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BANGKOK 16 June 2019 13:30
ubonjoe

Border Run Alternatives

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SETV Visa Run Report from Vientiane, Laos:  TWO scams to be aware of.

 

As most have heard by now, Thailand recently changed the rules to obtain a visa at the Thai Embassy in Vientiane.  Now you must first make an appointment online in order to visit the embassy.  The online appointment slots are limited and you may only be able to secure an appointment several weeks in the future..... partly due to scam #1....

 

Opportunistic Thai visa agencies are using dozens of bogus email addresses to book up all the appointment slots.  They are then selling these to people that are in a rush and can't wait weeks for their own appointment.  Hopefully the consulate website develops a better way to filter legitimate appointments, but for now, this is artificially inflating the online wait time.  The good news is there are less actual people showing up to the embassy than they expect.  (Most of the online appointments are hoarded by visa agencies but not actually used.) While I cannot be sure, I think you could still apply without an appointment since there aren't as many applicants and the staff will likely have time to see "walk-ins."

 

Scam #2:  When you step off the tuk-tuk, directly in front of the embassy, you will be greeted by someone pretending to be embassy staff.  They will ask for your passport.  I instinctively brushed this guy off, but a guy I met told me that once he handed over his passport, the impersonator told him he had a violation and needed to pay 3,000 baht to get his visa.

 

For anyone planning on picking up a visa in Vientiane, I thoroughly documented the new process here: https://adventureprime.com/how-to-get-a-thai-visa-in-vientiane-laos/

 

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Hello again, question about doing an actual border run without getting a tourist visa. 

 

So if I travel over the border from Thailand to Laos I can go across the border and return the same day and get 30 days that can be extended another 30 correct? 

 

My other question is can I use the Laos border over by Ubon(not Udon) to do this? My gf's hometown is there and she wanted to visit and rent a car and drive over the border. I told her i wasnt sure and had to ask if that border is ok for this.

 

As always thanks for the great info.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, lovesthespicy said:

So if I travel over the border from Thailand to Laos I can go across the border and return the same day and get 30 days that can be extended another 30 correct? 

Yes, yes and yes. This is a visa exempt entry. Remember you are only allowed 2 visa exempt entries BY LAND per calendar year. You only need spend 5 minutes in Laos.

 

For the Ubon border, you can certainly use Chong Mek for your border run. You can certainly take a car over. However, the vast majority of rental companies bar you from taking their car out of the country for obvious reasons. If they do permit you, which is very unlikely, you will require the original log book and a letter of authority from them. It would be much easier to take your own car over.

Edited by Briggsy
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1 hour ago, lovesthespicy said:

Hello again, question about doing an actual border run without getting a tourist visa. 

 

So if I travel over the border from Thailand to Laos I can go across the border and return the same day and get 30 days that can be extended another 30 correct? 

 

My other question is can I use the Laos border over by Ubon(not Udon) to do this? My gf's hometown is there and she wanted to visit and rent a car and drive over the border. I told her i wasnt sure and had to ask if that border is ok for this.

 

As always thanks for the great info.

Just to add to @Briggsy's post, there is probably no real need to take a car across the border. It is easy to walk across, and there is frequent public transport into Pakse if you want to look around the only significant place in the area. I would suggest finding somewhere to park, and avoiding the complications of trying to bring the car into Laos.

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Hey guys one more quick question. Basically, im either going to do a quick border run and stay 2months and go back to the States until next year or was considering grabbing a Tourist visa and heading home after. I dont want to fly through a big airport again so really wanted to stick to the quick and easy option of Laos. 

 

My question is about getting a visa in Savannakhet. My passport has 2 Vientiane TV, then maybe 6 other ones 3 from home, SK, Vietnam, and HK over the past 4 years. Would I be getting the "red stamp" on a first visa from there with so many tourist visas in my passport? Never been there before.

 

Sorry to bother you again. Just weighing my options here GF of course wants me to stay the extra month but I just dont want to be hassled too much so the idea of a border run sounded quick and easy. Obv Vientiane would be ideal but i know my 3rd time is a red stamp there for sure by the sound of things.

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24 minutes ago, lovesthespicy said:

Hey guys one more quick question. Basically, im either going to do a quick border run and stay 2months and go back to the States until next year or was considering grabbing a Tourist visa and heading home after. I dont want to fly through a big airport again so really wanted to stick to the quick and easy option of Laos. 

 

My question is about getting a visa in Savannakhet. My passport has 2 Vientiane TV, then maybe 6 other ones 3 from home, SK, Vietnam, and HK over the past 4 years. Would I be getting the "red stamp" on a first visa from there with so many tourist visas in my passport? Never been there before.

 

Sorry to bother you again. Just weighing my options here GF of course wants me to stay the extra month but I just dont want to be hassled too much so the idea of a border run sounded quick and easy. Obv Vientiane would be ideal but i know my 3rd time is a red stamp there for sure by the sound of things.

