So I wrote about my long-term Thai visa and then did a follow up about my extension. I figure that while I am freelancing for work and taking Thai classes for a visa I will track EVERY trip I have to take to Chiang Mai’s immigration office. Why? Because it’s A LOT. And even if you get a Thai education visa, it’s not AS simple as you may think.
Feb 2018: Before I left the States, I applied for a 60 day tourist visa at the Portland, OR Thai Consulate. I mailed in my passports, photos, form, and $40. It was easy and I had my passport back within 10 days. Piece of cake.
End of April: Two months later I extended my tourist visa at Chiang Mai immigration and obtained 30 more days. I was toying with the idea of enrolling in Thai language classes so that I could get a student visa and be eligible to stay in Thailand longer.
End of May: Before my 30 day extension was up I secured paperwork from a school I had enrolled in that would give me a visa. I left the country (as everyone needs to because you cannot apply for an ED visa while on a tourist visa) and went to HCMC, Vietnam. I went to the Thai consulate there and applied for my ED visa.
Beginning of June: I came back to Thailand and knew I had three months on my visa so was good to go until the end of August.
End of June: I went back to immigration and applied for a single re-entry permit so that I could go to Malaysia for a few days while Taylor secured his work visa. However, when I came back I never got my TM30 signed (housing form). Apparently every time you come back into the country you need to go back to immigration and state that you still live at the same address.
End of August: Stood in line for 11 hours at immigration to apply for my visa extension and re-entry permit to go to Hong Kong two weeks later.
September 18: After my trip to Hong Kong I needed to get my TM30 (housing proof) signed by immigration to report that I still live in the same house. I did that early on a Tuesday morning. I arrived about an hour before doors opened and stood in the messy queue (not much structure in this one) and was fourth in line. I was out in less than 30 minutes from the time the doors opened a little after 8:30. Each time I come back into the country after a trip I need to do this within a week to not get fined.
One week later: Apply for single re-entry permit to go to Ukraine in early October. (This cannot be done while getting my HK TM30 signed because of timing).
End of October: Go to immigration and get my TM30 signed after returning from Ukraine.
End of November: Another early morning at Promenada immigration Chiang Mai to extend for an additional three months. This time should be better because I know what to expect.
December: Go away for Christmas and New Years so apply for re-entry again.