The Chiang Mai immigration office

Getting a Thailand Visa Extension in Chiang Mai

If you want to stay in Thailand for longer than a couple of months you’re going to have to navigate the ever-changing world of Thai visa regulations. This week we took our first trip to the new visa office in Chiang Mai to extend our 60-day tourist visas. In this post we’ll explain exactly how to get a Thailand visa extension in Chiang Mai, including information about what documents you need and how much the extension costs.

The Chiang Mai Immigration Office in Thailand

The Chiang Mai Immigration Office

Types of Thai tourist visas

Thai visa rules are always changing, but as of September 2016, here are the main types of tourist visa for Thailand:

  1. Thailand 30-day visa exemption – when arriving by plane residents from 48 countries, including the UK, can enter Thailand without a visa. The visit must be for tourism purposes and last no longer than 30 days. If you’re from a G7 country you can also get the 30-day exemption when you arrive in Thailand overland.
  2. A 60-day single entry tourist visa – these are available from Thai embassies in many countries. We got our 60-day Thailand tourist visa in London and it cost us £25 each.
  3. Six month Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (METV) –  you must apply for this visa at a Thai embassy in your home country and show proof that you have significant funds to support yourself while you’re in Thailand.

You can also get business, transit, retirement, study and volunteer visas. Find out more about Thailand visa requirements on the Thai Embassy website.

Remember: your stay includes the day you arrive in Thailand and the day you leave. For example, our 60-day visa began on 21st August when we arrived in Bangkok and was set to expire 59 days later on the 19th of October. Since we’ve rented our Chiang Mai apartment for six months, we will need to make multiple visa applications, starting with a 30-day Thailand visa extension here in Chiang Mai.

How to get a Thailand visa extension

You can extend a visa exemption stamp, 60-day tourist visa or METV while you’re in Thailand for a further 30 days, here’s how:

1) Gather the following documents:

  • Your passport, it must have at least six months left on it before it expires.
  • Your departure card, which you’ll be given to fill in when you first arrive in Thailand.
  • A passport photo 4cm by 6cm in size.
  • The application fee of 1,900 THB.
  • A photocopy of the picture page of your passport.
  • Photocopy of the Thai visa in your passport.
  • A photocopy of the latest entry stamp to Thailand in your passport.
  • Photocopy of your departure card.
  • A TM.7 form, which is an Application for Extension of Temporary Stay in the Kingdom. You can print the TM.7 form before you go or simply pick it up at the visa office.
  • A Foreign National Information form. You can pick this form up at the visa office.
  • You should also take a pen and have your Thai address and phone number with you to put on the forms. Don’t forget to sign all of your photocopies.
Visa Forms at the Chiang Mai Immigration Office

Pick up your visa forms outside the office

2) Take all of these documents with you to the new Chiang Mai immigration office. This is located at the Promenada Mall, about a 15 minute drive South-East of the Old City. The office is labelled ‘One Stop Service’ and is situated on the ground floor. Although the mall itself doesn’t open until 11am, the visa office is open from 8.30am till 4.30pm Monday to Friday, excluding Thai holidays. We took a songthaew to Promenada from Tha Phae Gate and it cost 120 THB for both of us, on the way back we were charged 160 THB.

3) Collect your forms from the desk outside of the office and fill them in. There are tables and some chairs nearby and a copy shop if you need photocopies or passport photos. The mall also has plenty of cafes and restaurants as well as free toilets.

Promenada Mall in Chiang Mai, where the One Stop Service visa office is

The visa office is located at Promenada Mall

4) Hand all of your completed forms, photocopies and the fee to one of the staff at the desk outside of the office. They’ll check through and make sure everything is filled in properly and then ask you to wait inside the office until your name is called.

5) When you hear your name, go up to have your photo taken. The second time you’re called you’ll receive your passport with the visa extension stamp in it and any change you’re owed. Check the date on your stamp is correct; mine was stamped a day too early by mistake but when I pointed this out, the man quickly amended it.

Waiting inside the Chiang Mai Immigration office for our Thailand Visa Extensions

Wait inside the office for your visa extension to be processed

Recap and our next Thai visa run

So that’s it, you’re all done! To recap, our Thai tourist visa extension cost 1,900 THB (about £42) each. We found the process extremely easy; we went to the office on a Monday morning and only had to wait around 30 minutes to get our visa extension. All the people who worked there were friendly and helpful. There’s even a poster at the office by the Foreign National Information Forms which has a big red heart on it and the message: Love You!

getting a Thailand visa extension in Chiang Mai, Pinterest Pin

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Next up, we’ll be making a visa run to Penang, Malaysia, in November and another to Hanoi next year. You can follow our weekly video updates about life in Chiang Mai by subscribing to our YouTube channel. Do you have any questions or advice about Thai visa extensions? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Jason
    Posted at 02:31h, 28 June Reply

    What if you don’t have a photo? Can you get it done at the mall I assume?

