How to Extend Your Thai Tourist Visa in Chiang Mai
We previously wrote about how to get a Thai tourist visa and, with a multiple-entry visa, how to extend each entry. This time, we will go more in depth on the extension process which can be used to extend any 60-day entry for another 30 days.
We have triple-entry tourist visas and we just extended our first entry (valid 60 days) for another 30 days (giving us 90 total days on our first entry). The extension is added to the end of your entry period, so you don’t have to go the day it expires. In fact, we recommend applying for your extension at least a week before the “valid until” date on your stamp in case you have any difficulties or the immigration office is full the day you go.
The office will officially open for business at 8:30 a.m. Monday-Friday. When we went, they opened the doors to start assigning the first round of numbers at 7:30 a.m. We arrived at 6:30 a.m. and there were already about 40 people in line, some had been there since 5:30 a.m.
There are yellow signs indicating the beginning of a couple different lines depending on your reason for visiting. Visa extensions are in the far left line, however it did not appear to matter too much where you stood, because as you enter, each person is handed a blue queue number. The Way of Slow Travel explains the queue numbers like this:
The blue number is not the final queue number; it’s a simple queue number required to get a second number. When your blue laminated number is called, go up to the counter and explain your purpose (tourist visa extension). The agent will give you an actual queue number on a piece of paper.
The reason for this two-step queue number attribution is that there are different queues for different immigration functions. These range from visa extensions to business visa applications and non-immigrant visa check-ins. Since you’re extending a tourist visa, you’ll probably have a number starting with 0. Time to wait.
We did not have to deal with the two number system. When we entered, perhaps because it was less crowded than other days, we were immediately given our final numbers (004 and 005) and took a seat in the waiting area.
There are rows of seats inside and a small café outside with tables and more chairs. The café, which serves coffee, cinnamon buns and small breakfast pastries, opened at 8:30 a.m.
We had a short wait and were called to the counter at 9 a.m. We handed over our materials, paid for the extension, and sat back down. After another 15 minutes, our names were called and our visas with the new stamp were handed back to us. Pretty painless! The officers were pleasant, spoke English well, and helped us fill our forms out properly.
What You Need
- 2″ x 2″ photo
- Thai visa extension request form TM 7
- Photocopies of the passport photo page, visa page, visa stamp page, and departure card
- Your complete address of residence and a local phone number or email address
- 1900 THB fee in cash (60 USD)
If you do not have a printer or forget one of your forms, there is a photocopy station to the left of the immigration office. Black and white copies can be made for 2 THB each. In the same building, there is a station where you can have your photo taken and they can print it on site in case you don’t have your passport picture ready.
The T-7 forms are available online, or in a basket on the main desk inside the immigration office (in Thai and English).
The entrance to the immigration is just past a large arch if you are coming from the Old City. There is no car parking, but if you arrive on a scooter, pull into the second driveway. When we arrived there were cones out in front and the gate was half-closed, but this is the official auxiliary parking area for the immigration office. You might see an officer directing scooter traffic to the gate.