What you can expect applying for a Thai Visa in Vientiane, Laos

What you can expect applying for a Thai Visa in Vientiane

What you can expect applying for a Thai Visa in Vientiane

Latest update April 8, 2019. Thank you to those who keep commenting on the most recent changes.

This post details the process in getting a Thai Visa at the Thai consulate in Vientiane. In our case we were applying for a 60 day Thai Visa. The below should help you know what to expect, the crowds you may encounter, and the process.

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Firstly, the Thai consulate in Vientiane is not at the same place as the Thai Embassy. If you click Thai Consulate in Vientiane, Google will come up with a map showing the embassy (on Avenue Kaysone Phomvihane). The Consulate, where you have to go for the Visa, is located No.15 Ban Ponesinuan, Bourichane Road. The best thing to do to get there is to take a taxi or tuk tuk, it’s an about 15 minute drive from Central Vientiane. Our hotel listed the cost as $7 US to get there one-way. We paid $15 US for the tuk tuk driver to take us there, wait the approximate 3 hours it took on the first day, and then drive us back. But you don’t have to pre-arrange the return; you’ll see lots of tuk tuk drivers around the consulate waiting to pick up any visitors who come out.

You’ll need two days to get your Thai Visa. The 1st day to apply, the 2nd day to pick it up.

 

UPDATE: As of February 1, 2019, you can no longer just show up at the Thai embassy/consulate in Vientiane and queue to get a visa. You must book an appointment in advance! Go to the consular website to create an account and book your visa appointment.

UPDATE 2: People are commenting that it can take up to 20 days to get an appointment with the new online system…and that if you cancel an appointment you’ll be penalized 10 days. 

Always appreciate when people comment on the latest.

 

The 1st Day

Applications take place between 8:30 – 11:30am. When you arrive you may be shocked by the number of foreigners there. We were told that the busiest days are Monday and Tuesday where there can be as many as 600 to 700 people getting their visas processed. On our day there were less than that but it was still an incredible number of people.

Try to get to the consulate before 8:30. Get there as early as you can. Prior to coming into the grounds of the consulate, you’ll see men outside offering application forms for the visa. Ignore them, they charge 100 Baht for the form. You can get a form inside the consulate for free. 

Once inside the consulate grounds you have to join the long queue. It will eventually lead to a table where two men will be working. They’ll give you an application form (if you don’t have one) as well as a number slip (looks like a slip you get at the bank. Don’t lose it! You’ll need this number when picking up your Visa/Passport the next day). They’ll also check that you have proper documentation; a passport with at least 6 months remaining before expiry, two (2) photos, and a photocopy of your passport. You should also make copies of your current/expiring Thai Visa (if applicable) as well as your Lao Visa. They’re not mentioned anywhere as required documents but on the day we went we were told they were required.

If you don’t have the photos and/or photocopies, you will be directed to the 2nd floor of the consulate. There a man will take your photos and print them out for you. They also have a photocopier and the same man will make the photocopies. Make sure you have money in bahts. As I say in the paragraph above, better to organize those copies beforehand so you don’t have to use these services here.

So you have the application form filled out, your two photos attached, and all the photocopies I mention? Coming back downstairs you get in one of the lines for Visa Application. I’ve read some blogs where they say that applications are handled by your number. There was no such organization on the day we were there. Just get in line. There were 3 lines and it didn’t take too long, maybe 20 minutes. The man behind the glass will make sure your application form looks good, will staple your photocopies, and will keep all these documents along with your passport.

You can now leave (it used to be that you would have to pay on the 1st day. It really slowed down the process. No more)

 

Accommodation in Vientiane: We stayed at the Avilla Phasouk Hotel which was excellent and very centrally located. Also recommended is the Vayakorn Inn (which is near the Avilla Phasouk). You’ll find the best current deals on Vientiane hotels below:



Booking.com

 

Transport to Vientiane. You can pre-book your transport to Vientiane. Have a look at options below.

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The 2nd Day

Pickup for Visas happen the following day between 1:30 and 3:30pm.

Again, try to show up early. They actually open the gates up around 1 pm. 

You’ll be processed by that number slip that you were given the previous day. The numbers are shown on a big screen and applicants come up (like they would at a bank). 

When you get called up, they’ll give you back your passport. Included within it will be your new Visa. You will also pay them at this point – 1000 Baht for a 60 day Visa.

It took us about 90 minutes by the time we walked out with our passports. Within each passport was our new Thai Visa.

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With the recent changes it’s all pretty smooth. Please scroll to the very bottom of the page for the latest comments where people describe their experiences.

Note: If you only need to extend your time in Thailand for 30 days or less, a better option than the 60 day Visa is to extend a current visa in Thailand by showing up at a local immigration office (I wrote about that here). Extending costs 1900 Baht and you get 30 days. Note: you can only extend your Visa once. If you’ve already extended a visa, you’ll have to do the out-of-country Visa run described in this post.
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Feedback is always greatly appreciated as it helps us keep this post up to date.

 

Ps. If you find our blog helpful, please consider using our links to book your flights, hotels, tours, and car rentals. Have a look at our Travel Resources page.

183 Comments

  1. Does anyone have any recent experience with obtaining a Non-O for Retirement at Vientiane? The list of visas on the embassy’s website lists the O-for Retirement, but when viewing the fine print in the details for the visa, it says that it will be an O-A for long stay.

  2. Hello! My husband and I just went through the process. Hillary (21 June comment) and Dave (13 May comment) both gave accurate information. Here are a few points I think are worth reiterating, so you know what it’s like applying now, at the end of October 2019:

    1) We tried to apply for our visa appointments about 5 weeks in advance of when we knew we would want them. The date we wanted (29 October) wasn’t yet available for booking. I checked the consulate website every couple of days, and as soon as I saw the desired date appear, we scheduled ourselves. So we ended up booking our appointments about 4 weeks in advance. I was No. 1 in the queue and my husband was No. 2 in the queue. You know your position in the queue once you successfully book your appointment, and you get your appointment email from the consulate.

    2) PRINT OR SCREENSHOT your appointment email! You must show it, along with your passport, to gain entry to the consulate.

    3) There doesn’t seem to be an issue with lining up early anymore. We were at the consulate well before 8:30 AM on Day 1, but it wasn’t necessary. If you’re there when they open the gates at 9:00, you’ll see that they hold up a card: Queue positions 1-20. So if you have an early queue number, you really don’t need to arrive much before 9:00 AM.

    4) We had already printed and filled out our visa application forms, and we had printouts of our passport front pages, our current Lao visa, and our prior, expired Thai visa, along with the Thai entry and exit stamps (these were on the same open page as the Thai visa). We also had our photos, and fortunately the Thai consulate provides glue sticks at a table (pens and scissors also) in the area where you wait for your turn to present your documents.

    5) We filled out the EXACT STREET ADDRESS, including postcode, for where we will be staying in Thailand. If you only know your hotel, hostel or friend’s house, look on Google Maps and you’ll find the postcode. Or find a commercial business super close to where you’re staying, and take the postcode from that. The reason I’m saying this is that, like one of the commenters above (Dave?), we spotted the warning on the slip of paper handed to us AFTER we’d handed in our applications and passport: “Due to security restrictions, all visa applicants are required to provide their actual street address in Thailand. Otherwise, your visa application will be rejected.” Thankfully, as sticklers for detail, we’d already made sure we had the postcode for our address in Thailand.

    6) Picking up the passports with visas on Day 2 was a breeze. Because we had such early queue positions, we were in and out of the consulate in 20 minutes. It’s still 1000 baht for the tourist visa, and you have 3 months from the date of issue to enter Thailand.

    Best of luck! Follow the directions, be a stickler for detail, and you’ll be fine. Vientiane is fun, enjoy your stay.

