Thailand Visas Summary – Klong Yai Immigration for Koh Chang

UPDATED MARCH 11TH 2018

Thailand Visa At a Glance

Had Lek Immigration for renewing Thailand Visa

Visa Exemption Stamp
Issued free on arrival at airport – 30 days, all countries. Unlimited entries per year.
Issued free on arrival at land border – 30 days for 55 countries – check your own country against the lists found online. Only two land entries allowed per calendar year.
Your passport must have at least 6 months validity. Strictly speaking, proof of funds at 10,000bt and POOT (proof of onward travel) which means an airline ticket from Thailand both required. Tickets showing exit by land border, trains, buses, flights in other countries are not accepted.
The visa exemption can be extended for further 30 days in Thailand at a local Immigration Office for 1,900bt.
Single Entry Tourist Visa (SETV)
Bought in country of residence or neighbouring to Thailand.
3 months validity, 60 days permitted per trip, can be extended for further 30 days in Thailand at a local Immigration Office for 1,900bt.
Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (METV)
Bought in country of residence only with strict criteria including bank statements, employer letters, plane tickets and hotel reservations.
6 months validity, 60 days permitted per trip.

Thailand Visa at an Island Pace

Visa Exemption

The Visa Exemption is the most commonly used method for entering Thailand. On landing at an Airport, you are are stamped permission to stay for 30 days. This covers most people on their holidays. The stamp can be extended at a local Immigration Office (in country) for 1,900bt for a further 30 days, after which you then have to leave the country.

If you are coming and going from Thailand into neighbouring countries, you can re-enter using another Visa Exemption stamp, with 30 days granted for 55 countries, lists available online of those nations. You are no longer able to exit and immediately re-enter (visa run) with visa exemptions and only 2 visa exemptions are permitted in one calendar year if entering by a land border. Always carry your onward plane ticket printed out (not digital) in case requested.

Single Entry Tourist Visa (SETV)

If you wish to stay longer than the 30 day Visa Exemption without leaving the country or going to pay for an extension, the easiest option is to buy a Single Entry Tourist Visa from any Thai Consulate or Embassy, with fees as per their websites. The length of stay is 60 days from day of arrival (the single entry of the visa). It may be extended at the local Immigration Office (in country) for a further 30 days for 1,900bt, as long as this is done before the 60 days has expired, with the date stamped in your passport, next to the stapled-in white departure card (TM6), the last day possible. This will mean you have 90 days in total before you need to leave the country.

The Single Entry Tourist Visa itself shows a validity of 3 months, but this has nothing to do with length of stay, simply stipulating that you must enter the country (i.e. use it) before the expiry date shown (which will be 90 days from when the visa was issued).

After the 60 days (or 90 if you buy that extension), having left the country, you can then re-enter again with either a new Single Entry Tourist Visa bought at a Consulate in one of the countries bordering Thailand and start the 60 days (or 90 if you buy that extension) process once more. Or you can re-enter on a Visa Exemption stamp, granting you 30 days (airport or land). How many times you can buy back to back SETV’s and which country has the most amenable Embassy or Consulate for issuing said back-to-back Single Entry Tourist Visas is discussed and updated on many websites.

Single Entry Tourist Visa (SETV) – The loss of days

What is misunderstood with a Single Entry Tourist Visa is the Single Entry. Simply put, you use this up when you first enter, so whilst you can stay for 60 days and then extend in country for 30, if you step over the border, the visa is immediately finished/cancelled. This is regardless of whether you have used up its full quota of days. As an example, were you to leave the country after 20 days to pop into Cambodia to see the temples and then come back to Thailand by air or land, you will be given a 30 days visa exemption stamp. You do not pick up the 60 day Single Entry Tourist Visa from where you left off, so the 40 days remaining are lost. If buying a Single Entry Tourist Visa but also wanting to travel a little outside of Thailand, therefore, use up your days before you go.

Alternatively, you can also get a re-entry permit from the local Immigration office at 1,000bt. This allows you to come back in on the existing visa but you do lose the days spent outside Thailand off that visa.

Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (METV)

Multiple Entry Visas are issued only in your country of origin.

