This article unavoidably has to mention the main obstacle for obtaining visa and / or traveling across any country’s border at the moment; the covid-19 pandemic lockdowns. Before the global pandemic, it was commonplace for people on some types of expiring Thai visas, for the foreign visa holders to do what is usually called “a visa run” depending on your length of stay in Thailand. These visa runs were usually done to a neighboring country, such as Laos, Malaysia, Cambodia or Singapore to apply or renew the visas. However, with regulations in nearly all countries around the globe for containment of the population, life has become more difficult. This is certainly true for foreigners staying in Thailand that need to do a visa run.
As of last year (2020) Thailand-Lao, Thailand-Malaysia, Thailand-Myanmar, and Thailand-Cambodia suffered from time-to-time border closure due to the pandemic situation in those countries at various times. This year (2021), in Myanmar (Burma) the border was temporarily closed due to covid situation there in January, but as of March the military coup d’état has caused Thailand to restrict border crossing for fear of political refugees and migrants seeking to escape into Thailand.
Even if you do exit and re-enter Thailand, you will have to spend a lot of money and it will take quite a bit of time. Some countries, particularly Myanmar at the moment, are not welcoming to foreigners. As for other countries that let you in, you still have to follow their regulations in for covid testing and quarantine for various periods of time. This is done to prevent covid spread according to the WHO’s dubious PCR testing policy and each country’s current situation. When you re-enter Thailand, you will face a similar situation again (testing and quarantine), wasting more time and costing you more money for the accommodation and medical tests. See our post on whether you can extend your tourist visa for more.
It is possible for some visa agencies to assist you with getting a new visa from within Thailand for a fee of 18,000 Thai Baht. This is a much cheaper and easier option compared to the hassle and costs for doing a border crossing. We are one of the agencies that offer this service with our education visas for our Combat School in Chiang Mai. You can switch or extend your current visa with our special ED visa option, without leaving the country. Get in touch with one of our helpful staff today, to find out more.