassy or consulate I would recommend getting a tourist visa if you have time.

    • Possible? Perhaps, depending on the time of day. Advised? No. Too many things could go wrong. If you’re headed to another part of Thailand, hit the immigration office near your final destination. Check out the map linked at the bottom of this post to find the one nearest your destination.

  18. Hey Mark- Wondered if you could help me get my head around what Visa I need for my trip. (6 months total)

    I am getting into Bangkok on the 31st Jan (From Sri Lanka) and plan to stay 3 nights before heading to the Philippines for 30 days. After this I plan to fly back to Bangkok then onto Chaing Mai etc and do the loop to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

    After that Im aiming to travel around Southern Thailand and the islands an for 2-2 and a half months then onto Malaysia for a couple of weeks.

    I leave the UK on the 12th Jan and have a return ticket booked from Bangkok for the 12th July.

    Do I need to apply for a multiple entry Visa or will I be ok on the 30 day entry visa and do a border run while im in and around Thailand?

    Ive read alot of conflicting advice and if i need to sort something before I leave the UK I need to do it soon- would rather do the cheaper option, or is there anything I can do to extend my 30 day entry visa while im in Thailand before I head South to the Islands?

    Any advice would be great- Im so confused!I dont know the exact date I will be back in Thailand after Cambodia/Laos/ Vietnam as am playing it by ear.

    Thank you!

    • You should be fine with getting a visa on arrival for your initial three days and your trip up through Chiang Mai. Though that depends a bit on the airline you take back from the Philippines. If they make you provide proof of onward travel, you could have a problem.

      When you return for the 2+ months you’ll either need a visa in advance or you can extend it when you get there. It depends on how you enter the country and from where. If you fly in you’ll get 30 days. Then it is just a matter of visiting an immigration office to get it extended.

  19. Hi. Upon arrival at Phuket I got the 30 day stamp visa. Then just before my due date I exit Thailand and got a 60 days Tourist visa. Before my 60 days visa got expired I am planning to extend it more for a month or less? Is this possible?
    Thank you.

    • You should be able to get an extension. You can get your extension at any point during the 60 days, so I’d just recommend going as early as possible and finding out.

  20. Hello can i ask about for have visa do i need to have visa if i stay only 30days in thailand? But this is my first time for to go thai.

    Iwait your answer Ann.thanks

  21. Hi mark just a quick question i’m going on monday anyway but what i want to know is i arrived on 30 day arrival visa i was unaware of the visa stuff stupid me should have checked before my bright idea to travel i want to extend another 60 days i dont have flight out i plan on travelling around a bit and come back. heres what i want to know. I know the border runs are to stop people working here. i work online i want to stay as long as possible and don’t mind traveling around malaysia, cambodia, burma, laos, vietnam to do this if i get 60 day extension do i have to leave at all in the 60 days? can i extend again/do i have to leave to extend again? how can i prove i intend to leave if i don’t want to fly but travel overland? (i am old school and like the adventure instead of cooped up in a plane) do you have to prove you have funds/or is a credit card with good limit enough?

    • When you apply for visa extensions, they don’t check for onward travel. Only the airlines check for onward travel. If you get the extension, you don’t have to leave. But if you are planning on leaving you need to make sure it is a multiple entry visa or it will reset once you leave Thailand. They usually don’t bother with checking if you have enough funds.

  22. Hi, my 30 day arrival exemption visa finishes soon (27/01/16) and my flight leaves 07/03/16. Can I get a 30 day visa extension and then just pay the extra few days as overstay fine?

    • The fine is 500 baht per day for overstaying your visa so you’ll have to do the math between the 30 and 60 day extension. They don’t start fining you until after the second day you overstay.

  23. Hello there

    I have a visa on arrival for 30 days and i would like to get the 30day Extension.

    My question: can i get the extension anytime before the first 30 days are finished or do i have to go on the last day of the 30 day so i get 60 days in total?

