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Visa or plane ticket first?

  • cubedweller

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd February, 2008
    Posts: 35

    I'll be in Thailand (and possibly the surrounding countries) for about 2 months starting in March. I've yet to buy my plane ticket but was going to do so soon. My dilema is, with only given a 30 day visa on arrival, I will need to apply for a 90-day multiple entry tourist visa (just in case I decide to leave and travel without having to worry about the 15 day pass) before setting off.

    Should I just go ahead and buy the plane ticket and then head to the Thai Consulate in order to arrange my Visa? Or should I arrange the visa first and then purchase the ticket?

    I'd love to avoid going to the consulate at all (I've never had to in the past) but these new visa limits are horrible.

    Thanks for the help!

    #1 Posted: 3/2/2009 - 23:23

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  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2415
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    hey cube,

    i don't know where you are located, but i'm within the consular district for the Royal Thai Consulate in Los Angeles. according to their website, you need to provide a copy of your airline ticket or confirmed e-ticket (and not just an itinerary) as part of your visa application. so, if that is true, i think your question is answered for you.

    the new limits are a bummer and seem to be an over-reaction to those few folks who were milking the old system.

    hope that helps. cheers.

    #2 Posted: 4/2/2009 - 01:04

  • cubedweller

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd February, 2008
    Posts: 35

    Thanks for the reply. I'm in Los Angeles as well. I've never actually applied for a visa before, but I'm assuming it's a pretty simple process.

    #3 Posted: 4/2/2009 - 01:51

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location United States
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    hey cube,

    i think it is pretty straight forward, although there is an element of "officialdom" in the process.

    since you are in LA, i'm guessing that you have a US Passport? if that is true, then i don't think the airline ticket requirement i mentioned above applies to you. so in that case, i think you could either get the ticket or the visa first. i think i'd get the ticket first anyway. that's what i plan to do for my trip in december. regards.

    in case you want it, the link at the RTC-LA for visas for US passports is:

    http://www.thai-la.net/visa/visa-tourist-us.htm

    #4 Posted: 4/2/2009 - 03:41

  • cubedweller

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd February, 2008
    Posts: 35

    Thanks exacto! One more question: if I go to the Consulate in person to apply for my visa, do I have to leave my passport with them? I hate the thought of leaving it and having it get lost in the mail so close to the trip date; how do others deal with this hassle?

    #5 Posted: 4/2/2009 - 04:40

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2415
    Total reviews: 47
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    hola! yes, if you go to the consulate you'll need to leave your passport for at least one day. unfortunately there isn't any same day service that i can tell. i'm not thrilled when i have to mail or leave my passport either, but that's just the way it is sometimes.

    it sounds like you can make the trip in person, which should at least reduce the pucker factor as well as avoid the extra cost of mailing.
    i think in LA you can drop off your passport with the application and then pick it up in person the next day.

    i'd be interested to hear how it goes too. thanks and good luck.

    #6 Posted: 4/2/2009 - 08:09

  • cubedweller

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd February, 2008
    Posts: 35

    Hi! So I purchased my plane ticket last night; I'll be leaving on 3/8 :) Should I go ahead and get the visa ASAP or should I wait closer to the departure date?

    #7 Posted: 4/2/2009 - 23:10

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2415
    Total reviews: 47
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    At least 98

    sounds like fun.

    unless there is a chance you'll be delayed, you can go ahead and apply now. according to the RTC-LA, visas expire 90 days from the time of issue, meaning that you have up to 90 days to enter Thailand. the 60 days or however long your visa is issued for your stay begins once you enter Thailand. here's what the RTC-LA website says:

    You may apply for the visa no earlier than 90 days from when you plan to enter Thailand. As the visa will expire in 90 days from the date of issue (six months if two entries are issued) you do not want to apply too early. Also, allow enough time for the visa to be issued (two business days if applying in person or ten days - not including mailing time - if applying by mail).

    #8 Posted: 5/2/2009 - 02:38

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