29 September 2012

How to Extend a Thailand Visa in Phuket

After another two-months stay in Thailand ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ (separated from the previous visit by a short trip to the already established Kuala Lumpur), we decided to extend our visa for one more month. This wasn't a cheap pleasure (1900 baht per person, that is, 125 dollars for two). But we could postpone packing our bags and leaving the country, which suited our homebody mood quite well.

The general impression of visiting the Thai Immigration Office in Phuket for the visa extension was surprising. It was the most pleasant visit to official institutions in our lives, with the Thai Embassy in Malaysia taking second place. Unusually for such establishments, we didn't feel exhausted, but rather like after visiting a well-established spa salon. Oh yeah, this is Thailand ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ, baby! And just one more reason to love this country.

Now let's move on to the details. The Immigration Office is located in Phuket Town. (It seems that there is also an office in Patong, but we do not have more detailed information on that.) Its office hours are 8:30 to 16:30 (8:30 AM to 4:30 PM), Monday to Friday. The official Thai websites say that most people come on Monday and Friday, so, accordingly, they ask to preferably choose the day of the visit from Tuesday to Thursday. But it doesnโ€™t look like a very strong factor, so come when itโ€™s convenient for you. Just remember to arrive early enough, since payments are accepted only until 15:30 (3:30 PM).

The full name of the office is Phuket Port Immigration Office, and its location is shown on the map below.

To get to the Immigration Office from the area of Big C and Festival supermarkets, we rode songthaew (a bus) #1. Arriving from that direction, we got off at stop 22 (The Bale), immediately after passing the Public Library. After walking 30-50 meters more along the traffic, there's a white two-story building on the right side. Well, if you don't want to search for the place, simply take a taxi ๐Ÿš•.

To extend visa, several things are required:

On the first floor, make photocopies of a passport and a filled-out departure card (it is possible to get it and fill right on the spot). The photocopies cost 10 baht per person. The girls at the photocopiers are well-informed, so just give them a passport, and they'll tell you if you need anything else.

Then move on to the second floor. Near the entrance, on the left side, there are two English-speaking retired gentlemen; if someone has questions, they explain and show everything.

Further to the left, there's a table with forms. Take the form that starts with โ€œFor Extension…โ€. You can get a pen there and take a look at the examples of the filled-out forms. They have typical fields, such as last name, first name, passport details, current address of residence, arrival details, etc.

Once finished, take the form, passport, and photo to one of the English-speaking gentlemen. He will check that everything is correct, attach a photo and fold the pieces of paper beautifully.

Now head on to one of the immigration officers sitting opposite the entrance. Within two minutes, your passport will be stamped with all the necessary stamps with the date of extension (starting from the date the visa expires for the period you requested – up to 30 days). Then the passport and payment receipt are taken away for a final signature. In several minutes, a passport is given back to you, and you are free to enjoy Thailand ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ for an additional month!

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