If you are in Ubon, and just looking to stay 60 days or less, I think the original idea of a border bounce at Chong Mek for a visa exempt entry (and extension at your local immigration office) may still be simplest. However, long term considerations may make limiting use of visa exempt entries sensible.

 

From Ubon, going to Mukdahan and thence Savannakhet, is easy. Actually, Savannakhet is a much easier journey than Vientiane. I would be very surprised if you encountered a red stamp from your first tourist visa application in Savannakhet. You will need a print out of a recent bank statement (from anywhere) showing a reasonable balance (if less than about US$1,000 they might ask for other supporting documents).

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21 hours ago, BritTim said:

If you are in Ubon, and just looking to stay 60 days or less, I think the original idea of a border bounce at Chong Mek for a visa exempt entry (and extension at your local immigration office) may still be simplest. However, long term considerations may make limiting use of visa exempt entries sensible.

 

From Ubon, going to Mukdahan and thence Savannakhet, is easy. Actually, Savannakhet is a much easier journey than Vientiane. I would be very surprised if you encountered a red stamp from your first tourist visa application in Savannakhet. You will need a print out of a recent bank statement (from anywhere) showing a reasonable balance (if less than about US$1,000 they might ask for other supporting documents).

Yeah originally i was planning just to do the border run. GF wants me to stay longer for her Bday in Sept. My concern with Savannakhet is just getting a red stamp due to me having a passport full of TV. Getting a new US passport in the states can be a pain in the ass esp since I dont even have legit reason id have to like stain my passport or something to get one. 

 

Anyways think im going to seriously consider trying out Savan for a TV. Thanks for the good advice always appreciated. 

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16 minutes ago, lovesthespicy said:

Yeah originally i was planning just to do the border run. GF wants me to stay longer for her Bday in Sept. My concern with Savannakhet is just getting a red stamp due to me having a passport full of TV. Getting a new US passport in the states can be a pain in the ass esp since I dont even have legit reason id have to like stain my passport or something to get one. 

Savannakhet just refuses a application. They do not do a stamp on the visa.

If you can meet their requirements they will normally issue one. Show at least the equivalent of 20k baht in a bank account and ticket out of the country and they will issue the visa.

No problem to get a new passport. If you are willing to pay the fee for new one they will issue a new one without any questions asked or a problem. People have even applied for one because they did not like the photo on it.

 

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34 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

Savannakhet just refuses a application. They do not do a stamp on the visa.

If you can meet their requirements they will normally issue one. Show at least the equivalent of 20k baht in a bank account and ticket out of the country and they will issue the visa.

No problem to get a new passport. If you are willing to pay the fee for new one they will issue a new one without any questions asked or a problem. People have even applied for one because they did not like the photo on it.

 

Thats good to know. I guess i could use the photo as my reasoning lol. Thanks Joe!

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Out of interest reading something on this thread threw up a question - If you are on a 12 month marriage METV - do you have to wait for that one to expire before applying for another one ? Or could you say 8 months in apply for another one which then starts at the end of your first one so giving you 16 months - or would the second one (assuming you could apply for a second when the first was still live) cancel out the first so the 12 months just starts again at that point (I hope that made sense)

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3 hours ago, Benroon said:

12 month marriage METV

There is no such visa. Are you referring to a Multi-entry Non-immigrant O visa issued due to marriage to a Thai spouse? Or are you referring to a Multi-entry Tourist Visa which is valid for 6 months?

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3 hours ago, Benroon said:

Out of interest reading something on this thread threw up a question - If you are on a 12 month marriage METV - do you have to wait for that one to expire before applying for another one ? Or could you say 8 months in apply for another one which then starts at the end of your first one so giving you 16 months - or would the second one (assuming you could apply for a second when the first was still live) cancel out the first so the 12 months just starts again at that point (I hope that made sense)

You can only have one valid Thai visa in your passport at a time. If you have a multiple entry Non O based on marriage that has not expired, the consulate will ask why you want to replace it. If you give them a good reason, they will cancel the old visa and issue you a new one, which as usual expires 12 months after its issue date. Visas and permissions to stay in Thailand operate completely differently. Visas are never "extended". You always apply for a new visa.

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12 hours ago, BritTim said:

You can only have one valid Thai visa in your passport at a time. If you have a multiple entry Non O based on marriage that has not expired, the consulate will ask why you want to replace it. If you give them a good reason, they will cancel the old visa and issue you a new one, which as usual expires 12 months after its issue date. Visas and permissions to stay in Thailand operate completely differently. Visas are never "extended". You always apply for a new visa.

Thanks for the concise answer - is 'because my timing is <deleted> and I would like another one to start 4 months before my old one expires fly' ? 

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13 hours ago, Briggsy said:

There is no such visa. Are you referring to a Multi-entry Non-immigrant O visa issued due to marriage to a Thai spouse? Or are you referring to a Multi-entry Tourist Visa which is valid for 6 months?

The former 

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1 hour ago, Benroon said:

The former 

Thank you.

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