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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Planning to arrive in Thailand next week and will be staying 4 months. My Thai wife and I both have double entry Tourist visas. We plan to cross into Laos at Nong Khai after staying in Thailand for first 60 days. We are just going to Laos to start the second half of the double entry visa. Now, I've never been on a visa run before and wonder if someone could explain what I'm likely to encounter. We don't plan to stay in Laos, just go there to allow our stay in Thailand for another 60 days. We both are using US passports. I have been to Thailand many times but never had to do a visa run before. Any tips would be welcome. Thanks
 

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I crossed over Nong Khai and on to Vientiane in May.
What you're likely to encounter - no problems, just a long wait (take water); get your Laos visa there,
Doesn’t pay to be in a hurry. We arrived at 4.30am and joined the queue of people already waiting for the Thai Immigration to open at 5.30am. Very slow process of getting visa for Laos; then a bus across the Mekong to the Laos border checkpoint, more delays and finally on the bus to Vientiane at 9.20am - almost five hours.
Maybe arriving later in the day is a better idea, early morning there was a huge queue of trucks, people, already when we arrived on overnight bus.
On the way back (a Friday afternoon), arrived 1pm and was on the Thai side 2.50pm.

Since you're already there . . . Vientiane's a nice relaxed place to spend a couple of days.

As you already have a Double Entry Tourist Visa, you have that part sorted, but for anyone else referring to this thread, another option for a four month stay for a US passport (and any G7 country USA, UK, Spain, Germany, Poland, Italy, Canada) would now be a Single Entry Tourist Visa as follows:

SE TV = 60 days
Extension at any Thai Immigration regional office (not border) = 30 days (fee 1900 baht)
Crossing at any land border = 30 days for passport holders from G7 countries (listed above), remains at 15 days for others​


At the border
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Song_Si
Thanks for your reply.
Maybe I need to explain what I'm trying to do better. My ONLY purpose of doing the border run is to extend my stay in Thailand. Do I need to get a VISA for Laos just to start the 2nd half of my trip in Thailand? I did not plan to go into Vientiane. I got the impression from this forum that in order to stay in Thailand for 4 months that I should obtain a double entry tourist visa, run up to the border at the end of the first 2 months and then when I cross back into Thailand that the second entry would start. As I am relying on my wife's family to take us to Nong Khai, I was hoping we could just take the bus across the bridge to Laos, and then cross back into Thailand with minimal delay. Sure, I realize there might be some bureaucratic process involved but it would be easier on the family if we could do the back and forth quickly. Is this possible?
 

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Hi
You still need a visa for Laos, just as I do for a 5min there-and-back crossing into Cambodia which is nearest border to where we're living.
You're exiting Thailand/entering another country therefore must have valid permit or visa for, in your case, Laos. For your trouble, and fee, you'll get a full-page Lao PDR permit, plus numerous stamps - passport-fillers.
The border crossing there is not as simple as the ones we have locally, and of course far busier. The process is the same (I have to pay for a Cambodia visa for my 5min visit), just more time-consuming. I can only speak from my own exp (two trips to Vientiane) both times I've struck busy times and faced significant waiting time.

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The change to the land border crossings (to 30 days for G7 countries) took effect from 1 November 2013, but was not pre-publicised in any way. First I saw it mentioned was 6 November.
 

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Song_Si:

Hi.

From the new info you have provided above, I am a little confused... Maybe it is because my silly brain has had some old or wrong info for so long.

My husband is coming to Thailand this Christmas. About time, too; the nosey villagers start to think that we have split. LOL. His stay is likely to be under 30 days but there is a tiny chance that it could be more. He is English and plans to come without any visa. If many extra days are needed, crossing any land border will give him 30 not 15 days extra then?

Thanks so much in advance. Take care!
 

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Hi

Yes - since 1 November 30 days from a land crossing for a UK passport holder

This will have a significant impact on the companies doing border runs - many an old Brit pensioner has been doing fortnightly trips as they don't have the 800,000 requirement for retirement purposes, now they'll only need to travel once a month.

____________________

Citizens of G7 Countries Offered 30 Days at Land Borders
Nov 13, 2013

CityNews – From the 1st November 2013, a new change came into effect ordered by the Royal Thai Immigration Office. The change will see passport holders from one of the G7 countries receiving 30 days permission to stay in Thailand when entering the country by land. Previously, they would receive 15 days by land, and the usual 30 when entering by air.

The G7 countries are: UK, USA, Japan, Germany, France, Canada and Italy. Other countries whose citizens normally receive 30 days upon entry by land are: Mongolia, Laos, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau, and Russia.

You can see the updated visa rules here:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for letting me know about the Lao visa requirement. After you mentioned it, I remembered that my wife had to do 2 border runs back in 2010. I opened her old passport and noticed that she had 2 Lao visas in it. I originally thought they were Thai visas. Then she explained that she had gotten the visas on an extended trip to Thailand. I did not go with her that year. Lakerman.
 

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I arrived at the bridge around 4 PM on a Saturday and made it across into Laos in about 30 minutes. Walked up, got the form and filled it out and turned it in; waited about 10-15 min., got my Laotian visa for 35$ + $1 to cross bridge; paid 20 B for bus and was across in 5 min. Next came the tuk-tuk and taxi game...in 10 min got a van w/ac for 150B( think the guy wanted to head home) down from 300B. Border to Vientiane in about an hour. Pop pop pop...guess I got lucky :D
 

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Not sure if you can still do this, but about six years ago you could cross the Friendship Bridge at the Thai/ Myanmar border in Mai Sai, I think it is, and pay 5 USD to Myanmar for the day and come back to do what you need at the Thai checkpoint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone. As I am staying near Nongbualamphu, the Friendship Bridge at Nongkai is probably my best option.
 
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