After one or more trips to Thailand, it is almost impossible not to fall under the spell of its inhabitants, their smiles, their traditions, their stunning real estate properties and the permanent effervescence of the country. Many visitors make the choice to extend their stay after their visa expires or their 30-day waiver.
To do so, they usually opt for the visa run approach. Here are the 2 types of run visa used in Thailand. Please note that the procedures detailed below are legal. From the border countries (Cambodia – Lao – Burma – Malaysia), the visa run (with visa waiver) is authorized within the limit of two entries in Thailand per year.
To benefit from 30 extra days in Thailand
When you don’t have a visa, as a member of the European Union (or other country with an agreement with Thailand) you initially benefit from a 30-day exemption. At the end of this period and if you want to stay longer, you can go to the immigration office of your province to ask for an additional 30 days (fee of THB 1,900). To stay longer than two months, you will have to leave the country and go to a neighboring country to do a visa run.
The principle ? When you cross the border, you receive a stamp on your passport to attest your exit from Thailand. When you return again in Thailand; by air you will receive an exemption of 30 days; by land you will have 15 days (exemption renewable once at the immigration as seen before). All this procedure generally takes place on the same day.
A number of Thai companies specializing in visa run offer services to facilitate the process. Helping you to obtain a plane or train ticket, organize your trip to the nearest border and leave Thailand as quickly as possible.
To obtain or renew a visa
This procedure concerns both those who do not have a visa and who want one, as well as holders of expiring visas. To do so, you must go to a Thai consulate or embassy in a neighboring country to apply for a visa.
You will most likely have to stay one or two nights in your destination country, in order to have enough time to apply and obtain your visa. This procedure requires visa applicants to provide a number of supporting documents that vary depending on the country they are in and the type of visa they are applying for.
Which country ?
Lao is known as the most convenient country to make a visa run. Well served, the Thai embassy in Vientiane is used to the procedure and is very efficient.
Burma (Myanmar) gives the possibility to apply directly for visa run at 3 border posts.
Cambodia has only one Thai embassy in Phnom Penh and has no consulate. But many agencies can take care of the administrative procedures, while the traveler enjoys the beaches and other distractions that the country offers. However, the Thai embassy in Cambodia is one of the strictest.
It will cost 30 USD (about 27 EUR) for the cost of an entry visa to these 3 countries.
Malaysia, in addition to being well served with several train stations, offers a free entry visa. The country also has several border posts and consulates. This multiplies the opportunities and possible routes.