If you plan to stay in Thailand for a while, chances are you’ll become quite familiar with your local immigration office. Of the many services offered there, getting an infamous visa extension is one of them. In this post, we touch on what you need to know about where and how to extend a Thai tourist visa in Chiang Mai. This process will extend your visa for an extra 30 days if you are staying in or traveling through Chiang Mai Province.
A Note About Thai Tourist Visas
A single-entry Thai tourist visa conveniently provides visitors 60 days in Thailand. To be crystal clear (and to help you with future travel arrangements) the first day you arrive in Thailand and the last day in Thailand are counted towards those 60 days.
This 60 days can be then extended for 30 extra days for a total of 90 days inside Thailand before having to leave the country. Keep in mind though that this entry can only be extended once.
|NOTE: As of November 2015, Royal Thai Embassies and Consulate-Generals no longer issue double or triple entry Thai tourist visas. Every entry on the new Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (METV) is eligible for one 30-day extension.
You can apply for a Thai tourist visa extension up until the day it expires. However, you cannot extend your visa once an entry has expired, so be mindful of the date.
To be safe, we recommend giving yourself a few days before your entry expires to apply for an extension. That way, if your expiration date unexpectedly lands on a weekend or a Thai holiday (during which the offices are closed), you won’t be SOL. It’s been known to happen!
Applying a day or two in advance also gives you a bit of wiggle room if there is a hang-up in the application process. We’ve heard tales of people trying to apply only to be turned away because there were too many people in the queue or because the officer handling extensions was not there that day.
|TIP: You can also apply for a 30-day extension on a visa-exempt stamp. It costs the same and has the same requirements as listed below.|
What to Bring for a Thai Tourist Visa Extension
To apply for an extension, make sure to apply in person and bring the following to the Provincial Immigration Office:
- Passport with a valid Thai tourist visa (to confirm authenticity)
- Photocopies of the main passport photo page, current Thai tourist visa page, TM.6 departure card, and latest entry stamp (sign all photocopies, too)
- Application for Extension of Temporary Stay in the Kingdom (form TM.7)
- One 4 cm x 6 cm passport photo (NOT 2 in x 2 in)
- An application fee of 1,900 baht cash (roughly equal to 60 USD)
Make sure you copy down your current address and your Thai phone number (if you have one). This information is needed to fill out the TM.7 application form.
The TM.7 forms are available at the immigration office. It is not necessary that you print one out and fill it out ahead of time.
Also, bring a black or blue pen just in case the office has run out!
|NOTE: No matter when you apply for a Thai tourist visa extension, the 30 days are tacked on to the day after the last (60th) day of your entry. Whether you apply for an extension one week before your visa entry expires or on the last possible day, you will still receive a full 90 days (60 days for original entry + 30 days for extension) in Thailand.|
Where to Extend a Thai Tourist Visa in Chiang Mai
The Chiang Mai Immigration Office has MOVED as of September 2018. The office at Promenada Mall (above) is closed and no longer issues visa extensions for Thai Tourists Visas, Visa Exempt Stamps, and Non Immigrant Visas.
Visitors can extend a Thai tourist visa in Chiang Mai at the new Provincial Immigration Office, which is located just before the Chiang Mai International Airport. It’s open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday excluding Saturday, Sunday, and Thai holidays.
New Address: 71 Moo 3 Sanambin Road, Suthep, Muang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai 50200
GPS Coordinates: 18.771430, 98.970973
Phone: (053) 201-755
The office is located less than a 5-minutes’ drive southwest of Chiang Mai’s Old City. Exit the Old City on the southwest corner and drive as if you are going to the airport by driving south on Rt 1141 or Thipanet Road (they run parallel with each other) and then turn right onto Airport Road (Sanambin Road). Drive approximately 500 meters and turn left at the large black and yellow sign that reads, “CHIANGMAI IMMIGRATION,” just across the street from an LPG gas station. The office is in a large white and grey three-story building surrounded by a parking area.
If you are taking public transportation, tell your songthaew, taxi, or tuk-tuk driver, “immigration” or “saw dtaw maw,” which is the Thai acronym for immigration (ส.ต.ม.). Or, book a Grab Taxi (first time users can get 100 baht off by signing up here) and put in your destination using the drag-and-drop pin function (see our map at the bottom of this post).
Passport Photo and Photocopy Services
If you need photocopies of your passport and/or a photograph of yourself, these services are available on-site. Photocopies cost 2 baht per copy. A packet of six passport photos cost 200 baht. Although the office will not issue only one photo, hold on to the remaining five photos for future responsibilities involving a passport photo, legalities. because they will be useful for future visa extensions or applications for re-entry permits or residence certificates.
The bathroom facilities are also quite nice. They are amply stocked with toilet paper and hand soap.
Tourist Visa Extension Application Process
Once you’ve arrived at the Chiang Mai Immigration Office, go to the Information Desk and grab a TM.7 form. Sit at any of the dozen outdoor tables and fill out the form. If you need to, now’s the time to get photocopies of your passport or a passport photo from the shop nearby.
With passport, completed application, single photo, signed photocopies, and cash in hand, go back to the Information Desk and hand everything over to the representative. They will clip the documents together along with a queue number.
On a slow day, the immigration worker may take your packet the Thai tourist visa extension desk themselves. Otherwise, take your packet and hand it to the officer at the desk with the “Tourist Visa Extension” sign above it.
Relax in a chair and enjoy some air conditioning. Listen for your name to be called over the announcing speaker.
Go up to the center desk and have your photo taken. Sit back down. At this point, you will only have to wait another few minutes for your name to be called for a second time. This is when an immigration officer will return a receipt of payment, any change, and your passport with an extension ink stamp inside. Double check that you received an extra 30 days before heading out, and that’s it!
There is no need to arrive at 5 am or 6 am to get a good spot in line to extend your Thai tourist visa in Chiang Mai. However, processing times do vary. During one of our visits, there were hardly any people there. We arrived in the afternoon around 2 pm and saw only two applicants and it took us roughly 30 minutes to extend a Thai tourist visa in Chiang Mai. On another visit there there many people and it took around two hours.
What’s your experience extending your tourist visa at the Chiang Mai Immigration Office? How much better (or worse) was it than other locations?