Border run - How to get a 60 to 90 day Thai visa

Submitted 3 months 2 weeks ago by CultureWhiz.

Border runs are a prevalent occurrence in Thailand. It is frequently observed that expatriates maintain their visas by booking $25 flights with Air Asia (search Google flights) to one of the numerous neighboring countries in order to circumvent the arduous visa application process, associated expenses, and potential deportation.

This article explains how to make a visa/border run from Thailand to Laos, with a specific focus on obtaining a 60-90 day Thai visa in Vientiane, Laos. A visa run is a journey that is required for people who need to prolong or modify their visa status in Thailand. This brief tutorial will walk you through the process of making a visa run from any area of Thailand to the Embassy of Thailand in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, whether you're living, working, or on an extended holiday.

First off, U.S. citizens carrying a tourist passport and in possession of an onward or return airline ticket do not require a visa to enter Thailand. The passport must have at least six months validity remaining to be allowed entry. Upon entry, Thai immigration officials will place an immigration stamp in the passport permitting a 30-day stay in Thailand if arriving by air or land. This time limit may subsequently be extended for an additional 30 days by paying a 1,900 baht fee to the Thai Immigration Bureau office.

If a person plans to stay in Thailand for more than 30 days, he or she should apply for a tourist visa at the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in their area, or online at https://www.thaievisa.go.th/, before coming. If you're currently in Thailand, a quick and easy solution would be to travel to Vientiane, Laos. The tourist visa must be utilized within 90 days of being issued and provides for a 60-day initial stay. After arriving in Thailand, a tourist visa may be renewed once for an additional 30 days at the discretion of an immigration officer, with a total stay of no more than 90 days. The charge for the extension is 1,900 Baht.

Visa Overstays

If a person does not leave Thailand before the expiration of his or her airport pass or visa, the person is in the country illegally. It will be necessary to pay an overstay fine in order to leave Thailand. Overstaying a visa is punishable by a fine of 500 Baht each day, up to a maximum of 20,000 Baht. The fine is payable at the Immigration Bureau, the Immigration office at Suvarnabhumi Airport, or another departure point.

Thai police have been known to sweep areas frequented by low-budget travelers and arrest those who have overstayed their visas. Those arrested may be held in the Immigration Detention Center until they can pay for their fines and pay for tickets out of Thailand. Those who overstay their visas for more than 200 days may be required to serve time in the Immigration Detention Center before they are deported. It is highly advisable to avoid visa overstays.

Why should you consider Laos for a visa run to Thailand?

Because of their close proximity, visa runs from Thailand to Laos are strongly encouraged. This will save you a lot of time when traveling. Furthermore, transportation options range from airlines to buses to motorcycles and private vehicles. Public transportation is both accessible and inexpensive. It would be highly cost-effective, especially if you take local buses on a daily basis.

How does a visa run from Thailand to Laos work?

To begin, you should prepare all documents (available for download at https://thaivisavientiane.com), including an original valid passport (valid for at least 6 months beyond your date of arrival), 03 passport photos (one for Laos visa on arrival and two for Thai visa), and a bank account statement (amount of not less than 20,000 THB (single) and 60,000 THB (multiple). You'll also need 1700 for a visa on arrival in Laos and 1000 for a tourist visa in Thailand. This must be paid in Thai Baht in cash. The fees change based on the type of visa, so check the Embassy of Thailand official website or contact the embassy directly for the most up-to-date rates. The visa charge for a single-entry tourist visa is currently 1000 THB. After you've paid your visa fees, make sure you have a receipt. Keep this safe because it will be required when you pick up your visa.

Traveling by Plane to Vientiane, Laos

If you’re short on time, a direct flight from Bangkok to Vientiane, Laos, is your best bet. It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Suggestions of places to stay in Vientiane while you wait for your visa:

Being close to the Thai consulate will make your life easier. Depending on your budget, here are a few options found on Booking that are in walking distance of the Embassy and reasonably priced:

Grand Hotel Vientiane, Vientiane, Laos (3 minutes away on foot)
Douangpraseuth Hotel (3 minutes away on foot and often fully booked).
Lao Golden Hotel (7 minutes away on foot)

Arrival: Embassy of Thailand in Vientiane

Having arrived in Vientiane, Laos, your next stop is the Embassy of Thailand. Using Google Maps could lead to the incorrect Embassy. Buildings with different functions are given identical names:

Thailand Embassy = housing
Embassy of Thailand = visa/consulate

The address is 316 Rue Bourichane, Vientiane, Laos. The embassy is open from Monday to Friday, so make sure to plan your trip accordingly.

Timing Your Visit: Before planning your visit, check the embassy’s official website for the most current operating hours and holiday schedule. Arriving early in the morning can help you avoid long lines.

The photocopy services are closed, and no exchange is available. But they do photocopying and pictures next to the embassy, so don't waste time hunting for one of these places in Vientiane. Just ensure you take all documents and 1000 baht in Thai currency. If there are any issues, there are touts outside who can help you for some small charge (typically less than 100k kip), like change currency or get a photocopy or print..

This is the procedure:

Schedule an appointment, please visit www.thaivisavientiane.com. Receive an email of confirmation. It includes a token identifier. You may reach the office at your leisure between 10 and 10.45 a.m., when the volume of visitors decreases, or at any time between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m., but it is preferable to arrive 30 minutes earlier than the time specified via email with the following documents:

Two photos of 3.5×4, your passport, copy of its biodata page, copy of the page with Laos visa, copy of the page with entry stamp to Laos, your bank statement for the last three months in any currency over 20,000 baht in value, If you're from some third-world country, ticket OUT of Thailand, and of course 1000 in Thai Baht,

Take a screenshot or print out of your appointment email or just show it on the phone, bring sunscreen, water, and an umbrella, as Q may occasionally extend into the street (especially on Mondays). If you have all these docs and you are not from the list of dozen or so countries on their website, you are good.

All EU countries, US, UK, and most developed western countries, Japan, Korea, and even India, etc., can get visa here. If you are not from these, go to their website and check that special list hidden somewhere for whom they need additional documents and photos.

Enter the embassy, and a guy will check some docs and your passport. Tick some documents and write your token number from your email that you show on your phone and let you in. You go straight in. There will be a crowd with benches in rows. Find a seat in one of the bench, asking where the "sitting queue" ends. Wait for your turn to the counters 1 or 2, mostly shifting chairs in between as the "sitting Q" moves. Submit all documents. Sometimes, for your bank account statement, they may ask you to show a card with your name on it. So, if you have a visa or master cards from your bank, take them. They will take all your docs. Write down your token on a slip with the date of collection, and give it back to you. Go back that day and time written on the slip (mostly 2 days) to get the passport back with visa.

For Thai Visa, this is one of the easier places to apply. Or probably the easiest place compared to most other Thai embassy or consulate posts except one at a particular border. Talk to the officers politely and dress appropriately. If they cause any trouble, be calm, polite, and persist on how to rectify and when to come back.

Collect visa and passport the next day, queue number will be call accordingly at 1.30pm (gate open 1pm). For pick up, don't bother showing up early; they open at 130 p.m. I was number 248 and it took me 45 mins to finally get my visa.

Having obtained your new visa, you may now proceed with your return to Thailand. Bus or plane travel may be utilized to return, contingent upon personal preference and time constraints.