    1. My experience was the same, very important to add correct adress in Thailand. Also ingnore the guys on the outside of the Embassy, that want to sell you application forms, or offer you a “Visa garantied” for 4000 Bath, they are just hustlers. The application form you can down load on the internet as well https://thaivisavientiane.com/ Fill in in in advance and attache 2 photos with papaer glue or sticker. Sign all copies with your signature. The Lao Visa you probaly get first on arrival to Lao, then get a copy at your hotel, sign it and attach it.

    2. Nothing to add, what Aliza wrote have plenty of details. Just here to say that everything she wrote is still true as of January 2020.
      Applying for a Visa now is super easy and fast. Just make sure you got all the documents they list on the website and you won’t have to spend more than 1 hour total in the 2 days.

  3. Hi Frank and everyone,

    First of all, I’d like to say thanks to everyone who have provided valuable posts and updates here. I found the informations here are really helpful in preparing the Visa application. Allow me to share my experience and hopefully it could be a help for someone who in need.

    I applied for NonImm-B (employment) visa because I just received a grant for Postdoctoral fellowship at Mahidol University Thailand. I am an Indonesian and just graduated from Mahidol University; so I need to cancel my Ed visa by going out of Thailand. For your information, it is easier to convert tourist to non-B visa rather than Ed to Non-B.

    I have all the documents ready except Working Permit (WP3) that actually is required. I couldn’t obtained it before I left Thailand because I was still holding Ed Visa. Therefore, the officer in my university asked me to just go outside Thailand to cancel the Ed Visa.

    July 31st.
    First day. Visa application submission.
    I went to Royal Thai Embassy in Vientiane on July 31. I have booked the appointment online, 20 days in advance and received que #31. I arrived at the embassy around 9.30am and found about 30 people in queue before me.

    The gate was opened at 9am and there was two officers checking the appointment number to match with our passport. They let us in to sit under the tent to wait our turn. They called in group of 20 person; 1-20, 20-40 and so on. I am lucky to have #31 so I only waited about 3 mins before they allow me to proceed.

    The next step was document checking. There were two officers checking on my documents and I was told to change my photo because I didn’t have white background photographs. They asked me to go inside the building and got a new photo. This didn’t take long, only about 5 mins (paid for 80 baht) and I could returned to the document check without queue.

    Then they allowed me to proceed to the counter where an officer rechecked the documents more rigorously. I was a bit nervous actually because I don’t have WP3 document yet. He asked whether I am a teacher; I said no because I am a postdoc fellow. He maybe a little bit confused with my nature of work but he understood after reading my letter of employment that is written in Thai. ( For anyone who will apply non B Visa it would be better to have your employment letter in both English and Thai language in case they don’t really understand the nature of works).

    He didn’t ask why I didn’t have WP3 but I think it was okay since have already submitted all supporting documents.
    He asked me to come back tomorrow.

    I finished around 9.25am.

    August 1st.
    Second day. Visa collection.
    Thanks God my Visa is approved (although I didn’t have working permit).
    I arrived at the embassy at 12.50 and was the first person who came. At 1pm I started to see more people coming and queue behind me.
    The gate was opened at 1.30pm and the officers allowed us to sit in front of the counter to wait our turn. They called the number by 1-20, 20-40 and so on. I have the previous queue #31 I waited for about 5 minutes, paid 2000 baht, and done.

    August 2nd; i am heading back to Thailand via Nongkhai. Wishing everyone a successful visa application.

    1. You are very kind Anantalia and I’m sure it will help people with work permits. It is past my level of knowledge on the matter 🙂
      Thank you very much.
      Nong Khai is great, we spent 4 months there and I have a lot on it on the blog. If you have any questions let me know.

    2. What happens with true queue exactly. Say i am 065 and they call the number but i am not there til later, say around 930-10. Will my appointment still be valid?

    3. Hello Anantalia,
      Thank you for the information. Please, I am in a similar position as you were. Can you contact me to assist me further? line id is bishop_one or 0967598491.
      I need this help urgently, please help.
      Thank you in advance

  4. Hi everyone
    Today I applied for a new ed visa for 1 year. Last year I applied through the old system .

    Sadly I was unable to learn Thai as quickly as i thought. I also fell pregnant and got horribly sick with morning sickness. Needless to say I never got very good and i really want to try again.

    Today at the window the guy asked me a couple of questions in quite fast Thai. I was nervous and bewildered and probably came off as terrible. Anyway he mentioned that since I had a Thai ed visa before I could be asked in for an interview with somebody at the consulate… I am really nervous. Not only am I a slow learner ? but I also haven’t been practising – been way to busy with a new born. Any suggestions or advice would be very welcome.

    I also want to kniw that if my application is denied can I still return to Thailand on a 30 stamp?

    TIA

    1. Hi Jessica,
      I’m sorry, this is something I know nothing about. But hopefully someone reading this might be able to help you.
      Frank

    2. Hey Jessica,

      I’m about about to go through the same situation in Vientiane tomorrow. They said I might have to interview. I more or less felt exactly as you did when they asked me and my speaking Thai is pretty good. Did you end up having to be interviewed? If so, what questions did they ask? Was it difficult?

      Let me know and thanks!

      David

  5. Hey Guys,

    Thank you very much for this amazing info. I have an issue, maybe someone here can get me some help. So I am based in Attapeu (Southern most province of Lao) and was planning to apply for a thai visa on 24th of July so got an appointment for 24th July. But due to some recent developments, Malaria Outbreak, I have to be here till 31st … Now I wanna move the date to 1st of August due to a valid reason. Is there anyway to save the 10 days penalty ? I couldn’t find their email address, I did write messages on their contact us form on the new website but No answer Yet … Any ideas or any contact ?

  6. Hey everyone, all of these comments are incredibly enlightening!
    I have a question. I am currently in Thailand. I came on single entry tourist visa in January and I have done two border runs and two extensions at immigration with no problems. I am going to Greece in July for two weeks, then plan to return on a 30 day tourist visa (UK passport). My plan then was to go to Laos and apply for a single entry tourist visa, so effectively get another 2 months (plus one month extension at local immigration). Is this going to be possible or will I have trouble getting back in the country given that this will my second single entry visa in a year.
    I would love to know your thoughts!!

    thank you in advance

    Miltos

      1. After 2 consecutive tourist visas you can expect to be questioned at any Thai embassy now as to why you are visiting the country. If you get a red warning stamp on top of your third consecutive tourist visa, you will have real problems getting a new tourist visa in the future.

        Chris
        www,retiredby35.com

  7. Hi Guys,

    anyone know about WP3 Document and how serious are the consulate for thi document that actually can be obtained since you are in Thailand, you may need to leave and let your company booking but it will take min 3 days so basically cannot be produced to the Officier there isn’t??

    Thanks

  8. Ok, just back from the Thai Embassy June 18th. Booked 18 days in advance, but was filed up for about 10 days.

    30 people there at 8AM, about 60 people there by 9AM when they opened.

    Was out by 9:35. If you have all of the documents prepared (copy of passport, copy of laos first visa, copy of any laos visa extensions, 2 passports glued to application form) and an early number (1 – 100) then you will be in and out within an hour, depening on queue number. If you have number 1-50, maybe get their early up near the front so you can whizz in and out, and prepare your docs beforehand.

    If you don’t have any docs, everything is supplied (please ignore the guys offering to sell you free online visa forms for 100 baht outside the embassy).

    You can show up at 9 o clock if you want instead of 8:30 (it opens at 9:00). 5/6 jerks just decided to skip the queue anyway and this is a regular occurence. Their justification is that it is done by number anyway, which is somewhat true. But its done in number batches, 1- 20, then 1-40, in increments.

    Anyway, book at least 2 weeks in advance online so you get an early number, prepare all the documents, and its actually pretty streamlined.

    ONE CATCH – I am going to get my passport tomorrow. AFTER the whole process was completed, the disclaimer was handed to me ON THE RECEIPT, in typical thai fashion.

