Re-entry permits in Thailand
If you have a long stay visa in Thailand given by the Thai Immigration Bureau for example the Thai retirement visa which is the most popular type of visa, then this is one of the most important things that you must remember!!,
If you wish to cross a land border let’s say Cambodia or you wish to leave Thailand via the airport you must obtain a re-entry permit or risk losing your long stay visa!
The re-entry permit is designed to protect your visa so if you leave Thailand when you return your visa will still be intact and you will have no fear of it being taken away.
If you do not have a re-entry permit when you arrive back in to Thailand the Thai Immigration officer will disregard your old long stay visa and stamp you with a visa on entry meaning you will have to start the whole process again of obtaining a non immigrant visa and extension.
When you have a one year visa and you think you may be leaving Thailand then it is advisable to obtain a re-entry permit in advance of traveling just in case you need to leave quickly or you have an emergency.
The re-entry form at the Thai Immigration is called a TM8 and can be downloaded before you arrive at the Immigration office or they have many available there. It can be a good idea to download it and fill it in at home before you go.
The Thai re-entry permit is offered in two formats a single entry permit costs 1000 baht and allows you to travel one time.The second is a multiple entry permit which allows you to go in and out of Thailand as many times as you desire and lasts until the expiry of your visa extension, a multi entry permit costs 3,800 baht.
The multiple entries seem to be the favorite amongst expats residing or working in Thailand.
The form TM8 covers both options you just mark on the form the amount of entries that are required.
When you arrive at the Thai Immigration office you must take the following with you.
- Copy of passport incl. details page, visa page and a copy of the white TM6 card.
- One passport photograph
- TM8 application form
The Immigration Officer will normally try and complete the task the same day depending on how busy they are at the time you arrive. Never leave it until the last moment obtain the re-entry permit in good time.
It is possible to obtain a re-entry permit at Suvarnabhumi airport immigration, however this is subject to the discretion of the immigration officer who you speak to and we do not advise that you leave it until the last minute.
Re entry permit problems
I have seen a problem recently that seems to becoming more common and it is with regards to people with long stay visas i.e. a retirement visa in Thailand, If you decide to change and work in Thailand and you have a retirement visa then you cannot work on this visa type so you have to leave Thailand and return on a business visa what you have to be careful of is if you have a re entry permit covering your current visa then you must point out to the Immigration officer you wish to enter on the business visa or they will stamp you in on your already standing visa meaning you will have to leave and re enter again usually on a visa run so this is something to look out for. These are unusual circumstances but I have seen 3 people in 1 week with the same problem.