Thailand Re-entry Permits: How NOT to Lose Your Thailand Visa

thailand re-entry permits

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Are you a long-term visa holder who’s planning on leaving Thailand and needs a re-entry permit? Maybe you’re sitting in the taxi right now heading to the airport. Or worse yet, maybe you’re at the airport scrambling for help. Relax. We have you covered.

If you have at least forty-five minutes to spare before you flight takes off, then I’ll show you how to get your re-entry permit at one of the international airports in Thailand.

And if you have a few weeks or days before your flight leaves, then consider yourself off the hook. You’ll be able to get your re-entry permit ahead of time at one of the immigration offices listed in this guide.

What is It?

If you have a visa that hasn’t expired and you want to leave and return to Thailand, you’ll need to apply for a re-entry permit before you leave Thailand. A re-entry permit let’s you leave the country without forfeiting your visa. But this doesn’t “pause” your visa. Whether you’re in Thailand or not, the amount of time given to you on your visa still winds down. This process is not for you if you entered Thailand on a visa-exempt stamp or a visa on arrival.

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How Many are There?

When you apply for your re-entry permit in Thailand, you’ll have two choices: a single re-entry permit and a multiple-entry permit.

Single Re-entry Permit

With a single re-entry permit, you can leave and enter Thailand just one time with your current valid visa. If you need to leave Thailand after that, you’ll have to apply for a new re-entry permit. The cost for a single re-entry permit is 1,000 baht.

Multiple Re-entry Permit

With a multiple re-entry permit, you can leave and enter Thailand as many times as you like with your valid visa. The cost for a multiple re-entry permit is 3,800 baht.

If you’re leaving Thailand in an emergency, or for a yearly vacation, then getting a single re-entry permit makes the most sense. But if you plan on leaving Thailand more than four times with your valid visa then you should get a multiple re-entry permit to save you money.

Who Needs One?

When you first apply for your Thailand visa, you’ll have to choose between getting a single-entry visa or a multiple-entry visa. If you get a multiple-entry visa, then you won’t have to apply for a re-entry permit when leaving Thailand on your valid visa.

who needs a thailand re-entry permit

If your visa is a single-entry visa, then you’ll have to apply for a re-entry permit every time you want to leave and re-enter Thailand on your valid visa.

If you leave Thailand on your single-entry visa without a re-entry permit, immigration officers will void your visa.

The only exception is the Thailand Elite Visa. You don’t have to get the re-entry permit. In addition, every time you re-enter Thailand, you get a visa stamp allowing you to stay in Thailand for one more year.   

Below are a few examples of some typical Thailand visa holders and why they’d need to apply for a re-entry permit.

Tourists

If you came to Thailand on a single-entry tourist visa, and you want to leave the country but plan on returning, you’ll need to apply for a re-entry permit.

Professionals

If you work in Thailand and have one of the non-immigrant work visas, and you want to leave the country for business or pleasure, you’ll need to apply for a re-entry permit.

Retirees

If you’ve retired in Thailand and have a long-term retirement visa, but you want to leave the country to go back home or take a vacation outside of Thailand, you’ll need to apply for a re-entry permit.

Married

If you’re married to a Thai national and have a non-immigrant marriage visa, and you want to leave Thailand to return home or go on vacation, then you’ll need to apply for a re-entry permit.

Other

The above examples are just a few of the typical visa holders who’ll have to apply for a re-entry permit when leaving and returning to Thailand. For more details on every visa type in Thailand, take a look at our in-depth guide to Thailand visas.

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Application Process and Costs

To apply for a Thailand re-entry permit, just go to your nearest immigration office or re-entry permit counter at any of the international airports in Thailand.

thailand re-entry permits

No matter which immigration office or airport you at, getting your re-entry permit is the same unless noted below. Here’s the step-by-step process, with costs and required documents.

  1. Go to the re-entry permit counter
  2. Give the immigration officers your boarding pass, 4×6 cm photo, filled in TM.8 form, photocopies of your passport picture page and valid visa page, and TM.6 departure card
  3. Pay 1,000 baht for a single re-entry permit or
  4. Pay 3,800 baht for a multiple re-entry permit
  5. Get your re-entry permit stamped into your passport

Where to Apply

You can apply for single and multiple re-entry permits at immigration offices and international airports throughout Thailand.

