Seeing our work permit and switch to a work visa has taken an unreasonably longer time than it ever should have, now 3 months into this process we unfortunately had to do a border crossing to get another 30 day extension.
However we found that the process was not as bad as we thought. We were initially a little intimidated because of the numerous contradictory information online as well as the numerous changes in Thai visa policies over these past couple years.
Basically here was the process.
1. Drive to Mae Sot Thailand. I believe the border is open 7 days a week from 8:30am-4:30pm. Because we drove on our own you just head down a main highway until you can’t go anymore and you will see a big station in the middle of the road. We were able to find a parking spot right at the entrance on the left side of the road.
2. Walk up to the station and be sure to ask or let an agent see you to let them know you are a foreigner. Foreigners will go in a special line and don’t have to wait in the long line of Thai and Burmese.
3. You will get an exit stamp and they will take your departure card you filled in when you initially entered the country.
4. You will walk over a long bridge to the Burmese immigration station. Along the way you might be jumped on or hassled by beggar kids looking for you to give them money and yes they are aggressive.
5. You will get a entry stamp from Burmese immigration and you will pay a fee of 500 baht per person. They no longer accept the crisp 10USD, only Thai or Burmese money.
6. If you tell them you are heading back to Thailand they will also give you the exit stamp and you can walk back across the bridge.
7. Get back to the Thai immigration station, fill out your Thai entry card, and wait in line to give them the card and get your entry stamp for another 30 days.
8. Hop in your car drive home with another 30 days legal stay in Thailand.
The total process took about 1 hour to finish and adding the drive to and from the main North/South highway which we already had to travel back home on it added a total of 4 hours to our travel time. Not too bad considering the other options would added significantly more time and money to get that extension.
Praise God for giving us a somewhat convenient option. Please pray the rest of our work permit and switch to 1 year visa goes smoothly.