    “If you do not give us a Thai street address we will not process your application”

    There were no checks for this at all and I received no indication beforehand. I just put in a generic Thai address, not yet knowing where I am staying. Hopefully it will be ok. I’m not sure if this is recent or not, but it was written in bright red ink. I hope I’m not the first one caught out in the latest money making scam.

    1. Thank you so much Daniel for this really detailed report. I’m always impressed how generous people are with advice and feedback. I doubt that you’ll have an issue with the address, just because I just can’t see anyone digging into the address you gave. I just don’t think they care that much 😉
      Thanks again.

    2. Thanks Daniel for the detailed info! Just went there this morning and it was pretty painless. Definitely recommend getting all your documents in order before turning up! Will save time and hassle.
      We arrived at 815, and there were about 15 people. Gates opened at 9am, by which time there was easily over 100. Once the gates opened, we had our appointment confirmation checked, then had to sit for about 3 minutes (because they were doing numbers 1-20), but then we were waved through when then moved up to 1-40 (we had numbers 40 and 46). About 10 of the people in front of us had numbers over 100, so they had to sit and wait; I’m not sure if there’s any point going so early if you have a high number because they roughly use the queue number you are given when you book your appointment.
      ALSO it says this in the confirmation email, but don’t wear tank tops/singlets! A guy ahead of us was turned away because he was inappropriately dressed.
      Once we got to the actual application window, we just handed our documents to the official, he gave them a once over and then we were done. So 45 minutes queuing, but then we were out in 10 minutes because we had low queue numbers. Didn’t need to pay today, so I guess we will pay when we pick them up on Monday!
      Maybe 4 or 5 people turned up bang on 9 as the gates opened, and pushed to the start of the line because they had numbers <10, so I guess that's always an option if you really hate queueing/have health issues/small children…
      Be prepared for the sun because the queue is mainly out of the shade!
      Oh if you need to photocopy/print stuff, and it's super late and you just arrived in Vientiane the night before your appointment (like we did), I think most hostels/guest houses have printers. We sorted our documents at our guest house for a nominal fee.
      Documents we brought:
      Completed application form with 2 passport photos glued to it
      2 copies of bio page of passport (not sure if we needed two, but I like to be prepared)
      1 copy of Laos visa page
      1 copy of Thai exit stamp page
      1 signed statement saying that we were planning on extending the visa by 30 days, and we understand the terms and conditions of it and will not overstay the visa, which is why we currently had no onward travel plans (again, not sure if necessary).
      Make sure to sign all your photocopies!
      Also, we got a tuktuk from our guest house in the centre, near the river, to the consulate, which cost 50000kip and took about 10 minutes. We walked back in about 25/30 minutes.
      We will see how we go picking it up on Monday! Hopefully no dramas – I watched a YouTube video last night on a guy who got kicked out of Thailand and now I'm low key stressed hahahaaaaa
      ANYWAY, hopefully this is helpful for some people! ^.^

      1. Thank you very much for the detailed report Hillary! I don’t think you have to worry about being kicked out..lots of bums in Thailand including expats who’re staying on long-expired Visas. I think they’re the ones getting kicked out.

    3. Oh I forgot to say that we tried to book 10 days in advance of the date we wanted to attend, but they were all booked out. The first available appointments were for 17 days from when we booked!

    4. Tell me how the 5/6 people with low queue numbers, without queueing in vain outside the consulate before they open, are jerks? If they have a number within the bracket they guard calls for they clearly are invited inside. There is zero point in queueing outside anymore. Just show up when they open at 9 or if you have a high queue number abit later. The 5/6 guys just understand this, doesnt make them jerks.

  9. Just been today,there was a massive queue outside which turned into a mess when a visa agency turned up and attempted to skip it!

    After calm was restored the small gate was opened and people were called in groups of 20 which made the queuing pointless anyway

    Your queue number/name and type of visa you are applying for is checked off the list before they let you into the consulate grounds.You then go to a desk where your details are. Necked again and your documents are screened to make sure you have anything.

    You then proceed to one of three windows where they check everything again,the queue number you have is the number for the collection the next day.

    I actually prefer it to 5e old system as it’s much more ordered and easier to get in an doubt quickly if you have all. Your documents in order.Thre guys outside still provide full form filling services etc and they were also selling queue numbers wether they work or not is a different matter.

    1. Thank you Scott. Very much appreciate. It’s been years since we did it and so much has changed, always appreciate when people update the latest.

  10. I just got back from the Thai Embassy in Vientiane for the submission of my 60 day tourist application. It was pretty easy. I had Queue #14 (booked about 30 days prior), and arrived at around 8:15 on Monday, May 13. There was a short line at that time (maybe 15 people), and by the time they opened the gate at around 9:00, there were a couple hundred people. However, there was no organization outside the gates. There were maybe 100-150 people in line, but another 50 or so crowded near the entrance at the last minute. At the gate, it was pretty chaotic. They don’t let you in unless you have a queue, so you have to push to the front, and if you have your passport and a printed copy of your queue confirmation, they let you in.

    Once in (it’s a covered, open air setup), they take people in groups. The first group was 1-20, and I assume 21-40, 41-60 etc after that. Regardless of your number within that group (#1 or #20), you just go to the table for the initial screening process. They screen the applicants to make sure you have proper doc, and then you go to a window to submit your paperwork. I was part of the first group, so I was out of the Embassy by 9:06. Let’s hope it’s as easy to pick up my passport tomorrow.

    You can take pictures and copy your passport outside the embassy (covered shop next to the embassy), or do it inside the embassy. It appeared the prices were the same (5 baht or 1k kip for each page copied).

    1. Thank you so much for this Dave!
      Have heard lots of people complaining recently about the delay time in getting an appointment. So you booked 30 days in advance? Was that the earliest date or what was most convenient for you?
      Thanks again for the update.

      1. Hi again, I answer here for a quick update (waiting for Dave’s answer).
        I end up canceling my appointment and I confirm the 10 days policy. So make sure that the available date suits your travel plans otherwise you cannot book again for 10 days if you cancel.
        Also there are people saying that somebody is booking slot and resell it to applicants unaware of the new “smart” system… more money fore the scammers.
        Last time I checked the earliest available slot was 25 days after… getting better and better.
        To answer the comments saying that there are too many applicants for the number of officers. Why not setting an applicants day limit at gate instead of this idiotic system? Too much work for the guy at the gate I guess.
        Cheers

        1. Thank you for the update Whatever. Can the system be scammed? I mean – when people are booking slots, aren’t they in your name? I just don’t understand that…

          1. Well… applicants are requested to show a piece of paper in the end, and to photoshop that takes 5 to 10 minutes. I doubt they go to double check the booking database for each applicant.
            Plus every informatic booking system can be tricked. Once the rule is made the way to trick it is born.
            P.s: In the picture of the post you can see the guys at the entrance chatting and 99% of the times you will witness that. Dear consulate officials… set a day limit and give the guys at the entry some numbered tickets so they have something to do. Savadikaaaaa

  11. Update for whoever finds it useful:
    Booked a slot yesterday (May 1st), first available was May 22nd
    So…. its about 20 days
    The slot is no more by times, rather 9am-12 and the email has a Queue number which i assume they call people by.
    Makes sense in the way that the queue might go slower of faster different days and the “time slots” would get all messed up.

    For those commenting that this whole new system is messed up: most Thai consultes in SEA are doing this and using the same platform.

    I dont wanna say that i like it… but whats the point of opening the door freely to 500 aplicants if u have no manpower to process them? Have them kill each other and it be a mess like it was?
    Most consulates i checked are doing 100-150 people a day.

    I got queue 116 and there were 4 spots left according to the platform… so that would be 120 for Vientianne.

