One of my challenges is dealing with the various visa requirements. They shouldn’t be that complicated but I seem to often find myself in situations that don’t quite fit what the general rules are and trying to determine what that means I have to do is tricky.
I didn’t get a visa in advance for Thailand, which seems to usually be the case for me (I just don’t plan ahead well enough to get the Visas when I am somewhere it might be possible, Bangkok etc.).
So one of the challenges is I that I don’t have a visa for Thailand, I actually have a 30 day visa free stay. There is talk about extending visas (in internet forums and on the Thailand government site) but it mostly wasn’t clear (at least I couldn’t see it clearly) what it meant for me. Wether extending 30 days by paying 1,900 baht (about US$ 60) at the Chiang Mai immigration office or going on a visa run (and in this case if you got 14 or 30 days was a bit tricky to understand) applied to someone with a visa free stay was not obvious.
[Update: read about new location and more information]
Then I found this great post: How To Extend Your Thai Tourist Visa in Chiang Mai. It is packed with great info. And the good news was I could extend my 30 day visa-free stay for 30 more days (for 1,900 Baht – good money for Thailand’s government) at the local office. And he had detailed instructions on what to do including what to bring and forms to download in advance.
Tourist visas can be extended simply by visiting your local immigration office anywhere in Thailand, filling out a form, and paying a fee. Extending your visa should be done before your visa expires; you can get your visa extended on the last day without any problem.
Thai tourist visas and visa exemptions (what people wrongly call “visas on arrival”) can be extended by 30 days at the Chiang Mai immigration office. Visa exemptions used to be only extensible for 7 days, but this changed in August 2014.
He suggests going early and being prepared for a long wait (3 hours) with a longer wait later (and if they can’t finish you that day you have to come back the next day). Also they close down for an hour at lunch time.