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6 Month Multiple Entry Thai Visa Success! + My Travel Plans for 2016

Success! I'm back in Thailand with my brand new 6 Month Multiple Entry Tourist Visa and it was a breeze to get. In this post I'll walk you through exactly how I got the new METV and what pitfalls to avoid. There is a ton of information online but Thai Visas but most of them are just rumors, fears and misinformation.

Here is exactly how I got the visa, how I plan on using it, and some tips and tricks along the way. I'm excited to be back in Chiang Mai, and to be spending the next 9 months here without having to worry about crazy visa runs or extensions. Here's how. By the way, this article has now been updated on the success of getting my second METV back to back! Keep reading for more info!




Where to Get the new Visa



Despite what rumors are out there, the only want to get the new 6 Month Multiple Entry Tourist Visa is in your home country or residence. So unless you are a resident or want to become a resident of Laos, you can't apply there. You have to go back to the UK, USA, Canada or wherever you are a legal resident of to apply.

The only place I would avoid going through is in the one in Washington DC as I've heard horror stories from close friends who have gotten the run around, or had to miss flights because it took them so long to return the visa. I don't know if it's just because they are super busy, or because of the bureaucracy in the state capital, but either way, you're better off going through the Thai Embassies in LA, Chicago, New York instead or even better, avoid all three and go to a smaller consulates that I talk about below. 

Since I was staying just an hour south in Orange County visiting friends anyway, I decided to just go up to there in person, drop it off and come back again the day after to pick it up.


Only good thing aboutt driving to LA to get my visa was getting a huge sale while stuck in traffic!

Honorary Thai Consulates




Don't live in Southern California, Chicago or New York?

Have no fear! The smaller the consulate the faster and better service you'll generally get. I can't seem to find an official list, but if you google your city or state and the word "Thai Consulate" you can find some hidden gems in almost every state like the ones in Houston, Portland, Miami or Denver.

As of 2013 all Honorary Thai Consulate applications must be made in person, which is a shame as when I lived in San Francisco I just mailed everything to the one in Texas and it was a breeze. Things change so feel free to reach out to your local consulate and ask if it has to be made in person or if you can just mail it in.



Hanging out with some blog readers at the Travel Like a Boss podcast meetup in LA!


What to Bring with You



One of the trickiest parts of applying for the new Multiple Entry Tourist Visa is the requirements is providing all of the paperwork required along with it, as you also need to bring in a host of other things aside from just the application. Here is everything I brought along with an explanation of each item as well as what I did.


1. Passport (Make sure it's valid for at least 1 year as most countries including Thailand consider your passport invalid if it expires in the next 6 months.)

2. 1 photocopy of your passport's main page. (the one with your photo)

3. 2x Passport photos (must have a white background and be 2"x2") Also write your name on the back of each photo.

4. Filled out visa application form. (make sure you use the form specific to the consulate you are applying at)

5. Money Order or Cashier's Check for $200. (more on the price hike later)

6. Air Line Ticket. I didn't have an exit ticket out of Thailand as I don't know when or where I'll be going next. The consulate in LA didn't ask for it either but if you really want to be be sure, just plan your next stop, 59 or 89 days after you arrive to whichever neighboring country you plan on visiting next and include that in your application. (suggestions are bali, cambodia, taiwan, macau, or the philippines)

7. Recent bank statement showing a minimum of US$7,000. (it doesn't seem like the requirement of having the minimum deposited in the past 6 months is being enforced as I only submitted my most recent bank statement and didn't give the my past 6 month average history)

8. Copy of hotel reservation. I only submitted where I would be staying the first few weeks, and they were fine with that. They didn't require to see where I'd be staying the entire 6 months or anything crazy like that.

9. Letter from employer verifying employment. (more on that in this post)



FAQ issued by the Thai Embassy: 




Letter of Employment Proof



If you're freaking out because you aren't actually employed by anyone, have no fear, I'm not either. As a digital nomad, we are our own bosses, and most of us haven't actually had a job in ages, which is why we have the time and freedom to travel for 6 months at a time.

It's kind of a strange requirement as Thailand seems to want you have to have a full time job in the U.S. or your home country, while having the time off to travel for half of the year whenever you wish. Either way, there's an easy solution. Just write one yourself or have your VA do it.

Technically anyone who owns their own online business is a sole proprietor. You can get a Federal Tax ID or an Employment Identification Number online. It's free to get, and it officially makes you a business owner in the U.S.

Or if you actually want to start a real business, or get an LLC, you can read this post on how I started my dropshipping store and got my LLC.  Either way, congrats, you are now a business owner. Write yourself a letter, or have your virtual assist do it on your behalf. Here's the one I submitted to the Thai Embassy.

Bank Statement Proof



Okay now that you have your letter of employment sorted out, now you just need to provide you have enough money to stay in Thailand for the next 6 months without the fear of becoming a burden on the country. It may sound ridiculous especially since there are no free government services that foreigners living in Thailand actually use but it does make sense that the government would want to know you have at least $1,000 saved up for every month you plan on staying in the country.