    And yes, they could hire another 20 people bla bla bla… clearly they r not doing it, not interested, no budget or god knows what

    The Consulate in KL had appointments for the next day and everyday…. no wait…. so maybe mention that in case someone cant wait the 20-day delay

    Can anyone comment on the DOCUMENTS for a tourist visa? Other consulates seem to be asking for hotel reservations, flight out of thailand, etc etc… Any updated info regarding this?

      1. Hi Frank,

        let me ask, do you know about WP3 Documents??
        embassy requested or not?
        since i would need to leave thailand for my company to request
        is a consulate serious about this document??

        appreciate your reply

        Massimo

  12. I just booked my slot. The first slot available is 18 days from today! Wow!
    Considering the new super f*up booking system I suggest the author of the article to change the line “There have been a lot of positive changes” to “now is getting f*up!”
    Good luck.

    1. P.S: also if you cancel your appointment you get 10 days suspension. I don’t know what it means actually but it sounds just ridiculous… like the last elections. cheers.

  13. I need to go to Vientiane soon. A small question. How long in advance do you need to book an appointment? People have been telling me it can be a couple of weeks, unfortunately I haven’t got that much time left on my current visa. I read in one of your comments that it is only a couple of days. Thx in advance

    1. Hi Trevor,
      I honestly am not familiar with the new process except when people leave a comment telling me the latest. Sounds like they’re really screwed things up. I had someone just yesterday tell me that the earliest is April 19 which I find incredible…maybe the best thing to do is try to reserve if you’re going anytime soon. Otherwise book ahead as far in advance as possible. But who knows, maybe they’ll straighten it all out soon?? Let’s hope so.

    2. There are options…..
      If you cannot extend the 30 day on arrival visa as already done, head t Laos for a day trip / border run that grants 30 days on arrival. This will then allow time of the as quoted yesterday erliest available 19 April or assumed 10 working days that will be around 14 days with the up-coming Songkran holidays.

      Or take a regional short flight to re-enter.

      Remember to take US money to pay the Laos visa, this saves approx. 600 Baht as the cost is us$31 or THB 1500. If suitable get the visa to enter Laos from their Consolate in Khon Kaen. Takes 10 minutes, real nice people and avoids the potential delay of Laos visa application on arrival.

      Done this yesterday as unknown to me about the booking appointment until arrived at the Consolate, came into force 1st Feb 2019.

      19 Apr not so good for me as that will be lodgement on Friday and pick up Monday, meaning 3 nights instead of only 1 night.

    1. You mean “no”available slots??
      You’re the 2nd person who’s mentioned that their new automated system is f’ed up. How is that even possible?

    1. See the last comment before yours. New procedure and they seem to be having growing pains. I don’t know if that is the issue with what you’re seeing.

  14. Hi
    We went to apply for our Thai visas yesterday and thought we should inform people of the new process. Once you have booked your online appointment (if you can get one they fill up 5 days in advance at the moment) you will be given a queue number, all applications are now processed by this number.

    So we booked a 9am-10am slot and were given numbers 282 and 283. We arrived at 08:30 and were 10th in the queue. When they opened the door after 9am they only allowed people in according to their number – 1-5-, 50-100 etc. This meant that it got to 10 before we were even allowed in and now people with appointment from 10-11 began to turn up, but with lower queue numbers than us!!! They were let in before us. In the end we were the last ones allowed in despite our time slot. When we got in we then had to wait for document check. They were only up to numbers 100-120, and there were now multiple people from different time slots with the same number so lots of people to process.
    Eventually after explaining our time slot they agreed to check our documents… this didn’t speed anything up. The next and final steps is to present your documents at the visa application window in, you guessed it, number order. They were calling number 100 when we sat down and we had to wait another 2 hours for 282, 283. There were only a handful of people after us, and most people from time slots 10-11 and 11-12 were all processed and gone.
    We were obviously very unlucky with our queue number but I want people to be prepared as we were expecting a very streamlined approach and it ended up being pretty stressful. I note from next week the time slots is just 9-12 with no divisions so maybe they have already realised their mistake. Having said that if you have a number after 150 don’t bother turning up bright and early at the front of the queue as it won’t help. Take plenty of food and drink and expect a long morning. It took us over 5 hours.
    Collection day today so we’ll see how that goes…
    It seems that the new system as a lot of teething problems and is a lot more difficult than previously. Ah well at least we can look forward to Thai land!

    1. Yikes, sounds like they haven’t jived the numbering system with the time slots? Argg.
      Thank you very much for the update!

  15. PLEASE NOTE IMPORTANT CHANGE!!
    As of February 1, 2019, you can no longer just show up at the Thai embassy/consulate in Vientiane and queue to get a visa. You must book an appointment in advance! Go to https://thaivisavientiane.com to create an account and book your visa appointment.

    1. Hello – thanks for all this useful information. Are there any reliable travel agents or fixers who will deal with the visa process on my behalf so I don’t h e to deal with spending a day at the embassy!?

  16. We arrived at the consulate at 0730 and left at 0900. It really wasn’t so bad and your website had really prepared us so thank you.
    It really wasn’t too crowded for us. About 50 people. The queuing was disorganised and people who came after us were seen sooner.
    When we got to the front of the queue we were told that as well as needing a photocopy of our passport we also needed a photocopy of our Laos visa and the stamps we received when we entered the country. This was a nuisance as we then had to leave the queue but after getting the photocopies done there we then were able to go back to the front and not start queuing all over again. Thank goodness!
    Once we had given in our forms and they were checked we were given our number and told to come back tomorrow for collection. Hopefully that will be as easy but if not I’ll let you know tomorrow! Thanks again.

    1. Thanks for the report Christine!
      If anything, it should be even easier the 2nd day. Show up, they’ll call your number, and you go up and find your passport with a Visa in it. You pay and you’re outta there 🙂

  17. Hi. I did the Vientaine visa run 28th + 29th Nov 2018. No issue there, just as you described with minor variations. I was issued a tourist visa.
    My issue was on arrival in BKK.
    I have been doing the visa exemption and extension thing all of this year without any drama. 1 exemption + 1 extension and then exit Thailand for week or so to Penang, Vietnam or Laos. On my previous visa run I was pulled aside at immigration and asked if I had an exit flight out of Thailand, I did not. I was asked if I was working here, I explained I was not. The agent laughed a little and waved me away.
    This time I was not so lucky. I was pulled aside again and taken to the immigration supervisor who was a none to happy lady. She then hit some buttons on her keyboard and then printed out all my entry / exits to Thailand. I really was shocked, so many in so few years hahaha. Anyway, she wanted to cancel my visa and didn’t even want to let in this time. She made a big deal of collecting all my paperwork and telling me she will ensure her department follows up my entry / exits. In the end after some serious discussion she said to me either get the right visa ( I don’t know what visa) or I will not be allowed back in Thailand for 1 year. Then she stamped my passport for 60 days and told me to go away.

    Cheers

    1. Did a bit of reading because rules have changed last few years (and we haven’t been spending our time in Thailand).

      Just stating the rules now

      1. When entering without a visa, you get a 30-day permission to stay (most nationalities) whether entering by air or by land. However, when entering by land, only two visa exempt entries are allowed per calendar year. If you try for a third visa exempt entry by land in the same calendar year, you will be denied entry.

      2. When entering with a tourist visa, you receive an initial 60-day permission to stay. To get a visa, you must visit a town outside Thailand with a Thai embassy or consulate.

      3. Whether you enter visa exempt, or with a tourist visa, your initial permission to stay can be extended a single time for an additional 30 days, at an immigration office inside Thailand, on payment of 1,900 baht.

      4. If you ask for a second extension of your permission to stay, your application is denied, but you are given seven days to leave the country.

      So I’m trying to figure out the issue that you had.

