Extending your tourist visa in Chiang Mai

This is the step-by-step guide on how to extend your tourist visa in Thailand.

These instructions are written from the perspective of extending your visa at the Chiang Mai main immigration office near the airport. But the general process and the documentation required will be more or less the same, no matter which immigration office you go to.

Note that Chiang Mai now has an additional immigration branch at Central Festival where you can get your visa extended. All reports so far suggest that the general experience and wait times are much better at the new location. For more info on renewing your visa at Central Festival, see the last section of this article.

When you extend your tourist visa in Thailand you will generally be given a 30 day extension. So if you came in on the 30 day visa waiver, you will be given an additional 30 days to make 60 days total.

If you entered Thailand on a 60 day tourist visa, you will be given an additional 30 days to make 90 days total.

The 30 day extension is tacked onto the expiry date of your current visa stamp. The additional 30 days does not start from the day you attain the extension at the immigration office.

So you can go in a couple of weeks prior to your current visa expiring without affecting the total length of your stay. This is what we recommend. Get it out of the way, and then you can relax and enjoy your extended stay in Thailand.

Don’t leave it until the last day. You may have issues with documentation, eligibility or maybe the office will be unexpectedly busy on the day you attend.

Where are the main immigration offices in Thailand located?

These are the main offices but some locations will have more than one office.

Bangkok

Click here to view on Google Maps.

Chiang Mai

Click here to view on Google Maps.

Phuket

Click here to view on Google Maps.

Pattaya

Click here to view on Google Maps.

Koh Samui

Click here to view on Google Maps.

What documents do you have to take to immigration to extend your Thai visa?

When you go to immigration you will need to take the following with you:

  • Visa photos – Can get photos taken at a visa photo shop in Chiang Mai town. You can also get photos at Immigration in the Photocopy shop. 1 photo required.
  • TM7 – Application for extension of temporary stay in the kingdom. You can download the form here.
  • TM6 – Arrival/Departure card. This is no longer required. Thai immigration stopped using arrival/departure forms from 1/7/22.
  • Make sure your hotel has done the TM30. This is the report your hotel will send to Thai immigration notifying them that you are staying at their hotel. Speak to the hotel reception and take a photo on your phone of their TM30 receipt number. If your hotel can’t view the TM30 (the app only allows you to view the last 7 days), get a photo of their hotel registration number. This will be enough to show to the TM30 office at immigration so that they can print you off a receipt.
  • Passport
  • 1,900 Baht in cash – this is the renewal fee

What to do at the Chiang Mai immigration office

  1. Get ticket number as you first walk in through the security gate (if you prefer you can get the ticket after you photocopy your documents). Security office Chiang Mai immigration
  2. Fill out the forms:
    • TM7 – Application for extension of temporary stay in the kingdom, attach photo to the second page. Download form here.
    • STM2 – Acknowledgment of terms and conditions for permit of temporary stay in the Kingdom of Thailand. You can download this form here.
    • The acknowledgment of penalties for a visa overstay. Download form here.
  3. Get TM30 receipt at the TM30 office. The office is located behind the main building, on the left side. Collect ticket number as you walk in. They will give you a white slip with a red stamp. They may staple the slip to your passport. This is your TM30 receipt. TM30 Receipt
  4. Go to the Photocopy office and get copies of your Passport and TM30 receipt. There’s no ticket here, just line up. It’s very cheap to get photocopies taken. Last time I paid 6 Baht. You can also get visa photos taken here if you didn’t have them already prepared. TM30 office chiang mai immigration
  5. Go to outside undercover area and show them your ticket (from front entrance when you first arrived, step 1). They will look over your application forms, tell you to fix this or fix that. Once they are satisfied that your documentation is in order you will have to sign your photocopies. They will they tell you to proceed into the inside office, the main building. Undercover area
  6. Go inside to the main building, line up at the main information counter. This is straight ahead as you first walk in. They will give you a ticket.
  7. Take a seat and wait for your ticket number to be called. Here you will hand over your documents and passport as well as the 1,900 Baht visa extension fee. At the Chiang Mai office you will be called to Counter 7 or 8, which are located down the left end of the room.
  8. Take a seat and wait to be called (by name), to have your photo taken.
  9. Take a seat and wait to be called (by name), to collect your passport.

Check your passport, there should be a new stamp showing the new date for when you have to leave Thailand.

That’s it. Easy enough?

The first time can be a bit of an ordeal. But once you know how it works it will become easier the next time you return.

Tips to get through a long day at the immigration office

Some immigration offices such as Phuket are known for usually being quite a quick, painless process.

Chiang Mai on the other hand can go either way. Sometimes I’ve been in and out within a couple of hours. But the last time I went there it was just after the Songkran holiday, and it was so busy that I had to come back the next day to finish it off.

Getting through a visa extension can be quite an experience. Try to relax. Don’t get frustrated. The Thai immigration staff are always polite and will help you as much as they can.

Bring water and some snacks in case it does take longer than expected. Although the office does close for 1 hour at 12pm when you will have a chance to go get some food. There are some cheap eateries and a 7-Eleven across the road at the fuel station.

Plan for it to take all day. Don’t expect to be out before lunch. You may be done before lunch if you’re lucky. But it could also take the entire day, so don’t make plans for the afternoon.

Arrive early. The Chiang Mai office opens at 8:30am but you can arrive earlier (Eg 8am) to start filling out your forms and to get a good place in the queue.

The first time you go to immigration to extend your visa it can be quite a confusing process. But there are people there to help you if you are confused as to what to do.

Renewing your visa at the new Chiang Mai Central Festival branch

Office location: https://goo.gl/maps/ZbisaZMXiPRCGLZP9

Chiang Mai Immigration recently opened a new immigration branch in Central Chiang Mai shopping center. This is a welcome change as the main office is often very busy.

The new office is more streamlined as well as air-conditioned. It’s best to arrive early to give yourself the best chance of avoiding the 12pm to 1pm lunch break.

If arriving before 11am, enter via the food court on the ground floor and take the elevator to level 2.

There is no separate TM30 office or photocopying room, it is all done in two phases. The first phase does the same as the undercover area at the main immigration: verify TM30s and photocopy and organize documents.

The second phase is the same as inside the main immigration building. Just sit down and wait for your number to be called and immigration officers will process your visa extension.

Thanks for reading.