Coming to Thailand to be a digital nomad is kind of a dream, as most people won't make any money online for their first 2-3 months of living here. Many people end up going home without ever earning anything as they spent more nights drinking with backpackers and traveling than they did at coworking spaces hustling and getting work done. It's honestly a good idea to come with at least $7,000 in your bank anyways if you plan on moving here as a long term digital nomad for 6 months+

When I first came, I only had $3,000 saved up, but I sold my car, all of my stuff, and was able to have around $7k in the bank even though it wasn't a requirement back then. If you want to read more about how I managed to do all of that and how my journey began, read my first book 12 Weeks in Thailand: The Good Life on the Cheap. I think Thailand's biggest fear is letting in a bunch of broke people who can't actually afford to live here and spend money like the guys in the video below.



Video of Homeless Foreigners in Thailand 






How to  go from $0 - $7,000



Even though the above video is an extreme example and doesn't represent digital nomads at all, I can see why Thailand fears making it too easy to get long term visas which is why they are forcing you to fly back to your home country and show you have money in the bank before issuing these new 6 month multiple entry visas.

If you're broke and are mad that there's this money in the bank requirement, stop wishing or blaming, and do something about it instead.

The fact is if you have access to the internet and are reading this post right now, you should be worth at least $7,000 and if you aren't, you're doing something wrong.  Here's what I would do if I was back home and had to go from $0 to $7k so I could make my dream happen and move to Thailand.


$0 - $200: I would stop spending money and would work my ass off to save up everything I could. I would switch to the cheapest prepaid phone plan, cancel my netflix, stop eating out, walk to work, do whatever possible so I could save up everything I earned. I'd go as far as AirBnBing my place out for income on weekends while I stayed at my parents house, went camping or slept on a friend's couch.

I'd either work harder at the job I had already assuming it was performance based or offered bonuses or I would get a tip based job as a bartender, server or a valet parker and hustle my ass off on nights and weekends.


$200-$1,500: I would keep doing everything above but then to bring my income online I would dropship on ebay or publish kindle books or create courses on Udemy if you have a skill to teach.


$1,500: - $7,000: I'd keep busting my ass, while saving as much money as possible then I'd start a scalable online business like I did with Anton's course or if you have the skills, I would start a design or development firm, copyright for clients, another online business.


Either way I'd stop bitching about the $7,000 requirement as there's nothing we can do about it anyways and it's 100% possible to go from broke to having enough money in the bank not to ever have to worry about things like this again. If you want some insight or motivation, read this post about how one audiobook gave me the motivation to 10X my income and how it's worked.  Here's a screenshot of the 1 page statement I submitted to the Thai embassy to meet the income requirement.

If you're curious where my income came from Shopify Payments and Paypal Payments come from my dropshipping stores and Clickbank Payables comes from promoting affiliate products that I openly teach inside my course Earnest Affiliate and even show exactly which products generated those sales.

The income proof statement I submitted to the Thai Embassy


The METV is a Overpriced



When I first wrote the post announcing the that rumored 6 Month METV was official the only information out there was how much the new multiple entry visa would cost in South African Rand which is 1.900ZAR or $115USD. Rumors said the METV would be $140 if obtained in the U.S. which I thought was a great deal either way as it gave you the flexibility of coming and going whenever you want all for the price that wasn't much more than the only legacy triple entry visas which they no longer issue.

Unfortunately, the actual price for Thailand's new 6 month visa is $200US and even more expensive for those not in the U.S. and paying in Canadian or Australian dollars.

But when I really break it down here is the actual value of the new 6 Month Visa compared to what it cost compared to an old triple entry tourist visa to get the same amount of valid time as either way you would want to time it so you activated the past entry right before the visa expired so you can get up to 9 months of use from your visa.

Sure this doesn't include the costs of leaving the country to activate the additional 60 days, but what's awesome about it is now we have the flexibility of just leaving and getting another 2 months simply by entering the country again instead of limiting our travel plans in fear of not using the entire 60 + 30 days allowed. Either way, Thailand no longer issues double or triple entry tourist visas so instead of wasting time complaining about if the new METV is better or worse, just accept it as you could spend those 30 minutes making more money instead of complaining about the price difference. Either way the math adds up to be similar if you really factor it all in.

Entry 1: $40
30 Day Extension: 1,900 baht ($53)
Entry 2: $40
30 Day Extension: 1,900 baht ($53)
Entry 3: $40
30 Day Extension: 1,900 baht ($53)

Total Value: $226



6 month thai visa
My new 6 Month Multiple Entry Visa


How to get a 9 Months instead of 6


Another huge  benefit of the new 6 month Multiple Entry Tourist visa is the fact that you can actually get closer to nine months of use versus the advertised six.  If you look closely at the visa they issued me, it expires on July 5th, 2016 which means as long as I use my last entry a few days before then, I get 60 days from that point.

So assuming I enter Thailand on July 4th, 2016, that means my visa will be good until September 3rd 2016. 

Also since I will have the ability to extend the visa for another 30 days without leaving the country, I could technically use this 6 month visa I've gotten until October 2nd, 2016 which is a full 9 months.