There are strict criteria which must be met for the visa to be granted. Though varying from country to country, these involve bank statements showing at least $6,000 for at least 3 months, letters of employment or if self employed, assessments forms and registration documents, plane tickets in and out and hotel reservations.

The visa is valid for 6 months from date of issue, with 60 days granted per trip. After that, you must leave the country and on re-entry will be granted another 60 days. There is no word yet on whether each 60 days can be extended in-country by 30 days for 1,900bt at a local Immigration Office, as is possible with the Single Entry Visa (SETV). Similarly, it is too early to say if you can hop out at land border after the 60 days (or 90 days if extensions are allowed), stamp into the neighbouring country, turn straight around back into Thailand and re-activate the next 60 days. It may be that you have to stay out for a few days

The Multiple Entry Visa itself shows a validity of 6 months, but this has nothing to do with length of stay, simply stipulating that you must enter the country (i.e. use it) before the expiry date shown (which will be 180 days from when the visa was issued). Only time will tell if it is permitted, but there is nothing to stop you leaving on the days just before expiry and coming back in to re-activate another 60 days. This means though the visa is finished, you are still permitted to stay until those 60 days are up and so in effect, it will give you 8 months in the country.

As this new visa beds in, there will be changes, rules may be less stringently applied and what is possible or not possible in their use will become more apparent. Check forums like thaivisa for all the latest updates.

More Visa Options and Overstay

There are a whole host of other visas, Non Immigrant Type O, Ed and B which range from retirement, to education to business with details found at www.mfa.go.th/main/en/services/, the official site for visa information and procedures.

Overstaying your visa by a few days is expensive rather than a serious problem, but technically you are breaking the law. The first day is not charged but after that, it is 500bt per day, so two days makes 1,000bt, 3 days 1,500bt and so on. Children over 7 are eligible for the fine. This is normally paid at the the airport as you leave the country.

Long term overstayers are now being targeted, fined and thrown out with Barred from Visiting Thailand stamped into their passports. The length of that ban is taken on a case by case basis, 1 year upwards.

Immigration at Klong Yai and Border at Had Lek

Klong Yai Immigration

With the closure of the office at Laem Ngop, the nearest Immigration Office to Koh Chang is now at Klong Yai, about 70km from Trat, 85km from the Koh Chang piers and 12km from the Had Lek Border.

If driving, you head out from Trat on the road to Had Lek and Cambodia and follow directions once you get to Klong Yai to the Customs Office and the hospital. The Immigration Office is a little further along in the complex of government buildings down by the sea.

If travelling by public transport, take the public minibus which leaves every 45 minutes from Trat Bus Station to Had Lek Border. Ask for Klong Yai, 80bt per person and they will drop you in the center. Note the return leaves from just across the street, same timetable of every 45 minutes.

From the center of Klong Yai, you need a motorbike taxi at 20bt to 30bt for the 4km trip to the Immigration Office itself. You should ask the motorbike to wait or take the driver’s mobile number as, there are no other means of transport hanging around to take you back to the center.

You can also charter a blue songthaew taxi from Trat or use one of the hourly public ones from behind the main covered market, 100bt per person one way but they will want a minimum charge. As above, remember that the Immigration Office is in the middle of nowhere so ask the songthaew to wait or come back for you.

From Koh Chang, there is a visa run service by minibus run by DD Mhuek at 800bt per person with ferry ticket which will collect you from your resort and drop you back at the end of the day.

At the rear of the Immigration office, you’ll find a photocopier, 5bt per sheet but it is always best to bring copies from your passport of the photo page, the visa page, the arrival/departure card (TM6), any other in/out stamps page, as well as a couple of passport photos themselves. For longer visas, a core set of copies to always have with you are the house book of your landlord, their ID card, your own house book copy and your rental contract.

On Koh Chang itself there is also a tiny Immigration Office opposite Flora i Talay Resort on Chai Chet Beach. This can deal with general questions and also 90 day reporting for those on longer visas. Any service that you need to pay for such as extensions to tourist visas or re-entry permits are only processed over at Klong Yai.

Klong Yai Immigration’s office can be contacted on 039 581-776, open 08.30am to 16.30, closed for lunch from 12.00pm to 13.00 – same hours for the Koh Chang office.

The nearest border to Koh Chang is Had Lek, 1.5 hours from Trat, see To Cambodia for more details.