    • Amy
      Posted at 09:15h, 28 June Reply

      Hi Jason, yes, there’s a stall that does photos and photocopying just to the left of the office.

  • Mirja
    Posted at 12:51h, 08 July Reply

    Thanks for the info!

    Just one question to check back – among the required documents, you do not list flight tickets out of Thailand (which are required to get a tourist visa in the first place). So, they don’t want to see flight tickets out of Thailand?

    Thank you so much!

    • Amy
      Posted at 11:54h, 09 July Reply

      Hi Mirja, we didn’t have to show flight tickets when we extended our visa in Chiang Mai (we did this in Oct 2016 and again earlier this year), but I think rules change regularly and so if you have outward flight tickets it’s definitely a good idea to take them with you. If you are asked for them, it would be great if you could let me know and I’ll update the post accordingly.

  • Robyn
    Posted at 04:53h, 17 September Reply

    Hi! Thanks for the info! One question – does the30 day extension begin the day you go to immigration? Or does it begin on the last day of your current visa? My visa is up on Oct 25th which is a Monday and knowing how random Thailand can be, I don’t want to leave it until Monday just in case they are closed for some reason. This means I need to go Friday the 22nd; however, my outbound flight to Laos isn’t until November 24th. So if they start the new 30 days on the 22nd then I would be overstaying. Thanks for any help!

    • Andrew
      Posted at 12:14h, 17 September Reply

      Hi Robyn, thanks for commenting. As far as we’re aware (based on our experience) the extension is added onto the end of your current visa, so if you have a 60-day visa then you can extend that to 90 even if you go to the visa office 3 weeks before the 60 days is up for example. It does seem that you’re cutting it fine leaving on the 90-day mark though, double check the date stamp when you get your visa extended as they sometimes make a mistake and stamp it a day early or something – but it’s easy to fix, just check it when they give it back.

  • Julia
    Posted at 09:25h, 04 October Reply

    Hello my boyfriend and I love one Chiang Mai and we have extended our visa from the original 30 days and added an extra 30 days at Promenada. So my question is can we extend it one more time at Promenada? I’m very confused and I am not sure if we can extend it for another 30 days at Promenada? Making it a total 90? Thank you so much, Julia

    • Andrew
      Posted at 15:29h, 04 October Reply

      Hi Julia, as far as we’re aware that’s not possible. You can only extend by thirty days per visa but you can get either a 30-day or 60-day visa in the first place. Since you guys only got the 30-day visa initially then you can only extend by 30 days giving you a total of 60 days. For example we got a 60-day visa in London before arriving then we extended it by 30 days, giving us the 90 days in total.

  • Annie
    Posted at 13:17h, 08 January Reply

    Hi there! I was wondering what you did regarding the proof of exit out of the country when you originally applied for the 60-day tourist visa? I’m planning on getting the 60-day tourist visa and extend it once, but I am worried they will frown at the embassy when my return flight is 90 days later.

    • Amy
      Posted at 19:15h, 08 January Reply

      Hi Annie, sorry, I don’t actually remember whether we were asked to provide proof or not. What we normally do if we don’t have an onward flight booked and think we might need one though is just make one (get a previous flight booking and just edit the details in Paint). There are also websites where you can buy a cheap flight and then they’ll sort out the refund for you. You can always phone the embassy and tell them the situation too and see what they say. Good luck and let us know how it goes, I’m sure that info will be useful for others.

  • Curt
    Posted at 05:44h, 09 August Reply

    Thank you for the information on extending a tourist visa/visa exemption. It went pretty much as you said. The Foreign National Information document is printed on the back of the TM7 form. I didn’t realize this for a few minutes and was walking around looking for it. The wait was a little longer – about 2 hours . I came late morning and maybe that is a busy time. But your info made the process much easier for me. I was there on August 8, 2018.

    • Amy
      Posted at 09:52h, 16 August Reply

      Glad you found it helpful Curt, thanks very much for letting us know! Enjoy Chiang Mai 🙂

  • John Mac.Worth
    Posted at 16:27h, 13 February Reply

    This info is mostly out of date, the office is in the Central Festival, you need a TM30 from where you are staying ; arrival TM6 is no longer used even though it is printed on the application form.
    I went to extend at an immigration office in a smaller Town and they told me to wait until the last week of my present stamp, but last year I had done it earlier than a week in Chiang Mai.
    The place to go in Bangkok is 3rd floor IT Square, Lak Si which is multi story with free parking for 2 hrs and the new red line station is very close-by.
    Read instructions because there are 2 more forms for declaring you will not over stay etc, There is nearby shop for copying and photo’s, but this adds to waiting time; I made an on-line booking but there was not a system to jump the Que for a number.

    • Amy
      Posted at 10:43h, 04 March Reply

      Thanks for the update – yes, we wrote this article quite a few years ago now when we lived in Chiang Mai.

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