    Thanks for your answer.

  24. Hi Mark, Thanks for your very clear post. I am in Thailand now, running two two week tours that will take me over the 30 day visa on arrival limit as I am staying for one week in between. I have read other articles that mention a 7 day limit for an extension, which would not work for me. Do you know if the limit is currently 30 days or 7 days? Also, I am planning on applying at an office in Hua Hin. Have you had any experience of using this office? Cheers, Miles

    • If you try to extend your visa after the initial 30 days have expired, they will only give you a seven day extension and a deadline to leave. If you extended it before your initial 30 days expire, you’ll be fine. I’ve only been to the immigration office in Bangkok, but I’ve read that the satellite offices, like the one in Hua Hin, are far less crowded and easier to deal with.

      • Thank you very much Mark. We went to the office in Hua Hin and it was all sorted very easily in 2 hours. We now have a 30 day extension to our original tourist entry visa. The office is open from 8:30 to 4:30 but closes for lunch. We suggest getting a ticket BEFORE completing any forms as that will get you through the line up faster. We had spare photographs but they do have a photo and photocopy facility on site for a nominal fee. We found the whole process easy and very orderly. From speaking to ‘regulars’ as we were waiting, morning is the better time to go. If you go late morning, be prepared to come back with your ticket after lunch.

  25. Hi Mark,

    Thank you for the info.

    I am from Canada and I plan on going to Thailand for 60 days and apply for a tourist visa.

    I also want to travel in Asia for an other 30 days by applying for an extension and then take my flight back Home from Bangkok.

    Will the airline / immigration let me enter and re-enter knowing that the return date on my ticket is 90 days later ?

    Thank you so much !

    • Immigration isn’t the problem. I imagine you are leaving from Canada. The airline could pose a problem. If you have time before you leave, apply for a visa in advance. If you don’t have time, try to do some searching online to see if anyone has ever had that problem flying between your departure city and BKK.

  26. Ive never wanted to marry sosomeone more. I have red site after site and they are all so confusing for someone like me who doesn’t know how long she wants to stay in Thailand or if she wants to travel in and out. I was starting to hyperventilate. Thank you so much for clarifying and putting my mind at ease. I appreciate you and your straightforward manner of speaking so much.

    That said, I would like to double check the following:
    I leave for Thailand end of March and return end of May, just under 2 momths. If I feel strapped for cash, I’m going to stay local. If not, I’m going to travel.
    So:
    Option 1/Stay Local: Arrive. Get extension visa prior to the 30 days being up.
    Option 2/Travel: Arrive. Stay in Thailand for under 30 days. Travel to nearby countries. Re-enter Thailand and fly home. —only concern left is if the 30 day stay allows for a re-entry.

    Do I have this right?

    • Haha. Thanks.

      You have that right. If you leave and come back you should do so by plane. You will get stamped back in for an additional 30 days and you’ll be fine.

      Your only potential problem is if the airline you are traveling to get to Thailand tries to stop you because your return flight is after your initial 30 day visa would have expired. If they do that, just jump online and buy a cheap airline ticket out of Bangkok. Air Asia, Tiger Air, and Nok Air all have super cheap flights to neighboring countries, especially Cambodia. Book the cheapest one way flight you can. If you use it, great. If not, you’re still going to Thailand. More than likely it won’t be an issue, but get to the airport a little earlier than normal just in case.

  27. Hi mark,

    Thank you for this information.
    I would like to clarify something.

    I am here at Bangkok for a training of a certain product for my company and I was granted a 30 Day Non Visa Entry and my last day here will be until March 30. But my company would like to extend my stay for another 30 days since I still have unfinished training here. Can I apply for 30 day extension for the purpose of training extension? Does the immigration officer very strict when it comes to extension purpose?

    Thank you very much!