      Then I found this:

      There is no explicit limit to the number of visa exempt entries you are allowed when entering by air. Pursuant to a Ministerial Order issued in mid 2014, immigration is supposed to deny entry to those using back-to-back visa exempt entries to stay extended periods in Thailand. However, the Prime Minister advised that this regulation should be “applied flexibly”. The effect is that immigration has a lot of discretion when you return visa exempt after a short period outside Thailand. Usually, you will not have a problem until you have accumulated about six visa exempt entries over some indeterminate period (seems to be about two or three years). After that, there is a low, but very real risk you could be denied entry.

      If you want to risk entering visa exempt (especially when you have several previous visa exempt entries) after spending the bulk of, say, the last six months in Thailand, there are ways you can improve your chances

      Carry 20,000 baht equivalent in cash. Make sure this is visible as soon as you are referred to a senior official for questioning.
      Be prepared with credible answers to the question of why you are spending so much time in Thailand. Acceptable are
      you are in a relationship with a Thai lady, but not yet ready for marriage;
      you have taken early retirement (being financially secure) and find Thailand a pleasant place to spend the bulk of your time at present; and
      (slightly riskier, but OK currently) you have an online business conducted outside Thailand, but which can be done anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. You find Thailand provides a good balance of the infrastructure to work, and a good living environment.
      Do not suggest you might be working for a Thai employer, with Thai customers, or in any other way helping out a business in Thailand.

      Have bank statements handy that demonstrate your ability to live comfortably in Thailand without illegal working.

      So I’m guessing the issue they have is that the agent is seeing all the comings and going and thinks you’re playing the system. But according to your comment, you’re coming in by land (in which case you’re limited to 2 visa exemptions per year).

      You know what? They’ve made it too damn complicated. And the “discretion” application that is mentioned above probably got you because you ran into somebody on the wrong day. That’s my guess. But if you find out more please comment back, I’d be curious to know.

      Good Luck!

  18. Can I collect my familys passports on day two by myself, or do I have to drag the wife and kids along? It’s 4 of us altogether, but I don’t know if they need to identify every person independently before handing back the passports with the visas in? Many thanks

    1. Hi Dan,
      I would think that you can pick it up for them on day 2 but I don’t want to give you that as advice because they might, for whatever reason, be really anal on that day. If I were you I would ask when going on the first day. Otherwise I just wouldn’t take a chance.

  19. I was going for a non immigrant O visa. After 4 hours queuing they told me I needed a medical certificate. Never heard of this before but went to LMC clinic. They wouldn’t give me one without blood test which took about an hour and the process cost about 800 bt.

    1. I don’t know too much about that, but thanks to you I looked it up here. And they make no mention of the blood test. Interesting, I wonder why. They say “Applicants for 90-Day Non-Immigrant visa to Thailand must demonstrate that they are neither a public or security threat to the Thai government”. “Public threat”- that could maybe be the basis for the blood test. Still, that’s quite onerous.
      Thanks for the tip.

      1. I have just recently completed all of my paperwork for a Non-immigrant visa, and was told that a syphilis test is standard for this type of visa. That’s what the blood test is for. By the way, I will be doing my visa application in Vientiane on Tuesday. I hope all goes smoothly, as I’m probably only going to arrive there at around 10.

  20. Did they not ask for documents (tourist visa) like travel plans, financial evidence, Proof of booking and accommodation? 2+ years ago they made a big deal out of this. Another thing, did anybody get a double entry? (Temporary Tourist Scheme start 15 Nov, see news).

    1. Personally we never were asked any of those questions. But our experience dates back 4 years. Honestly? I always thought it was purely a cash grab.

      Maybe someone else has info about a double entry?

  21. Hi,my self Mukesh citizen of India next month I ll go to thailand to meet my wife she is citizen of Thailand, I have a india marriage certificate but I am applying a tourist visa to go there first and then I want to change this I. Non-o dependent Visa with the help of marriage certificates, now my question is this that if through Thailand I can’t get 90days of non o dependent Visa so can I cross border to Vientiane and apply this particular visa from there.do I need a visa again for this country to cross border and how much time they ll take to approve my visa and what the documents required.

    1. Hi Mukesh,
      I’m sorry, this question is much too specific for my knowledge. I would do as you say – enter on a tourist visa then, when you are there, go to a local immigration office to ask your questions.
      Another thing you could do – do you have a Thai consulate where you are living in India? You can go there. When we were in Prague we went to the Thai consulate for our first 60 day visa. They were very helpful.
      Sorry I can’t help more.

  22. Wow, it sounds like a bit of a mess to get a visa at Vientiane. And I had just decided to do that, but not booked anything yet. My plan was to take 05:55 flight from Bangkok to Udon Thani, and then minibus to the border and after that a tuktuk straight to the consulate. It sounds like that won’t work, I mean I will probably arrive at the consulate at 10:30~ish but is it even possible to hand in the application then?

    1. Funny enough Monica just commented, suggesting 11 am is a good time.
      Yes, you could make it by 10:30, shouldn’t be a problem at all.

    2. Lots of cheap and decent accommodations in Nong Khai Jon…a good example, the Ruan Thai guesthouse (042-412 519, 300-500 baht rooms) 500 metres from the Tha Sadet market on the Mae Khong and plenty more hotels/guesthouses in that area. Get there the night before, relax (and Nong Khai is a great town to relax, plenty of bars and inexpensive eats). Get a tuktuk the next morning around 6-6.30 am, that should get you to the border in 20 minutes for 60-80 baht. You’ll have plenty of time to cross the border, get a bus (cheap 40 baht) or more expensive taxi into Vientiane and to the consulate on Rue Bourichane. The consulate/embassy has improved dramatically over the last couple of years, less chaotic and more streamlined.

  23. Actually, I’d recommend going a little later at 11am. As everyone thinks it’s better to go early, the best way to beat the crowd is by going at the non peak hour. That way you can skip the queue and get the process done quicker. Same goes for collection the next day. Come a bit later.

    1. Thanks Monica.
      I personally prefer to always come early – just because you really don’t know what kind of backlog you’ll get on any given day. I’d hate showing up a bit late and being told that I have to come back the next day because there are too many people. But that’s just me..

  24. Once inside, there is a counter with glass panels in front, and no one was behind the counter, but there was a box of application forms behind the glass panel. Everyone was reaching through the hole in the glass to grab an application form. It looked like the kind of thing you shouldn’t do in an embassy, but when in Rome, I guess.

  25. Hi Frank, i will be going to Vientiane on Tuesday August 7 coming from Chiangmai, do i need to pay money to the Laos border before i can enter the country or not ? Thanks in advance!☺

    1. Yes, you’ll have to pay between $35 – $42 US depending on your citizenship. I don’t know how much they charge for the Philippines.
      Good luck!

  26. This is my experience doing this on July 23, 2018 (Monday). Unsurprisingly, given that it’s SEA, I had a couple of twists that I don’t see anyone else having mentioned yet.

    There was a lot of waiting, over 3 hours in total.

    I arrived at around 8 in the morning and went inside to get an application. If you enter through the side entrance, there’s a guy right by the entrance standing next to a photocopy machine. If you hand him your passport, he’ll photocopy all the necessary parts for 20 baht. He knows what to do so just give him your passport.

    Once inside, there is a counter with glass panels in front, and no one was behind the counter, but there was a box of application forms behind the glass panel. Everyone was reaching through the hole in the glass to grab an application form. It looked like the kind of thing you shouldn’t do in an embassy, but when in Rome, I guess.

    On the other side of the room there are some tables set up with a bunch of computers and printers, and some people sitting behind them. Those people help with pretty much any part of preparing your application. For me, they cut my pictures to be the right size and gave me glue to glue them to the application. They can also take photos and do photocopying and such. Some of these services require a fee. Even though I got there well before the 8:30 opening time, these people were already open. There’s no line, you have to just kind of wait for an opening and jump in to take one of the seats in front of the tables.

    After completing my application with their help, I went outside to stand in line. I was in line shortly before 8:30 and there were already hundreds of people in front of me.