If you have one of the visas mentioned above and you leave Thailand without a re-entry permit, you’ll forfeit your visa and have to get a new one when returning to Thailand.

Immigration Offices

If you want to stay ahead of the game and get your re-entry permit before you go to the airport (smart move), then you can apply for your re-entry permit at any immigration office in Thailand. Here are a few popular locations, followed by a few links to an entire list.

Bangkok

If you’re in Bangkok you can apply for your re-entry permit at the Division 1 Immigration Office in Chaengwatthana (link to Google Map). The office is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30pm to 4:30pm, except on Thai holidays.

Chiang Mai

If you want to apply for your re-entry permit in Chiang Mai, go to Promenada Mall (link to Google Map). The office is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30pm to 4:30pm, except on Thai holidays.

Phuket

If you want to apply for your re-entry permit in Phuket, go to the immigration office in Phuket Town (link to Google Map). The office is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30pm to 4:30pm, except on Thai holidays.

Other Locations

Here’s a map of Thailand Immigration Offices and a list of Thai Immigration Offices.

Airports

If you forgot to get your re-entry permit from an immigration office, or you have to take an emergency flight outside of Thailand, you can apply for a re-entry permit at any of Thailand’s international airports. But you have to be flying out of the country on the same day you apply.

Keep in mind that if you have a connecting flight in Thailand from another airport in Thailand, and you plan on getting your re-entry permit after your connecting flight–at the second airport, you’re really testing your luck if you have a short layover.

Suvarnabhumi Airport

If you’re leaving Thailand from Suvarnabhumi Airport you might want to get there at least three hours before your flight, as the process could take you up to 45 minutes. The re-entry permit counter is located all the way your left in the immigration departure halls. It’s open 24-hours a day.

Note: If you apply for a re-entry permit at Suvarnabhumi Airport, officials considered it an emergency. So you may have to pay a 200 baht admin charge, bringing your cost up to 1,200 baht for a single entry re-entry permit and 4,000 baht for a multiple entry re-entry permit.

Don Mueang Airport

If you’re leaving Thailand from Don Mueang Airport, getting a re-entry permit is quite easy. The process shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes if there’s no one else waiting. The re-entry permit counter is located after passport control but before security. It’s open 24-hours a day.

Chiang Mai Airport

If you’re leaving Thailand from Chiang Mai, you can get your re-entry permit at Chiang Mai Airport after you check in for your flight. In the international departures area, you’ll find podiums where immigration officers can help you apply for your re-entry permit.

Phuket Airport

If you’re leaving Thailand from Phuket, you should get your re-entry permit before you go to the airport, at the immigration office in Phuket Town (see section above on Phuket Immigration Office). There have been mixed messages online whether or not you can get a re-entry permit at the airport. So to play it safe, go to Phuket immigration.

Final Thoughts

Applying for a re-entry permit in Thailand is one of the easier immigration matters to handle–as long as you do it ahead of time at an immigration office. You can probably get away with applying for a re-entry permit at the airport, but if you’re worried about time, get it done beforehand.

21 comments
  1. Hello, I wasn’t sure judging on your previous answers in your threat. I am in Thailand on non-immigrant 90 day ed visa and want to leave the country for a weekend in Cambodia. I would be getting the re-entry visa from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Do I still need to bring a pass photo and a copy of my passport or should I be fine with out? Cheers

    1. My go-to strategy is to essentially carry around a small set of passport pictures in a backpack compartment when traveling around South East Asia. You’ll eventually need them at one point (and have a 50% chance of not having them on you). Costs THB 100 to THB 200 and saves you a lot of hassle. Same goes for passport copy.

  2. Hi, thanks for the info. I am planning to cover both Thailand & Cambodia on my next trip. I am from Bangladesh and my arrival and return flight is from Don mueng airport. After I get the entry stamp in Thailand, I should apply for re-entry visa, right? I have a confirmed flight ticket to Siem Reap. Do I need boarding pass of my Cambodia flight during the re-entry application?