    • The immigration officers did not seem very strict. As long as you put a legitimate reason on your form, you would be approved. However, do not say that your reason for staying is work related. That could be misunderstood to mean you are working and earning money in Thailand and they might not renew. If you say it is for travel and/or education you should be fine.

  28. Can anyone comment on the visa office in Surat? Pretty straightforward to get the extension here?

    Also, I’m a bit confused about one thing. As I understood it, when Americans fly to Thailand, they aren’t actually getting a visa – they are being let in visa exempt. Am I mistaken about this, and either way, extending this initial 30 days is still a viable option for Americans, yes? I can see on your About page that you’re from America, so my assumption is yes.

    Sorry if this seems like a dense question or like nitpicking, but last time I flew into BKK, I got in the visa on arrival line and I was told to go to the other line because I actually didn’t need a visa. SO if I didn’t need and don’t actually have a visa, who is it exactly that I’m able to extend it?

    Am I confused here on how it works?

    Thanks,
    Brian

    EDIT: Looking at your photo of the queu slip, I see it also says “without visa.” I guess that is meant to compensate for the visa exemption visitors.

  29. Hi Mark,
    Not sure if I understand correctly. I will be going to Thailand for 46 days and I’m leaving in about 2 weeks from the US. If my plane ticket already states that I will be staying for more than 30 days, can I still get a visa on arrival for 30 days and later on extend it for another 30 days or should I apply for a visa before going? I will be leaving in exactly 2 weeks so I don’t even know how long the process will take if I do it from home. Thanks in advance for your reply!

    • Unless they offer an expedited option for getting your tourist visa, you probably don’t have enough time. I would just go. Immigration will give you 30 days when you arrive and you can extend once you are there. If the airline gives you any trouble, book a cheap one way flight to Cambodia to prove you are leaving within 30 days. It might cost you a little money but it is better than staying home.

  30. Hi Mark
    Great article. Question: I am from Canada and didn’t get a visa on arrival just 30 day nnon visa stay. I am meant to leave tmrw on my flight. You mentioned I can only get a 15 day extention on my stay. Am I able to get 30 days without leaving the country?! Thanks

    • If I’m reading your comment right, you’re already in Thailand? If they let you in, you can get an extension at any of the immigration centers. The 15 day extension is only if you leave and come back through a land border.

  31. Hi Mark this is awesome information!

    I have a question…my 30 day visa on arrival expires 22/04/16 and I’m flying out two days after. Do you think its worth me going to immigration for this? Im not really clear on the overstay fine procedure…will this hold me up at the airport?? I don’t want to miss my flight!! You mentioned its 500baht per day overstay…so this is looking like the cheaper option

    • I don’t know what the process is for how they fine you and how you pay it. You’re right, for only two days it will be cheaper. If I were you I would get to the airport a little earlier and I would have enough cash to cover the fine.

  32. Hi Mark,
    I am currently on a 60-day tourist visa and it will expire about 2 weeks from now.
    I had intended to maximise it by applying for an extension.
    Will i get a 7 or 30 day extension if i head now the next few days? I am a little confused, i always thought i would be eligible for a 30 day extension…

      • Thank you sir, also can i just pop another question…

        in your experience, how many back-to-back tourist visa can i possibly have before it becomes a problem

        • That’s a good question. There used to be a limit but I don’t think there is one now. As long as you keep filing and paying for extensions, they’re happy.

  33. Hi Mark, you seem to be the guy in the know 🙂 so can I ask, would I be able to enter on the 30 day visa exemption, then get a 60 day extension, then get another 30 day extension after this, if needs be?

    Thanks!

  34. Hey Mark,

    I’m planning on doing a 35-40 day trip in South East Asia. If I spend 25 days in Thailand, fly out to Cambodia for a week, and then fly back in to Thailand, will I get a new 30 day visa exemption? I just want to make sure I can get back in to Thailand as I’ll buying round trip tickets.

    • I’m sure there are, but based on some of the other people filing extensions when we did (and who had done it several times before), as long as you can pay the fee they really don’t care.

