Most of us “Aliens“, will, at some point, make a visit to the Immigration office at Chaeng Watthana for visa extension. And we sweat, and we fret, and we dread … perhaps because we-Aliens speak in Alien language (aka non-Thai) and fundamentally, we are subject to Thai laws. If you’re well-prepared, it is not as daunting as what it was made out to be. It helps if you can converse in basic Thai. If you can’t, this post is geared towards helping you in making it a pain-free process.
On a Wednesday morning, it took me around 1 hour at the Immigration office + 50 minutes traveling time = 2 hours altogether. Giving credit where credit is due: kudos to the Immigration officers at Chaeng Watthana!
(Update May 2017: Took 1 hour and 35 minutes on a Tuesday morning. As the next day is a public holiday, I was anticipating possibility of crowd. So arrived at 9:55am at the Immigration office)
Address and Map
Immigration Division 1, The Government Complex Commemorating His Majesty, Ratthaprasasanabhakti Building (B Building),
Floor 2 (South Zone), 120 Moo 3, Chaengwattana Road (Soi 7),
Thung Song Hong, Laksi,
ด่านตรวจคนเข้าเมือง ศูนย์ราชการแจ้งวัฒนะ อาคารรัฐประศาสนภักดี (อาคาร B)
ชั้น 2 (โซนภาคใต้) 120 ม.3 แจ้งวัฒนะ ซอย 7
Their telephone no is 02-2141 9889 or Call Center 1178, but I am not sure how much English is spoken.
Official website: http://bangkok.immigration.go.th
Laksi District is bounded by Don Mueang, Bang Khen and Chatuchak of Bangkok; that’s why the closest MRT and BTS is at MRT Chatuchak Park (Exit 1 or 2) and BTS Mo Chit (Exit 1 or 3) at the Chatuchak Park’s side.
Taxi might not be the cheapest, but it is definitely the quickest direct method.
To the Immigration office: 10:15am->10:30am
From MRT Chatuchak Park, it took 15 minutes using the Don Muang Expressway. The fare was 120 baht + 70 baht expressway = 190 baht. Cab drivers would prefer to use the expressways (ทางด่วน tang duan), but you may decline if you are not in a rush.
(Update May 2017: Took 20 minutes on non-expressway road, from taxi stand in front of MRT Chatuchak Park, exit 1 -leaving 9:10am, and arriving 9:30am)
I was lucky that I got a driver who knows the way. He delivered me to the doorstep of Gate 2 of Building B, which is the nearest entrance to the Immigration office. I started off by rattling off the destination of Immigration Office, Chaeng Watthana in Thai: “Pai Tor Mor Chaeng Watthana”. When asked for exact location, I rattled off “to extend visa for foreigners” in Thai. But that wasn’t sufficient, as he also asked about which building and whether it is located on the “inside” of the road. Having been there before helps; I was able to answer his questions.
You may try using simple Thai words with taxi drivers, but chances are they will not be able to get our Alien pronunciation. For example, the “Chaeng” in the Chaeng Watthana is pronounced with a J (Jaeng), instead of C.
Try this sentence:
“Pai Tor Mor Chaeng Watthana suun ratchagan” (go to Immigration Office Chaeng Watthana Government Complex)
And show them this:
ไป ต.ม. แจ้งวัฒนะ ซอย 7 อาคาร B ประตู 2 ศูนย์ราชการ (Go to Immigration Office Chaeng Watthana Soi 7, B Building, Gate 2, Government Complex)
ไป = pai (go)
ต.ม. = Tor Mor = Immigration office
แจ้งวัฒนะ ซอย 7 = Chaeng Watthana Soi 7
อาคาร B = akhan B (B Building)
ประตู 2 = Gate 2
ศูนย์ราชการ = Suun Ratchagan (Government Complex)
From the Immigration office
Heading back to town was easy. As the traffic was horrendous to MRT Chatuchak Park, I decided to head home straight to Lat Phrao. Total fare: 150 baht + 15 baht expressway = 165 baht, and it took 35 minutes.
(Update May 2017: Paid 150 baht on a non-expressway road to Lat Phrao, and the road was heavily congested)
I also saw info on bus service, if you want to consider taking a bus from Victory Monument (Bus no 166) or South Routes Bus Terminal (Bus no 66) instead. In the Thaivisa forum here, taking the bus from Victory Monument sounds complicated.
