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BANGKOK 19 June 2019 06:20
ThaiRebound

METV confusion, not helped by immigration office

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Hi All,

 

I have an METV from US valid until Sep. 24, 2019. My assumption, based on (poor?) memory, was that I could extend 30 days at the 60-day mark at the Immigration Office (Udon Thani). Following the 30 expiry, I could cross over and back at border (Vientienne), receiving another 60 days, which I could extend for another 30 days at Immig Offc UD again.

 

 

I was told at Immigration Office by one of the long-time staff workers (immigration officer, maybe) that, because 9/24 was the latest I could stay, I should go to Laos at the 60 day mark to renew for the second 60-day set to start. That would place the validity of visa until the very end of July. I am very confused right now. Confused about my understanding of how the visa works and how to proceed. Kindly disabuse me of my ignorance and set me straight as to proper course of action if longest possible stay in Thailand is the goal. 

 

 

Incidentally, I also have a naughtiness-stamp in my passport from my prior cross back into the Kingdom before I'd returned to US to obtain METV. Could that have any impact on anything, and, if so, likelihood?

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Much thanks,

TR

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I think the immigration official was suggesting it made sense to do more border runs rather than getting extensions all the time. Depending on how easy it is for you to do a border run, the official might be right. You can do as many border runs as you like up until Sep 24, 2019, receiving a fresh 60-day stay each time. To maximise use of the visa, you probably want to do the last border run around Sep 23, 2019 and (with your visa then expired) extend the last 60-day entry for a further 30 days in Nov 2019. If you prefer to do extensions, there is absolutely no official reason why you cannot, but the immigration officials might be irritated that you are making them work when you have an alternative.

 

The stamp from the Vientiane embassy makes absolutely no difference to either border hops or extensions.

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How many entering and exiting airline tickets did you have to show when applying for that visa in the USA?

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Posted (edited)

had arrangements for both to show them but the ticket to return to US had been cancelled prior showing it. 

Edited by ThaiRebound

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 At the embassy in LA, I usually show a cheapy flight to Malaysia on or a little before the  59th day! I only secure one .I was told one flight out would be sufficient 

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Hi BritTim, I don't understand how it could be easier to do border run than extension. Extension is in-town, and crossover is both more time consuming and requiring more financial cost. 

 

My question is whether I can do extension at immigration (30), then do border crossover and back (60). That would leave me until the end of August, and then I could do a 30 day extension again? 

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8 minutes ago, ThaiRebound said:

My question is whether I can do extension at immigration (30), then do border crossover and back (60). That would leave me until the end of August, and then I could do a 30 day extension again? 

You can do that if you want to. There is no rule that says you cannot do it.

Then you could do a border hop for another 60 day entry as long as you do it on or before September 24th. And then another 30 day extension.

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36 minutes ago, ThaiRebound said:

Hi BritTim, I don't understand how it could be easier to do border run than extension. Extension is in-town, and crossover is both more time consuming and requiring more financial cost. 

It depends on where you live. From some parts of Bangkok, a border bounce to Ban Phu Nam Ron (which, remember, gives you 60 days) works out slightly cheaper than an extension (giving 30 days) and going to Chaengwattana immigration is a hassle, saving only a few hours.

 

From where you live, fewer border bounces may be justified by more visits to the immigration office. I do not know your location, so have no way of knowing.

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21 minutes ago, BritTim said:

I do not know your location, so have no way of knowing.

He mentioned Udon Thani immigration in the OP. Not exactly a very busy office.

It also means he would be doing the border hop at Nong Khai to Laos. The VOA for Laos and transport to there could easily exceed 1900 baht.

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UJ, Thanks for the clarification. Can you please help sort out a/the strategy here? 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, ThaiRebound said:

Can you please help sort out a/the strategy here? 

As I wrote in a earlier post there is no rule that states you cannot apply for the 30 day extension.

Just continue with your plans.

Then do the last entry your visa allows on or before September 24 then extend that 60 days for another 30 days.

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6 hours ago, ubonjoe said:

He mentioned Udon Thani immigration in the OP. Not exactly a very busy office.

It also means he would be doing the border hop at Nong Khai to Laos. The VOA for Laos and transport to there could easily exceed 1900 baht.

Yes, that is true, especially if he does not have US dollars for the VOA and needs to foot the penalty for paying in baht. Transport costs to the Friendship bridge at Nong Khai can vary a lot depending on exactly where he is, as can transport costs to Udon Thani immigration. I am pretty sure one border hop would be cheaper than two extensions (both cumulatively amounting to 60 days) but he also needs to consider what works best to be making the final border hop around Sep 23. If he has a permission to stay ending late August, it may well be that an extension would be more sensible than a border hop because you would only need 30 days.

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UJ, just to confirm I understand correctly, you suggest: 

 

1. extend for 30 at UT Immigration

2. cross over and back before that expires (providing and additional 60 days)

3. then extend 30 at UT immigration again (possible if August 27th or so?)

If 3 is not an option, can I safely get 30 day under visa exemption returning from Laos?  

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18 hours ago, fhickson said:

How many entering and exiting airline tickets did you have to show when applying for that visa in the USA?

I just did a SETV from KL, with a return ticket 88 days from fly in. No problems. Have also been told of travel agents issuing issuing fake ticket printouts for B100 (I'm assuming they make a booking and then cancel) which embassy/consulates accept as they simply don't have time/resources to check every ticket presented.

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Posted (edited)

 

2 hours ago, ThaiRebound said:

UJ, just to confirm I understand correctly, you suggest: 

 

1. extend for 30 at UT Immigration

2. cross over and back before that expires (providing and additional 60 days)

3. then extend 30 at UT immigration again (possible if August 27th or so?)

If 3 is not an option, can I safely get 30 day under visa exemption returning from Laos?  

If i were you id simply hop a border every 60 days. Visiting immigration is typically a whole day deal, and you feel drained afterwards.

 

I learned to like the border hop and would even stay the night in a neighboring country and look around.

 

Thats why your here right? Not to save 1000 baht.

 

Dont do the mini van thing where they rush you through though. Slow independent travel using bus or train is the way to go.

Edited by fhickson

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