How I Got a Thailand Tourist Visa at Saigon Consulate

Thai girls at HCMC Thai consulate

Despite a 2 year overstamp in my passport and 7 months worth of visa exemptions I still got approved for a new Thailand tourist visa at the Ho Chi Minh consulate. This was in Nov 2016.

I didn’t get asked to show bank statements, or questioned as to what I’d been doing in Thailand so long. That does happen to some visa runners based on forum reports about the Thai consulate in Saigon.

It may have been just luck but what I did is turn up just before it closes for applications (11:30), and dress smart. On other trips I’ve seen backpackers in shorts and vests getting hassled for proof of funds to support their trip (usually 20k Baht).

While it seems irrelevant your appearance does matter in Asia especially at consulates, embassies, immigration, anything like that. Maybe why Dante had a bad time with his Jakarta visa extension.

So I turned up looking sharp at 11:15 when the girls were keen to finish work and go to lunch. They took my application without really thinking.

Saigon Consulate Opening Hours

  • Application – 08:30 to 11:30
  • Visa collection – 13:30 – 15:00 the next day
  • Closed Saturdays & Sundays

Opening times

What You Need

  • Passport with validity of at least the length of your stay (used to be 6 months min)
  • One passport photo
  • $40 USD (they don’t accept Vietnam Dong or Thai Baht)
  • Onward flight ticket out of Thailand to anywhere – I used one of those cheap rented ticket sites
  • Filled in application form – can print it here in advance or fill in there

I wasn’t asked for the 20k baht proof of funds but took it along just in case. Officially it’s a requirement at any Thai consulate but they usually only ask for if they suspect you don’t have money.

Tourists sometimes get asked for that on the way back into Thailand at the airport if you’ve stayed in Thailand a long time too. I just withdraw 20k as I’m leaving Thailand, stash it in my bag and show it if needed. Still never been asked though.

HCM Consulate Location

The Thai consulate in Ho Chi Minh City is located on Tran Quoc Thao road just outside District 1. See the location on Google maps. Near Ben Thanh market which has a currency exchange shop on the corner of Nguyen An Ninh street to get US dollars.

Passport Pickup

You come back the next afternoon (closed weekends) 13:30 – 15:00 to get your passport. If they took it the previous morning it usually means you’ll get the visa, you don’t turn up and find out you got rejected.

Then you have to enter Thailand within 90 days of the visa being in your passport (enter before date is on it).

Once you enter you then get 90 days stay in Thailand starting from the date you enter.

New Thailand Tourist visa

Vietnam Good for Thai Visa Runs?

I got accepted even with my long overstay / visa history but some people run into difficulties. Try turning up smart at 11:15. Vientiane, Laos, or Penang, Malaysia are the easiest spots to apply for a Thai tourist visa, but they’re quite boring to keep going to. Vietnam is worth a try.

I started a thread about it on Thaivisa to troll the old granddads who hate young guys living in Asia long term and working online. Got some funny replies.

I seem to live a charmed life so far with Thailand visas, 7 years total stay with 4 on overstay (before they introduced blacklisting, don’t do that anymore) and always sailed through immigration without questions.

On they way back in they didn’t notice my visa from Vietnam even though I wrote the number on the arrival card, and gave me another visa exemption, I extended that to 60 days, then was able to use the visa from Vietnam on my next flight in.

So all in all I did 9 months worth of visa exemptions, spanning all of 2016 I was living in Thailand visa-free then the other 3 months were my 2-3 week trips outside between each visa waiver period.

I mixed up the countries I went to a bit – Vietnam / Philippines / Indonesia – and that was enough to not raise eyebrows. Friends have been denied entry and deported back to their home country though for less.

Also started a thread about the 9 months on visa exemptions and got more haters.

11 Responses

  1. -Cam says:

    Lol anymore posts with the grandpas shitting on you. Those are funny haha

  2. Finn says:

    How do you plan on staying in Thai in the future? ED visa?

    Btw I’d fuck the girl on the right. 🙂

  3. jspill jspill says:

    @Cam So many I need to do a whole post on it, I was planning to. Been on that forum since 2010

    @Finn Ya she’s a cutie.

