Did you know that, in some cases, you can leave Thailand and come back on the same Thai visa? A Thai re-entry permit is a convenient (but necessary) stamp that allows current Thai visa holders to travel to other countries and come back without forfeiting their current visa.
The Benefits of a Thai Re-Entry Permit
A re-entry permit allows visitors to leave Thailand for a brief period to travel to another country and then re-enter Thailand on the same visa. You neither give up the days remaining on your original Thai visa nor do you have to make arrangements to get a new Thai visa before coming back to Thailand.
Why is this great?
For starters, it’s helpful for tourists who’ve been suddenly presented with an amazing opportunity to travel to another country but still want to finish their original time in Thailand. It offers relief for teachers, students, or retirees who posses a year-long Thai visa and need or want to leave the country for a vacation or travel experience. It’s also extremely helpful in cases of emergencies where foreign visitors must leave the country but have every intention of coming back to Thailand.
A Thai re-entry permit completely eliminates the hassle of rounding up the correct supporting paperwork for a completely new Thai visa, traveling to a Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate, and paying for the application. That in itself is priceless!
Thai Re-Entry Permit Application Requirements
If you plan to leave Thailand for brief trip and want to re-enter on the same Thai visa you originally entered with, apply for a Thai re-entry permit before your trip.
So what is a “brief trip”? When deciding whether you need a Thai re-entry permit, decide if your trip outside of Thailand will go pass the expiration date of your current Thai visa. In other words, if your Thai visa expires before you make it back to Thailand, it is unnecessary to apply for a Thai re-entry permit.
To apply for a re-entry permit, you will need:
- Passport with a valid Thai visa (you cannot get a re-entry permit on a 15 or 30 day visa exempt stamp)
- Copies of the photo page, current visa page, and immigration departure card
- Copy of extension stamp page (applicable to Non Immigrant Thai visas)
- Re-Entry Permit application (form TM.8) Be sure to print it double-sided. This form is also available at the local Thai Immigration Offices.
- One 2″ x 2″ passport photo
- 1,000 baht for single re-entry permit; 3,800 baht for multiple re-entry permit; cash only.permit can
NOTE: A re-entry permit can be used for both Non Immigrant and Tourist visas. A multiple entry re-entry permit is more cost-effective for those who have a year-long visa and plan on making several trips out of Thailand.
Be aware that if you decide to leave Thailand without first securing a re-entry permit, you will subsequently end your visa. You’ll have to go through the entire process of getting a new visa unless you have more entries left to use, as in the case of multiple entry Tourist visa (METV) or multiple entry Non Immigrant visa.
Make sure to applying for a re-entry permit at your local Thai Immigration Office before you leave Thailand. There’s an office in every province. Plan your travel schedule accordingly and give yourself at least one day to complete this task.
Some of Thailand’s airports offer this service, but we wouldn’t chance showing up to a tiny airport office only to be told it’s closed for the day or the employee on duty is out for lunch.
How to Use a Thai Re-Entry Permit ?
Once your passport has been stamped with the Thai re-entry permit, you will need to show it at the immigration checkpoints both when departing from and arriving to Thailand.
Make sure that the immigration officers at the airport or border crossing are aware that you have a re-entry stamp. This will eliminate any possible mishaps such as receiving an incorrect 15 or 30 day visa-exempt stamp. If the immigration officer somehow misses your re-entry permit, it will ultimately void your original Thai visa, which is what you are trying to prevent in the first place!
Each Thai re-entry permit is good for one entry into Thailand. If you plan on making several trips in and out of the country over the course of the same visa, we recommend applying for a multiple re-entry permit. This gives you unlimited access in and out of Thailand during the time your visa is valid.