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What is a Visa Run?

I’m writing this sitting on a local bus to Cambodia from Bangkok on a ‘visa run’. Basically, a visa run is a trip you have to take in order to remain in a country where you’re visa is soon to expire. So you have to leave the country you want to stay in (madness, I know), get to a neighbouring country and then turn back around and re-enter the first country.

What is a Visa Run?
What is a Visa Run?

AN EXAMPLE OF MY THAILAND VISA RUN

For example, personally I am based in Thailand, so when I need a break from travelling to every country in the world, I fly to Thailand, and enter the country on a 30-day tourist visa (or visa-waiver, depending on the passport you carry). I then stay in Thailand for those 30 days, but on day 29 or 30, I then leave Thailand either by flying to a nearby country (Singapore, or Malaysia for example), and then turning around and fly back to Thailand, or I travel overland to a neighbouring country like Myanmar or Cambodia. I present my passport, get stamped OUT of Thailand, then I get stamped INTO Cambodia. 10 seconds later, I exit Cambodia, get STAMPED OUT of Cambodia, walk back to the Thai border, and get stamped back IN to Thailand on a fresh 30-day Tourist visa or visa waiver. Voila, I can stay for another 30 days in Thailand until I have to repeat the process once more!

NOTE: If you need to extend your Thai Visa in Bangkok, here’s an article on how to do that!

So I’m off to Cambodia, for all of about 20 minutes. 5 hours in the bus from Bangkok, 20 mins in Cambodia, 5 hours back to Bangkok. What a wonderful way to spend the day!

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18 thoughts on “What is a Visa Run?

  1. Pingback: How to extend your Thai visa in Bangkok | One Step 4Ward
  2. What are the required documents needed for the visa run because presently i am about to embark on one. I am at Ubon Ratchatani about moving down to Laos. please reply me

  3. Pingback: Saying Farewell to the Nomadic Lifestyle - Settling After 5 Years Of Travel
  4. Please help.
    I have a really simple question on’ visa runs’ that I cannot seem to get a legitimate answer.
    I need to leave Vietnam every 90 days on my 5 year Visa Exemption Certificate. I live only a few hours from the Cambodian border
    Can I just go through Vietnamese immigration, and the come back in, or do I have to enter Cambodia, and stay there for a particular time?

  5. Can you please explain it a bit more? When you get to Cambodia, how do you go about getting a brand new visa? Where in Cambodia and what do you say/write on the forms? Doesn’t it take a few days? Thank you!

  6. hello mate. just wana say thanks for all ya help we read ur blogs alot and they have helped alot

    we are in cambodia at the mo but leave for thailand soon i know we get the standard 30 days but if we want to extend it is it still possible to do a visa run at the malaysa boarder

    thanks again buddy

  7. Hey Johnny. Thank you for these posts. Really helpful. I’m gonna go to Thailand for 4 months. I live in Mauritius. Will be doing an internship in BKK. BUT the maximum visa i get is 90 days as a non-immigrant or i have to take a tourist visa with multiple entries and will have to do this visa-run thing you just explained. Do you know if it’s possibly to ask for an extension for another 60 days while i will be there ? Or anything else you would suggest ?

  8. I am all too familiar with the “visa run.” Many of my friends decided to do that instead of getting a more perm visa here. The unfortunate part is it’s SO much easier than trying to do it the “right way.” I’m trying the “correct way” and have had way too much trouble.

    That’s great you can come and go repeatedly with out much hassle!

  9. I am all too familiar with the “visa run.” Many of my friends decided to do that instead of getting a more perm visa here. The unfortunate part is it’s SO much easier than trying to do it the “right way.” I’m trying the “correct way” and have had way to much trouble.

    That’s great you can come and go repeatedly with out much hassle!

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