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Staying in Thailand

By Val Ellis last modified Jul 20, 2008 12:16 PM

Published: 2008-07-20 12:16:32
Countries: Thailand

Normal Immigration rule:

Within a 6 months period most nationalities can stay in Thailand for up to 90 days on renewable 1 month Visas (VOA) but to stay any longer must obtain a tourist Visa from a consulate so, 3 months on a tourist Visa, 3 months doing 1 month visa runs (OR get another tourist visa).

Every 6 months the cycle starts again, ad infinitum. Basically, they just want people to report to a consulate every 6 months, minimum.

On clearing in at Ao Chalong you will see Immigration, customs and Harbour Master. Officially open everyday 9.00 to 15:00. Overtime applies on Sat, Sun & holidays. I am not sure of present costs. (I am not sure if present rules state you must anchor 1st in Chalong. 99% of our customers come here 1st. (you can always have engine troubles!)

IF anyone arrives with a pre arranged Tourist Visa, from a consulate, then that visa is honored on arrival i.e. 60 days on arrival plus a 30 day extension option for 1,900 THB in Phuket Town Immigration. Captain/crew do not need to lay a bond if you arrive with a tourist visa.

IF you get a Visa On Arrival captain & crew get 30 days only, unless medical issues are proven. Passengers get 30 days extendable in Phuket Town Immigration for 1,900 THB.

The ONLY way for captain & Crew with VOA to stay longer is for them to lay 20,000 THB cash Bond/person @ Phuket Town Immigration. Proof of departure must be shown to lay the bond Leave the country on visa run/plane/car/bus. On return to Thailand you will automatically get stamped as a tourist so normal rules now apply. After 2 weeks the bond can be reclaimed as you are now a tourist.

The bond only applies when you enter as a captain/crew of a boat & is absolved once you are a tourist. The same bond cannot be re-used so there is no point leaving it with them. It will be returned as a cash cheque.

Immigration in Town open Monday to Friday only. Always allow a couple of days with this office as invariably one of the signatories are not available.

Additional Info:

A tourist visa is generally single entry. If you wish to leave prior to full use of visa you can get a re-entry stamp in Phuket Town. This is valid 1 month and allows you to leave & return on the same visa, where you left off. The tourist visa and VOA can be mixed i.e. you can do 1 month VOA, get a 2 + 1 tourist visa, then do 2 more VOA's. VOA's are counted by days so can be multiple entry, with a maximum total usage of 90 days.


All are entitled to 6 months on arrival. You can ask for longer, some are lucky. This is extendable a further 6 months, normally with a letter from a yard/marina If you have a letter from a marine facility & proof you are staying there, you are entitled to 1 year on arrival.

It is unofficially possible for boats to stay atleast 2 years with the right documentation and a small fee.

The "anchoring fee" in Ao Chalong is not active to our knowledge. It is advisable anyone coming to Thai Waters checks for up dates closer to arrival. When "new rules" crop up they are generally locally generated and advice can be given as to how to "handle" them. They normally start at the beginning of high season and last a month or 2!

Hope this is vaguely understandable.

Zara Yacht Haven Marina 141/2 Moo 2, T. Maikhao, A. Thalang, Phuket 83110, Thailand