The only costs would have been flights to leave every sixty days, and one 30 day extension which costs 1,900 baht ($53US)






My 2016 Travel/Visa Run Plans?


So technically I won't be making any visa runs as I don't actually need to apply for a new visa and can simply leave and come back to activate a new entry. But since I need to either get a 30 day extension every two months or leave the country, I'd rather do the later and make a mini vacation out of it. So luckily, I have a lot of friends getting married in neighboring countries this year, but even if they weren't, I would have just went on a scuba diving trip or backpacked around for a bit to see new sights.

Trip 1: Chiang Mai from January 15th - February 16th
(60 days activated by flying in from San Francisco) 

Trip 2: Quy Nhon Beach, Vietnam from February 16th - 22nd

Trip 3: Koh Lanta, Thailand February 22nd - April 10th 
(60 days activated by flying in from Vietnam) 

Trip 4: Taipei, Taiwan April 12th - 21st

Trip 5: Chiang Mai, Thailand April 21st - May 21st
(60 days activated by flying in from Taiwan) 

Trip 6: Berlin, Germany May 21st - July 4th 
(plus side trips to the rest of Europe)

Trip 7: Chiang Mai, Thailand July 4th - Sept 3rd
(60 days activated by flying in from Berlin + 30 day extension) 

Trip 8: Whenever I end up going next.

*Subject to change depending on what comes up and my mood.







Final Thoughts



I understand why some people hate the new visa rules and wish they could continue to get double entry visas in Lao and there are people who wish they could go back to simply getting on a mini bus and crossing the border in Burma to get a 30 day stamp, but to be completely honest, both of those are a complete waste of time.

When I was broke and before I understood the value of time, I happily sat on 8 hour bus rides every month. But thank god those are no longer a thing. Now instead of wasting 8 hours destroying my body in a cramped minivan to save $200, I'd rather spend that same amount of time on my business that will potentially earn that same amount or at least create the foundation for it in the future. If you don't think you can earn $200 in a day, you either don't know your worth or don't put in the work to claim it. You only need to make $25 an hour for 8 hours to make the entire $200 that it costs for the visa. Or even if it took your 20 hours at $10 an hour, it would be a start as it would teach you skills that you can scale up in the future.


Office of the Day in Berlin, Germany



If you have no idea what freelancing is, read this article on why it's a good idea to get started with.

I'm so grateful to have gotten to see my family and friends back in the U.S. over the month of December and to be able to have gotten back to Thailand with the new worry free 6 month visa that I'm going to take full advantage of.

Feel free to ask me any questions here, or on the original blog post that first announced the new 6 Month METV that now has over 100 comments. Best of luck and see you in Thailand!




Update: Getting a 2nd METV



I just got back from the U.S. and got my second 6 month METV successfully! So the answer is yes you can get them back to back without problems!

Even better news is that the Thai consulate in LA now does same day pickups which means you can drop it off at 10am like I did, and pick it back up at 3:30pm the same day!

Good luck getting your METV. I know some people think $200 is a lot of money, especially compared to what visas used to cost, but trust me, having it saves a ton of time and headache. I'm only back in Thailand for 4 months this time so I could have technically gotten a single entry visa or even just did two 30 day exemptions and extensions which would have been cheaper and easier, but trust me, it's so much easier having the option and flexibility of an METV.

Stop playing the visa run, 30 day exemption and extension game. Immigration is starting to crack down more and more on people flying in without a visa. Just cough up the cash and get one before you come. If you've read 12 Weeks in Thailand you'll know that everyone who comes without preparing ends up spending more money, wasting time on buses and planes, missing opportunities and running the risk of getting a red stamp in your passport or even worse, getting your passport permanently flagged in the system.

(My friend L. from England got her Passport flagged in the system for doing too many 30 day exemptions, now when she comes into Thailand, even if it's just for a week between flights she is denied. She can still apply for proper visas back home in the UK or in other countries, but it's a pain in the ass. Don't take advantage of the system, get a visa if you're spending more than 3 months in Thailand.)


Warm Regards,


Johnny FD



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  1. Hi Johnny, I've been following a lot of your stuff for lately and I really love what you do. I actually attended one of your Chiang Mai meetups in September but at that time I'd never really heard of you (oops)

    Anyway, I'm heading back to Thailand next month and I'm spending every waking hour working on my online income streams to ensure I can stay location independent. I plan on keeping a record of everything on my blog - www.thedigitalventure.com.

    It would be great to meet you and say hello at some point, since I definitely know who you are now ;)

    Cheers,
    Lewis Parrott.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Lewis, best of luck with your business and hope to see you back in Chaing Mai in 2016!

      Delete
  2. Haha Johnnys the man,Handsome mofo boss!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Johnnys super busy don't bother him!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This article is simply excellent. Helpful, informative and inspiring. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really glad to hear it was helpful Triona!

      Delete
  5. Thanks for the post Johnny very helpful.

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  6. Hey Johnny. Thanks for this information. I've been actually putting together a loose plan to come in 2017 and have been trying to identify some digital skills to learn and savings needed. I had calculated approx $7k based on yours and others spending so glad this is seemingly accurate and meets requirements.
    Quick question - when you apply for the visa does it start on a date the Thai's pick eg the next day or can you ask for a month delay? Each country is different and would be interested to understand this for planning/getting favours from friends to stay on their couches! Thanks heaps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey glad you are making a plan to make it happened!

