Thursday, February 11, 2010

Visa Run in Penang

For tourist and foreigners in Thailand and Indonesia. If your visa is going to expire soon, where did you extend your visa. They called it Visa Run, you run to renew you visa to extend your stay. To extend your visit once your visa runs out you must leave the country and then re-enter to receive that 30 day ‘on entry’ stamp. This can be done at any of the main border crossings with Thailand’s neighbouring countries.

Thai Tourist Visa
A tourist visa will be issued to applicants wishing to enter the Kingdom for tourism purposes. You are not allowed to work or conduct business with a tourist visa.

A tourist visa can be used to stay in Thailand for up to 30 days or up to 60 days and can be extended by 30 days at the nearest Immigration office. Fee 1,900 Baht (as per 2008-01-17).A tourist visa is needed when a person plans to stay in Thailand for tourism purposes longer than is allowed when entering under the visa exemption, or if a person is from a country that has no visa exemption agreements with Thailand. To see which countries are covered by visa exemption agreements and what the allowed period of stay is please contact Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Thailand - URL: for Complete country list.

Nationals of certain countries are required to apply for a visa only at the Thai Embassy or Consulate-General in their home/residence country or at the designated Thai Embassy. Therefore, travelers are advised to contact the nearest Thai Embassy or Consulate-General to find out where they may apply for a visa to Thailand before departure. Passport holders of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Sudan, Algeria, Libya, Yemen, Egypt and Palestinian States are requested to file for application at the Thai Embassy/Consulate-General where they have their permanent residence (home country).

Before traveling to Thailand check with the Thai embassy in your country or ask your travel agent for advice; as policy may change.

Thai Visa extension

You may apply for an extension of stay at any "Immigration Office" in Thailand where you may be permitted to stay for another 30-day period. You must do so before your stay permits expires, otherwise you will be fined 500 Baht for each day you overstay in Thailand. But effective from 2009, Home affairs department decided to reduce all overland visa on arrivals to just 15 days, presumably to discourage visa runs, effectively rendering the exercise pointless for multiple extensions.

30 days tourist visa
Every time you leave and re-enter Thailand at any border post, a new 30 day visa is issued, no matter how short your exit stay is. In mid 2006, a new directive was issued permitting only a maximum stay of 90 consecutive days (ie two renewals) on a tourist visa, after which you have to leave the kingdom. This can be resolved by applying for a 60 day tourist visa at a neighbouring consulate, and starting over. Furthermore, those leaving and re-entering Thailand on the same day are usually asked to show proof of at least 10,000 baht in a local bank account or cash.

60 day tourist visas
These are issued by Thailand Embassies abroad for a variable fee (about $15/£10) and can be collected on-the-spot. Once in the Kingdom you may renew this visa for a further 30 days at your nearest immigration department before the expiry date. The fee for this extension is 1,900 baht.

Visa Run
Depend of where you are,the following are the place you can head for visa run. But I will recommend you to try Penang, a place you can stay for few days and relax for your visa run. There are also consulates of some countries located in Penanag, you do not need to go as far as Kuala Lumpur, Vientian, Saigon, or even Bangkok.

Penang is not only a popular destination for transit travelers to and fro South East Asian nations, but it is also a frequent destination for foreign employees working in Thailand aiming to extend their visas. In the same way, tourists wishing to extend their vacations can easily take a trip to Penang and get a month or two extension. With the low cost airline like Air Asia and Firefly airlines carrying passengers to and from Bangkok, Koh Samui(Firefly), Phuket, Medan, Padang, Bandar Acheh to Penang. Travelers can also reach the Penang island of Malaysia by land(bus), which has proved to be at times inconvenient and time consuming. But it will be worth the effort for your visa run in Penang.....

Moreover in Penang, you can obtain Thai visa for 60 days, for other cross the border visa run, you get an ‘on-entry’ visa or extension for 30 days, effective from 2009 it was reduced to 15 days for overland visa, it include almost all border points. But Penang visa run is not cross border run, but visa issue by Thai Consulate. So it is more worthy to come to Penang where there is Thai Consulate, which can issue visa for 60 days.
Note: please check the latest policy before you do your visa run, in case of visa policy changes.


1. Ranong/Kawthoung, Myanmar - by long tail boat to Kawthoung from Ranong
2. Nong Khai/Vientian, Laos - by road/bus
3. Hadyai/ Padang Besar, Malaysia - by train, by road/bus
4. Sg Kolok/ Kota Bharu, Malaysia - by road/bus
5. Mae Sai/ Tachileik, Burma - by road /bus
6. Phuket/ Penang, Malaysia - by air, by road/bus

(i)Thai Consulate General in Penang
NO. 1, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman
10350 Penang
Tel. (60-4) 2268029, 2269484
Fax:(60-4) 2263121
E-mail :
web site:

Office Hours:

Monday- Friday 9.00-12.00 hrs | 14.00-16.30 hrs
From 1st of June 2008
The Royal Thai Consulate will accept Visa Application
from 9.00 - 11.00 am
It is closed on Thai Public Holiday, Malaysia Public Holiday and Penang Public Holidays. Please check it on the website.

(ii)Thai Consulate General in Kota Bharu

4426, Jalan Pengkalan Chepa,
15400 Kota Bharu, Kelantan
Tel. (609) 744-5266, 744-5934, 748-2545
Fax. (609) 744-9801
Office Hour: Sunday-Thursday
09.00 - 12.30 hrs./ 13.30 - 17.00 hrs.
Office Hours : Sunday – Thursday : 09.00 – 17.00 hrs.
Visa and Consular Section : 09.00 – 12.00 hrs. / 14.00 – 15.30 hrs.
Web site:
It is closed on Thai Public Holiday, Malaysia Public Holiday and Kelantan Public Holidays. Please check it on the website.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Official website:


1. Medan/ Penang,Malaysia - by ferry and by air
2. Bandar Acheh/ Penang Malaysia - by air
3. Padang/Penang, Malaysia - by air

Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia Penang,
467, Burma Road
Penang 10350
Tel. 04-2274686; 04-2267412;
web sites:

The consulate is located next to Penang Adventist Hospital

Working hours:
09.30-16.30 (Monday-Friday)
Saturday, Sunday and Official Holidays Closed

It is closed on Indonesia Public Holiday, Malaysia Public Holiday and Penang Public Holidays. Please check it on the website.

Related articles:

1. Thailand visa history,


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    Best Regards, Ale Rossi
    Immigration to Australia

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