Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Visa Run

Yesterday I got back from an eight day trip to Bali.  The trip was a case of making the best of a problem with my visa.

When I booked our trip to the U.S., I booked our return date one day after the expiration date of my visa.  Upon our return, I received a thirty day visa to enter the country.  My plan was to go and get my one year visa near the end of the thirty days.  

Tim and I went to the immigration office with about a week left on my visa.  The officer looked at our paperwork, and informed us of some new requirements.  One requirement was that we had to have a photo of Tim and I together in our house.  We already had photos of Tim and I, and photos of the house, but we had to go back home and take photos of the two of us in the house.

We hurried home, gathered all the required documents and made it back to the office before lunch.  The officer looked at the stamps in my passport and told Tim that we couldn't apply for the spousal visa at this time.  I would have to apply for a ninety day visa and only then could I get the one year visa.  The catch is that I couldn't apply for the ninety day visa because I needed at least fifteen days left on the thirty day visa to do so.  They said that they needed at least fifteen days left in order to process the ninety day application.   This meant that I had to leave the country and get another thirty days upon re-entry.  I would then have the required time to apply for a visa.

My first thought was to do a one day visa run to Laos.  There are companies that specialize in taking you to a nearby country so that you could leave Thailand and re-enter with a new thirty day visa.  Instead of spending the day in a van and visiting Laos, I decided to make the best of the situation and take a little holiday.  After considering a lot of places, including Hong Kong, Europe and Australia, I finally settled on eight days in Bali.

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