    1. Assuming you come to Thailand with a single-entry tourist visa and want to return to Thailand again after your trip to Cambodia, then you need to make a re-entry permit. Now, it seems like you don’t need a photo or a boarding pass anymore. Just go to the immigration counter, pay the fee, and it’s done.

  3. Hi John,

    I will be entering Thailand on visa on arrival fee exemption program. However, i will enter and exit the country three times. Do you think i would need a re-entry permit? Or is it fine to just get the visa on arrival for all the three times? Can I do it?

    Thank you in advance 🙂

    1. In case you don’t stay in Thailand each time too long that can make the immigration officer suspects that you aren’t here for traveling but for living or working, then, it should be fine. And you shouldn’t need the re-entry permit.

  4. Hi Den, sory in your post you write: “But this doesn’t “pause” your visa. Whether you’re in Thailand or not, the amount of time given to you on your visa still winds down”

    What’s mean ? that if I go out of Thailand and I still have 40 to use of my single entry tourist visa, will the days continue to wear out even if I’m out of Thailand?

    thanks

    1. That’s correct. The days continue to wind down. For example, if you leave Thailand for 10 days and you have 40 days left on your visa, when you come back you’d only have 30 days left on your visa, not 40.

  5. Hi,
    I am flying out of Thailand on the 1st July at 01:30am. Please can you advise if I will be able to get my re-entry at the airport as I have seen that the information says that if you apply you need to apply on the same day…

    Will this be possible for me? What time do you suggest I get to the airport?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Evette. You don’t have to get your re-entry permit on the same day. You can go to immigration and get it anytime before you leave. I’d avoid waiting until you get to the airport. You never really know what will happen once you’re there. Better to be prepared and get it in advance.

  6. Hi, can you get a re- entry permit at Don Mueang and then on you way back land at Suvarnabhumi Airport? Do you have to use the same airport on your way back that you got your re-entry permit from, or it doesn’t matter at which airport you land as long as you have the permit?

    Thank you very much
    Sanja

  7. Hi, would like to ask since am a foreigner and won’t be able to secure my re-entry permit in the Thai immigration offices before my flight, is it possible to secure this instead upon arrival at the BKK airport so that i don’t need to scramble my way through it on my flight back to my hometown ?

  8. some errors on this page: map has Nonthaburi Immigration office in the wrong place — it has moved. The list of Thai Immigration offices does nto include Nonthaburi.
    The excerpt below needs revising:
    Where to Apply

    You can apply for single and multiple re-entry permits at immigration offices and international airports throughout Thailand.

    In this case, you can’t get a re-entry permit. If you leave Thailand with one of these visas, you’ll forfeit your visa and have to get a new one when returning to Thailand. All other visa holders, continue reading.

    1. Thanks for the info!

      map has Nonthaburi Immigration office in the wrong place — it has moved.

      I can’t make revisions to the Google Map locations since I didn’t create the map. It was created by a member of Thai Visa.

      The list of Thai Immigration offices does nto include Nonthaburi.

      Are you talking about the map or the list in our article? If you’re talking about our list, we only included the immigration offices that are most popular for foreigners or that we were able to get info on. If you’d like to include your experience with Nonthaburi, we’d appreciate your input 🙂

      The excerpt below needs revising:
      Where to Apply

      You can apply for single and multiple re-entry permits at immigration offices and international airports throughout Thailand.

      In this case, you can’t get a re-entry permit. If you leave Thailand with one of these visas, you’ll forfeit your visa and have to get a new one when returning to Thailand. All other visa holders, continue reading.

      Revised

  9. Hi…

    I left Thailand without the re entry permit, and I have a single entry tourist visa.
    I need to go back tomorrow morning and stay there for 4 days before leaving home.

    Can you advise on what happens when I get to Phuket airport?

  10. Hello! Thank you so much for the info. One question. Do yo know if you can apply for the re entry, but stay a couple of weeks in Thailand or you have to do it exactly when you leaving thw country

    1. Hi Jose. You can stay in Thailand for a little while. You don’t have to use the re-entry permit right away.

  11. Hi, thanks for the information. I would like to know if the reentry permit office is open through 4 am – 7 am in Don Mueang Airport

  12. Hi, I would like to ask, do you know if it is possible to get a re-entry permit and keep your non-immigrant ED visa if you are in the initial three month period before extending to a year?

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