How to Extend Your Tourist Visa at New Immigration Office Location in Chiang Mai, Thailand 22

Renewing a tourist visa in Thailand is everyone’s favorite pastime, and there always seems to be new rules for playing the game… In the latest one, they moved the immigration office in Chiang Mai – from by the airport to a new location at the Promenada Resort Mall. Alyssa and I just went to the new office to extend our tourist visas, and found it was simple and pretty well-organized.

Alyssa by new Immigration Office

Extend Your Tourist Visa in Chiang Mai, Thailand

A month sure flies by fast! Before we knew it we were coming up on our visa expiration date and had to make sure everything went smoothly the first time so we wouldn’t need to come back and waste another day waiting in lines.

Here’s some tips that helped us get through quickly and painlessly.

New Immigration Location in the Chiang Mai Promenade Mall

Things to Bring With to the Immigration Office

Be sure to have these ready before you go so you don’t get delayed or lose your spot in line. Also, don’t try to save paper by printing everything on one page or double-sided. They are pretty strict about wanting each copy on it’s own page.

  • Photocopy of your passport picture page
  • Photocopy of your current Thailand visa stamp
  • Photocopy of your departure card
  • Application form filled out
  • Complete residence address (include tambon, amphoe (district), province, and postal code)
  • Recent “passport-style” picture (4 x 6 cm)
  • Thai baht money for fees. Tourist visa extension is 1,900 baht (they do give change).
  • Any other proof (medical, retirement, student, etc.) that is required for your specific situation

Chiangmai Immigration Fees at New Location

They also told us to sign all the copies of our passport and put our phone number or email address next to the “Address in Thailand” on the back of the form. An immigration lady had a stack of forms in case we didn’t print it out before, and even had a glue stick so we could stick our photo to the application form. They’ll probably staple it on if you can’t find the glue-stick lady.

There is a print shop right next door, so you can make copies of your passport or take your picture if you need it.

Visa Application Forms

(Click on the forms below to preview or print them)

Tourist Visa Extension Application
(Click here for pdf version)

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Re-Entry Permit Application

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90 Days Notify Application

Immigration Form - to Notify of Staying Longer than 90 Days

For the latest information and forms, you can also check the Thailand Immigration website.

Getting to the New Immigration Office at the Promenada Mall

The Promenada Mall is about 8 miles to the southeast of the Old Town. It’s close to a few major roads so getting to it is quick and easy. Click here to see it on Google Maps.

We rented a motorbike that cost 200 baht for the day – much cheaper for us than taking a songtaew (red truck taxi) there and back, and we could stop at the grocery store on the way home.

Landon on Motorcycle Going to Immigration Office

There was no traffic when we left just after 6 in the morning, and made it to the Promenada Mall without a hitch. At the mall, there were “Immigration This Way” signs that directed us to the immigration office. It’s right inside the “A Building” parking lot, so don’t worry it’s not hidden in some dark corner.

I was surprised how simple it was to find! You can even grab a latte from the nearby coffee shop as a reward for finding the place alright!

The old immigration office was by the airport, and was quite a bit smaller than this new place. Be careful if anyone directs you there, because it has definitely moved. They had a free shuttle bus that ran from the old office to the new one, but it only ran for a month so don’t count on that.

Which Visa Line to Stand In?

There are lines for renewing a tourist visa (extension), re-entry permit, retirement and medical, and notify 90 days. If it’s your first time renewing your visa, you’ll probably need to be in the tourist extension line. If you have a different type of visa, then just get in those lines.

Thailand Tourist Visa Extension Day Limits

The office opens at 8:30am, but we got there at 6:30am to get a good spot in line because we were up against our expiration date and couldn’t chance being delayed. We were 12th in the tourist visa line when we arrived. A few more people came behind us at 7am, and by 8am a big crowd had come, and there were about 50 people in our line. There was a stack of chairs by the door, so the first half had a nice relaxing time waiting. Some were even sleeping!