    While waiting, one of the embassy staff came and asked for my passport. He looked at it and, I don’t know what he saw, but we told me to go back to the people at the tables, have them enter my information into the computers, and then come back outside and talk to him, because then there would be “no wait”. So I went inside and did that (it cost 50 baht) and they gave me a printed version of my application which they signed. I returned to the guy outside who put me into a different line. I guess it’s supposed to be an express line or something, but I don’t think it saved me hardly any time, if any. The line is shorter, but also moves more slowly than the main line.

    After waiting ~2 hours I got to the front of the line, they took my application and my passport, gave me a number, and told me to wait. I noticed that like me, some people were told to wait, while others were told to leave and come back tomorrow. I’m not sure what decides this. After waiting another hour or so I got called to the window, the guy confirmed my name, very briefly flicked through my documents, then told me to come back tomorrow.

    So I went back the next day, waited for my number to get called, and went to the window. They asked me my name and what I was going to do in Thailand. Then I paid and they gave me my passport back with my new visa in it. Fin.

  27. Hi
    I am Bangladeshi and now I am in Thailand in tourist visa and I got job offer from school as a teacher.So is it possible to go to Laos and apply for NON B visa in Thai embassy at Laos?
    Can you confirm whether laos thai embassy accept Application for Bangladeshi passport holder?
    Can I travel by bus to Laos from Thailand.I want to do the NON B visa from any nearby country besides Thailand.
    Please advice best possible way and cost.
    Thanks
    Regards
    Zaman

  28. Hi

    Just went through the 2 day process and after reading the above, seems i got off really easy. First day i got there around 7:45am, filled in the forms, around 8:30am a lady came out with a desk and the cue went from the chairs in front of her desk as she looked over the forms and photocopies, i got number 013, was told to come back the next day, didn’t pay anything at this stage.
    Went back just now, they opened the counter at 1:30pm and was a mad rush of people trying to push in but they started calling numbers, when my number was called, went to the counter, paid my 1000b, got my passport.

    Overall was pretty painless.

    1. Great. Thank you, that process is consistent with the update I just did on the post and I’m happy to hear that it went that smoothly.
      Must be hot as hell right now in Vientiane!

      1. I’m from Australia, i don’t find it as hot over here as Australia in the summer, sure, its 32-34c in the days here, Sydney can get 42-44c though in the summer, so i guess im used to the heat. Maybe the scientists are onto something about the ozone hole, seems in the southern hemisphere the sun really bakes you a lot more, i find Thailand and Laos pretty tolerable, almost like its less UV.

        Thanks again for a great article and for duteously keeping it up to date , it really made my first visa run a breeze.

  29. Hi! This post was very helpful when recently applying for my Thai visa in Vientiane so thought I would post an updated version of events for other travellers, who will hopefully find it as useful as I did.
    We arrived at the Thai Consulate around 7.40am (opens at 8.30am), there were already a load of people in the queue – however we went on a Tuesday morning, the day before was a national holiday in Laos therefore it was a lot busier than usual. I went inside the building to get an application form as my boyfriend got a place in the queue. We filled out the forms as we stood in the queue. At 8.30am the officials sat at the front and the queue went down. It took us around 3 hours from the time we arrived to get to the Consulate. When we got to the front, we handed over the completed application form, a passport photo, photo copy of our passports and a copy of our Laos visas (not sure whether this was needed), however the woman told me my passport photo was NOT acceptable and said I would need a new one (the reason being – I had a vest top on when I had photos taken and having your shoulders visible is not permitted in the photo. I was told to go and get a new photo inside the building which cost around $2, but then luckily was able to go to the front of the queue rather than the back. The new photo was accepted and they lady gave me a ticket number (I was #290), she didn’t say anything but I assumed that all was done and to come back the next day between 1.30-4pm. The next day we turned up early again, around 12.30 thinking there would be a similar queuing system as Day 1. We were wrong. Numbers were called out on the screen, in numerical order, when your number was called you’d go to the counter and pay/collect your visa. We waited around 2 and a half hours from the time we arrived. Although knowing what we know now, if your number is quite high – you don’t need to go so early on day 2!

    1. Thank you so much Luciana!! Fantastic.
      They did the same thing with my wife: they made her wear a ridiculous shirt and button it to the top. She looked like Mao Zedong. She was steaming.
      It sounds like the biggest improvement they’ve made is to the queuing system. It’s great that they have a screen now showing the numbers.
      Really appreciate Luciana. Thank you.

    2. Hello!

      Just a few questions.
      Where did you guys stayed? How much did it cost?
      Is it possible to get there late? I mean, I have a flight to Udon Thani that arrives at 7 AM and from there to Vientiane I’d say it would take me 2 – 2:30 from what I’ve read. I could possible be arriving at the consulate at 10 – 10:30 AM. Is that too late for me to arrive? Would I still have the change to make the queue and apply? I would like to do this because I can save one day in the process.

      Thank you!

      1. Hi Miguel,
        Your calculations seem ok to me: about an hour to Nong Khai, about 90 minutes from Nong Khai to Vientiane.
        I think it depends on the day and season. If you’re doing it right now (June) I think you’ll be ok – I just got back from Thailand and there were much fewer tourists around.
        I’d give it a go. Worst case they’ll tell you to come back the next day…

  30. Hi everyone, so many rules have changed, I just want to confirm: they now (19 October 2017) do single entry visa 60 days (30 days extension) in Laos only? and the only other option for long term tourist stay is a 6 month visa but needs to be applied from the country of residence only, am I correct on this?
    My mom is on retirement visa in Thailand. Am I legible to apply for Non-Immigrant Visa in Laos for 90 days as a dependant?
    for the single entry: do they require return ticket? Proof of accommodation? Proof of bank statement of a certain amount? We just arrived on a stamp, need to stay at least until January 23rd. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Lina,
      I looked it up (I personally haven’t been to Thailand since 2015) and all the new rules, as of August 2017, are listed here.
      Hope that helps.

  31. $15 (almost 500 baht) for a tuk-tuk driving 3 km, waiting for 3 hours (doesn’t matter so much in Asia and isn’t necessary anyway, as there are tuk-tuks near the Consulate too), then driving 3 km back? Are you serious? He must have made a huge party for all his friends later on that day!
    As I remember, the proper price after bargaining is 15000-maximum 20000 kip (60-80 baht, $2-2,5) one way. And it’s still too much, travelling 3-4 km by Uber X (car) in Chiangmai costs merely 45-50 baht ($1,5).

    Will be in Vientiane applying for Thai visa in a week or less, as last time I did visa there was in 2010, but don’t think Lao (as well as Thai) prices have changed much since then.
    Never remember being there for 3 hours as well, nor I remember any huge amounts of people. Either I’ve been very lucky (3 or 4 times in a row) or maybe just because I came quite late (after 10), because never did care at all if I stay for another day in Vientiane (in fact, mostly I stayed there for several days and/or went to Vang Vieng).

    1. As I’ve mentioned Dmitry, this was back in 2014. I’ve seen from the different comments that they’ve speeded up the process since then.
      Price seemed to be going price at the time after having asked at the hotel and looking online. I also mention that a return booking is not necessary.I have no idea what it would be now but good for you if you managed to save some money.

  32. I have just been to the consulate.
    I prepared everything beforehand. I had two 3.5cm x 4.5cm colour photos. I had my Laos stamp copied at the hotel. I already had my passport picture page copied. I got the application form from my hotel, Lalco AR. I walked to the embassy at about 9:30am and got there around 9:50am. I walked in and handed my papers to a woman at a table under a tented section, right in the centre. She took my documents and stuck my photos to the application. She handed me a ticket number 401 attached to a form telling me to collect 30 June 2017. That was it. 2 minutes. Walked back to hotel and I was drinking coffee by 10:15am.
    Now I am worried I did something wrong. I’ll go back tomorrow and see if I did it correctly. If not, it’s a long weekend in Vientiane!

