A Re-entry Permit is like a special permission slip for people from other countries who are living in or visiting Thailand. It lets them leave Thailand for a little while, and then come back, without any trouble with their visa. Think of it like a hall pass that you might get in school, but for going in and out of the country.
If you have a multiple-entry visa (METV), you do not need a re-entry permit! A re-entry permit is only required if you’re single-entry visa. (If you’re not sure whether you have a multi-entry or single-entry visa, then you most likely have a single-entry visa, since that’s what the Thai immigration department issues in most cases, and the multi-entry visa typically only gets issued on request and for an extra fee.)
Importance of Re-entry Permits
Keeping Your Visa Valid
A Re-entry Permit is important because it protects your visa. Without it, if you leave Thailand, you might might lose your visa. It’s like having a ticket for a round-trip instead of just one-way.
Where to Apply
At the airport: If you’re leaving Thailand by plane from Suvarnabhumi airport you can also apply for a re-entry permit directly at the airport. This saves you hours of time compared to doing it at the immigration office. They can also take passport photos required for the permit directly there. It typically takes about 30 minutes to process altogether.
The counter for getting a re-entry permit is located directly in front of the Passport control. (So you enter the airport, check in, go to the international departures area where they check your boarding pass and passport, go through the security screening, and then there’s the passport check area where an immigration officer will check your passport and visa. On the same floor you can find the counter for re-entry permits. Make sure to get them before having an immigration officer check your passport, since once an immigration officer has stamped that you leave Thailand, you can’t go back and apply for a re-entry permit. If you’re not sure, just ask where to get the re-entry permit.)
The re-entry counter is open 24 hours, 7 days a week, including public holidays.
(Don Mueng airport, Phuket airport, and Chiang Mai airport also have re-entry counters.)
MRT Sam Yan, Bangkok One-Stop Service Center: The Bangkok BOI One-Stop Service Center is located at Chamchuri Square, Floor No. 18, 319 Phaya Thai Rd., Patumwan. The building is located next to MRT Sam Yan subway station. Immigration offices are open from Monday to Friday (except on public holidays) from 8:30 am 12 am, and 1pm to 4:30 pm.
Bangkok Immigration: To get a Re-entry Permit, you’ll can to visit an immigration office in Thailand, the biggest one being the Bangkok immigration office at Chaengwattana Road. Be aware that if you’re in central Bangkok, it typically takes an 40 minutes to an hour to get there by car, and longer if you get caught up in traffic.
Documents Needed: Passport, Visa and Photos
When you go to apply, be sure to bring your passport, your visa, some recent passport photos of yourself. Just like when you go on a school trip, you need to have the right paperwork and enough pocket money.
Single re-entry: 1,000 Baht
Multiple-re-entry: 3,800 Baht
If you apply for you re-entry visa at the airport, there’s a 200 Baht surcharge (so 1,200 or 4,000 Baht depending on your type of permit)