Alyssa Waiting in Line for Visa Renewal

At 8:30am when the office opened, the immigration officials called each line up in order to check our papers and gave us each a colored tag with a number on it. That was our order, and we could go wait anywhere we wanted. Some people with a high number left to do other things in the meantime. There was no other list to put our names on like in the past.

Extending Your Thai Tourist Visa

They constantly called numbers and colors over a loudspeaker (in English) and Alyssa and I went in to the office separately. They wanted my passport, passport copies, application form filled out, picture, and money. They kept everything with them then sent us outside to wait for another half hour until they called our names.

This time, he gave us our papers and told us to stand in a short line to have our picture taken. We already gave them a photo, so I can’t understand the reasoning here! They took some of the papers and gave us our passport with a new HUGE visa stamp in it, old departure card, a receipt, and our change.

Passport, Form, and Money all ready to go

We checked all our papers to make sure we had a new stamp and were off on our motorcycle by 10:30am, 4 hours after we arrived – not bad!

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Q. I flew into Bangkok and currently have a 30 day tourist Visa. Is this renewable?
    A. Yes, you can renew your 30-day visa for another 30-days at the immigration office for 1900 baht.
  2. Q. What is the difference between single entry, double, and triple entries?
    A. A single entry visa is the visa you get when you arrive by airplane valid for 30 days and renewed for 30 more. A double and triple entry is a visa you apply for either before you come or in a neighboring country. It gives you double or triple entires that are renewable every 60 days. For example, if you have a double entry visa you can enter Thailand two times for 60 days each time.
  3. Q. Do I really need to arrive at 6 a.m. to renew my visa? 
    A. Most people recommend getting there early. The office is closed for lunch from 12-1 p.m. so if you want to get your paperwork done before then, getting there early is a good idea. Some people arrived around 8 a.m. and had their paperwork done before the lunch break. 

For more questions, please refer to the Thai Embassy or comment below and we will do our best to help you!

Have you been to the new immigration office in Chiang Mai to extend your tourist visa? How was your experience, and do you have any more tips?

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22 thoughts on “How to Extend Your Tourist Visa at New Immigration Office Location in Chiang Mai, Thailand

  • Vida Nómada

    Hey guys! Thanks for sharing the info. Do you know if I have to show proof when I’m leaving the country to get the visa on arrival in Sukhumvit airport (Bangkok)? I’m going to spend some days in the capital before I get to Chiang Mai but I haven’t planned the exit yet. Last year when I arrived in Singapore they didn’t ask for the departure date but in Denpasar Bali to Bangkok they did. Any idea?

    • Landon Post author

      Hi! We had a one-way ticket into Thailand and didn’t have to show a proof of exit. We had to do that in Costa Rica and a few other countries but not in Thailand. I’m not sure if it’s dependent on your nationality or where you are coming from. Let us know how it goes for you!

    • Michael

      I recently landed in Bangkok with a visa on arrival without an ongoing ticket, and wasn’t asked for anything. In my experience, it’s usually the airlines that are fussy about the ongoing ticket — they can face large fines if you are stuck in the country without money or a way out.

      I usually print off an ongoing itinerary from Orbitz or another booking site to show the airlines (you can view and print this without buying) . Glad I did because Air Asia asked for it this time!

  • Sky

    How many times can you renew your visa? Can you keep doing border runs and keep coming back into Thailand? or do they try to prevent you from doing that?

    • Landon Post author

      It depends on what kind of Visa you have. If you enter the country with just a normal tourist visa, you can only renew that once for an additional 30 days. It costs 1900 baht and is a pretty easy process. Once your tourist visa extension expires then you can do a border run and apply for a double entry visa. This gives you a lot more time and you only have to cross to the border to activate your second entry after the 60 days. If you get double entry that means that you can enter Thailand 2 times and each time you can only stay max 60 days. Hope this helps!