      The Visas start the day they issue it. So I recommend getting it a week or two before your flight date if doing it in person. And if mailing it in, ask them how long it'll take so you have a bit of a buffer.

      Delete
  7. Me and my girlfriend got our 6 month visas yesterday in the Thai embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria. We are flying to Krabi on February 8th and then going to Koh Lanta. Didn't realize we can turn the 6 months into 9 until reading your post. Thanks for the tip and hopefully see you in KohHub :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey awesome Ivan! Are you a citizen of Bulgaria? It'll be SUPER interesting if you somehow got that visa otherwise.

      See you down on Koh Lanta!

      Delete
    2. Hey Johnny, sorry to disappoint but I'm a citizen of Bulgaria. It would indeed have been interesting if I somehow got the visa without being one :)

      Delete
  8. What's the status on DSL? Is it up and running again?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Officially it's still closed. Even though Anton had hoped it would reopen mid January 2016 I knew that the scope of work he was planning would take a lot longer.

      However, I know he has been opening up a few spots here and there lately as he wants to get a few people into beta test the new version before he opens it back up privately. If you're on the mailing list at www.AntonMethod.com he'll email you if spots open up.

      Delete
  9. The whole Thai visa thing does my head in. My logic is if I have to leave the country, I'll just go somewhere else.

    I can totally understand the $7000 requirement. Prove you can earn before you head off to a strange country. I mean, technically, you aren't coming to Thailand to work on a tourist visa :)

    Although if my son started renting out his place on weekends and come to crash with me, I'd give him a clip around the ears and make him give me half the Airbnb money. I did rent off a guy who did white water rafting tours on the weekends. Great idea to use a skill you have to make extra cash + get out of the house so you can rent it out :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha I would have thought most parents would be happy to have their kids come visit on the weekends. =) But hey, half of the AirBnB earnings would be better than nothing, especially if he gets a home cooked meal.

      But I agree, doing something like working on the weekend out of town would be even better! Great idea!

      Delete
    2. Kids visiting is fine once in a while if they don't make a habit of it :)

      Tbh, it bugs me that a lot of travel bloggers talk about moving back home as a way to save money etc. I don't mean you, obviously. But, as a parent, I think the best thing you can do for your kids at all stages of life is to not jump in too quickly to help them out.

      And, I'm pretty sure that ties into your point about the types who go out drinking rather than hustling up an income :)

      Delete
  10. Hi Johnny , does applying for an EIN require the IRS to check whether i filed taxes? I work as an eBay seller and would love some insight on getting a METV as a eBay seller

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes but you could always continue to sell on eBay under your personal name/social. And have the EIN but on a business that you aren't using.

      Delete
  11. "I can see why Thailand fears making it too easy to get long term visas which is why they are forcing you to fly back to your home country and show you have money in the bank"

    I think it is also the fact that they have no problem attracting visitors. If you look at the stats, there are over 24 or 26 million visitors coming to the kingdom in 2015, maybe higher.

    Also the fact that Suvarnabhumi Airport is over crowded and over capacity with more expansion in the future. They even open up Don Muang Airport for some international flights.

    I hate flying back to my home to Toronto, Canada and then fly back. It doesn't work out with me. Maybe I can try Vancouver.

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    1. I really feel bad for Canadians and your crazy expensive flights! Even traveling within Canada is outrageously expensive!

      Delete
  12. So it is not possible to stay in Thailand for an entire year. 9 months is the maximum possible? What are your options after 9 months if you want to stay out of the US for tax reasons?

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    1. Travel, enjoy the world, go to Europe, Bali, Cambodia, or you can just get another 60 day single entry tourist visa from a neighboring country and extend it for 30, giving you another 3 months totalling 1 year.

      Don't over think it.

      Delete
    2. Scenario: I get a Single Entry for 60 days + extend it for 30. At day 89 I fly to Bali for a month or two. Can I then get another Single Entry to Thailand while in Bali, and just do the whole thing over and over and over again to infinity.....? Appreciate what you do Johnny FD :)

      Delete
    3. Hey David, happy to be able to help. In your situation above, technically yes you can do exactly that. My only advice would be to

      A. Stay in Bali for 1-2 weeks and enjoy it as a vacation before coming back which will ease your travels but also not risk an "in/out" stamp by Thai officials when coming back.

      B. Change it up sometimes and instead of always going to Bali, check out other countries like Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc so it doesn't look like you're going back and forth from the same two countries all of the time, plus you get to see and travel more.

      Delete
    4. Ok, cool! So there's no specific "TIME AWAY" rule for Thailand? Seems like as long as I'm not being too quick to come back or too obvious by visiting the same location every time... I should be free to come and go.

      Delete
    5. I've been living in thailand/bangkok for the past year and a half, the last 6 months on the 6 month multiple entry visa, and twice I've flown to kuala lumpur stayed there 2 hours at the airport and flew right back in to bangkok. No issues.