  35. Hi Mark

    I plan to visit Thailand for 81 days. I’m a Norwegian passport holder which means I get the tourist visa exemption of 30 days upon my arrival. I am planning to do the same thing as you (get a 30 days extention from the immigration office in Bangkok) as my flight is too soon for me to apply for tourist visa from the embassy. I am departing from Oslo, Norway, with the airlines Norwegian and I doubt I’ll be refused by them to depart even though my ticket departure from Thailand means I’m overstaying the tourist visa exemption. I shouldn’t have problem entering Bangkok at the immigration checkpoint at the airport either as long as they don’t ask me to show them airplane ticket of my departure date. (I’m crossing my fingers they don’t.) Did they asked you to show your onward ticket?

    I assume that I’ll get the 30 days extention like you so I’m down to 21 overstay days. I am having problem deciding what I should when the 60 days in total of period of stay is ended. I am considering a visa run to a neighbouring country, be it Singapore or Myanmar. I’m wondering if I should take a chance to do a visa run by few hours or few days in order to be able to come back to Thailand to get a new tourist visa exemption. I don’t know how strict the immigration officers are, or how they decide whether you’re worthy of the tourist visa exemption or not.

    I’ve read some of the comments and saw that in Peter’s situation, he managed to extend his daughter visa to a 12 month extention, as she was born in Thailand. His daugther who entered with a UK passport and granted 30 days on arrival. (Very much like me in this situation) I’m entering with NO passport and granted 30 days on arrival and I was also born in Thailand. I have the documents proving that I was born in Thailand and that my father is a Thai resident. So when I’m at the immigration office I’m first going to apply for a 12 month extention like Peter’s daughter was allowed. If my Thai birth certificate is not enough for this to be granted then I’m applying for the 30 days of extention then have to do the visa run.

    I have read the frequently asked questions from the http://bangkok.immigration.go.th/ and they’re stating this:
    Question : What are required documents for a person who used to have Thai nationality holding his/her own passport of other nationality wishing to apply for extension of temporary stay in Thailand?
    Answer : Documents proving that the applicant used to have Thai nationality or that his/her parent is or was of Thai nationality for example,Thai ID card, Household Registration Book, Birth Certificate.
    In summary I guess my questions for you are:
    – Did they asked to see your onward ticket at the immigration check-in point at the airport?
    – If I do a visa-run what country do you think is the best to travel to, and for how long?
    – Do you see any potential problems upon my trip aside from the ones that I’ve mentioned?
    I trip is from 15th june till 4th september.
    Thank you for writing this article, for taking your time to read my story and for making me able to sigh and breathe normally again!

    • Sorry for the late reply, Arisa.

      Immigration doesn’t care about your onward passage, online the airlines do.
      If you want to do a visa run, flying to Cambodia and back seems to be the easiest and cheapest. That is what we considered.
      If you don’t want to take a side trip, you can just go back and extend for another 30 days.

      You shouldn’t have any problems. If you do encounter any, let us know. Enjoy your trip.

  36. Hi Mark, seems I am in the same boat as yourself and got very worried, but this blog post has definitely relaxed me slightly. I just have a few questions:

    I havent been able to find any official thai website that speaks about this process? Just wanted to check if you knew of any links to official websites describing this or how you found out about it?

    Is the 30 day extension added onto your already accepted 30 day visa, or is it from the day of application (ie if i went straight from the airport will it give me 60 days total?)

    Last one (sorry!) Our trip is for 35 days, so if for some reason the visa extension is not accepted, we would have 5 x 500 baht. I went on the official website and there was a petrifying cartoon about jail time and banning from re entering. I am a worrier, so I tend to think in worst case scenario. Do you know if there are any other punishments for a 5 day overstay other than the fine?

    Thanks 🙂

    • James, all of the information I gathered was cobbled together from different blog posts and websites. I never found one definitive Thai regulations pages.