    I’m gonna travel for a few months outside Thailand to ‘cool off’ then renew my passport for a fresh one, it can help to some extent even though passports are linked. When they open it and don’t see many visa stickers they usually don’t go dig into your history on their computer.

    I’ll avoid airports for a while and use land borders, lots of bad reports lately. You can enter via land twice a year, and at the Laos border they often don’t care. There’s a car lane too that waves you through even faster, you just wind window down show passport and go. I’ll hire a cab from Vientiane to Udon Thani.

    I’ve done Ed visa before for a year. I hear it’s limited to 1.5 yrs unless you study a new subject, so I cant do Thai again.

    https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/841893-only-allowed-to-study-thai-on-ed-visa-for-15-years-now/
    https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/841984-which-schools-applied-the-new-ed-visa-rules/
    https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/801463-strict-3-year-limit-for-thai-language-study-on-ed-visa/

    But my friend’s doing Japanese now to get more time on Ed visas, maybe that, apparently you can get 3 years out of it by switching course / school.

    You can definitely live in Thailand 6 months a year, so maybe I’ll just start doing 6 there, 3 Philippines, 2 Indonesia, 1 Vietnam or something. I’m at the point where I’m a bit bored of Thailand.

    Something like 8-9 months a year in Thailand is medium difficulty, but I managed that in 2016. It’s only a problem when you try to live there close to 365 days a year. That should be a crime because you’re missing out on sticking your penis in so many other countries! 🙂

    If you do push it with airports there’s also a service where you pay $30 to go through the fast lane at passport control, a rep meets you as you get off the plan and ‘assists with immigration speed’, that makes you look less like the kind of person they want to deny entry to. A friend got back in using that after being denied entry the previous time – https://www.limousine.in.th/fast-track-immigration.html

  4. Jman says:

    Jsipil I had one guy tell me that he was denied entry into Thailand and he had an apartment kitted out with all his personal belongings, which freaked him out as he was thinking he would loose all his stuff.

    The same guy managed to get back in using the fast track service you refer to and he said that wearing a nice suit does the trick as Thai people are fooled into thinking he’s some kind of VIP. Does that sound like bullshit to you?

    Do you pack up all your stuff and take it with you when going on a visa run?

    Btw I would fuck both girls above 😎

    • jspill jspill says:

      That might be the same guy I told to use it. Yeah wearing nice clothes does help, not necessarily a suit but have a shave and no vests / shorts. Sounds ridiculous but it’s the third world they judge you on looks. I agree with him.

      You can use land borders twice a year so make the most of those if you’ve stayed a long time, they don’t care as much as airports. Hopefully this all blows over soon I haven’t heard any bad reports in the last month. It could literally just be one or two angry officials rather than an organized crackdown, and luckily Thais can’t hold a job down so they might be gone by now.

      I’ve risked it with stuff in an apartment a lot, this trip my rent contract finished and I took my suitcase. On this trip I’ll stay out for longer, then next time I get in (via land) I’ll apply for a new passport.

  5. Mikey Johnson says:

    I booked an onward ticket past HCMC and these guys won’t give me a transit visa plus they took my passport. Its pretty late here so they said I’d have to wait until a few hours to get my luggage and check into my next flight.

    Has anyone gone through this?

    • jspill jspill says:

      Apparently you don’t need a transit visa if you’re flying out within 24 hours and stay within the airport, according to Google. Transit visa doesn’t seem to exist?

      What are you trying to do, leave the airport for a few hours to hit the hot tocs?

      • Mikey Johnson says:

        Nah. Haha. I’m just trying to get my luggage / passport from these swine. My connection flys out pretty late.

        I’m just not sure if i need to go to arrivals to pick up my bags. 🙁

  6. Mikey Johnson says:

    If you have a connecting flight through Saigon, you need a visa. Or else they won’t let you pass. Very very important. It needs to be arranged beforehand.

    • Squish says:

      Lol you could’ve figured out that with a 10 second google search bro. Next time do your research before you travel. You ain’t in Kansas anymore

      • Mikey Johnson says:

        Fuck off lol

        I’ve lived abroad (not sea) since 2006 and was told by multiple sources i didnt need a visa. This was a shakedown.

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