If you have a visa for Thailand, it’s valid until the date stamped into your passport. Unless you leave the country that is! If you exit the country without a re-entry permit, your visa is cancelled at passport control, regardless of how much time is left on it. So, if you need to travel abroad on a Thai visa, you will want a re-entry permit.
Re-entry permits are available in either single (1000 baht) or multiple (3800 baht) entry. The multiple one, as the name suggests, allows for as many trips as you like, the single for just one trip. Both are valid only for the duration of your current visa. So for example, if you have a yearly visa which will expire in 6 weeks, any re-entry permit obtained now will expire on the same date.
How to get your permit. If you are taking an international flight from Suvarnabhumi (BKK), Don Mueng (DMK) or Chiang Mai (CNX) airport, you can obtain your re-entry permit at the airport. This service is available 24/7 for people who are about to depart. In other words you have to have checked in, have your boarding pass and gone through airport security. The desks are located after airport security but before passport control (look for the signs). In Chiang Mai the desk is on the left….
However if you are flying out of somewhere else, or want to get your re-entry permit in advance, then you need to go to an immigration office and queue.
Paperwork required for a Thai visa re-entry permit:
- Completed TM8 form (download from Thai immigration)
- One 2 inch photo
- 2 signed copies of passport pages; photo page, original visa page, last entry stamp page, TM6 arrival/departure card
- Fee 1000 or 3800 baht
The only other thing you need to know is that when returning to Thailand you will be given a new TM6 arrival /departure card to complete. This has a space for Visa number – make sure you use the re-entry permit number here rather than your original visa number!