Visa runs are a pain, we know, but we all have to do them. Summed up here is the info and top tips to make your visa run as hassle free as possible.
Visa runs are a pain, we know, but we all have to do them.
Below describes the options available.
Border Bounce – 1 day visa run
1 day visa run from Koh Phangan to Malaysia’s border, the quickest and most efficient way to stamp your passport to extend your stay in Thailand.
Important – Different visas have varying lengths of stay and expiry dates. It’s important to check what agreement your country has with Thailand and the visa type you currently have to understand how long a new stamp will allow you to stay for.
You will leave Koh Phangan very early. (The transport company you go through will tell you the exact times).
You will then board the very first ferry leaving the pier which takes you to the mainland and the group is then transferred to an air conditioned mini bus where you begin the drive to the Malaysian border for the border bounce.
When you arrive at the
border, you must first have your passport stamped to leave Thailand. You
will then enter and exit Malaysia at their border gate before stamping
back into Thailand. The length that a visa run will extend your time in
Thailand depends on the type of visa you have. We recommend you read the
details on your paperwork very carefully.
After returning from your border run to Malaysia, you should arrive back in Koh Phangan around 7pm.
If you were to stay in Thailand passed your expiry date, overstay charges are currently 500 THB per day. These charges can soon mount up so a border run to Malaysia is the best way to avoid this.
If you overstay too many times you can face a prison sentence and be expelled from the country for a certain amount of time.
60 Day Tourist Visa
Traveling to any neighboring country with a Thai Embassy in order to get this 60 day visa stamp.
Where can I go?
- Penang, Malaysia
- Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia
- Vientiane, Laos
- Phnom Pehn, Cambodia
It’s important to note that Thai Embassies in Malaysia only issue one entry Tourist Visa’s (60 days).
How long does it take?
Usually your passport is given back within 3 working days. (NOT weekends). And be careful of religious holidays, as embassies will also be closed.
Top Tip – Check opening and closing times, of passport pick up and drop off.
You can either catch a bus or take a flight to the countries, depending on your budget and time period.
Cheapest is busing to Burma or Penang, Malaysia, which takes all day, but set off early in the morning, arrive late at night.
Flying can go directly to Kuala Lumpur, or Bangkok then neighboring countries.
For buses: go to travel agencies around the island. They are usually 1500thb one way to Penang. All the hassle of driving is taken away.
Air tickets: use price comparison sites.
Driving: If you want to drive and have the luxury of stopping when you want, a shared car is also an option. Look at car hire centers for prices. Split between a group of people can also be just as cost efficient.
Top tip – That you will have to show proof that you have 20,000 Thai Baht in your bank account. And some place may make you have a flight/ travel ticket out of Thailand in order to get stamped.
30 day Visa Extension
Extended another 30 days in Koh Samui, immigration center when running out on your 60 days on a tourist visa, or 30 days tourist visa, which can total 90 days in Thailand.
This can be done in one day, so no need to stay overnight. It may take 1-3 hours. However to avoid the crowd and it taking longer, go to the immigration early.
Check opening and closing times, as they close during lunch, so don’t go then.
Top tip – For a hassle free, quick process; get there early (as soon as it opens), have all your paperwork already filled in, along with the required documents.
- passport (Don’t forget)
- Passport photocopied pages
- 2x passport photo
- visa registration forms
- visa fee (1900thb )
If you want to stay longer term there are other visas then tourist ones. E.g. working, or education (learning thai language, or thai massage). These can offer up to 1 year stay, with every 90 days a visa run to another country (for 3 days) to renew the stay must be done.
Top Tips for any visa run
- Go prepared with all documents
- Take snacks
- Bring music/books
- Make a trip out of it
Visa runs are a pain, but think of it as a new adventure where you get to experience another country and its culture.