  • Alessio

    First of all, thank you for sharing!
    But I’m really confused now.

    As I know there are two different type of visas: 1. visa on arrival, 2. tourist visa.
    The tourist visa could be different type (double entry, multiple entry and etc).
    The visa on arrival is just one, and it allow you to stay in the country for 30 days (this in the majority of the nationality, but not all).
    So I’m wondering if this is correct.

    Secondly, I have information for the Thai Embassy in Italy that you cannot renew you VISA ON ARRIVAL, once you are in Thailand. It means that once you arrive in Thailand and get the visa on arrival, you cannot extend it as you mentioned in the article. Now, I don’t trust 100% any information that is not through experience. So I don’t know if the guy from Italy was right.

    My case is:
    I arrive by flight to Bangkok from Kuala Lumpur.
    I get the 30 days VISA ON ARRIVAL. –> correct? Or I get the VISA EXEMPTION because I’m Italian? This is very confusing.
    I stay in Chiang Mai then I have two possibilities to extend my stay in Thailand:
    1) Get the extension by the immigration office in Thailand –> is this correct?
    2) Go out by land in Myanmar, stay there two days, and then come back to Thailand by land and get other 30 days. — correct? If this is the case, I read that it is difficult to get the stamp to enter Thailand again, because it is not a TOURIST VISA (60days+30days), but is the visa on arrival (or visa exemption). So I don’t really know if it easy to come back to Thailand from Myanmar in my case.

    Thank you very much

    • Landon Post author

      Hi Alessio,

      Good job, you’ve got it down pretty good! I’ll try to summarize what you said and explain what we’ve done.

      Both the visa on arrival and single/multiple-entry tourist visas (requested from a Thai embassy in another country) can be extended ONCE for 30 days by going to the immigration office and paying 1,900 baht. This is what we did with our visa exemption/visa on arrival we got when we initially arrived by plane. For completeness, I’ll mention that with a double entry tourist visa, it can be extended one time for each entry.

      So, you’re right, you can either extend your visa in Chiang Mai or leave the country. However, when you’re in the other country, you need to apply for a tourist visa at the THAI EMBASSY in the other country before returning. You will only get around 15 days if you attempt a visa on arrival at the land border. You might want to apply for a 2-entry visa that costs 2,000 baht. It will allow you to stay in Thailand for 60 days before you have to either 1.) renew it once for 30 more days, or 2.) leave the country and return to activate the “second entry” part of the visa. If you play your cards right, you can get almost 6 months of visa time in Thailand between having to buy another visa.

      You could get 60 days from first-entry + 30 extension + (leave country) 60 from second entry + 30 extension = ~180 days!

      Thailand is making a new law for a multiple-entry 6-month visa, and hopefully it’ll be implemented soon.

      Thanks for the detailed question. Good luck and let us know how it goes with a comment later on!

      • Alessio

        Actually I just need to stay in thailand for 38 days. So if I cross the border by land and then come back by land and get the 15 addictional days for me is still good.
        The problem is, would they make an issue to me if I have a exemption visa on arrival, and then go out and come back by land?
        And yes, the new law is coming out in the 13 November and it will cost 5000 bath.

        • Landon Post author

          Sure, that would work. The border immigration officials have been taking issue with people trying to cross out and in on the same day for visa renewals/activations, so they may want you to stay out of the country for a few days.

          Sometimes it costs less money and time to just pay the 1,900 baht for a renewal and not have to take the time to leave the country, but either way is fine.

  • Kristen Noelle

    Thank you so so much for this! I’m a tad bit cloudy on what to do in my particular situation, if you’re able to clear it up a bit further?
    I first arrived to Thailand on a single entry visa valid from Aug-Oct. I had traveled out of Thailand, and now I am back on a 30-day allowance. I’ll get it extended which would give me until Dec 15. I’m planning to travel from CM to Japan on Dec. 27, so it’d make more sense to wait and apply for a tourist visa once I’m in Japan, yes? However, what should I do about being in Thailand Dec. 15-27 … do a land-border crossing in Malaysia and get the 15 days?

