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Visa strategies for arranging 5-month winter stay


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I am looking to come to Thailand in October for a 5-month (150-day) stay until March.  Pre-Covid, I simply used the METV (multiple entry tourist visa) and do border bounces every 60 or 90 days.  But with the demise of the METV, I have to consider other options. 

 

With the single-entry tourist visa (SETV), I get 60 days with the possibility of a 30 day extension.  Then I would leave Thailand and either get another 60-day tourist visa in Laos or Cambodia or get a 30-day visa exempt stamp and extend that another 30 days.  It seems that there is no need for a second SETV in that scenario, although there may be a higher risk of refusal from an IO in a bad mood. 

 

Are those basically my two alternatives here?  

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I think some visa agents used to be able to take your passport and do the border run for you for a fee.  Presumably by greasing the appropriate palms.   In that case an METV would probably work.  Not sure if they are still doing that or not.  Worst case is they can't and you have to do the border run yourself.

 

Not sure how hard the METV is to get these days.  Taking the rules at face value it sounds like they want to know your entire itinerary before hand on each exit/entry, which sounds like a big PiTA to me. Unless they don't really expect you to have all those details ahead of time but ask for it anyways and will still approve it.

Edited by shdmn
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Thanks.  Yes, the visa agent.  I've used the minivan version for doing in-person border runs but never with a stay-in-country.  That presumes I am in a farang-friendly city where there are visa agents.  (BKK, Pattaya, CM...)  It makes some sense.  I know they still exist post-Covid. 

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2 hours ago, ultramarine said:

Then I would leave Thailand and either get another 60-day tourist visa in Laos or Cambodia or get a 30-day visa exempt stamp and extend that another 30 days.  It seems that there is no need for a second SETV in that scenario, although there may be a higher risk of refusal from an IO in a bad mood.

You have already outlined a clear path.

Enter setv + extension + one border bounce visa exempt entry + extension.......OR 

Reverse...enter visa exempt and extension+ visa run with extension.

If doing the second opinion put Saigon on the list.

Ripper place and good Thai consulate. 

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3 hours ago, ultramarine said:

Pre-Covid, I simply used the METV (multiple entry tourist visa) and do border bounces every 60 or 90 days.  But with the demise of the METV, I have to consider other options. 

A METV is available. It was dropped before when there were travel restriction but it is available now. Check the embassy or official consulate website in you home country for info.

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Thanks Dr Jack54. I wonder about the relative risks of border hassles in the different scenarios. While a setv + extension + visa exemption + extension back to back are allowed under current rules, is it possible that getting a second setv in the region instead of visa exempt is safer in that respect?  I guess airport visa exemptions are lower risk than land border? Tbh I've only ever come to Thailand on some kind of visa. 

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7 minutes ago, ultramarine said:

Really? I didn't see it on the Canada site. I'll take a look. Thanks Ubonjoe. 

Canada uses the e visa site so there may not be much info about it on the website. https://thaievisa.go.th/

 

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22 minutes ago, ultramarine said:

Thanks Dr Jack54. I wonder about the relative risks of border hassles in the different scenarios. While a setv + extension + visa exemption + extension back to back are allowed under current rules, is it possible that getting a second setv in the region instead of visa exempt is safer in that respect?  I guess airport visa exemptions are lower risk than land border? Tbh I've only ever come to Thailand on some kind of visa. 

You would be fine with either option. 

With the option of obtaining a visa at nearby country (eg Vientiane Laos) be aware that an overnight gig. 

I find Vientiane boring and hence suggested Saigon in previous post.

 

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1 hour ago, ubonjoe said:

Canada uses the e visa site so there may not be much info about it on the website. https://thaievisa.go.th/

 

Thanks Ubonjoe. Much appreciated.  Do they really want to know all my residences for the trip? I recall precovid the consulate in Toronto was very slack on this point. No addresses nor proof of finances necessary. Now that consulate is closed. 

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1 hour ago, DrJack54 said:

You would be fine with either option. 

With the option of obtaining a visa at nearby country (eg Vientiane Laos) be aware that an overnight gig. 

I find Vientiane boring and hence suggested Saigon in previous post.

 

Yes Vientiane is boring!  Savannakhet is nicer though quiet (in  good way). Saigon would be something new for me so I will consider it. 

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19 minutes ago, ultramarine said:

Hmm. I don't see any METV listed there.  

It only shows a tourist visa here: https://thaievisa.go.th/tourist-visa After registering you will have the choice for the METV.

If found some info on the Vancouver consulate site at 3.1 here. 

http://www.thaiconsulatevancouver.ca/consulate/documents/visa/tourist-visa.pdf

Just small mention of the multiple entry visa.