      Delete
    6. Hey Rio, thanks for reporting that you didn't have any issues, it's good to know as an option.

      David, there is no time away rule for Thailand, but it's better not to risk it. It's also healthier for your body to take a vacation and enjoy some sights for a few days than to just sit ona bus or plane all day for no reason.

      Delete
  13. Thanks Johnny, I overthink everything.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great write up Johnny! My wife and I just arrived on our own 6 month visas that we got in Portland, OR. Don't tell anyone, as I don't want to get them in trouble, but they didn't even ask for a letter of employment or a bank account statement.

    We did provide all of the other paperwork as you did, and had our visas in about 15 minutes.

    See you at the Digital Nomad Summit!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Awesome to hear that JohnnyFit, I knew the consultants would be a bit more lenient and easy going. See you at the Nomad Summit! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  16. In your employment letter, you included annual income ... is it necessary to include a statement of annual income ... or just a statement of employment?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just a statement of employment. But the template I used had it stated so I just estimated a random number.

      Delete
  17. Is it certain that you can get back in after you leave for the 60 days? We just spoke to our locwk consulate and they made it seem like we shod just keep getting the 60 day visa and renew, like the METVid only good for 60 days within a 6 month period. Does that make any sense at all?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am 100% sure it is good for multiple entries, not just one. It wouldn't make any sense to have it only be good for 60 days out of a 180 period.

      Delete
  18. Sorry my fat fingers cannot spell

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  19. Planning on doing this in LA with my Brazilian passport (but if it fails, I'll use the US one), will report back. How long was the turnaround? 2 days or more? I'm coming from SF so I gotta plan on staying down there while they take care of it. BTW I read your gold watch post, and to me I had an Omega watch challenge, tho actually for Dec 15 I had a million baht target goal that if I had reached, I'd rent a lambo in Bangkok for a day :) ... fell just a tiny short of that ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Rio, I'd love to hear if they let you do it with your Brazilian passport but I'm pretty sure they'll make you use the U.S. one. The turnaround was 2 business days. So I dropped my off Wednesday morning and got it back by noon on Friday.

      How'd you do with the Omega watch challenge? Let me know if you end up renting that Lambo, I'd love to come down to Bangkok and drive around with you in it for a day!

      Delete
    2. Hey you happen to know anybody that you can trust that could do that visa 'run' for me in LA for say, $100? like you, the time spent driving down/staying down/picking it up isn't worth my time, I'd be willing to pay.

      I think as far as the embassy goes and the criteria, I just need to show proof that I'm a permanent resident of the country I request the visa from, which technically I qualify on the Brazil passport. But you're right, it's easier to just go with the US one.

      Delete
    3. Hey Rio, I'm pretty sure you'd have to do it in person for both the dropoff and pickup. Call the embassy to double check.

      It'll be great if there was a service to do it through.

      Also I think you're right about the Brazil/US situation.

      Delete
    4. I printed out a list of documents needed for the LA consulate, contacted someone in a travel group Im a member of on facebook to go in person for me (if you mail it directly to the consulate it takes them 10 days, vs 2 days if delivered in person), and everything worked out fine using my USA passport.

      Delete
  20. I heard a woman at the Thai cobsulate complain that she received the METV, but the immigration officer cancelled.the visa after only one entry. Have you heard of similar problems?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Jocy, I have not heard of it, and I've personally already used my new ME Visa twice without issue.

      There's a chance the immigration officer was not familiar with the new ME visa as it was new.

      Delete
  21. Wow! Thank you so much for writing this- it's the most comprehensive list of to-do's for getting a multiple entry visa that I have found- which is great seeing as our consulate is a few hours away. Thank you so much for writing this!!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hey Kai, really happy to be able to share it with you buddy. Make sure you sign up for the Travel Like a Boss Army to get access to our private facebook group and email updates on helpful guides like this!

      Delete
  22. Hi Johnny i am an ebay drop shipper without an EIC or business registered so would it still be possible to get the multiple entry visa while meeting all the other requirements while writing a letter stating that i am a freelance seller online without an employer information?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It depends on the consulate. Most haven't been very strict. You can get an EIN number for free here: https://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Apply-for-an-Employer-Identification-Number-(EIN)-Online

      Or you can just call the consulate and ask what to do if you're self employed. I'm 99.9% sure if you just wrote a letter explaining you're self employed you'll be fine. But double check and let us know!

      Delete
  23. Hey, thanks for this information! When traveling out of Thailand and re-entering on the 6 month visa, does one get 60 days at the land boarder as well or only on flights back in to Thailand? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy to share! Yup, you'll get another 60 days coming back from a land border! But don't do it more than once as they may start cracking down.

      Read: http://www.johnnyfd.com/2014/07/no-more-visa-runs-to-thailand-solution.html

      Delete
  24. So after 9 months you have to go back to Orange County and get another 6 month visa?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or I might go to Europe, Scuba dive in Komodo, or somewhere else and get a another single entry tourist visa giving me 90 days.

      I might also try to just go to Hawaii which is 1/2 the distance and get another 6 month visa there =)

      Who knows. This is why we're location independent and have money and freedom.

