If you have a Non Immigrant O Visa (multiple entry), then you’ll need to leave Thailand every 90 days. Unless of course you've done the 1-year extension, with the money in the bank, etc., which allows you to stay.
The rule is every 90 days, from the date stamped in your passport by immigration when you enter the country.
In addition to the entry date stamped in your passport, the stamp also shows the date you need to leave by. So there's no excuse for not knowing/
Note that you can leave the country on the required exit date, but it's advisable to arrange to leave a day or two before, just in case you fall sick or miss a coach or flight.
The good news is: if you have a Non Immigrant O Visa based on marriage, or family in Thailand, you can extend this 3-months (90 days) to 5 months.
In other words, you can get an extra 60-days without having to leave the country.
The cost of this extension is 1,900 Baht.
This is approximately what you’d pay to a visa run company if you were to do a one day border run, but a hell of a lot cheaper than booking a flight and taking a short holiday somewhere.
To get this extension, you’ll need to take a number of documents with you to the immigration office.
Like all immigration-based processes in Thailand, the goal posts occasionally shift in terms of what's required, but having done this fairly recently in Bangkok – based on marriage – I can confirm what is required in the list below.
Non Immigrant O Extension – Documents Required
It's important to note that your wife will need to accompany you to do this extension.
- Passport (original).
- Photocopy of passport.
- Photocopy of visa and arrival card (these should be in your passport).
- House certificate / copy of lease agreement at the condo you stay in. (Take the original if you have it). If this is your condo lease agreement, it must have your signature and the owner's signature on it. A piece of paper that states your address, the deposit you paid, and the amount you pay each month is not enough. It must be a proper tenancy agreement.
- A signed copy of the home owner's ID card – if not your wife.
- Wife’s Tabien Baan (copy is fine). This is the house document for the home where she is officially registered.
- Wife's ID card (original to be shown, but also have a copy with you). If security tries to take this from your wife at the entrance in exchange for a visitor card, be sure to tell them you need it to show the immigration officer. We ran into this issue once and had to retrieve it.
- Marriage Certificate (original and copy). Make sure you take the original!
Please note: I wasn’t asked to show it this time, but previously I was asked for a copy of my daughter’s passport and birth certificate, so if you have a child, take those too.
Please note: If you are extending based on having a child and not marriage, you will need your child and the child's mother to accompany you, and the following documents:
- Child's passport.
- Child's birth certificate.
- Wife's ID card.
- Tabien Baan (copy should be fine). Do your best to get hold of the original, or you might be refused.
Where to Extend Your Non-Immigrant O Visa in Bangkok
If you’re based in Bangkok, you’ll need to go to the government complex at Chaeng Wattana (building B) to do your Non-Immigrant O Visa extension.
This is located about 1 km to the rear of building A, the place where Thais get their passports and foreigns apply for marriage affirmations.
You need entrance number 1.
Walk in and go straight ahead.
You'll see two customer service ladies sitting at a desk on your left-hand side.
As you walk straight, you'll be faced by a huge open floor space in front of you, which is quite a spectacle.
Instead of walking out into the big space, as the wall on your right ends, bear to the right and walk straight (see the image below with the big red arrow)
Soon you'll come face to face with the immigration section.
You'll be looking in through the side window.Walk round to the right and you'll see the door.
Go up to the counter inside and explain that you are there to extend your Non Immigrant O visa for 60 days.
They will give a form. Fill it in quickly and then proceed inside to get yourself a ticket and take a seat.
If you can get away with it, once you have your form, walk through into the second room and get a ticket, then sit down and fill out your form.
This way you will join the queue as quickly as possible and bypass those people still filling in their forms.
Chaeng Wattana Immigration Address
Here's the address in English. Your taxi driver will know where to go if you tell him Chaeng Wattana Immigration. You can always show him the address in Thai using the Google map below.
Remember, though, it's building B you need.
The Government Complex, B Building , Floor 2 (South Zone)
Chaengwattana Road (Soi 7)
Laksi , Bangkok 10210.
If you want to take the BTS or MRT, you can take the BTS to Mo Chit Station and from there a taxi, or take the MRT to Chatuchak Station and from there a taxi to Chaeng Wattana Immigration.
What Not to Do – My 6 Top Tips
1. Don't Be Late – Get There as Early as You Can
The staff break for lunch for an hour at 12pm, which means if you don't have a place in the queue by then you could risk not getting this done in one day.
Do yourself a favor and get to bed early the night before. Get up early and get in there early.
You could be done by 10.30am and have the rest of the day free.
2. Don't Get Angry or Be Rude to Staff
It can be a frustrating experience at times, but keep your cool. Thai officials demand respect, it's what the job is all about – levels.
They will exercise their authority at any sign of rudeness. Be courteous, bite your tongue, and if you're refused an extension of stay don't make a scene.
3. Don't Expect Any Favors
Everything is done by the book. If you are missing a document, you will 9 times out of 10 come away empty handed.
4. Speak Clearly and Use Simple English
Speak clearly using basic English the officer is likely to understand. It will really help if you can speak Thai, but if you can't, your wife will be there to step in and help.
5. Don't Go Dressed for the Beach
I know this a tad superficial, and I've nothing against relaxed clothing, but don't turn up in flip flops and a Chang Beer vest.
Put on some jeans and a casual top and make yourself presentable. You will be far better received and more likely to get help should your application have a problem.
6. Sign all Your Photocopies
Lastly, don't forget to sign all your photocopies. You wife needs to sign hers too. Signing photocopies is a bit of a national hobby here – you'll get used to it!
A Final Word On Your Extension
You will get a 60-day stamp from the day you extend. This means that you will need to leave the country after 60 days to then return and reactivate a further 90 days on your visa.
You can only do this extension once during the 1-year validity period of your visa.
I've had comments from others saying they have been able to do it more than once, but the last time I tried I was refused.
By all means try, as some immigration offices may allow this. However, work on the assumption that you can only do this once.
My final tip is to not leave your extension until the last minute. Things can go wrong.
Consider the many public holidays Thailand has when immigration offices are closed. Factor in potential whether issues during rainy season. Consider that you may be refused due to not having a particular document, or an over-zealous official.
Get it done in a advance of your stamp expiration date.
Got a question? Leave it below.
More Tips for a Better Life in Thailand
Send Money to Thailand:
Use Transferwise. It is fast, cheap, and gives you the market exchange rate. Me and the majority of my readers are using it.
Get Good Health Insurance:
Improve Your Thai Skills:
Learning Thai makes life here easier and more fun. I use Thaipod101. It is free to get started & easy to use.
Protect Your Online Privacy:
A VPN protects you against hackers and government snooping. I always use one. You should too. Read why here.
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