There is a dress code, but not strictly enforced. But better be safe than sorry lah ..
Monday-Friday, closed on Public Holidays from 08:30am-12:00pm and 13:00pm-16:30pm.
The Alien God must be looking down on me, as mine was all done before the 12:00pm-13:00pm lunch break. I thought there should be a system for partial break. But anyway, all visitors must clear area: go downstairs for lunch yourself, get a coffee, shopping or even manicure if you like.
Effective 1st September 2015, queue numbers will be given out from 08:30am-15:30pm. Their service will be provided from 08:30am-16:30pm or until the last queue number.
1. Your passport with departure card (TM.6)
2. Extension of Temporary Stay In The Kingdom Application Form (TM.7)
3. 1 passport photo (4cm x 6cm) but the size is not a strict requirement, to paste to your filled out application
4. Photocopies of your passport: page with your picture, latest Visa and latest Entry stamp, departure card (TM.6) (Sign all photocopies)
5. 1,900 baht to pay for the fee
4 Steps Application Process
Step 1: Collect and fill in application form
The Info Counter is located right at the entrance. Collect form at the Info counter, if you do not already have one. I got mine printed from here, and filled in beforehand, and that saved me some time.
Step 2: Get queue number (10:37am)
My queue number was 74, under Type K1 – Visa on Arrival, Exemption, Transit Visa.
- 74 people arrived before me within the first two hours of operation.
- 14 persons in waiting before me.
- Processed 60 people in two hours: average 2 minutes per applicant .. w00t!
There were no checking of documents when providing queue numbers. The officer merely checked my passport and Departure card, with application form. (Update May 2017: This time round, I didn’t come prepared with the photocopy of documents – I thought that I can run down and do the necessary, after I receive my queue number. NOT. I was asked to come back with the documents).
You will be able to run down to First Floor and get the the necessary photocopy and passport photo to be done, if you have not done so by now. Photocopies cost 2 baht per copy. Four passport photos cost 100 baht. Internet service is also available 20 baht for 15 minutes.
Thereafter, just follow signage to designated counters, get comfortable, and wait for your queue number to be called.
It was indicated in queue ticket that the counters are 26-27, but there were 3 counters (26-28)altogether. Counter 28 is labeled as “Checking documents”, but all 3 counters were essentially doing everything from A-Z.
Step 3: Processing (11:07am-11:09am)
After 20 minutes of waiting, my queue number was called by Counter 28 (check digital number screen), and the process took only a short 2 minutes.
Submit your application form, have your photo taken, write phone number on the application form, sign on all photocopies document, give your queue number slip and pay 1,900 baht. I gave exact, but saw that change given at collection stage (clipped to passport).
Stay close as officer did call out to some applicants. There was one case of an applicant having to change counter, for whatever reasons.
Step 4: Collection (11:47am)
For collection, stay close as no queue number will be called out.
Officer Immigration trainee will walk out, call out names and sometimes with nationality, example: XYZ, Malaysia passport.
My name was called out after 40 minutes wait, with a big smile from the officer. She double checked photo in passport to ensure it’s the right person, and also showed me the visa extension ink stamp and told me the extended date.
The extension is tacked on to the day after the last day of your permitted stay. Example: I was permitted to stay for 30 days from 29 November 2016-28 December 2016. With the 30 days extension, I am permitted to stay until 27 January 2017.
Update May 2017:
Queue number 9:55am (#71, with 20 people waiting) – Processing 10:34-10:36am – Collection 11:30am
Parting Words ….
The days leading to the trip to the Immigration, I was dragging my feet. But, it was a pain-free process, and the officers were fast and efficient, given the amount of applicants. Not only that, the two taxi drivers were great too.
As applicants, you need to help others to help yourself to make the application a seamless process. I saw a man walking to the counter after his number was called, only having to run down to get photocopy of documents. Like duh. There were also numbers being called, but no one turned up. One incident had one officer raising her voice: one queue number called, but friends with two queue numbers walked in together. Please. You are not just delaying your own application, but others. Let’s travel responsibly.
If you are one of the unfortunate souls stuck for a long time at the Immigration ..
Take out your camera, check out the “center court” … I thought that it looks rather splendid.
There is free wifi .. but I didn’t manage to connect.
Psst … If you need to charge your electrical devices …
Update May 2017: Found a new charging machine for mobile devices