      Delete
  25. Hi really enjoyed this article, however what if you are a student applying for this viza and therefore can not comply with the documantation from your employer as you are a full time student and do not have a job? I am going to thailand for 3 weeks and 10 days into the trip i plan to fry to siem reap for three days, do i still have to apply for this multiple entry viza even tho im only visiting thailand for 3 weeks in total ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you're only coming for 3 weeks you don't need a visa. Just show up and you'll get 30 days for free. http://www.thaiembassyuk.org.uk/?q=node/55

      Delete
    2. Because i am from Georgia (the country) i think i need a visa

      Delete
  26. Hi Johnny,

    So for the ME 6-month visa, do you have to leave the country during your stay, or just when the 6 months runs up? I am planning a temporary move there early next year and I am planning to say there for the majority of my time (hopefully being able to visit other surrounding countries), but just for the sake of saying I am not planning to leave Thailand once I arrive, can I stay put for the entire 6 months? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Lauren, you still need to leave the country every 60-90 days. Read the section about: My 2016 Travel/Visa Run Plans?

      Delete
  27. Johnny, I got the ME as well but have you considered a one year business visa? And side comment, if u had to recommend an Eastern European country with similar infrastructure (Bangkok) and cost of living, anything come to mind?



    Btw, if anybody need a visa expediter to speed up the process of getting your ME visa rather than sending it directly by mail to the embassy, PM me I got a connection they'll hand deliver it n pick it up for a fee. Takes 5 day turn around to your mailbox vs the ridiculous 2-3 weeks if you mail it to them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Rio, glad you got the ME visa without issue. Berlin, Lisbon, or Sofia are the best nomad options in Europe which I'm planning to check out but don't know enough about them to make a recommendation yet.

      Delete
  28. Hi Johnny, hope you are still checking comments.

    I (non American)will apply for the ME visa, and have 2 questions.

    -Do you think I could get the visa even if I don't have an employer neither am self-employed? (though I have the necessary funds. I guess there must be a way right? (otherwise how would retired people or "rich" people do if they want to travel there and get this visa)

    -I have a round trip ticket, something like 1st June-20 September (a bit under 6 months), do you think I would be able to get the visa even if my flight back is after the 6 validity of the visa (assuming I apply NOW it would be valid until October only)? The reason for that is that I'm scared to apply only a few days before my flight specially because of the employer thing; and assuming I can get out and come back to Thailand before the visa validity I would still get the extra 60 days there.

    Really thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *I meant 1st june-20 November

      Delete
    2. Hey Miguel, you can call your local consulate and ask about the self-employment thing, some aren't requiring it.

      Don't worry about your return ticket. But most want to see your ticket to Thailand. Ask the consulate that as well.

      Best of luck!

      Delete
  29. Hey Johnny.. Thanks for the post.

    Do you have to enter the country by air or will you also get 2 more months if you enter by land? I've been searching the internet for that information, but couldn't find it - I thought maybe you would know.

    Thanks in advance

    /Morten

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Morten, you'll still get 2 more months by land, but if you do it more than once they may turn you back and flag your passport as "In and Out" if you do it on the same day as they are trying to get people to stop doing that.

      Delete
  30. Hey Johnny, excellent article - finally I got a clear and detailed info about this MEV.
    My girlfriend and I are planing to stay 6 months in Thailand in November this year. We also want to visit Vietnam and Cambodia during our stay so after having read your articles, our plans seem now very obvious...arriving in Thailand from the Uk with our MEV, staying 50 days then flying to Cambodia for 10 days, then back to Thailand for another 50 days, then flying to Vietnam for another 10 days and finally back to Thailand for the rest of the 6 months time (which obviously will be again just under 60 days). Now if we understood your article properly, we should be fine, right? Thanks a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Emmanuel, that sounds like a perfect plan that will work fine with the METV.

      Delete
  31. Sorry, my name is Emmanuel by the way...

    ReplyDelete
  32. With the METV, do I need to FLY out every 60-90 days, or can I do a land crossing to a neighboring country?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can technically go by land, but I wouldn't do it more than once as there's a good chance you'll get flagged.

      Read: http://www.johnnyfd.com/2014/07/no-more-visa-runs-to-thailand-solution.html

      Delete
  33. I'm just questioning the expiry date of a METV, I would have presumed it started the date of entry rather than the date of issue. The Visa doesn't actually have a expiry date, rather an 'Enter Before' date? Hoping you can clear up the confusion?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Daniel. It's setup for 6 months from date of issue (sucks but that's the way it is)

      Good thing through is the "enter before" date is the expiration date but if you come back a few days before it expires, you get 60 days from then, renewable to 90.

      Delete
  34. Johnny,
    Thanks for all the info it is really helpful.I have only been to Thailand once on the standard tourist visa, but am planning to return for about 8.5 months and I have a few questions.
    In order to maximize your stay there you have to get it right before you leave right (I feel like this is risky in case you get denied)?
    Also if you come back into the country right before the expiration date you get to stay in for 2 more months. Even though the visa is currently invalid at that time. Just want to clear that up cause that seems slightly counter-intuitive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy to share the info =)

      If you want to be safe apply for the visa 2-4 weeks before you leave. If you do it in person at a local consulate (instead of mailing it in) you can do it 1-2 weeks before hand as they usually have it done within a day or two. Just call them and ask how long they normally take.