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2 hours ago, ubonjoe said:

It only shows a tourist visa here: https://thaievisa.go.th/tourist-visa After registering you will have the choice for the METV.

If found some info on the Vancouver consulate site at 3.1 here. 

http://www.thaiconsulatevancouver.ca/consulate/documents/visa/tourist-visa.pdf

Just small mention of the multiple entry visa.

Ubonjoe: Can you explain this:

 

3.1 A copy of a round trip flight ticket/itinerary, showing leaving from Canada to Thailand at least two times within six months, and a travel plan for the second entry can
apply for a multiple entry

 

Surely that is not correct?  Why would one leave Canada twice in six months to make the same international journey?

 

Btw, when seeking an extension of a 30-day visa exempt, can one go to ANY Immigration Office in Thailand or just the Bangkok office?  Any "documents' required for that extension?

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11 minutes ago, blazes said:

Surely that is not correct?  Why would one leave Canada twice in six months to make the same international journey?

It may be incorrect. Check to see what is required after registering for the site and doing a application. You would not have to complete the application if you did not want to at time.

 

11 minutes ago, blazes said:

Btw, when seeking an extension of a 30-day visa exempt, can one go to ANY Immigration Office in Thailand or just the Bangkok office?  Any "documents' required for that extension?

The 30 day extensions can be applied for at any immigration office located where you're staying.

You will need the a completed TM7 form, copies of your passport photo page and entry stamp. Proof you are staying where the office is located such as proof of a TM30 form being submitted by where you are staying.

 

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9 hours ago, DrJack54 said:

OR 

Reverse...enter visa exempt and extension+ visa run with extension.

If doing the second opinion put Saigon on the list.

Ripper place and good Thai consulate. 

Is it easy to travel to Saigon from BKK at this time (i.e. are there any quarantine requirements, Covid insurance nonsense, PCR tests within x days of travel, etc.)? 

 

Like the OP my wife and I are returning to BKK in Sept/Oct for 5-6 months after 3 years exiled in Mongolia, and we'll stay the first 3 months on an SETV and an extension. We'd usually do Vientiane for our second SETV, but if HCMC is easily accessible I'd love to head to Vietnam and spend a week or so eating my bodyweight in pho while we await our visas 🙂 

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Sortapundit said:

Is it easy to travel to Saigon from BKK at this time (i.e. are there any quarantine requirements, Covid insurance nonsense, PCR tests within x days of travel, etc.)?

Check out attached thread.

Vietnam hasn't been clear in the recent times.

In this thread there is a guy towards the end that has personal experience.

It would be very good option so worth checking out.

The 109 yellow bus takes you quickly to district 1 from airport... 20k dong.

Stay Bui Vien area.

The Thai consulate is handy to that area. 

Some countries are able to enter with visa exempt. 

 

 

Edited by DrJack54
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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, DrJack54 said:

Check out attached thread.

Vietnam hasn't been clear in the recent times.

In this thread there is a guy towards the end that has personal experience.

It would be very good option so worth checking out.

The 109 yellow bus takes you quickly to district 1 from airport... 20k dong.

Stay Bui Vien area.

The Thai consulate is handy to that area. 

Some countries are able to enter with visa exempt. 

 

Thanks, Jack 🙂 Looks simple enough, though hopefully the situation will be crystal clear when the time comes for us to make the trip.

 

It's also great to hear that Bui Vien is handy for the consulate. After being kept out of SE Asia for three years I'm eager to sit in a laughably small plastic chair and drink cheap beer in the street outside a terrible tourist bar that's also a launderette and someone's kitchen 😛

 

 

Edited by Sortapundit
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8 hours ago, ubonjoe said:

It only shows a tourist visa here: https://thaievisa.go.th/tourist-visa After registering you will have the choice for the METV.

If found some info on the Vancouver consulate site at 3.1 here. 

http://www.thaiconsulatevancouver.ca/consulate/documents/visa/tourist-visa.pdf

Just small mention of the multiple entry visa.

 

 

As always, you are the guiding light in all things visa-related, Ubonjoe.   Thanks again.  They aren't exactly getting the word out about the METV, are they? 

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I started the online visa application from Canada just to see the options and yes METV is listed. I am curious to see if they extend the STV. Any thoughts on that?

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I hope this is the correct thread for this question...

I was in Thailand for 8 months. I am back in Canada now and hope to return to Thailand in Oct or Nov. That would mean I will only be away from Thailand for 3 or 4 months. Is it possible they will deny my visa application because of this? Has anyone here done this before? Thanks!

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28 minutes ago, Des1 said:

I will only be away from Thailand for 3 or 4 months. Is it possible they will deny my visa application because of this?

You will be fine.

Especially with the 3-4 months since previous visit 

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