    1. Sounds like they’ve really fixed up the process! (that post was written 2 years ago)
      And you pay when you pick up your Visa?

  33. HI, I just submitted my application, which was relatively smooth compared to what is described above. On the ground outside was a tent setup with a long line of applicants. I didn’t have the visa form, so I grabbed one (they have a desk where you can fill out the forms) and filled it out on line. I also made a copy of my Lao visa. The line moved rather quickly, and after about 25 minutes I gave my materials to one of two clerks, who gae me a number and told me to come back tomorrow at 1:30. No paying the first day. So I was in and out of there in about 40minutes. Makes me worried that something bad is waiting tomorrow…

    1. Hi Brian,
      Thanks for this. A few people have mentioned that things have been smoothed out in the process since I wrote about it (in early 2015). It seems to me you’re fine, I don’t think you’ll have any problems whatsoever (most of our problems were on the 1st day – 2nd day was simple, just the wait was a pain).
      Enjoy your time in Thailand!

  34. Thx..and it was everything fine, no problems like you said(some people there already third time). And because of new king(I guess) normal tourist visa(1000Baht) was for free, and it will be free until February.

    P.S. They ask for passport picture with white background ;).

    Good luck to everyone.

  35. One quastion ..I dont know it is important..but what to write down about Occupation..job and employer..because I amnow here few months and will continue probably with that company..should I write that infos down or I should write down something else?

    1. Bo – you can write your employment that you have back home, that won’t change anything. Or are you talking about a job you have in Thailand? (if it is in Thailand then you should not write anything if you are writing your purpose as tourism).

      1. No , its not job in Thailand , I am here only to enjoy hehe..
        I mean I dont have job in my country now when I am here but I will work there again in few months ..
        So they ask in visa application form about :

        Occupation(specify present position and name of Employer)________

        So it is smarter to write down my former company name and position or I should only write down my profesion and thats enough?

        1. It doesn’t hurt to put it down, its not like they’ll check on it. They just don’t want bums coming into the country with no cash..

          I think the best tip I can give anyone is to dress half decently, shave, look clean.

          1. Thank you Frank, really helpful your blog..I have it now much easier to go through this after this informations.

          2. Good luck! If you find anything different than I’ve described please let me know. It’s been a few years since we went so there might be changes – feedback is always helpful for other readers.
            Thanks,
            Frank

  36. Thx Frank, I will be there first time so I am asking quastions like this..after I red your blog I feel more relex ..so thx for that and your last answer..

  37. Hey,
    Great blog.

    I will be on the way to Vientianne on Wednesday..This is my second time in Thailand(both visas I get in my country) and now first time after being here 3 months I will go for tourist visa to Laos, so 1st time will go there so would like to clear something..

    1) Lets say in theory something going wrong and you rejected(I know its maybe I ask to much..but its important to sty another 3 months..so wanna be sure ),is it possible to go and give a try in Savannakhet, or or no need even to try because they have evidence so no logic to try in another city?

    2)When there in embassy ..what is best to write down as purpose of visit..should go in detail or only write down “tourism”..and what to write down with occupation(position and employer) because I will continue to work when I am back to my country ..but now dont have contract..is it smart to write down that I am working in that company..that important or not?

    Regards,

    1. Hi Bo,
      I’m not an expert on Visas as I say in the 1st paragraph. But my opinion:
      1) I’m sure all will be fine, but if ever it doesn’t, then I don’t think Savannakhet would be any different as I’m sure all is computerized. But I don’t think you would have this problem.
      2) I would stick to tourism. I always find (anywhere I go) that the more you tell them, the more complicated it gets. Tourism is the answer for most and I would stick to that.
      Hope that helps.
      Frank

  38. So glad i googled and got this page thanks to everyone for their input its put my mind at ease i went to get my metv today and was refused so i got a single entry and have to get it stamped at thai immigration to gain an extra 30 days then i have to go to laos to get another tourist visa but the woman in liverpool thai consulate said i have to go to Savannakhet to get it is this correct or can i just go to vientianne

    1. Thanks James. Hope you see the other reply I left above…feel free to update when you’ve done your 30 day extension (how much does it cost and how many times can you extend? I’d be curious)

  39. It will be my second time applying for a Thai tourist visa at Vientiane. Do you know if I might be denied of second visa for applying once again?

      1. Thanks a lot! Also, I’ve heard that each person needs to have like 20,000baht if they are entering into Thailand. I wasn’t asked the last time to show how much money I had. Do you know if this time I will be asked for it?

        1. I haven’t been asked – but this post wasn’t about the in/outs of visa applications, you should look it up on the official website because things change.

  40. Such a helpful post.

    Did the Thai embassy or Immigration in Bangkok ask to see an onward air ticket? I’ve heard some people have been getting asked.

    1. Thanks Jeremy.
      No, never had any such demands. It sounds like they’re really starting to clamp down if they’re asking questions like that…

  41. I wonder if you could help me please Frank? I’ve been in the kingdom for 6 and a bit months now which includes the 30 days on arrival, 60 day tourist visa (at Savannakhet), 30 day extension (at Amnat Charroen) and a 90 day non ‘b’ (at Savannakhet). I got the ‘non ‘b’ as I was teaching as a volunteer in Yasothon province. Unfortunately the school could not keep me on even as a volunteer as I require a work permit, and with no degree it is not possible to get the work permit. Now that non ‘b’ is 19 days away from expiring and I was wondering is it possible to go to Vientiane (I have now moved to Nong Khai) and get another 60 day tourist visa? Or will they say, sorry, your time is up? Thanks for your time..cheers!

    1. Hi Terry – honestly, I really don’t know. This post was more about the personal experience, the Visa rules are for the most part over my head and I dare say you’ve by now had more experience that I’ve had dealing with Thai Visas.
      But I’m not sure I understand why they would reject you – I’ve know people who live there and they do the in/out all the time with no hassle.
      You know what? I have a friend living in Nong Khai (actually it’s Bart at Macky’s Riverside Restaurant in Nong Khai- if you’re there you should visit and he’s super friendly). Mentioned here on my guide to Nong Khai. Anyway, I’ll forward on to him and maybe he’ll have some input. If so will post here the soonest he comes back to me..
      Frank (bbqboy)

      1. Thanks for that Frank. Yes, I don’t see why they should reject me, I just realised I can go to the local immigration office in NK and ask them, and I’ll try to get to Macky’s restaurant, not sure where that is, but shouldn’t be too hard to find. Again, thanks for your help and keep up the good work.

        1. No problem Terry. Yes, I just wrote Bart actually with your question and I’ll let you know if I get an answer. But I know that he’s also familiar with the people in NK’s immigration office (another alternation, which costs a bit but saves you a trip, is an extension which I believe you can arrange for 30 days).

          I’ve always thought the whole Visa thing was a money grab. I don’t know how many people they actually reject…

          Macky’s restaurant right along the promenade in the center. We loved to sit there when the night market was going on.

          1. I might see if I can do that, the 30 day extension, and the Laos visa fee is a rip-off (and 1 full page less in the passport) also. Will be going down to the Tha Sadej market later today so I’ll look out for Mackys…cheers again!

          2. I sent you a private email Terry. But just in case, what I got back from Bart:

            Regarding your friend, he should have no problem getting one or two or even three additional tourists visas in Vientiane. But, eventually they will cut him off. During my first year here that’s what I did but it reached a point at which they said No More and that’s when I got my first retirement visa. Encourage him to stop by the Kitchen and I’ll tell him what I know, the rest is up to him.

            Long story made short, there are a lot of undesirables hiding out in Thailand, there are millions of unregistered immigrants working in the country, and the government is becoming more and more concerned about terrorists coming from other countries; sooooo it is not getting easier but it can be done.

