The regular Thai tourist visa just allows for a 30 day stay only. If you want to travel Thailand longer, you most likely need a visa extension. Extending a tourist visa at one of the Thai immigration offices is easy. In this post, I will tell you how to extend a tourist visa in Chiang Mai and discuss the most important questions regarding the extension. So, if you’re planning on extending your tourist visa in Chiang Mai, make sure to read further.
How to extend a tourist visa in Chiang Mai: some questions answered
For how long can you extend your visa in Thailand?
You can extend your tourist visa in Thailand for 30 days. When you extend your Thai tourist visa, the additional 30 days begin on the final day of your existing visa and not on the day that you apply for the extension.
Where can I extend my tourist visa in Thailand?
You can extend your tourist visa at one of the Thai immigration offices. Most big cities have their own offices. The most common ones to extend your visa are in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui.
Is it easy to extend a tourist visa in Chiang Mai?
Yes, if you’ve all the documents prepared, it’s easy to extend a tourist visa in Chiang Mai. Just head over to the Chiang Mai Immigration Office.
When should you extend your Thai tourist visa?
I recommend extending a tourist visa about four-five days prior to the final date. Sometimes there are too many people in the queue and people need to leave and return another day.
Chiang Mai Immigration Office location and opening hours:
The Chiang Mai Immigration Office is located next to Chiang Mai Airport. The address is: 71 Moo 3 Sanambin Road, Suthep, Muang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai 50200.
The Immigration Office in Chiang Mai is closed on weekends and Thai holidays and open from 8:30 AM to 4:30PM, with an hour-long break between noon and 1PM. I recommend visiting the office on either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and in the early morning. Mondays, Fridays and afternoons tend to be extremely busy.
How to get to the Chiang Mai Immigration Office?
You can either rent a (motor)bike or arrange a Grab driver to get there.
What is the dress code for the Chiang Mai Immigration Office?
It’s important to dress up appropriately when visiting the immigration office in Thailand. This means you should wear long shorts or pants and you should cover your shoulders. If you don’t follow these rules, you might need to leave and return another day.
How long does it take to extend a tourist visa in Chiang Mai?
It may take around 1-3 hours to extend a tourist visa in Chiang Mai. It took me around 3 hours, but I wasn’t prepared well. If you prepare all the documents in advance, it will probably take you around 1-1.5 hours.
How to extend your tourist visa
In this section, I’ll give you more details on what you need and what to expect when it comes to extending your tourist visa in Chiang Mai.
What do you need to extend a tourist visa in Chiang Mai?
Here’s a list of the things you need:
- Photocopy of your passport (personal information page with passport expiry date)
- Photocopy of your original entry stamp
- Photocopy of your TM.6 Departure Card (if you have one, I didn’t receive any immigration card on arrival in Sept 2022). If you don’t have this, you need to fill out a TM.30 form (notification of house master)
- Filled out TM.7 application form (extension of temporary stay form). Click here to download an example of the TM.7 form, please fill in the original one at the office).
- One recent passport-sized photo with white background
- TBH 1900 in cash
- Your own black pen
Next to the immigration office, you can make photocopies and photos. They charge TBH 3 per copy page and TBH 100 for a photo. All photocopies are required to be signed and dated. You also need to write down a (local) telephone number on the TM.7 form.
Below you can find an example of the departure card. Please note that this is only an example and you can not use this departure card for your application. If you have no departure card, you need to arrange the TM.30 form at the immigration office. You can find more information on this below.
The process of extending a tourist visa at Chiang Mai:
Remember that you must attend in person to the immigration department office. Before entering the Chiang Mai Immigration Office, you might need to get a covid safe sticker first. They will just check your body temperature and give you a sticker when you have no fever.
At the time when I was visiting the office, there was a huge white tent in front of the building where I grabbed a TM.7 form (Extension of Temporary Stay in the Kingdom). If this tent is no longer there, you can just walk towards the information desk inside and grab a form.
Below you can see an example of the form. Please don’t use the form below for your application, because the office changes the form regularly.
Sit at one of the outdoor tables and fill out the form. Make sure you know the full address of where you are staying, as you will be required to include that on your application form. I would highly recommend bringing a black pen with you as there were almost no pens available at the office.
If you have no (copy of the) TM.6 Departure Card, you need to fill in a TM.30 form (notification of house master). You can get this form next to the copy shop. If you are staying in a ho(s)tel, you can just write down this address on the TM.30 form and the staff will do the rest for you. You don’t need approval or a signature from the ho(s)tel’s owner. The immigration officer will give you a receipt of notification and you have to make a copy of this at the shop next door. The process of receiving this receipt and copying it took me around 1 hour.
Below you can find an example of the receipt of notification:
When you have all the documents ready, an immigration worker will check all the details and clipp everything together. You can now head inside the office and hand over the documents to another immigration worker. The documents will be checked another time. On a quiet day, this immigration worker will hand over your documents to the visa extension desk. On a busy day, you have to do it yourself. You then receive a queue number and wait in the seating area for your number to be announced. There’s a television screen with the currently serving numbers on there. It will also say which counter you need to go to. If it’s your turn, you walk towards the desk and hand over all the documents. You also pay THB 1900.
Then you sit again and wait for your name to be called out. Once your name is called, head up to the counter where you’ll have your photo (glasses and hats off!) taken. Then you sit down again and wait for them to call your name to collect your stamped passport. I waited a total of 1.5 hours.
Before you leave the Chiang Mai Immigration Office, make sure to double-check the visa. Also make sure you retain your departure card and change if applicable.
I hope this information helps you to extend your tourist visa in Chiang Mai. If you have any questions left, just let me know in the comment section below.
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