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?


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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