A common problem for travellers and digital Nomads is running out of time on your Thai Visa. Upon entry to Thailand you can get a free 30 day arrival stamp. If you wish to extend your stay for an additional 30 days you can do so for a fee at an Immigration office.
I’ve been working online for a while on the island of Koh Phangan at a co-working space called Koh Space and as there is a new growing digital Nomad scene on the island, I thought I’d put together a helpful post for those looking at extending your stay for an additional 30 days from the island of Koh Phangan.
The whole process was rather simple
It took only half a day of my time to extend my Thai visa for an additional 30 days from the island of Koh Phangan, there is a little route and step by step guidance to follow, so i’ll lay it out here for you in this blog post.
Travelling from Haad Rin, Koh Phangan
Haad Rin is the most popular area on the island of Koh Phangan and this is where you find most of the resorts and this is where I grabbed my boat to Koh Samui.
There is no immigration office on the island of Koh Phangan so you are required to travel over to the closest island to an immigration office, which is, Koh Samui immigration office, here you can extend your Thai visa for an additional 30 days.
From Haad Rin port you will find the queen transfer ferry, there are 4 services daily.
From Haad Rin Queen Ferry:
The journey takes around 50 minutes to reach Buddha pier on the island of Koh Samui.
Return times to Haad Rin, Koh Phangan:
One way ticket is 200 Baht and you can buy your ticket from the Queen ferry ticket office, both located at the Pier itself.
It’s possible to travel from Koh Phangan, arrive in Koh Samui, get a taxi to the Koh Samui Immigration office and return in one day, there is no need to stay in Koh Samui for the night unless you want to, of course they have a shopping mall and cinema, so you can blend this trip into a few days visit to Koh Samui, the choice is simply up to you.
When you reach Koh Samui from Koh Phangan
From Buddha port you are around 20-30 minute taxi ride away to the Koh Samui immigration office located on the other side of the island in Na Thon.
Try and avoid the first few taxi people, they offered me a rate of 800 Baht one way! Just around the corner, I found a Moped Taxi who offered 400 Baht Return which is not bad for a hour round trip journey. He also offered to wait for me at the immigration office until I was ready to ride me back for no additional cost, this made the journey go a lot smoother specially as you don’t have to waste time renting a moped, can get a guy to drive for you.
Once you’ve reached the Samui immigration office
Opening hours of Samui Immigration office:
Monday to Friday only from 08:30am to 16:30pm
It’s important to note that the Samui immigration office is closed on weekends and Thai public holidays.
This is also important to bear in mind that Mondays and Fridays are always busy to beat the over demand from the weekend.
Many that travel from Koh Phangan also seem to grab the first boat out and can cause a busy rush in the morning.
For the quickest service, this is normally around Tuesdays-Thursdays after lunch around 15:00. It took me a total of 40 minutes from filling in my application to getting my passport back with a stamp.
Koh Samui immigration office is also closed for Lunch between 12:00pm-13:00pm.
The process can take between 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the demand and how busy it is, its really pot luck.
Getting your application in order before you arrive
You can speed up your Koh Samui immigration office visit by having all your documents in place.
You will need:
1 x Passport, with 2 – passport page spots and 6 months validity.
1 x Standard size passport photo (you can print your own to save cash or there is a photo shop around the corner from the Koh Samui immigration office)
1 x Visa extension application form (They have printed out copies there for you)
1 x photocopy of your passport (They can photocopy for you at 10 Baht per paper)
1 x photocopy of your immigration card that you got on arrival
1 x photocopy of your Thai visa entry stamp with clear date.
1 x 1,900 Baht in cash
Once you’ve paid, handed in your documents, you will be handed a number, then you will have to wait, depending on how many are in front of you this can take an hour to even two, three hours, it all depends on the demand.
You will want to keep an eye on the passport tray at the front of the office, this is where complete passports go when they are ready, your number is attached to the passport, when it’s ready you swap it over and you’re all done.
At this stage just double check that all your dates are in order and you’re all set to go.
Hopefully by now your Taxi is waiting for you, then you can return to Budha pier and grab the last boat back to Had Rin.
Just next to Budha pier are many great spots to grab a bite to eat and watch the sun set over the beach as you wait for your boat to pull in, who said getting a visa extension was difficult hey!
I’ve also put together a helful video with the same information
Thank you for reading my blog post and I hope you found it useful. Koh Phangan is a great place for digital Nomads to call a home base for a while, with an easy method of extending your 30 day entry visa for an additional 30 day visa extention you simply have nothing to lose, come on over and live on this lovely paradise island!