Visa runs are a fact of life for long-term visitors and expats in Thailand. These are trips out of Thailand, often just across the border, which enable you to extend your multiple entry visa or acquire a new visa. The easiest visa run from Phuket is either a flight to Kuala Lumpur, Penang, or Singapore, since there are direct flights from Phuket Airport.
In the case where one needs to acquire a new visa, they will need to stay overnight up to two nights. Ideally, one should submit the visa application at the Thai embassy or consulate first thing in the morning – either by themselves or via a reputed visa agent, of which the visa should be ready the following afternoon.
If a new visa isn’t required (i.e. multiple entry visas) popular visa runs, also called border runs, include Ranong, where you can cross the border by boat into Myanmar (Burma), Hat Yai, where you can cross over into Malaysia. Most westerners can cross into Malaysia without a visa, though for Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, a visa or day pass which can be acquired on arrival.
There are plenty of companies that provide visa run services in Phuket. This is usually a minibus trip to one of Thailand’s border crossings. The journey from Phuket to Ranong and back will take most of the day. This includes a short boat ride to the small Burmese town of Kawthaung (Victoria Point), where one will be prompted to pay 400 baht or 10 USD for a day pass.
If you consider these visa runs as short interesting holidays and plan them accordingly they can seem less like a chore.
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