  42. Just did this a week ago and this blog was a GREAT help!

    The digital numbers on the screen outside are working now and the loudspeaker calling the numbers is very clear. Numerical order so you’ll be first in line on day two if you were first in line on day one. So, it’s not neccessary to arrive early on day two, in fact you can arrive late and go straight to the counter.

    1. Hey, that’s fantastic! They’ve really improved things. Thanks Fred!
      PS. Did you have a chance to explore Vientiane? If so what did you think of it?

      1. I don’t know what’s going on with my spelling! I blame autocorrect 😉

        This is actually my second time there. In all honesty, Viantiane isn’t for me. Coming from my cozy Chiang Mai; Viantiane is more expensive, the tuk tuk drivers are incessant and so are the ladyboys. I love Buddha Park though!

        1. Oh no, those crazy ladyboys! 🙂 We actually quite liked it, some nice dining in Vientiane.
          That’s quite the trek from Chiang Mai. My mom used to live in CM, I think she actually crossed over into Myanmar to get her Visa renewed…but maybe rules have changed because I remember she could do it on a single in/out day trip.

  43. Thank you for writing this post! By any chance do you know if it will be open on fridays? The website says it will be open but I’ve been doubting whether it will be open or not ever since I read on other blogs that it was closed on fridays.

    1. Hi Ana. I’m sorry, I don’t know about Fridays. I would think however that if the website says it’s open then it is most likely the case.

        1. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful! Good luck, hope it works out. Don’t forget, you need 2 business days so unless you plan to stay a weekend you should apply on the Thursday.

  44. I arrived on a Tuesday morning at 0815. The visit section opened at 0830 and I was finished at 0850. There were only about 30 other people there. Passport pickup at 1330 the next day. Very quick and easy now but told that they are very busy on Mondays.

    1. Wow, that was fast. Only 30 people? it’s low season in Thailand but still surprised.
      Thank you very much Daniel, really appreciate the feedback.

  45. Just a correction on the payment for the visa, now you pay on the next day, when you collect the passport. Also it’s paid to the Windows in the open air area. Again the
    they use the number, that you were given when you gave your visa application formforms. So basically it’s the quicker you join on day one, the quicker you get your passport, on day 2.
    Happy happy. Still 1000 bath. Don’t forget the 1300 bath to get into Laos.

    1. Thanks very much Chris. Sounds like they’re streamlining the process somewhat…
      The whole thing is a bit of a pain isn’t it?

  46. I’ve done this exercise several times in Vientiane, but just to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything you article points out every procedure perfectly. Much appreciated and to any first timers make sure you wear a hat or take an umbrella and plenty of water as Vientiane can get very hot and sticky.

  47. Just went today. Was a total mess. I had downloaded a form online but they told me I needed an original one which has writing on both sides. So I had to rewrite everything. If you go to the building on the left there’s a desk that does photocopies, pictures etc. You can pay them 50 baht and they ll stamp your filled out forms and you jump all the queues. Just go straight to the place where you give your passport and they ll give you a receipt to come to pick up your passport the next day!

    1. Thank you very much Joe for taking the time to write this up, I’m sure it’ll be helpful to others.

      It was a couple of years ago for us and everyone seems to have a different story…but the one constant is that it’s “a total mess”.

      Thanks again 🙂

  48. thank you so much for your answer and your help, what a nice and fast response, this information you give me actually puts me back in the first place i was before, cause my country doesn’t fit in any list, except for the last one, “3” meaning maybe no way for me to get it if it isn’t in my own country, that makes me really sad, but gotta keep hope, i’m gonna keep checking yours and more information, there must be a way… i hope so
    thank you so much for your help, good luck on your trips and enjoy your adventures! thank you so much.

    1. No problem at all Juan. I would suggest you email that company, worse thing they can tell is is “no” 🙂 Good luck!

  49. Hey! hi! what a great article, i was wondering, is there any chance to get rejected because of your nationality? i mean, i couldn’t get visa in my country cause i didn’t meet one of the requierements, i have money i earn working independent, and the travel agency said it needs to be paid by a company so there is a legal proof of my money’s origin, are there any requirements to apply for the thai visa? or just filling the papers and paying the money? could you please link me the application form? it doesn’t load. is there maybe a chance to be rejected? they don’t ask anything special? like where you gonna stay in thailand? (not a problem actually) or having going out tickets? or stuff like that? they just give it to you? no matter where you’re from?
    please, i beg you, give me a way to contact you, this information is really helpful, and it might be my only way to be with my girlfriend in thailand.
    thanks beforehand for your help and answer, this is my hope, i really hope you can help me out.

    1. Hi Juan,
      I’m not an expert on actual Visa rules and they’re constantly changing, so I don’t want to give you out of date info. But I found this:

      1. Tourist Visa Waiver (visa exemption), no visa required prior to commencing travel to Thailand.

      Countries which get 90 days: Brazil, Chile, Peru, South Korea (not possible to enter via any Land border), Argentina.

      G7 Countries get 30 days: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, USA and United Kingdom.

      Bilateral Agreement, Countries get 30 days: Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, Russia and Vietnam.

      Countries which get 30 days at Airport and 15 day stamp at land border: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Brunei, Belgium, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Slovak, Slovenia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and UAE.

      2. Countries which get Visa on Arrival at certain ports of entry in Thailand, however it is NOT possible to obtain Visa on Arrival to enter Thailand via any Thai/Cambodian Checkpoints: Andorra, Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.

      3. Other country’s passport holders must obtain Visa from a Thai diplomatic post abroad prior to commencing travel to Thailand.

      ——

      So you should see where you fit on that country list. Depending on your passport you may have to arrange for a Visa to enter the country.

      I got the above from this website: http://www.thaivisaservice.com/visa-rules They have an email address there and this is their specialty – so if you have any problems/questions you should write them.

      Good luck!

  50. Hey! My boyfriend and I have been to Vientiane a bunch of times-I wish we had found your article before we went! Thanks for your help. I will be better prepared for my next trip. 🙂

  51. There should be a committee out there that scours the internet and ensures royalties for anyone who posts useful material like this. Thanks for the update, I’ll be in Vientiane tonight.

        1. Hi Mike – no, no questions. as long as you have what I listed then you should be fine. In my opinion this whole visa thing just a complicated cash grab.

          1. Cheers for this frank i was just refused my metv today so i only got a single entry and my return flight is 6 months away so i have to get a stamp from inside thai immigration extending 30 days then i have to do what you did in laos.
            Did you get a visa on entering laos and how much did that cost?

          2. Sorry James for the late response, have been travelling.
            It’s been a few years since I wrote the post and as you can see some things have changed. Prices have probably changed too. For the Lao Visa this is what I came up with browsing the internet: https://www.travelfish.org/visas/laos (ie. anywhere between $30 and $44 US)
            The whole thing really is a pain isn’t it? Honestly, when you consider the cost of leaving the country every 2 months, getting a visa to enter another country, and having to stay at least one night – I wonder if it is worth it versus just extending that visa internally every 30 days? Do you know how much that costs? I’m a little rusty on all that at this point.

    1. Hello. May I ask if I want to go to Vientiane with an appointment on the 15th of July, (which my visa expires on the 15th), does that mean I will not pay for An OVERSTAY?? Please let me know

      1. You should not be charged for an overstay. Beware though that it can take up to 3 weeks to book an appointment.

        1. Frank,

          Thanks for the super helpful article.

          I’m sure the wait time for appointment varies upon season. However, I am here in Vientiane now. I went online to make my appointment on Thursday and made my appointment for Friday morning. The trip there this morning was smooth. Less than forty people there. Including time to make the copies of Lao entrance stamp, and visa, we were in and out in 45 minutes. Hopefully pick up on Monday goes just as smoothly!

          1. Wow! First time I’ve heard that! Great news, I’m sure a relief to others planning to update their visa.
            Thanks for taking the time to comment Claudia

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