How to Extend a Non-Immigrant ED Visa at Chiang Mai Immigration (Airport)

There’s much confusion about what’s going on at Thai immigration offices. Just recently, Chiang Mai Immigration has moved (back) from Promenada Mall to the old location near the CNX airport, with a new queuing system.

As I haven’t found any recent information on the web myself, I’m going to tell you my story today (this was actually today, Monday, November 19th of 2018 at the “new” immigration office).

Show up early

Be aware that extending a Non-Immigrant / long stay visa is different from extending a tourist visa (e.g. SETV or visa exemption). You will get a different queue and you will need to provide more documentation.

Rumor has it that people start queuing at 5 o’clock.

I showed up about 7:45, walked up to the information counter right inside the main entrance and handed my stack of documents to the guy in the brown uniform. He did a quick check, stapled the documents together, and handed them back to me, along with queue number E34.

Anyway, I got number E34 and my number was called at about 11:30 – almost four hours later. I was able to run some errands in the meantime, so no biggie.

There is a QR-code printed on the queue ticket which purportedly lets you check the queue status online – however it didn’t work when I tried it (I got some error message on the website).

Have all your documents ready

The following documentation is needed to extend a Non-Immigrant ED visa at Chiang Mai Immigration:

  1. TM.7 Application Form (download), filled in and with
  2. A photo of you, 4x6cm
  3. Copies of all relevant pages of your passport, namely
    1. The picture / data page
    2. The last entry stamp
    3. The TM.6 departure card
    4. The current visa (which is to be extended)
  4. A copy of your TM.30 receipt*
  5. Documentation from your school (this is usually prepared by your school)
    1. A letter requesting to extend your visa
    2. Some form of proof that you are attending, for instance an assessment form signed and stamped by the university
    3. Some form of proof confirming your identity – (CMU had a letter with my  passport photo and signature on it, stamped and signed by the University)
    4. Two forms with declarations about the reason for extending and confirmation that overstay and working is illegal, etc.

Sign all copies. Also, you will have to pay 1900 Baht so have them ready.

*Note that they will ask for a current TM.30 receipt. Your landlord needs to register you at immigration within 48 hours of you entering Thailand – every time you leave the country and come back you have to renew this, which I didn’t know at first.

You don’t need the TM.30 receipt for extending a tourist visa (at least I didn’t need one back at Promenada Mall), but for the ED visa it appears to be mandatory – there even are signs posted outside the immigration office, stating that you absolutely need a TM.30.

Wait

So at 11:30 I was called to the counter and handed in my documents, which were complete and sufficient. I guess when you wait four hours and don’t have sufficient documentation, you’re out of luck. The guy who gave me the queue number didn’t spend much time checking them.

Now the guy at counter 7 did a thorough check of my documents and passport, and hammered an estimated 15 to 30 stamps onto them. Then asked me to take a picture at the next counter.

After my picture was taken, I was asked to sit down and wait. After another 45 minutes of waiting, my name was called via the intercom and I got my passport with the extended visa.

I hope that helps someone 🙂

 

 

(Fine) Dining in Tokyo

Just recently I returned from my first trip to Tokyo, Japan. Having heard about Japanese culture, part of which often seems quirky to the average central European, I was curious of what we would encounter.

And I was not disappointed at all. We saw grown up men in business suits cheering for Japanese Idol groups – dancing, waving with banners and glow sticks. We saw gigantic pagodas, Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and neat gardens. And we saw ASIMOPachinko parlors and Maid Cafés.

But what I liked most was the food. We had Michelin-starred Ramen at Tsuta, a small noodle restaurant hidden between residential buildings – a waiting queue of people was tucked away in an entrance around the corner. We ate Sushi at Uobei Shibuya Dogenzaka, a fully automated Sushi restaurant – well, the food is still prepared by human cooks, but you order on a touchscreen and the food is delivered within minutes on two small rail systems which pass by your table in front of you.

One of the highlights was eating Sushi at Yasuda – a small restaurant and bit on the expensive end (we spent about 16’000 ¥ per person, that’s roughly 130 €). The restaurant can seat about 10 people at the counter surrounding the chef, Naomichi Yasuda. There, we ordered “Omakase” which basically means the chef is going to select the food for you. The chef would then prepare each individual piece of Sushi, while engaging in conversation with the guests. It was entertaining and the Sushi was great.

On the last evening of our stay, we visited Omoide Yokocho, also known as Piss Alley, a narrow alley in Nishi-Shinjuku crammed with bars and small restaurants. A very unique spot to enjoy a whole evening of eating and drinking.

At the open-air rooftop of one of the bars, we met two Lufthansa airplane crews – apparently this specific bar is a favorite hangout for them when they spend a night or two in Tokyo between flights. We chatted with 747 pilots and stewardesses.