How to Extend Your Thailand Tourist Visa at Krabi Immigration Office

Before travelling to Thailand from the UK we applied online for a 60 day visa. However, since we were staying longer we needed to extend our visa. While you may be able to extend your visa online in places like Bangkok and Chiang Mai, in most of Thailand you have to go in person to an Immigration Office.

Since we are from the UK we followed the guidelines for our country. The process and paperwork required are more or less the same for all tourists visiting Thailand. However, it would be sensible to double-check the procedure for your country.

The outside of Krabi Immigration Office, Thailand
The exterior of Krabi Immigration Office

What Paperwork Do You Need?

To extend your visa the Immigration Office require certain information. If you can it is best to photocopy or print out everything you need before you go. If you are staying in a hotel or resort they might be able to do this for you.

We went to a print shop where they did everything. We were on Koh Lanta and we used the Kodak Express print shop on the right hand side of the road just before Sala Dan. It is next door to Tida Bakery, just past Achan Massage and the Lanta Cinema and before you get to the Lanta Muay Thai Complex. They took our photos, printed out our visas, boarding passes and accommodation details and photocopied our passports for under 100 Baht.

If you don’t have everything you need the Krabi Immigration Office can photocopy paperwork for you. The charge seemed to be 100 Baht (in March 2024). This isn’t too expensive but it was much cheaper to use the shop.

This is what you need to extend your tourist visa:

  • A photocopy of the main page of your passport
  • A photocopy of the visa stamp in your passport when you entered the country
  • A copy or print out of your Thailand Tourist Visa
  • The full address & phone number of where you are staying in Thailand
  • Details of how you are leaving Thailand
  • Your UK phone number
  • 1 recent passport photo (4 x 6 cm)
  • 1,900 Baht

You can print out the application form and fill it in if you choose but this is unnecessary as they fill it in for you directly on the computer at the Krabi office. The form you need is the Application for Extension of Temporary Stay in the Kingdom (form TM.7). You could print and photocopy everything you need in the UK before you leave except for the photocopy of your visa stamp. When you photocopy your passport you need to ensure it is clear and readable and all of the passport is copied.

What Happens When You Arrive at Krabi Immigration Office?

The Krabi Immigration Office is on the outskirts of the town in the south near the Klong Jilad Ferry Pier. The Immigration Office is part of a complex of official buildings. There only seems to be offices and buildings in this area and the nearest place to get a drink is about a 15 minute walk.

The ticket machine in Krabi Immigration Office
The ticket machine in Krabi Immigration Office

The entrance to the office is up a flight of stairs but it is clearly marked. Make sure you close the door properly behind you to help the air conditioning keep the room as cool as possible. If you don’t someone will ask you to go back and close it. Walk straight ahead between the seats and you will see a ticket machine to the left of the counter. Take a ticket for each person. In the room there will be several Thais wearing yellow or pink shirts. When we were there they were all women. I got the impression that the ones wearing yellow shirts were there to translate while the ones in pink handled paperwork. They will speak to you to check you have all the information you require. They will organise any photocopying you need and give you paper and a pen to write out any details you may only have on your phone.

There is an electronic sign to display the next number to be served. When we were there the sign was not being used. Instead, one of the women would call out the number. You had to pay attention as they didn’t shout loudly and they only waited for a minute before moving on to the next number. If you find you have missed your turn they may try to slot you into the queue but they could tell you to take a new number.

The Krabi Immigration Office is not large and it has limited seating. On the left of the main entrance door there were two rows of four seats and on the right there were three rows of four seats. It is an L-shaped room and round the corner on the left there were another two rows of four seats. It was very busy when we were there so they brought out extra seats.

There were two air conditioning units, one to the right of the main entrance and one around the corner at the far end. They also had a large floor fan in the middle of the room. It was very warm in the room and the seats were not very comfortable. Some people went outside to wait. However this meant they had to guess when their turn was due and we saw several people miss their slot.

When your number is called you are directed to sit in one of a line of three chairs in front of the windows. They will call you forward one at a time but if you are a family or a couple with the same information they didn’t mind you all going to the counter together.

There was a man sitting on the right who took all our paperwork and started entering information into a computer. At one point you had to look at a camera to have a photo taken. Just like a passport photo you had to take off any glasses or hats and not smile. As he finished with our information the man passed the paperwork along to the woman to his left. She took the 1,900 Baht fee (cash only) and showed us where to sign on the form. The visa extension is a sheet of paper, not a stamp in your passport, that you must show when you leave Thailand.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Visa Extension at the Krabi Immigration Office?

It took about five minutes for both of us to be processed. There was a man in front of us travelling solo and it took less than three minutes for him. We had all our information printed and ready. Other people who didn’t have everything prepared took longer.

We had to wait for over an hour for our turn. We took our tickets when we arrived at the office at 10:20 am and we left with our visa extensions at 11:40 am. Apparently the office was unusually busy that morning but it would be advisable to allow plenty of time. We have heard that the typical waiting time is 20 to 30 minutes. The wait time on our ticket was 70 minutes which was about right.