      As for the expiration, it sounds a bit tricky but it's because there are two parts of a visa:

      1. is the METV visa itself (the big full page sticker with hologram) that lets you get your 60 or 30 day stamp.

      As long as you enter before your METV expires, you'll get a 60 day stamp, which is good for 2 months from the date it is issued regardless of when your METV expires. You can also extend that 60 day stamp for another 30 days.

      Enjoy your trip!

      Delete
  35. Do you know if you can use a printed out intenerary, or do you need an actual ticket?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thanks, but to be clear... I was going to print out an itenerary without actually purchasing the ticket yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. That won't work. You need to buy an actual ticket.

      Delete
  37. Thank you for writing the article but why in the world do you use a mac...lol...why not just use 7? Mac is so gay...

    ReplyDelete
  38. Johhny,

    Really appreciate this in-depth and step by step article.

    Here's the rub for me: while I don't have 7 k saved up (I'll probably have around 3-4 k before I leave) I DO have a constant source of location independent income, so I'm not worried about starving to death in Thailand. I make around 1500 USD a month.

    In my position, what do you think the best option would be? Could I just do the single entry visa, then go to Vietnam for a few weeks, then get another single entry visa?

    I understand the spirit of the requirements, but as I said I have a solid source of income and more than enough savings I feel. Maybe just apply to the 6 month anyways?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would just try to get the 6 month ME visa anyways. See if you can submit some other printouts as well if you have them, such as a retirement account or anything else. You can always ask your local embassy before you drop off the paperwork and they'll tell you if that'll pass.

      Delete
  39. I have the multiple Visa and am in Chiang Mai. I guess I need to exit and enter the country soon. Can you just do that at Mae Sai?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can technically do that as you just need to exit Thailand and re-enter, but I personally wouldn't do it as they hate seeing those stamps and will definitely flag you if you do it more than once or twice. I'm going to bet they're going to eventually forbid it entirely if they haven't already.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the response Johnny. I have done one exit/ enter already and that was a trip to Italy. It doesn't really make sense that they would look down on that if you already have the 6 month visa. So you would recommend going to Vientiene and getting a stamp. I really don't feel like traveling now that is why I am thinking just to go to Mae Sai.

      Thanks Again.

      Delete
    3. I understand how it's like not wanting to travel and just wanting to take a break. Personally I wouldn't recommend taking a bus to a border as it's both a super uncomfortable 8-10 hour bus ride and it also raises flags with Thai immigration.

      I'd advise taking a direct flight somewhere, spending 1-2 nights to sight see and coming back. You can find cheap direct flights to a lot of places.

      Delete
  40. I have a question regarding filling out the visa appication. It asks for duration of proposed stay. Do you put the length of time for your entire trip about 6 months or do you put the length of time between first entering and the first time you have to leave (within 60 days).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Chris, just write 5 months from now. =)

      Delete
  41. Over the past 9 months since its inception. Have you noticed or heard that any of the requirements are not as strictly enforced as others. EX: employment verification, savings requirement.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Over the past 9 months since its inception. Have you noticed or heard that any of the requirements are not as strictly enforced as others. EX: employment verification, savings requirement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Kris, it really depends on the specific embassy or consulate you are applying at. So far no one I know has been declined.

      Delete
  43. Hey Johnny, Emmanuel here, I have already asked a question back in May, just came back to see what's new as we are now preparing our trip coming soon now, in November... Now having the visa application form in front of me, I am puzzled about what to put in the space "duration of proposed stay" as Chriss2345 has aksed a month ago...I must admit, I did not understand your answer... We are flying to BKK in november, flying to Cambodia 50 days later for 2 weeks, back to Thailand then 50 days later flying to Vietnam for 2 weeks then back to Thailand for the rest of the duration just under 6 months... So in my case what should I put as "duration of proposed stay"?? 6 months? Or 50 days the duration of my first stay before reentering Thailand after the 2 weeks in Cambodia? Thanks again Johnny for the great work and the follow-up, it looks like you have helped a lot of people a great deal (including myself). And by the way, how has your trip gone? Did it go as planned??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey happy to help. You would put 6 months for duration. As for my trip I ended up staying in Europe longer so I didn't use my last entry.

      Delete
  44. Wow! Thanks for taking time to write such a detailed and useful article!!

    I'm starting my journey as a digital nomad by flying to Thailiand soon....I'm wondering about the 'proposed address in Thailand' section, though. My plan is to stay in a hotel for a bit while I find an apartment...do you think the hotel's address will suffice?

    Also, Johnny, what are your thoughts for the 'name/address of reference in Thailand' section? Again, I'll just be starting out in Thailand so I don't have any friends there.....yet :-)

    ReplyDelete
  45. Dear Johnny. Thanks for putting all this info together in one place. Reading your post I realized I can stay longer in Thailand (I thougt the METV would allow you to stay within 6 months. Thanks to you I will stay longer cause I'll get my stamp near the date "Enter before")

    I have two questions, though (I've read all comments so far, in your two posts about this topic, and didn't find their answers)

    1. Did anyone already get a second METV after the first one expired?

    2. After a METV expires, is everyone (from a country in the list of Visa Exemption program) allowed to enter in Thailand with the 30-days-permission-stamp?


