Well, It was a shock when my husband forgot to apply for a Re-Entry permit before leaving Thailand. This happened to him on 10 May 2023.
Note that, the information below I received from the immigration officers in Chiang Mai.
What happens if you don’t have a Re-Entry permit?
If you don’t have the Re-Entry permit and are coming back to Thailand, your long-stay visa (Retirement Visa or Marriage Visa) will be canceled. You will get a ผ.30 (a visa-exempt entry) in your passport instead when you enter Thailand. This stamp will allow you to stay in Thailand for 30 days.
Yes, it is not fair since the whole process to apply for a long-stay visa for Thailand is not easy. It is not cheap and takes time. But this is how it works for Thailand. Please don’t forget to apply for a Re-Entry permit before leaving Thailand. I suggest you apply for a single entry (1,000 bath fee) even though you don’t have any travel abroad plan yet. Just make sure your long-stay visa will be good when you come back to Thailand.
Why the immigration officer doesn’t check for me before leaving Thailand?
It is not the immigration officer’s job to check your Re-Entry permit for you. However, I feel, that immigration should put a warning sign at the counter check-in at the international airport since the lack of a Re-Entry permit will make huge trouble with your long-stay visa.
Can I apply for a Re-Entry permit at the airport?
Yes, you can apply for the Re-Entry permit at Passport Control (International Departures) in the Airport on the date of departure from Thailand. The immigration officer suggests coming to the airport 2 hours early before the normal airline suggests to you. This is to avoid the long queue if the immigration officers need to serve more people. The normal process time is around 1 hour or 1 hour and a half for one person for the Re-Entry permit application.
Re-Entry Permit Fee and Documents
- Application Form (TM.8)
- attached photograph (4*6 cm.) that is not less than 6 months old
- A copy of the passport page is as follows
- Biodata page
- Passport expiration date page
- Edit personal information page (if any)
- Last entry permit stamp
- Extension Stamp to stay on the Kingdom page (if any)
- Departure card (Tm.6) and 1 copy (if any)
- Original documents from relevant authorities and 1 copy (in case of prohibited travel outside the Kingdom) (if any)
- Application fee
- 1,000 baht for one-time use
- 3,800 baht for multiple uses
Can I apply for a NON-O visa in Thailand after entering Thailand without Re-Entry permit?
Yes. If you hold a long-stay visa ( Retirement or Marriage visa ) and come back to Thailand without the Re-Entry permit, you will get the visa-exempt entry (ผ.30) in your passport. Then you have a very short time to apply for a Non-O visa within Thailand.
In my case, we came back on 10 May. On 11 May, I went to immigration for TM30 for my husband. It was a long queue on that day. Then we asked the immigration officer how to apply for the NON-O visa in Chiang Mai. The immigration officer was very helpful. She said that 16 May was our deadline for applying for the NON-O visa within Thailand. Then she tells me what documents I needed. If we can not apply for the visa within the deadline, my husband needs to leave Thailand and apply for a NON-O visa from other countries at the Thai embassy.
In my experience, the immigration officers in Chiang Mai are very helpful. They’re always help and answer the questions we have. I often call the Chiang Mai officer when needed. The line is often busy so you need patience. What I normally do is to list all questions before calling them. Once they are on the call, they will answer every question you have. They never rush you.
What documents and fees do I need?
Below are the document and fees that the officer told me about. I need to provide two sets of these documents.
Download all immigration documents from this link.
- TM87 (APPLICATION FOR VISA) – (2 sets)
- The Acknowledgement of Penalties for a Visa Overstay You can get this document at the document checked point – (2 sets)
- Copy of the first page of your passport the page that has your photo – (2 copies)
- Copy of your visa-exempt entry – (2 copies)
- TM30 (NOTIFICATION FORM FOR HOUSE MASTER, OWNER, OR THE POSSESSOR OF THE RESIDENCE WHERE ALIEN HAS STAYED) – (2 copies)
- You must have 400,000 baht in your Thai bank at least for applying for the Thai marriage visa.
