Tourist Visa App. - Follow up from Los Angeles Consulate - feedback please
Replies: 19 - Last Post: Jul 24, 2013 12:27 AM Last Post By: PhiMeow
Jul 18, 2013 1:46 PM
Tourist Visa App. - Follow up from Los Angeles Consulate - feedback pleaseHello!
I can't seem to get thaivisa.com's main forum to load, otherwise I'd start there. Anyway, before I try to sort this out via the phone, I was hoping someone could explain what I'm missing here... I am a US citizen and submitted a double-entry tourist visa application to the LA Consulate office and e-mailed to check in regarding the status of my application.
My plan is to be able to stay in Thailand from Oct 7-Jan 7 (with the 60 day stay + 30 day extension), leave the country and travel for a while, and then re-enter and activate the second entry for a stay around Feb-May.
I received the following response
"We received your visa application but did not issue the visa yet because of the date of your travel – October 7, 2013. If we issue the visa now you will have to enter Thailand twice before January 16, 2013, and you stated you intend to be in Thailand for 120 days. If you still want us to issue the visa now, we can."
Is there some kind of timeframe I am missing or am I mis-understanding the process? Does anyone know how long I would have to wait to get the visa I am requesting?
I confused things by stating I on the form I planned on staying 60 + 30 day extension per entry, otherwise I am a little baffled.
I am happy I received a quick response, but I don't want to call and have a discussion until I can get another perspective since I am a little shaky on the requirements, etc.
Thank you so much!
Jul 18, 2013 2:09 PM
1They are talking about the visa validity which is normally 90 days for a single entry and 180 days for a double entry. The validity has nothing to do with the amount of time you can stay in the country but the time the visa can be used to enter the country.
You stated you intend to enter Thailand around february for your second and last entry, which would be past the visa validity date of the 16th of january, which indeed is around 180 days from now (visa validity is calculated based upon the date of issue of the visa.).
In other words, apply for the double entry later, say in september and it will all work out.
Jul 18, 2013 3:35 PM
Jul 18, 2013 4:10 PM
3Thank you so much for explaining!
Well, crap. I thought I understood the visa situation, but obviously there are many intricacies and now I've stumbled onto another one.
I leave for Europe in mid-September so I was hoping to have my passport back sooner than later. I'm sure you understand it's a little nervewracking not having your passport when you are planning a big trip. :)
I could ask for them to hold onto it until mid August, but that would still mean I would need to apply for another double entry in January to be able to come back for Feb-May.
I guess this means that I could come and go from Thailand an extra time without an extension between Oct-Jan (i.e. enter and re-enter 1.5-2 months in and not have to apply for extension or re-entry), right?
Back to basics, since I wasn't planning on this, am I able to apply for another double entry tourist visa while I'm abroad, say before I take off in January, or would I have to keep my stays under 30 days with my visa exemption?
Ugh, oh well, my first real obstacle and I knew everything couldn't go smoothly. :)
Thanks again for helping out a newbie.
Jul 18, 2013 4:39 PM
I wouldn't do that. They probably won't anyway, and there's a good chance it will be mislaid. Get it back, and then follow #1 advice. You could also just get a single entry TV just before you leave US and organise another from a neighbor country once you leave Thailand at the end of your first 90 days. Then you'd certainly have no worries about visa validity date expiring. Or you could apply for single or double entry 60 day TV from the Thai consulate in one of the European countries you plan to visit. Just because you hold a US passport doesn't confine you to applying for a Thai visa only in the US.
Jul 18, 2013 4:58 PM
5I agree, I think I will ask for them to just approve it as is and send me my application back.
I am able to apply for the TV from within Thailand, right? You mentioned going to a neighboring country so I'm wondering if it's just not as easy from within the country or why this is advised.
Regardless, at least I will have my stay OKed through January, right? Woohoo ;)
Jul 18, 2013 6:54 PM
6"I am able to apply for the TV from within Thailand, right?"
Wrong - you cannot apply for a visa from within the country.
You can extend a visa, once, inside the country. A Tourist visa can be extended by 30 days at an immigration office.
A 'visa exemption' (30 or 15 days) can be extended by 7 days.
All extensions cost 1,900 bahts.
Jul 18, 2013 11:06 PM
7The question is when in february you intend to enter Thailand for the second time. Take that date, substract 180 days from that date and you will know the earliest date you can apply for the double entry. Not sure if the LA consulate will "cancel" your current application without costs, but if they do, and if that calculated date is still ways before mid september, you could re-apply for the dobule entry and it will all work out.
Otherwise ask them to change the double to a single (it will save you 50% on your application) , use the single to enter Thailand and stay the 90 days, once in Laos get another single in Vientiane to cover your second entry. In any case, as per #6, tourist visas can not be obtained inside of Thailand. Finally you could indeed just get a double in Europe, remember the visa validity date is calculated based upon the issue date of the visa, if you apply for a visa somewhere in september, the validity will be somewhere in march. Remember the validity only applies to the date you can use it to enter Thailand, so if the validity is somewhere in february, all you need to do is enter the country on or before that date, you can still stay for 60 days and you can still extend your visa for 30 days.
It is also good to know that in general it only takes two days to apply for the visa and get the stamped visa back.
Jul 19, 2013 2:00 AM
8Sounds like your overall best plan is get a single entry <90 days before you'll be in Thailand, then get another one in Vientiane which has the most user-friendly consulate in the region, and issues single or double-entry visas. It only takes two days, apply and pick up in person, 1000 baht per entry.
Jul 19, 2013 4:19 PM
9Thank you for letting me know I cannot apply from within Thailand, I wasn't really planning on this happening, but now that I have to face it, I really appreciate the feedback.
The person I am speaking with at the consulate is very nice, responsive and e-mailed me back.. maybe I'm being too trusting :-) :
"There is no problem to hold the passport and application until closer to your trip to Germany. It will take me one day to issue the visa and mail the passport/visa back to you. So when you would like to have the visa issued, just send me an e-mail or call."
My expected date for my re-entry is really unknown.. I am trying to not plan my trip too much past December so wont have a set plan until I really get there.
I think I'll ask that they send it back to me the second week of August and then I can just plan on entering Thailand again in Feb, and get a re-entry permit if I end up deciding to travel for longer. I don't think I'll regret having as much time in Thailand as possible. I am not sure if I will be staying past April, but wanted to prepare for it, so can leave the country again and use my visa exemption for May.
My consulate contact's e-mail seems to indicate it's good for 120 days - but I'm guessing you can add on the extension into that turnaround for the validity period?
OK - just to make sure I understand fully - visa validity is a different thing than how long my stay is approved for (i.e. 60 days + extension). So if I have them change it to a single entry visa and it was approved today, then I would be able to enter the country for the next 90 days, and once I enter the clock starts on my 60 days. Is that correct?
Thank you as well for the tip regarding Vientiane. I wanted to visit Laos anyway - I've heard it's like Thailand was 15 years ago, so great to have the excuse!
Have a great weekend all!
Edited by: eringraf
Jul 19, 2013 8:22 PM
10Yes - your understanding is correct.
I am not sure about using a re-entry permit - when you leave Thailand your visa normally terminates. I understand that a re-entry permit would allow you to leave without terminating the visa but the clock on the days would continue ticking - ie you cannot use it to extend your stay while you are out of the country.
Jul 20, 2013 1:57 AM
Jul 20, 2013 4:04 AM
Jul 20, 2013 7:54 AM
Jul 23, 2013 3:21 PM
Check out all our reviewed and recommended accommodation and book online.