    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gontzal, really glad to be able to help!

      1. It should be fine, I'm applying for my second one in a few weeks so I'll report back, but there shouldn't be an issue.

      2. Yes you can fly out and back in and get 30 days for free even without a visa or when it expires. (you can do this a few times in a row before they start warning you not to take advantage of the system and give you a red warning stamp)

      Delete
    2. Thanks for replying Johnny. You are the best!

      Delete
  46. I paid for my ticket on expedia which don't actually have an official ticket. They send an email stating "This email can be used as an E-ticket." It does say booked and confirmed and has a ticket # on it ..... is this sufficient?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ... and thank you for taking the time with this. I used this page as a guide through the whole process so far.

      Delete
    2. Hey that's fine. They don't check it that seriously. Even better is have the print out with the $ amount paid so they can see it.

      Delete
  47. Just received the Multiple entry visa from NYC consulate. They dont care about the employment verification part as long as you provide your bank statement of $7,000 for the past 5 monthes

    ReplyDelete
  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi Johnny -
    I just have a couple of logistical questions on the 6 month visa and extending it to 9 months. I'm planning on leaving the US in June 2017 but was originally planning to spend three months in Bali first as I've read the weather is better there than in Thailand during those months and then make the move over to Thailand after that. But it seems like that would mess up my timing with the 6 month visa if I don't plan on arriving in Thailand right away.
    So do you recommend that I come into Thailand first and immediately fly out to Bali? Would this re-set my travel dates? Or is there something else that I should consider? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Julia, yes going to Bali first would eat up half of your 6 months. The weather in Thailand is fine in Jun,e, so I would just go there straight then go to Bali for visa run/vacations.

      Delete
    2. That's good to know Johnny, thanks! After reading about the seasons in Thailand here (http://www.holiday-weather.com/bangkok/averages/june/), it sounded like june-august were particularly rainy and thus, wouldn't be the most pleasant.

      So if I plan on arriving at the beginning of June, can you tell me how often and when I would have to do visa runs to extend the 6 month visa to 9? I'd like to stay as long as possible with the visa :)

      Delete
    3. Hey Julia, it rains a few days a week during that time, but only for a few hours, so it's actually nice, especially if you're going sitting in a coffee shop or coworking space. There will usually be at least 1-3 hours of enough sun to go lay by the pool during the afternoon even when it's rainy season.

      As for the Visa, read the above post again as it explains it there, but basically you'll be flying out every 3 months.

      Delete
    4. Thanks Johnny!

      Now I'll just have to decide where to start my Thai living adventures then - at the beach or up north ;)

      Either way - would be great to meet and properly thank you in person for all your help. This article has been a godsend!

      Delete
  50. Im arriving to Thailand November 10th and leaving for Japan for a 10 day trip on January 8th which is the 60th day ! I hope they stamp my passport for that day and NOT before , otherwise I will be stuck paying a fine and not looking good on my passport as I plan on retiring there in 2018 . I do have a Multiple entry tourist visa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey the stamp you'll get is supposed to be exactly 60 days but sometimes they give you 1 or 2 less for no reason. If you go over it's a 500 baht a day fine which isn't a big deal but I try to not give the Thai immigration any reason to flag me in their system so I try to leave well before it expires.

      Just double check the stamp when you get it upon arrival.

      Delete
  51. Johnny,

    I am planning on trying to go to Thailand from January 13th - May 15th and get the proper visa. I will be there partially as a tourist and partially as a volunteer at a couple different nonprofits.

    Is everything that you've posted here still applicable as of January 2017? Is it still possible to get a 6 month visa (most of the information I have seen only allows for a 90-day visa)?

    Additionally, I will be flying into Bangkok likely without a departure ticket as I do not know exactly when I will leave the country (certainly by mid-May). I will be staying at a hotel for a couple of days to begin with and then traveling to Uthaithani to volunteer. Would I simply submit my hotel information rather than the volunteer information? Meaning, should I avoid mentioning that I will be volunteering at all?

    Any feedback would be appreciated! The information that you gave here is the most thorough that I have found so far.

    Thank you,
    Hannah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hannah, everything is still valid as of 2017. I just got my 2nd METV a few weeks ago with no issues.

      To make things simpler, unless you already have all of the volunteer paperwork in place, you can just submit your hotel information and come as a tourist.

      Delete
  52. Hey Johnny, I see another comment you didn't use the last entry, but do you know anyone who's actually stayed for 9 months? I know when this METV came out, it was sort of assumed that since it's "enter before", you'd be able to get the 9 months, but haven't actually heard of anyone following up to confirm that you can do that, rather than it just being bad English language usage, ha.

    I'm assuming it's fine, but would love someone's first hand account of actually coming in a day or two before their "enter before" date hits, and staying another 3 months.

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete

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