Most foreigners who visit Thailand or want to live there temporarily or permanently will have to get a Thailand Visa. Thai Visas are issued for single or multiple entries, usually for a period of thirty days to a year. In the case where a visa is issued for a single-entry, if you leave the country, you cannot re-enter, even if you have not exhausted the number of days you were given. This is where a Thailand Re-Entry Permit comes in.
The Re-Entry Permit for Thailand allows visa-holders who were issued a single-entry visa to leave the country and be able to re-enter without the visa becoming void. If you do not get a re-entry permit before you exit Thailand, then you will have to re-apply for a visa from a Thai Embassy or Consulate to be allowed to enter.
Who Needs a Re-Entry Permit for Thailand?
You need a Re-Entry Permit for Thailand if you have a Single-Entry Visa and want to leave Thailand without your visa becoming void. You can get a Re-Entry Permit for both Tourist Visas and Non-Immigrant Visas. This is especially useful if you are living in Thailand long-term (as a student or a worker) and want to have the possibility of leaving and re-entering Thailand without losing your visa and having to re-apply for it.
Note: The re-entry permit is valid for the duration of the visa. This means that the days do not reset every time you enter Thailand. If you have a 30-day visa, you will not get another 30 days if you re-enter with the permit.
Who Is Not Eligible for a Thailand Re-Entry Permit?
You are not eligible for a Re-Entry Permit for Thailand if you have one of the following:
- A Thailand Visa On Arrival, which is valid for a maximum of 15 days and non-extendable.
- A Thailand Multiple-Entry Tourist Visa or Multiple-Entry Non-Immigrant Visa, in which case, you can leave and re-enter the country multiple times for the duration your visa is issued, without it becoming forfeit.
- If you are from a country whose nationals do not need a Thailand Tourist Visa and you have entered the country under the visa-exemption rule.
How Many Types of Re-Entry Permits for Thailand Are There?
There are two types of Thai Re-Entry Permits you can apply for:
- Single Re-Entry Permit, which is valid for a one-time use. You can leave and re-enter only once.
- Multiple Re-Entry Permit, which allows you to leave and re-enter the country multiple times for the duration that the visa is valid.
What Documents Do You Need for a Re-Entry Permit for Thailand?
The documents you have to submit to the immigration officers when you apply for your Re-Entry Permit in Thailand are:
- Your valid passport, which shows the Thailand visa stamped on
- Photocopies of the relevant pages on your passport, such as:
- The personal information page
- The issue/expiry page
- Any amendments to the personal data (if applicable)
- Stamp of the latest entry in Thailand
- Extension of Stay stamp (if applicable)
- A picture of yourself, taken within the last six months, with 4 x 6 cm dimensions.
- Re-Entry Permit Form TM8 (which you can find and download online). Affix the picture to the form.
- Thailand Arrival/Departure Card (T.M.6) along with a copy of it.
- Any other documents which relate to the purpose of your stay in Thailand.
How to Apply for a Thailand Re-Entry Permit?
You can apply for a Re Entry Permit for Thailand in one of two ways: at an Immigration Office before your intended trip or at an international airport on the day of your trip.
Applying for a Thailand Re-Entry Permit at an Immigration Office
If you know beforehand that you’re going to leave Thailand for a time, you can apply for your Re-Entry Permit from a local Thai Immigration Office a couple of days before your trip. Learn the opening hours of your local Immigration Office and bring the required documents along with enough money to pay the fees to a Re-Entry Permit counter.
The process could take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the number of people waiting in line.
You have to submit the documents, pay the fee, and wait for the immigration officers to process your application and attach the Re-Entry Permit stamp on your passport.
Applying for a Thailand Re-Entry Permit at an international airport
If you’d rather not make a trip to an Immigration Office, you can also apply for a Re-Entry Permit from an international airport in Thailand on the day you will travel. You have to get the permit from one of the Re-Entry Permit counters at the airport before you go through Immigration.
Again, the time it will take to process your re-entry permit depends on how many people there are before you, so you should get there a while before your scheduled flight.
Note: If you will live in Thailand long-term (e.g. you have a Non-Immigrant Visa as an international student or Work Permit holder), you should get a one-year Thai Visa Extension before you can apply for the Re-Entry Permit.
How Much Does a Thailand Re-Entry Permit Cost?
The cost of a Thai Re-Entry Permit changes depending on whether you’re applying for a single-, or multiple-entry permit:
- Single-Entry Thailand Re-Entry Permit cost: 1,000 Thai Baht
- Multiple-Entry Thailand Re-Entry Permit cost: 3,800 Thai Baht