Thailand Immigration: My Visa Extension Troubles
This post is from December 2015
Updating your visa in Thailand can be a quick and easy process if you do things right, normally everything is very straight forward but I had just moved to Nonthaburi Province and this made my day a very long day!
It was a Friday and this was one of the two busy days for Bangkok Immigration, the other being Monday. I made sure I got there early so I wouldn’t be waiting there all day.
I first had to get an Immigration form but as the Immigration office was not open yet I went to the photo and copy shop on the basement floor. If I got this from inside the Immigration office my wait would be a lot longer due to the amount of people who come in the morning. Once the doors open everyone is rushing in to get their ticket so they’re not waiting a long time to have their visa to be extended.
I filled out the visa application form and headed back upstairs where I was confronted by a long queue.
I got my place in the queue and waited for the doors to open. Once the doors opened I moved quickly into the immigration area, got my ticket for my Tourist visa extension and waited for my turn to see the Immigration officer. I was fourth in line to see the immigration officer.
My number was called and I sat down opposite the Immigration Officer with all my paper work filled out. She started going through all the paperwork and said to me I can’t do the visa here. I was confused as this was the first time I had heard this in all of the years I lived here.
The Immigration Officer explained that because I live in Nonthaburi Province, I had to go to Nonthaburi Immigration office. When I enquired about the location of this Immigration Office, she showed me a map in Thai. Unfortunately, I cannot read Thai and asked for an English map which she didn’t have. Therefore, I used google maps to find the location and traveled to Nonthaburi Immigration office.
The journey took around 50 minutes. Most of the journey was easy, after coming off the main highway I traveled onto a small road which was full of twists and turns.
The immigration office in Nonthaburi is very small, but I feel this is big enough for what they need to handle. I collected my ticket and waited around twenty minutes.
I sat down with the Immigration officer and he went through my paper work, I was feeling relieved until he turned round, took out a form out of the drawer behind him and showed it to me. He said that I need to get the owner of my apartment to sign this to state that I lived there. I was thrown back by this. There was no way the owner could sign this as they lived outside of Bangkok and I know that there was no way they would come back to Bangkok for this one thing.
I tried to explain to the Immigration officer this was impossible but he kept on insisting that he needed this to be filled out. I called the apartment I lived in and got the office staff to talk to him just in case he didn’t understand what I had said. He didn’t care he wanted to see the form filled. He gave me a number to call and signalled the next person.
I had no choice I had to travel back to my apartment.
Back At My Apartment
Back at my apartment I spoke with the staff in the office and they told me the owner of the apartment was in England. Oh the joy, they are not coming back from England just for this! The office staff suggested I get my contract and copy this and show to immigration. I called the number the Immigration officer had given me, and no response, we both called the number around ten times with no response. I made the decision to go back to immigration, another forty minutes of travelling.
Back To Immigration
Back at the immigration office I went to sit opposite the Immigration Officer and wait for the current person to finish with him, after he was finished with that person he signalled me to come to him. I showed him my contract and explained that the owners were in England and there was no way I could have it signed.
The Immigration officer turned to his superior and asked if this was possible; she thought for a moment and nodded. He turned back to me and said this time we will allow it, but next time we need the form filled. This gave me a sigh of relief as I had my last thirty days in Thailand before I would go home.
Location Of Both Immigration Offices
What Do You Need?
When doing your visa extension you need certain items depending on what type of visa you are doing. In my case I was extending my Tourist visa. For a Tourist visa extension you will need the following:
- 1 Recent photo
- Visa extension form
- 1900 Baht
To my experience of this one time if you are doing a visa extension outside of Bangkok you will need a form which states where you live.
After the whole experience of something that should have taken two hours maximum from leaving my home to finishing which actually took seven and a half hours , I think that I should have done a little more research than normal. However at the same time I was not expecting to be rejected at Bangkok Immigration as I had been done this several times before.