Getting a multi entry visa to Thailand for families

Getting a multi entry visa to Thailand for families

So we decided to get multi entry visas for our upcoming trip, as they would give us 6 months of entry to Thailand.
It was pretty nervewracking applying for these visas!
If you want to do a trip longer than 60 days they don’t make it easy. You either have to come in on a 60 day single entry visa, leave the country and come back in with a new visa or get your 60 days extended whilst in Thailand towards the end of your stay. What’s not clear is whether it’s ok to tell immigration that you’re planning to do that or not! It seems odd that they don’t just give you 90 days, if that’s how long you can stay, but it also seems weird that they provide an extension service if you’re not supposed to use it. We never found out the answer to that one, so went for the multi-entry visa. You still have to leave after 60 days, but at least the visa itself covers you for 6 months in Thailand.
For the multi-entry visa there’s a LOT of documentation you need to provide. It’s subtly different for different types of people, so if you’re thinking of applying then check the Thai embassy website in your country.
It seems you do need to get visas for every member of your family visiting, no matter how young. We applied for the two of us, plus a 2 year old and an 8 month old.

Multi-entry visa application at the embassy in London – day 1

We all went to the Thai embassy in London just in case we all had to be there for the application. I doubt we all needed to be there – she didn’t ask to see me or the kids.
When we went to the embassy we took a ticket from the machine. We went on a Tuesday at about 9.15am (15 minutes after it opened). There was no one else there, so she called our ticket immediately.
Within the next 10 minutes 3 or 4 other people arrived (there’s a board that tells you what number you are in the queue). There was only one desk serving the visa applications, but even so I wouldn’t think anyone had to wait too long.
She seemed very pleasant from what I could hear as she went through all the documents with my husband. She didn’t check everything, but did look at our bank statements for proof of funds.
We’re directors of a limited company, so we brought other documentation showing company details just in case. They didn’t want it – they just wanted the documentation they asked for on the Thai embassy site.
Eventually she put all the applications together with the passports and photos. She then asked for £500 for the 4 of us and told us to come back between 11-12 the next day to collect.

Multi-entry visa collection – day 2

We arrived at about 11.45 the next day to collect our visas.
My husband went in along this time, so there was a bit of nail biting for me waiting outside. Initially there was no one at the desk and 3 people in front of Karl.
The attendant came back to the desk within a couple of minutes and the queue went very quickly after that.
We are now in possession of 4 multi entry visas to Thailand! Success!
You read a lot of horror stories online about this kind of application, but honestly the Thai embassy gave the impression of being polite, quick and efficient.
My only gripe is having to get visas for the kids too. £125 just to bring my baby into Thailand with me!? Grr. Oh well, I guess kids can be expensive!

Update: Thai immigration

 Our entry into Thailand went very smoothly. We did have to fill in entry forms (you can get them on the plane or just before you get to immigration at the airport). No questions at immigration – he just looked at everything, took our picture and stamped our passports. I guess once you have the visas that’s that. Onwards!

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