Numbered tickets for your slot to extend your visa in Krabi Immigration Office
Numbered tickets, Krabi Immigration Office

Our ticket numbers were 71 and 72. They were calling numbers in the low 40s when we arrived. However, a lot of people were not responding when their numbers were called. There were also a couple of big family groups ahead of us who had five or six tickets but were all processed together. The man sat next to me had ticket number 133 and he wasn’t sure he was going to be seen that day.

The couple behind us were the last ones to be processed before the office closed for lunch from 12 to 1 pm. Their number was called at 11:30 am. We have heard of people arriving at 4 pm and not being allowed in.

What Facilities Are There at the Krabi Immigration Office?

As we have already mentioned, there is air conditioning and limited seating. As well as the main entrance there is another entrance on the left with a ramp for wheelchairs and pushchairs. There is a car park just past the office on the left.

There are toilets, including one with disabled facilities, at the far end of the room round the corner. There is also a water cooler. In front of the rows of seats round the corner there was a table with paper and pens. If you need anything photocopying you don’t do this yourself but instead you give your documents to one of the staff.

When Should You Apply For an Extension to Your Thai Tourist Visa?

You must apply for your visa extension before your entry visa runs out. If not, you will be charged 500 Baht a day (up to a maximum of 20,000 Baht) and you could be banned from re-entering Thailand for a year or more.

You can apply to extend your visa at any time within the original time frame. The 30 day extension is added on to your visa from the date your tourist visa ran out. It is not 30 days from the date you applied for the extension.

The Krabi Immigration Office’s usual opening times are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday. The earlier you get there the higher your chances of definitely getting your visa are. Don’t forget to check for national holidays. For example, the office was closed on 26th February 2024 for Makha Bucha. We had originally planned to go into Krabi to renew our visas on that Monday but thankfully we realised the office would be closed and we went on the Tuesday instead. We did wonder if the reason it was so busy was because the office had been closed the previous day.

People waiting in Krabi Immigration Office, Thailand
People waiting in Krabi Immigration Office, Thailand

Tips For Visiting the Krabi Immigration Office

Getting your visa extension is a straightforward task. The staff at the Immigration Office do everything they can to make sure you have everything you need. However they can refuse to process your application. These are our tips based on our personal experience and hearing how other people got on.

  • Get everything printed and photocopied before you go
  • Get there as early as possible
  • Take water or something to drink
  • Be polite, respectful and patient
  • Dress appropriately ie shoulders covered, shorts/skirts to your knees etc
  • Close the door behind you!
  • Stay in the office so you don’t miss your number being called
  • Check with the very helpful staff you have all the necessary information
  • Make sure you have enough cash for the 1,900 fee plus extra in case you need anything photocopying or printed
  • Double check opening times and national holidays before you go

How to Get to Krabi Immigration Office

The Krabi Immigration Office is located in Sai Thai, which is a district on the outskirts of Krabi Town. As it is south of Krabi Town near the coast you will have to go through the town to get to it. That is unless you are arriving at the Klong Jilad Ferry Pier in which case it is a five minute taxi ride.

From Krabi Town

It is approximately 4 to 5 kilometers from the centre of Krabi Town to the Immigration Office. The travel time by road can vary depending on the mode of transportation and traffic conditions, but it generally takes around 10 to 15 minutes. Taxis, songthaews, and tuk-tuk are readily available. If you are driving yourself in a car or riding a scooter it would probably be best to go around Krabi Town centre if possible as it can be very busy. If you are coming from the airport allow a minimum of 30 minutes, preferably longer, for the journey.

From Phi Phi Islands

The nearest Immigration Offices to the Phi Phi Islands are in Krabo or Phuket. If you choose the Krabi office you will need to take a ferry or speedboat to the main land. You will arrive at either Krabi Pier (Klong Jilad Pier) or Ao Nang (Nopparat Thara Pier), depending on the service you choose. It should take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours for ferries and about an hour for speedboats, depending on weather and sea conditions. From Klong Jilad Pier it is about to about 10 kilometres to the Krabi Immigration Office and the travel time by road is approximately 15-20 minutes. If you arrive in Ao Nang, the distance to the Krabi Immigration Office is about 15-18 kilometres, with a road travel time of around 20-30 minutes. You will need to check the boat schedules and availability in advance, as they can vary seasonally and be affected by weather conditions.

From Railay Beach

Since Railay Beach is accessible only by boat, you will need to catch a longtail boat to either Ao Nang or Krabi Town. Boats run frequently throughout the day, and the journey takes about 10-15 minutes to Ao Nang and a bit longer to Krabi Town. As for the ferry from Phi Phi detailed above, it is about a 20 minute journey by road to the Immigration Office in Krabi from both piers. You can take a taxi, a songthaew, a tuk tuk, or rent a scooter or car.

From Koh Lanta

We were staying on Koh Lanta when we needed to extend our visas so we looked at all the available options. Once you are on the mainland at Hua Hin Pier it is about 80 km by road to the Krabi. In our experience it takes about 90 minutes for this journey in light traffic. However, it usually takes about an hour to get from Sala Dan, across Koh Lanta Noi and then across the sea on the ferry. You need to allow a minimum of 2.5 hours to get from Sala Dan to Krabi. If you are staying further south on Koh Lanta you need to add on the extra travel time.