      The 30 day extension is tacked on to the end of your first 30 days so you could go the day you arrived and apply for an extension if you were so inclined.

      For five days they are just going to fine you. But if you go that route, have cash. There might also be a window after that in which you aren’t allowed back into the country but I don’t know for sure. Possibly 30-90 days.

  37. Hi Mark,

    I’m currently volunteering in BKK on a 30 days tourist visa for about 90 days. The organisation is unable to provide me with an ED visa. So, do you think is better to do a visa run and get a 60 days tourist visa (is it possible in one day?) or just get out of the country by plane, come back and extend the visa for other 30 days?

    Thank you in advance

    Federica

    • If you aren’t going to be in Thailand for more than 90 days, you should be able to make two trips to the immigration center. You can extend more than once.

      If you want to travel, flying to Cambodia is usually the cheapest and the fastest. Take a few days and hit Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. Though you do have to get a visa to enter Cambodia, it can be done online. Malaysia offers visa on arrival for most visitors. So that’s also another good option.

  38. Hey man!
    Thanks for this article, clear and great read!
    I need to extend my visa for 30 days as well.
    I am flying next month to hong kong and I need to do something fast to renew the visa in question.
    The thing is that I don’t have my flight tickets yet, I will take them a bit later.
    Is this a problem or not?
    Thanks for your answer man!

    • Are you in Thailand now, or heading there after HK? Immigration doesn’t care about flights. Only the airlines. If you are in Thailand now, you can just go and renew it.

  39. Hey Mark
    In need of some serious help, Im in Thailand for 2 days then I go to another country but I re enter the country for a total of 15 days on my 15th day I’m flying out do I need to apply for a visa? I’ve seen a lot of place put 15 or 30 days its extended to so confused!

    • You don’t need to get a visa in advance as your stays will fall well within the limit of the visa on arrival issued by Thailand.

      • Hi mark thanks for this, I got in contact with the embassy yesterday they said I would need to apply for a single visa? This doesn’t sound right to me as you apply for a 30 day one as soon as you arrive at the airport don’t you?
        So for me reentering the border from laos to thailand for another 15 days I will be okay with not applying for a visa? Sorry thank you so much for your help really stressed atm!

        • Also theres mentioning of showing proof of return ticket my return ticket is over the 30 days and im travellin garound by borders

          • Depends on the airline and where you are flying from. You can get the 30 day visa in advance or if you want to take a chance you can and see if the airline checks. They do it when you check in at the airport. If they require proof of onward travel you can book a cheap flight from Thailand to Cambodia.

  40. omg. I’ve been flipping out with all the forums saying unequivocally that, as of this date, there are NO extensions with an on arrival visa for an american arriving in Thailand.
    So glad to read that this is not necessarily so. I’m in Bali, and leaving for Bangkok in 4 days and I don’t have time to go to the thai consulate in Bali and apply for a visa (for 60 days)
    If the above is all verifiable and true, I’m a very much relieved guy because I wanted to stay for 2 months.
    Again, just to be clear, can my return ticket actually show that I plan on being there for 60 days??? And what, would you say is a reasonable reason for an extended stay that won’t get the 3rd degree??

    • Michael,

      What are the dates on the forum posts mentioning this? If they are from the last few months, things may have changed. From what I can find online, things are fine. Please post a link if you came across a recent one claiming this.

      Your only potential hurdle is the airline, not Thai immigration. Some airlines won’t let you on the plane if you don’t have a flight booked to leave Thailand and don’t have a visa. Scroll through the previous comments for solutions to that problem if it arises.

      As for extending when you get there, you really don’t need to write much on your extension form. The guys next to us in line simply put “Holiday”. A general, one sentence explanation that you are just traveling for fun is enough.

