The times are past that you could just walk into Immigration and be out within 30 min.
Waiting queues are 'business-as-usual'.
Every foreigner staying in Chiang Mai long term sooner or later has to deal with the Chiang Mai Immigration Office. In fact, in a way it is fair to say that every long term foreign resident in Chiang Mai is "at the leash" of Immigration: they can decide to kick you out of this country at any time.
Dealing properly with Immigration is therefore essential for every foreign resident in Chiang Mai.
Needless to say to most foreigners (but some foreigners forget it): Immigration is not a business in the hospitality sector such as a hotel. Therefore, they do not owe foreigners a service and they are not here to fulfill your needs.
First and foremost, Immigration is part of the Royal Thai Police force and all foreigners are here because they allow you to stay.
So, when dealing with Immigration it's important to have your papers in order and always stay friendly and polite. Occasionaly, some foreigners get upset due to the long waiting queues, the lack of organisation and logic with regards to policies, papers and procedures, and acting it out they may have some unpleasant surprises.
Immigration is not a hospitality organisation, it's police and you'd better not have enemies in Thailand.
Since a few years, the Chiang Mai Immigration Office is usually very, very busy. Crowds are queuing up outside of the office from early in the morning 6 or 7 am, and at times even up until the road. For this reason, Immigration gained itself the nickname 'the Zoo' amongst some groups of foreigners, and indeed waiting times can easily be 2-4 hours.
Nowadays, Immigration works with a queue system. The doors open at 7:30am but people queue up before that to get the first ticket numbers. The ticket number is issued in order of entrance / queue and depends also on your visa matter. There are time slots during the day for ticket numbers to be handled, for example all ticket numbers up until 250 will be treated in the morning before lunch break and all ticket numbers from 250 up in the afternoon.
When you present your case and get a ticket number, the officer in charge will tell you roughly what time you have to get ready.
Here are a few tips to get your papers done as smooth as possible and to reduce waiting time:
It's hard to get update information from the authorities, even the Chiang Mai Immigration site is not update and/or translated into English, but at least it's a start and you can download some visa application forms here.
Besides the obvious visa matters, there are other matters that could bring you to the Chiang Immigration Office. For example, a Letter of Residence. This (one of the documents of) what you need to show to the Thai authorities when buying a motor cycle or car. Strange enough, you don't need a Letter of Residence when buying a much more expensive property such as a condominium. And strange enough, you can also not use the title deed of your own condominium as a proof of residence to get the Letter of Residence to buy a scooter or car (but you can use you rental contract for it) . Still following it? Again, there is often not much logic to Thai rules, you simply just have to get what they want and then everyone is happy.
You can get a Letter of Residence at Immigration with a proof of residence such as a rental contract. Normally, they charge some THB 500 for it.
Some consulates in Chiang Mai also provide a Letter of Residence that you may be able to use when buying a scooter or car.
DISCLAIMER: This information was compiled from several sources and best-practises. Policies, prices and procedures of the Thai authorities change continuously. CM Locator accepts no liability for incorrectness of information here. Help us keep this information as update and useful for visa applicants as possible and let us know if you find something has changed.
|Admin Locator Posted on October 12, 2016 at 04:17:17|
Officially, every foreigner must be registered by the landlord according to the TM.30 form procedure.
This has changed since a few weeks ago. Please check our article on that:
However, if you don't need to go to Immigration during that period (for example to ask for a visa extension), then you will probably not experience any trouble. The problem is when you need a service from Immigration and then they find out that you haven't been properly registered. In practice, some foreigners or landlords refrain from registration (confirm by Immigration), however it's not the official norm.
|will de Kuster Posted on October 11, 2016 at 11:24:31|
I will stay in Chiang Mai 29 days do i need a registration by immigration ?
|James Graneria Posted on November 22, 2015 at 09:25:30|
It is no longer possible to book an appointment on-line. That was discontinued 3 months ago.
They are only processing 20 retirement extensions a day, and it is now the norm for people to arrive there at 4.00am to obtain a slot number. Those who do manage to obtain a number in the lucky draw should expect to be hanging around for up to14 hours to complete the process.
90 day reporting slot numbers are usually gone by 8.00am.
|eljayess Posted on November 17, 2014 at 20:24:22|
Thanks for the info your site provides to expats.
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