22 Nov Getting a Thai Visa in Penang
Need to renew your Thai visa? This month we had a very smooth experience getting a Thai visa in Penang, Malaysia. Here’s everything you need to know about making a visa run to Penang, including what documents to take, how much it costs and how to find the embassy.
Our Penang visa run experience
If you plan to stay in Thailand for more than 30 days, you’ll need to make regular visa runs out of the country. We arrived in Thailand with 60-day tourist visas and were able to painlessly extend these for a further 30 days at the Chiang Mai visa office. After three months, we knew we’d have to leave the country to get fresh 60-day visas, so we researched the best countries for visa runs. Malaysia emerged as a good option because it’s easy to fly to from Chiang Mai and we don’t need a visa to enter the country.
*2017 update: find out about our second Thai visa run to Hanoi, Vietnam.
Kuala Lumpur is usually the cheapest place to fly to from Chiang Mai, but since we’ve visited before we decided to head to the island of Penang instead, to combine our visa run with some sightseeing. We stayed in historic Georgetown, which is about a 15 minute Uber ride from the Thai consulate in Penang. We made sure to dress smartly and arrive at the office at opening time, which is 9am. The building is set in peaceful gardens and we found the staff were all really helpful and friendly.
There were only a couple of other visa applicants at the embassy when we arrived, so we signed straight in at the entrance booth and made our way to the office. At the ‘visa’ window, we were given application forms to fill in, which we submitted with our passports, fee and photos. We then received a receipt slip telling us to come back on Monday (the next business day) to pick up our visas. The whole process took around 10 minutes and then we were free to explore Penang over the weekend. It took us just five minutes to pick up our new visas on Monday.
Details for the Thai consulate in Penang
The Thai embassy Penang provides single and multiple entry tourist, business, education, volunteer and retirement visas. The office is open Monday to Friday but is closed on Thai and Malaysian national holidays, so check the embassy website to make sure your visit doesn’t coincide with one. You can drop off your visa application between 9am and 11.30am and pick it up the next business day between 2pm and 4pm. Here are the address and contact details of the Thai embassy in Penang:
Address: 1 Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, 10350, Georgetown, Pulau Pinang.
Phone numbers: (03) 226-8029 / (04) 226 9484
Email: [email protected]
What documents do you need to get a Thai visa in Penang?
Here are the documents you need to apply for a 60-day tourist visa in Penang:
- Passport with at least six months validity.
- Visa application form, which you can pick up at the embassy.
- A photocopy of the photo page of your passport. If you haven’t prepared this in advance, there’s a truck parked opposite the embassy entrance where you can make copies.
- Two passport photos.
- A fee of 150 Malaysian Ringgit (£27.80), in cash.
- Pens for filling in the forms.
To fill in the visa form you’ll need to have your Thai address on hand, as well as your flight number and the address of your hotel in Penang. Remember to dress smartly when visiting any embassy and check that the office is open before you book flights. Our Penang visa run is one of the easiest we’ve ever taken and we had a great time exploring the island in the process.
Do you have any questions about making a Thailand visa run to Penang? Ask away in the comments below.
Shaun OwenPosted at 15:28h, 25 July
We are planning on doing just this, this coming November. Just a quick question – was proof of onward travel required/asked for? As we are planning on extending our visa after 60 days ( in Chiang Mai) it occurred to us whether it would be a problem to have a flight booked out of Thailand after around 90 days (at the end of the assumed extension)
Also, how long after the issuing of the visa, do you have to enter Thailand? do you need to enter immediately? Within a week, a month?? I can’t find anything on the web, I’ve emailed the consulate but they didn’t reply. We would be extremely grateful if you could shed stone light on this for b us. Happy travels!!
AmyPosted at 18:58h, 25 July
Hi Shaun, thanks for reading. No, we didn’t have proof of onward travel from Thailand when we applied for a visa. However, rules do change so if you want to be on the safe side you could always book a refundable flight. I’m afraid I’m also not sure exactly how long you have to enter Thailand after you get the visa. I do know that when we got a 60-day Thai visa in London we had to enter the country within three months of the visa being issued, so I’m guessing that it would be the same in Penang. I hope this helps and good luck with the visa run, it was one of the smoothest we’ve ever done so I don’t think you’ll have any trouble 🙂
Shaun OwenPosted at 15:19h, 01 September
Awesome, thanks Amy
AmyPosted at 18:14h, 01 September
No worries 🙂
BryanPosted at 19:54h, 05 August
Hi, thanks for post. I have a question. After getting 2 month thai visa, we will also get 1 more visa on arrival or not, when we are entering thailand after penang?
AmyPosted at 09:17h, 08 August
Hi Bryan, you can get a 60-day visa from the Thai embassy in Penang and then extend in Thailand for a further 30 days, then you need to leave the country again to get another visa.
KhalilPosted at 08:31h, 29 August
I’m planning to arrive in Thailand in a few weeks. I’m actually in the north of India and don’t have any time to reach a city which deliver a 60 days tourist visa. However, i will enter the country with an exemption visa (30 days) and ask for an extension in Chiang Mai (30 more days). I wish to stay a little more as I’m following a course in Chiang Mai which will ends 12 days after my 60 days visas (30 exemption + 30 extension).
I wanted to know if it is necessary for me to apply for a 60 days tourist visa (as you did in Penang) or if I can simply cross the border for a weekend (Cambodia, Malaysia whatever) and come back in Thailand (to get a new exemption of 30 days)
Hope my explanation above makes sens…Thanks for your blog and the very detailed explanations about visa process in Chiang Mai which are extremely helpful !
AmyPosted at 13:28h, 29 August
Hi Khalil, yes, you should be able to do a visa run to a nearby country to get an extra 30 days. I have heard rumours that they’re cracking down on visa runs where people simply take the bus to the border, get the stamp and come straight back though. If you’re staying in the other country for a weekend though it should be fine, although I’d do a bit more up-to-date research just to be sure. Enjoy Thailand!
Shaun OwenPosted at 15:32h, 01 September
These days if you go across a land border to a neighboring country, for a ‘Visa Run’ when you reenter Thailand you will only be granted 15 days!
AmyPosted at 18:17h, 01 September
Hmmm, we’ve heard conflicting information on this, some people are still reporting that they get 30 days. In fact, when we came in from Laos a couple of years ago expecting to get only 15 days we actually got 30. Definitely better to be on the safe side and assume 15 days only I guess – please let me know how your crossing goes and I’ll update the post with your info. Thanks Shaun, hope it goes well.
RoronoaPosted at 08:39h, 15 January
Hi I am Nepalese working in Malaysia right now with working visa. I want to ask weather i can go to thailand or not??
AmyPosted at 15:24h, 15 January
Hi Roronoa, I’m sorry but we can’t answer that question, you would need to ask your nearest Nepalese Embassy. I hope you can because Thailand is beautiful!
BobPosted at 07:09h, 24 January
Hi nice info.
My first visa run in Malaysia but not my first visa run.
Can u suggest any Hotels close to the embassy. or in George Town.
AmyPosted at 17:25h, 24 January
Hi Bob, we stayed at a very clean and pleasant budget place MyGuesthouse109. It was centrally located, reasonably priced and quiet when we were there, definitely worth a look. I know places can change quickly though, so it’s worth looking up some latest reviews. We actually got an Uber from there to get to the embassy, which was really cheap and quick. Good luck with the visa run and enjoy Penang!