  41. What a great forum. I went, probably, from high blood pressure to low pressure reading through the posts. I was just looking in my history and couldn’t find any of those forums about the 30 VOA being unchangable. But, I remember it very clearly. I’ll be taking Thai Airlines from Bali to Bangkok. I will simply buy a fully refundable onward ticket as was mentioned earlier in your forum and trust that works…or a ticket with free cancellation after 72 hours (though I did read that they will sometimes look for proof of payment for the return or onward ticket)
    So. Essentially, extending in the consulate is the same as flying out and flying in as far as the additional 30 days goes…right?

    • I don’t know. You’d have to check the airline sites. Unfortunately, I think they’ve started to catch on to that game and it is hard to find a refundable ticket.

      The easiest thing to do is probably find a cheap ticket on one of the budget carriers (AirAsia, NokAir, etc.) to Cambodia. Doesn’t matter where. Just find the cheapest one in that 30 day window and book it. You can usually find them for well under $100. You won’t get a refund, but you won’t have to deal with hassle and you’ll get into Thailand.

  42. Hi Mark

    Thank you for this awesome write up, really useful mate.

    However I have one question: is the this information still current? (I notice it was written in 2014)

    Thank you in advance for your reply.

  43. Hi Mark
    Very interesting site and lots of info! Maybe you can help me?
    Am currently in Thailand, arrived 2/11/16 from U.K. And have return flight booked 28/3/17. Came in on 30 day visa and renewed yesterday (at Hau Hin took 30 mins no problem).
    Question is do we have to fly out for next visa extention or can we do boarder run?
    Did the same last year and flew out to Vietnam for 1 week then returned on 30 day, then extended at immigration again for 30 days, all no problem! Thinking flying out is least problem especially if doing twice?? But if can do any other way would be more economical and time saving? Your thoughts appreciated anyway!
    Thanks
    Ps 3rd year doing this and first year Mrs ill in hospital and overstayed by 4 days! Got letter off hospital and at passport control on leaving taken to small office and told should pay the fine but in light of situation let us off!! And you’re right about the rules? Seems different officials have different interpretations?
    Cheers

    • Nick,

      I don’t think you have to leave to extend. You can just apply for another extension. They’ve eased up on how long visitors stay as long as they pay their fees.

      If you just feel like leaving and coming back, it’s better to fly. You get 30 days when you come in through an airport, but only 15 days when you come across a land border.

      Good to know a note from the doctor can help.

  44. I will be travelling to Thailand from 23 January (entry date in country in Bangkok) until 07 February (exit date from Bangkok).

    I am able to opt only for “visa on arrival” because I`m in another country right now and I don`t have time to apply for a tourist visa. This type of visa is valid for only 15 days, meanwhile my whole stay will be 17 days.

    My questions:

    Do I will have problems on arrival by presenting the ticket to emigration?
    What should I do? Can I extend my visa?

    Thanks allot in advance for your kind reply!

    • Sorry for the late response, Ale.

      You won’t need a ticket at immigration. Your choice is to extend your visa or pay the fine for being two days over when you leave. Depends on which one you’d rather do. It might be easier and cheaper to just pay the fine.

  45. My husband and I just got our Thailand visa extension today, and we followed this article exactly! Thanks for the advice! I’ll add, we arrived in Thailand 4 days ago and already knew we wanted to stay 60 days so we went ahead to the office. We thought this might be a problem since the visa wasn’t expiring soon, but no problem!

  46. hi there mark!

    I am from Singapore and i have a visa of 30 days upon arrival in thailand by default. am i able to extend my visa by another 30 days or more at the airport?

  47. Hi!

    Is this article still up-to-date? I’m planning a six weeks trip in October/November and I would like to skip the pre-visa application.

    Best regards,

    /Lennart

    • I check up on the information every few months. It is all still valid from what I’ve found and the feedback I’ve received from site visitors.

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We quit our jobs at the end of 2013 to backpack around the world. We're sharing our stories, travel advice and hopefully some inspiration. Read more...

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