Requesting a re-entry permit

February 12, 2013

Some time ago I received my student ED-visa for Thailand after a lot of hours waiting in line at the immigration office in Bangkok. With this visa I am allowed to stay in Thailand for a year, but I am not allowed to leave the country. As soon as you cross the border and try to come back they will notice you already used your visa and you will have to repeat the whole procedure to get a new ED-visa.2012-08-19 13.48.58

Since I am planning to travel around Asia during the break, and since I want to attend a wedding of a friend of mine in India next week, I made another trip to the immigration office in Bangkok to request a re-entry permit. With this stamp I would be able to leave the country and come back on the same visa I got months earlier, saving me all the hassle of requesting a new visa.

Form TM. 8 for requesting a re-entry permit.

Form TM. 8 for requesting a re-entry permit.

As always they need a passport photo and a lot of copies of certain pages from your passport. Luckily I know my way around the government complex by now so I bring my photos and walk directly to the copy shop on the ground floor for the copies. Unlike last time I also arrived relatively early there to be surprised by the lack of people waiting in line in front of me at the same little booth.

Almost nobody in line in front of me, I have never seen this before at immigration. So it is highly recommended to come as early as possible (they open at 8:30).

Almost nobody in line in front of me, I have never seen this before at immigration. So it is highly recommended to come as early as possible (they open at 8:30).

A single use re-entry permit will set you back a total of 1,900 baht while a permit for multiple re-entries is 3,800 baht. The permit will be till your visa expires meaning that if you plan to go abroad at least once while staying on your student visa in Thailand you can just as well request your re-entry permit as soon as possible after getting your visa.

Within half an hour, and after paying 3,800 baht, I walked out with a brand-new re-entry permit.

Within half an hour, and after paying 3,800 baht, I walked out with a brand-new re-entry permit.

In total the procedure took me only 20 minutes, which includes waiting in line, sitting with a big smile in front of the immigration officer, waiting for the stamp, and picking up my passport again. Apparently it is possible to get it over even quicker though because I noticed a big sign on the wall explaining you can do this whole procedure also online meaning you only have to stop by the immigration office for a few minutes to get the stamp. Unfortunately the website of the immigration office is so user unfriendly I did not even check it before going there because otherwise I might have opted for this option.

Nowadays you can even apply for your re-entry permit online, which can save a lot of time if you can't go to the immigration office in the early morning.

Nowadays you can even apply for your re-entry permit online, which can save a lot of time if you can’t go to the immigration office in the early morning.

For questions/remarks you can contact me at: eric@stuckinthailand.com

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