A shuttle minibus from Koh Lanta waiting outside Krabi Immigration Office
A shuttle minibus from Koh Lanta waiting outside Krabi Immigration Office

By Shuttle

There are always shuttles going to Krabi from Koh Lanta. These are usually minibuses with seats for ten passengers. The typical price seemed to be 500 Baht per person but you may be able to get it cheaper if you want to haggle. The shuttles don’t just go to the Immigration Office but they also go to the bus station, the ferry piers and the airport. You may therefore have several stops before you get to the Immigration Office.

We decided our best option was to take the shuttle. We booked our shuttle through the Phra Ae Apartments. We were picked up in Long Beach at 7:30 am. The minibus was air-conditioned with comfortable seats. There was plenty of legroom except for the front row. We stopped for a break once on the way there and once on the way back.

We left Sala Dan on schedule at 8 am and we were driving off the ferry onto the mainland at 9 am. We stopped once at a bus station in Krabi to drop some people off and arrived at the Krabi Immigration Office at 10:15 am. Our return pick-up time was 12 noon but the minibus was waiting for us at 11:20 am. It was already half full with passengers that had been picked up from the Klong Jilad Pier. If we hadn’t been ready to go there was another pick-up time at 3 pm.

The minibus dropped us off right outside the Immigration Office so we didn’t need to walk or get a taxi. Although we were ready to leave at 11:20, the couple behind us were still being processed. The driver didn’t leave without them but waited for them to finish. He left the engine running so the air conditioning kept his passengers cool while they waited. We departed from Krabi Immigration Office at 11:55 and we back on Koh Lanta Noi by 2:20 and dropped off in Long Beach before 3 pm.

By Private Car

We looked at hiring a private car to take us from Koh Lanta to the Krabi Immigration Office. The best price we were quoted was 2,000 Baht. We considered this as an option as we thought it might be quicker and more comfortable. We also thought we could combine it with a slight detour on the way back to see the Emerald Pool and Hot Springs if we got finished quickly enough. When we mentioned this as an option we would told it would be an extra 1,000 Baht to do that. We therefore decided it wasn’t worth the extra expense.

Drive Yourself

Another option we looked at was to hire a car for a day and drive ourselves. Although it is fairly cheap to hire a car on Koh Lanta they are only for driving on the island. If you are planning on driving on the mainland then it is much more expensive and difficult to find anyone willing to rent you a car.

We already had motorbikes we had hired but just like the cars they were only for driving on the island. In addition, we had travelled down the road from Krabi to Koh Lanta before and we didn’t fancy the idea of trying to ride a motorbike along it. The road from the ferry at Hua Hin Pier is single lane and not very wide until just before you join the main road. The main road is mostly two lanes and wider. However there are lots of lorries, trucks, vans and cars going very fast as well as songthaews, tuk-tuks and motorbikes on the road. The main road goes through several towns where, as usual, you have locals driving the wrong way and pulling out unpredictably. You would also have to negotiate your way through Krabi Town centre. Trying to follow a SatNav or online map while driving a motorbikes is not easy. All in all we didn’t think driving ourselves was a viable option.

By Songthaew

Travelling to Krabi by songthaew seemed to be a popular option. Passengers were dropped off at the ferry on Koh Lanta Noi and crossed as foot passengers. At Hua Hin Pier there were songthaews lined up ready to take people to Krabi. Our experience of songthaews is that they are very uncomfortable and not very fast. We didn’t like the idea of being jostled and jolted for over 3 hours but if you are on a budget it is probably the cheapest way to get to Krabi.

By Ferry

You could choose to take a ferry to Krabi. It is about 3 hours from Sala Dan Pier to Klong Jihad Pier and about another hour to Ao Nang. Speedboats take about 1.5 hours to Krabi and 2 hours to Ao Nang. You need to check which pier you will arrive at as you could land at Chaofar Pier in Krabi. When we looked at the ferry schedules the earliest we would be arriving at the Krabi Immigration Office would be after 11 am.  We were concerned that we might not have time to get our visa extension before the last ferry back to Koh Lanta.

Stay Overnight

The final option we thought about was staying overnight in Krabi. There seemed to be plenty of reasonably priced accommodation available in Krabi Town. Staying the night would mean we wouldn’t have be stressed if the office was busy and would give us the option of going on the second day and arriving as the office was opening. While it seemed like a good option in the end we decided the shuttle was the simplest and most straightforward way to travel from Koh Lanta to the Immigration Office in Krabi.

The inside of Krabi Immigration Office, Thailand
The inside of Krabi Immigration Office, Thailand

How Easy Was It to Extend Our Visas at Krabi Immigration Office?

We found it much easier than we expected to extend our visas. The staff at the Krabi Immigration Office were very helpful and efficient. We found taking the shuttle minibus was an easy, stress free way to get to Krabi and back in one day. It was a long, tiring day and not much fun but it was straightforward to get what we needed done and we were jumping in the sea by 3:30!