If you have a Non-Immigrant Visa in Thailand, you will most likely need to apply for a Visa extension every 90 days while living in Thailand. It’s actually quite a complex process and nothing is really officially set in stone as to what immigration forms you need to fill out and what you need to bring. So here’s a breakdown of the Thailand Visa Extension process…
Where to find Bangkok Immigration for your Visa Extension
If applying for a Visa Extension in Bangkok, the local Bangkok Immigration is Chaeng Wattana located slightly outside of the main city centre. To get to Chaeng Wattana you can just take the BTS to Mo Chit station and ask a taxi driver to take you to ‘Chaeng Wattana Immigration’. Most taxi drivers will know exactly where to take you straight away and it will usually cost around 100 baht each way.
Once you arrive at the main entrance, the Bangkok immigration department will be through the doors just on the right hand side. N.B You might want to dress a bit warmer than usual as the complex gets really damn cold.
Chaeng Wattana opening times
Chaeng Wattana is open Monday to Friday from 8.30 am. Bangkok immigration will temporarily close at noon until 1pm while the officers take their lunch break. It’s best to get to Chaeng Wattana Immigration as early as possible so you can be finished before the lunch break but, don’t worry, it’s not so bad if you can’t. The Chaeng Wattana government complex has a few shops, restaurants and cafes to keep you entertained during the break, it’s more like a cross between a shopping mall and an airport than a government building. They even have cars on display for sale.
What to bring to Immigration
- Your passport
- 1 copy of all pages of your passport*
- 1 passport photo*
- All the necessary documents provided by your school/ work.
- 1900 baht fee
*N.B: Conveniently, there are a couple of passport photo and photocopy services on the basement floor where all the cafes and food courts are.
First time applying for a Visa Extension in Thailand
- Collect a Thailand Visa Extension TM7 form from the reception area and fill it out.
- Collect a ticket for the queue and wait
- Once called, the officer will take your passport and documents and tell you to sit back down
- Make sure to keep hold of your queue ticket. The officer will call you back to collect your passport
- You should have a new stamp in your passport with a new leaving date. Also, you should have received a small, white slip of paper to confirm report of your address (as below).
Thailand 90 Day Report Address
When living in Thailand for more than 90 days, you are supposed to report you address within every 90 days. When you first extend your Visa at immigration in Thailand, the officer will automatically report your address and attach this small white ticket inside your passport. Every time you apply for a Visa Extension in the future after this, you need to fill out yet another separate form, 90 Day Report, afterwards and queue all over again in a separate section. You need to make sure to do this or you could be fined up to 5000 baht. All the queuing at Bangkok immigration takes quite a few hours so be prepared.
Second time applying for a Visa Extension in Thailand
- Collect a TM7 Visa Extension form from the reception area and fill it out
- Collect a TM47 90 Day Report form and fill it out also
- You will need to collect a queue number for the Visa section to apply for your Visa extension, same as before
- Once finished you will need to collect another queue number ticket for the 90 Day Report section to report your address.
- You should receive a reciept to show that you have reported your address
Thailand Immigration leeway
N.B. I have seen it written on some forms that you must report your address and extend your Visa at least 7 days before the date stamp in your passport. True, it is probably safer to do this if there is a risk of paying a fine. However do not stress too much about this as, on the contrary, I believe they actually allow leeway for an extra 7 days after the date stamp in your passport. In the past, I have accidentally passed the date on my 90 day Report Address by a couple of days and it wasn’t a problem with Bangkok Immigration at Chaeng Wattana.