UPDATE as at 1 April 2020
Due to the widespread outbreak of COVID-19… the Thai Immigration Bureau for temporary visa extensions are at the new office of the Central Investigation Bureau at Muang Thong Thani. PLEASE CLICK HERE for the new location.
NOTE: If you want to extend your Thai Visa, you’ll need to do your own research about your particular circumstances. This blog post is about our experiences.
Our Thai Tourist Visa was going to expire in just over a week. We decided that we’d like to stay a little longer to see more of Thailand, and catch up with friends.
Our Tourist Visa was for 60 days. For us, we could apply for an extension for another 30 days. Yet, there was something interesting we didn’t realize until after we applied for the extension. Keep reading to find out…
The Immigration office we had to go to was Immigration Divison 1, at Chaeng Watthana.
The address in English is:
120 Chaeng Watthana 7 Alley, Khwaeng Thung Song Hong, Khet Lak Si, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
I found this website on the Immigration Division 1:
If you go to this site, I would take the information on this site with a grain of salt… as it seems not all the information is up to date. Also, when I clicked on some of the links the site had been hacked!
I also found this website:
Unfortunately not everything has been translated to English.
It can be a little difficult trying to find the answers you need. But if you have time, look around the website. This site appears more up-to-date. Yet again, do your own research to be sure.
For us, we would have preferred to go to the Immigration in Suan Phlu, the other office was far away for us. Plus, we were staying in Sathorn at the time.
I even went in person to check with Immigration in Suan Phlu if we could extend our visa there. Unfortunately I was told we had to go to Chaeng Watthana. Bummer!
Having look at the immigration website, it states that to apply to extend your visa you need…
1. Application form TM.7 – apparently you must make the application in person
2. A copy of your passport
3. A photo 4 x 6 cm – apparently this photo can’t be older than 6 months
4. Application fee of 1,900 baht
Yet, as I investigated further, you need more information. So keep reading… I go through what we needed to extend our Thailand Visa.
Before we went to immigration, I wanted to get everything in order… rather than having to do things when we got there. I thought it might fast track the process a bit.
So I went looking for a 7-Eleven down Suan Phlu Road where I could get documents photocopied and printed.
Yet, none of the 7-Elevens I went to had these services.
So funnily enough across the road from the Immigration on Suan Phlu Road… there was a photocopy center.
So here’s what I got done…
I got these photocopied…
- My passport photo page
- My Thailand Visa including the departure stamp, and the TM 6 departure slip
I ended up putting all these on two pages.
For me to photocopy two pages was 4 baht (about USD $0.15).
I also printed off the TM 7 form. Here’s an example:
Printing these 2 pages cost 20 baht (about USD $0.65).
With that done, the next day we were off to Immigration! Based on what we had researched… we decided to allow for the morning and most of the afternoon at Immigration.
Now, regarding dress code. We read different opinions about this. So we decided to err on the side of caution. We’d rather be safe than sorry!
So Paul wore long jeans, closed toe shoes and a t-shirt.
I wore long trousers, a t-shirt and light shirt over the top.
We ordered a Grab car to get to the Immigration office. We wanted air conditioned door to door service… rather than arriving and sweating like pigs for most of the day.
After some Grab stuff ups, we finally got picked up at 8:25am in Sathorn. Argh! We were behind our schedule already, as we wanted to get to Immigration by 8:30am. Never mind.
At least we were on our way, unfortunately in peak traffic.
The driver decided to take a Toll Road without mentioning it to us.
In the end the Grab driver charged us 421 baht for the trip.
The base cost being 301 baht (about USD $9.50). Plus, tolls of 120 baht (about USD $3.80). We saw the driver pay 70 baht (about USD $2.25) in tolls. So not sure what the other amount was? I’ve taken this up with Grab to find out!
Anyway, 50 minutes later we safely got to the Immigration office in Chaeng Watthana at 9:15am.
We arrived at Building B…
When we got there lines of people were already queued up. Yes, in the photo it doesn’t look busy. I took this photo after we’d finished!
So, before you get into the Immigration Division 1… you need to pass through a security check point. Here, they take your photo… and if you have a bag that goes through a security screening.
After that walk straight ahead for several meters. Eventually on your right you’ll see a blue and white illuminated sign with Immigration 1.
Otherwise you’ll probably see a long line anyway. If you don’t have a copy of the TM 7 form they have copies there. Many other people were filling out forms when we were there.
There’s also an information counter if you need help.
We already had our forms filled out with the necessary documents, so we lined up with everyone else!
Surprisingly the line was quite fast.
You reach a counter where they do a quick check of your passport and documents… then they give you a ticket. We got the tickets within about 10 minutes at 9:28am.
Then you have to wait…
The waiting area was jam packed! We managed to get a seat but it was so busy.
Our tickets were J102 and J103. On the sign it said they were up to J28. Argh!!!
You might like to know that they all have a lunch break between 12:00pm and 1:00pm.
What we don’t understand is this… why don’t they break up the shift times so they can keep processing forms throughout the day without a break? That would make sense, right? If anyone knows why they have to all break for lunch at once let us know!
It is air conditioned inside which is some relief.
At 11:00am we were still waiting…
Ah well… at least while we were waiting we were able to put some of this blog post together for you!
Now, regarding dress code… most people were wearing long bottoms, and tops that covered their shoulders and midriffs.
Yet, we several people wearing shorts, sandals, leggings, and skin tight jeans.
We even saw a group of young girls wearing short shorts… showing their bum cheeks and short tank tops!
So maybe there is no dress code – seems like almost anything goes in terms of clothing. Yet, you decide what works for you!
As we were waiting we saw a sign saying this…
I’m sure people have offered bribes to quicken the process!
Woo hoo! BINGO! At 11:25am our numbers were called up.
Paul and I had to go to separate tables to get our documents checked. I was told I had to write my phone number down, and I had to sign every page that didn’t already have my signature on it.
Also, make sure when you write the address, make sure you fill it out COMPLETELY!
We sat down at the document check for only a few minutes.
Then from 11:30am we had to wait for them to do all the paperwork…
We were waiting, checking the time… Hoping that we’d be done before they took their lunch break at 12:00pm…
Then we heard a lady’s voice call out our numbers at 11:45am.
Yay! We were done before the lunch break!
Make sure you check your passport and extension details before you leave!
So for us… the time from leaving our accommodation, to getting our Thai Visa extension was… 3 hours and 20 minutes. Much less than what we had planned for, which was great.
A BIG thanks to everyone out there who shared their immigration experiences. It helped! :)
Good luck to you!
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Note: All of our reviews and comments are our opinions and no-one else’s. Even if we receive complimentary goods or services we share our opinions honestly.