- Application for Financial Certificate from your Thai bank (หนังสือรับรองยอดเงินฝากธนาคาร). You can ask for this certificate from the banks in Robinson Chiang Mai since the bank officers in this store will know what exactly certificate you need for Thai immigration and the store is near the immigration office. We use the Bangkok bank and the fee is 100 baht per 1 certificate. – (2 sets)
- Deposit some money to your Thai book bank ON THE DAY YOU ARE GOING TO APPLY FOR THE NON-O VISA then update your Thai book bank. This way, the Thai book bank will show the same date as your visa application. The Application for Financial Certificate date can be the day before your visa application date. For example, my husband got the Application for Financial Certificate on 11 May. Then he put 50 baht to his bank and update the book bank on 12 May which is the same day we went to apply for a NON-O visa. This step is very important and the officer specifically warns me to make sure I don’t miss this step.
- Copy of your Thai book bank on every page after depositing some money on the day you are going to apply for the visa – only the latest Thai bank book – (2 copies)
- The photos of your front house with including your house number, your bedroom with closet opening, your living room, your kitchen, and the back of your house. Every photo must have you and your Thai partner in them and no selfie. You must let someone else take all photos. Then print all photos in color on the A4 paper. Two photos per page. If you print the photos in color, they must be clear pictures. You can also develop the photos and glue them on the A4 paper. The photos will prove your relationship with your Thai partner. – (2 sets)
- Marriage certificate – in my case, we have had a Thai marriage certificate (Khor.Ror. 3 – คร.3) since we registered our marriage in Thailand. For other abroad marriage certificates, please ask the immigration officers. – (2 copies)
- Registration of Marriage (Khor.Ror. 2 – คร.2) – You can get the Khor.Ror.2 at the district office of your city which is the same place where you can register a Thai marriage in your city. – (It requires each original and a copy of one). You MUST get three Khor.Ror.2 original documents. This Khor.Ror.2 original document will be used in the next steps after your visa application is approved. I paid 40 baht for three Khor.Ror.2 original documents at the Chiang Mai district office.
- Your Thai partner ID card – (2 copies)
- Your Thai house register – (2 copies)
- Google Map that pins your house. It needs to be in detail since the police will come to visit your house. You can draw your own map at the immigration office as well. But I recommend preparing the Google Map and print out. – (2 copies and need to print in color)
- Fee 2,000 baht (cash only)
How to get the queue and documents checked at the Chiang Mai immigration
- Get the queue at the Covid19 checking point which is near the exit gate.
- Once you have the queue, go to check all your documents at the tent in front of the building. If in front of you is the building the tent is located on the left-hand side of you.
- Once all documents are checked to be correct at the checking point, you will go to the information counter inside the building.
- Note that if you need to copy more documents, the copy shop is behind the building next to the TM30 office.
Double-checking the documents again at the Information counter
The officer at the information counter will check your documents and ask you the reason why you want the NON-O visa again. Then he/she will explain the timeline and what you can expect. After that, you will get another queue for counter 5 which is the changing visa service and you will come back in the afternoon if you came in the morning.
Final checking the documents at the counter 5
I had the first queue at counter 5. You should be on time. The officer rechecks our documents again. Remember, all documents require two sets. Finally, we will sign our name on each copy. We don’t need to sign the original documents. The officer will mark which document you and your Thai partner need to sign. So don’t forget to take the blue pen with you.
- Since we applied for the visa on 12 May (Friday). It will take one month for approval. During this period, the police will visit us at our house.
- On 6 June, we need to come back to the immigration office at counter 3 to get the approved result. No queue and No documents again on that day. We just show up at counter 3 between 1-4 pm. If the result is approved, we will get the extended stamp for staying 90 days. Update, our visa was approved. Now, we have the NON-O visa. The visa will be good for 90 days. We either can change to a marriage visa or renew the 90 days visa within 45 days before the visa expire. If you want to just renew the 90 days visa, you need to go to immigration for the renewal.
- You and your Thai partner (wife or husband) must go with you to the immigration office every time.
- You must ask the immigration officers to check all documents I mentioned above. Each city may require different documents.
- I recommend you go to the immigration office to review the documents and get in the queue in the morning. If you miss some documents you may have time to find them and come back again in the afternoon.
- Prepare some paper glue and a blue pen.
- Prepare enough cash (Thai baht) for your fee.
- All officers understand your English but it would be clear and easier for your Thai partner to communicate with the officers.
- The officer told us there will be the police visiting us for checking in at our home.
- For the money in your bank, you can use your money while you are waiting for the approval (1 month) as long as the money is not going under the 400,000 baht for the marriage visa. Just call immigration on 25 May for this info.