    Appreciate your help!

    • Landon Post author

      Great question Kristen. I assume you arrived to Thailand by air on Oct 14th and got a visa-exempt stamp until Nov 15th and plan to extend this to Dec 15th by paying the 1,900 baht at the immigration office.

      I’d say you’re probably right to just go for the 15 day land entry visa since you only need a short addition. Depending on your nationality, they sometimes may only give a 7 day visa I’ve heard, so keep that in mind. Also, they’ve been strict at not letting people leave and return to Thailand on the same day, so you should plan to spend a day or two in Malaysia.

      They are planning on implementing a new 6-month multiple entry visa mid November, so depending on your plans for when you return to Thailand after Japan, that may be an option to look into starting when you cross into Malaysia. It could simplify things depending on your itinerary.

      Thanks for the comment! Let us know how it all goes and what worked best after you return!

      • Kristen Noelle

        Indeed, that is correct, I did arrive by air. And I’m a US citizen. I have read a bit about the new 6 month visa. I’m crossing fingers that it’s something I’ll be able to get to make the process easier. Whew, thank you, now knowing this all feels like a burden lifted :)
        I’ll let you know!

  • Mark

    Great write-up thanks! It’s a little different now:

    I decided to go there today (Thursday) at 1pm. There were only a few people in the tourist extension queue so that part only took 5 minutes or so. They took all my paperwork, but gave back no receipt or number. I was told the wait would be about one hour. Over the next two hours, a variety of names and numbers were called out and then my name too! At that point you go to the front and get your photo taken. Then sit back down again and 10 minutes later my name was called again and I collected my passport and change.

    Altogether about 2.5 hours. But they were still accepting applications when I left at 3:30pm and only a few people were arriving in the afternoon, so I reckon getting there about 3pm (2:20pm shuttle bus from Amora Thapae Hotel) might have been wiser (though I’d make sure I had a day to spare just in case!).

    Frustrating they don’t give you a number when you had in your papers. Then it would be easy to gauge how long you have to wait or whether your turn is about to come up. Also anonymity would be nice! If I’d known it would be well over an hour, I would’ve gone for a coffee.

    Coffee: Chic Cafe on the top floor in the electronics shop, is a good bet. Power points and cheap prices too.

    Photo: lots of people didn’t have the right size photo, so make sure it is 6cmx4cm. 5cmx4cm ain’t good enough. Background color doesn’t matter. I got mine done at Photo Express in Kad Suan Kaew (basement). 100THB for 4 photos. Not cheap, but I think it’s 200THB at the immigration place. Alternatively use some kind of Passport Photo app and get it done at a photo shop for a few baht.

    • Mark

      Forgot to mention: your passport will get a new stamp which is about a quarter of a page in size. A pleasant surprise for me :)

      Oh, and the 30 days extension starts from the day AFTER the date of expiry. So, if your entry stamp expires on the 1st January, the extension will end on the 31st January.

      This is different from when you arrive (which is considered day 1). So if you arrive in Thailand on 1st January (30-day visa exempt stamp), you must leave no later than 30th January (unless you get extended of course).

    • Landon Post author

      Hey Mark! Thanks for the more recent feedback on the process! This stuff changes all the time so it’s good to know what the latest game is! Sounds like it all went nice and smooth for you.

  • Bradley

    Glad you wrote this article, I used it as a guide to navigate immigration. Below is my input.

    Concise details on my most recent visit to immigration at Promenada Resort Mall (August 2016):

    Arrive at immigration early if you need an extension. It will save you a lot of heartache (read: headache). Get there early, and even more importantly, arrive on a date far removed from a weekend or holiday. The “King Jai Farm” coffee shop is open as early as 6:30 a.m.

    I wrote about that morning in an article: