This is a continuation of my visa and work permit series while working in Thailand. If you haven’t read my previous posts, I was laid off from my previous school. Luckily, after few months I found a new job. This change of job also entails new requirements and processes so I will be a legal worker in Thailand. You can read my post about How to Cancel Work Permit and Non-B Visa in Thailand and How My Savings Fund Helped Me after I was Laid Off from Work.
The next step for me now is to apply for a Non-B visa. This is the type of visa for those who wish to work in Thailand. I was presented with two options by my HR based on the current laws and regulations.
- I can apply in Thailand as long as I have these requirements:
- School documents
- Passport copies
- Diploma + Transcript (Authentication and Certification of the Embassy)
- Criminal Check
- I can apply in other countries with these requirements:
- School documents
- OPEC letter (to be prepared by the school)
- Passport copies
- Diploma + Transcript (copies only)
- Criminal Check
I opted for the latter option because the certification and authentication will take more time and money to process for me. However, if you are still in the Philippines, I suggest that you do these steps before flying to Thailand as you will actually save money and time. This requirement is a new rule because before when I first worked in Thailand, my documents were not certified and it was fine. I have to send my documents back to the Philippines and request for the certification. Then, send my documents back to Thailand and request for authentication from the Embassy here. It didn’t sound so practical to me so I just chose to apply outside of Thailand.
There are a number of agencies you can choose from to do the visa run in Laos. The most popular for Filipinos is the Meesuk Travels. Their office is at the Winning Tower in Phra Kanong Soi 40.
You have to confirm your exit date with them first. Though, they usually exit to Laos every Wednesday and Sunday at 4PM- 7 PM.
Overall, I paid 4,000 Baht including the visa fee, accommodation, food and transportation. The staff will collect your passport and documents to check if everything is complete.
The trip will take 8 to 9 hours. There will be stop-over every 2 hours to have a toilet break or to buy food . Afterwards, you will stop in the border of Nongkai. Their office will open at 6:00 AM. You’ll have to wait in the van or stay outside until it’s open.
Once you got your exit stamp from Thailand, there will be a bus you can take to the immigration check of Laos. The staff will take care of it. They will take your passport and have it stamped for you. All you have to do is walk straight out of the immigration. There will be vans waiting to bring you to the Thai Embassy in Vientiane.
The Embassy opens at 8:30 so it means another waiting time. They will let people in at 8:00 AM so everyone can take a seat while waiting. At the exact time of 8:30, they will give you a priority number to go to the counter, pass your documents with your passport and if complete, the officer will give you a number for you to pick up your visa the next day.
After you’re done in the Embassy, take the same van outside that will bring you to your hotel. The agency partnered with a hotel in Vientiane. They will serve free buffet lunch, dinner and breakfast and mini lunch on the second day. The food is delicious and the staff is helpful.
Get a friend you can share with your room. You can sleep after eating to have a rest after the long travel. Dinner will be served at 5:30 PM. If you want to visit the night market after, you need to inform the staff. The fee is 50 Baht round trip.
Filipinos often get together after dinner to sing karaoke and do “tagay”. It’s a fun time to meet new friends and just laugh things out.
The second day in Laos starts with a breakfast. It starts at 6:30- 8:00. After breakfast, you can stay in your room until 11:30 for check out. There will be a mini-lunch before heading to the Embassy to collect your passport with your visa. This is actually a new rule because I remember the last time I applied in Laos, the staff from the agency collected all the passports for us and would just meet us in the border. Now, we have to do it ourselves.
After collecting your passport, make sure to check if your visa is in there, either a tourist visa or Non-B. It’s usually the time to celebrate because you got what you came for in Laos. You have to do the same steps of going out of Laos and entering Thailand.
Back in Nongkai border, you can buy some food or eat while waiting for others.
When everyone is ready, the trip to Bangkok will commence. You will still have stop-over and by 7:00- 7:30 PM, there will be a free dinner in a stop-over restaurant.
The time of arrival in Bangkok is at 12:00-1:30 AM. If you live far from Bangkok, the agency offers a room that you can stay until morning for only 100 Baht.
This has been a long post for visa application but I hope that you’ll find this information useful for your exit in Laos. There will be no problems as long as you have complete documents. Though, I’ve heard that from the other group, there were 7 people who were only given 7 days to stay in Thailand. That means they have to exit Thailand again or go back to the Philippines. I hope they’ll find ways to solve their visa problems.
What is your visa story?