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Getting A Thai Visa in Penang, Malaysia

Thai Visa Penang

Getting A Thai Visa in Penang, Malaysia

Ah Thailand – the Land of Smiles and my all-round favourite country. It’s about to be my fifth visit here and frankly, 30 days is never long enough. Having spent the past couple of months in Malaysia (a country with much more lax rules on entry) I decided to get a Thai visa in Penang, where I’m currently based.

Success! Today I returned to the consulate and successfully acquired my visa.

Here are all the questions I was trying to find answers to before I went, and I hope these answers will help you too.

Questions about Getting a Thai Visa in Penang

1. How much does a Thai visa in Penang cost?

2. Where is the Thai Consulate Penang?

3. What’s the procedure at the Thai Consulate Penang?

4. How long will I have to wait?

5. When do I collect my passport (with visa)?

6. What documents are required?

7. Can I download the Thai Embassy Penang Visa Application Form beforehand?

8. Do I need to show proof of exit from Thailand, and will a bus ticket be enough?

9. What is the official website for the embassy and how can I contact the embassy directly prior to going?

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Please note, the answers are my experience of the process as it is now, and could of course change. I write this to help you but please don’t blame me of things don’t quite work out. Ok, disclaimer over!

1. How much does a Thai visa in Penang cost?

RM 150. The signs at the consulate state that only local currency (ringgit) is accepted here.

2. Where is the Thai Consulate Penang and How Do I Get There?

I have to admit I walked for simplicity, but it was 3.7km from my central Georgetown accommodation and took me 45 minutes. And it is hot! Bus number 10 and 304 go from Georgetown, but number 10 isn’t very reliable. Go to Komtar bus station where you’ll be able to see screens for both, showing expected arrival times.

3. What’s the procedure at the Thai Consulate Penang?

You’ll need to submit your documents one morning and collect them the following working day in the afternoon. The embassy is open from 9:00 – 12:00 for the morning session and 14:00 – 16:00 in the afternoon, from Monday to Friday. Do check local public holidays before you go.

I arrived at 9:00 on a Wednesday, with a pre-filled in visa form, which I’d printed off. Don’t worry if you don’t have this – you can get one there. But make sure you look at one first so you have all the info to hand. Download the Thai visa form here and see here:

Thai Visa Form Penang
Thai Visa Form Penang

Note for your current address, they want to see an address in / near Penang. I had only put my home address in the UK and they asked me to add my current local address – they let me do this at the counter though so it wasn’t an issue.

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You will be also given a checklist form upon arrival outside, which I hadn’t seen on the official website. Thankfully I’d done my research and had the necessities with me. It looks like this:

Thai visa in Penang checklist

There is a staff member outside to tell you what to do, answer questions about form-filling etc. I’m not sure he’s an expert on consular matters, but he can definitely help with the basics. Once you’ve filled in this form and a briefer one which you’ll need to retain to pick up your passport the next day, you’ll be allowed into the main office area. Here you’ll queue up to submit your paperwork to one of the agents. I say queue, but as there were three agents working and only five people before me, I waited under five minutes.

Please note, I read that queues are typically longer on Mondays and Thursdays when arranged groups come. So I arrived Wed.

When I got to the front of the queue, the agent browsed each page of my paperwork (presumably for any obvious errors or omissions) before telling me to come back tomorrow at 14:00 and to bring my slip of paper which she stamped.

4. How long will I have to wait?

That all depends how busy they are. As mentioned above, Mon and Thu are supposedly the busier days. I went on Wed and waited all of five minutes!

5. When do I collect my passport (with visa)?

The following business day at 14:00. Although the embassy claims to be open from 14:00 – 16:00, I was asked to come back at 14:00 (as opposed to anytime within the window). Sure enough, everyone else was there at 14:00 too. So on Thursday afternoon I waited closer to ten minutes than five (shock horror!). All in all, everything was extremely efficient.

6. What documents are required?

See above checklist, which is mostly self-explanatory. For the accommodation booking, I had simply booked my first two nights in Thailand and printed off an Agoda booking confirmation of these.

Regarding the proof of exit, ie point 5, this was a little more ambiguous – see next question!

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7. Can I download the Thai Embassy Penang Visa Application Form in advance?

Yes, follow this link here: Thai Visa Application Form.

8. Do I need to show proof of exit from Thailand, and will a bus ticket be enough?

Yes, you absolutely need to show proof of exit from Thailand. As for whether a bus ticket is enough, I would love to know the definitive answer to this! In fact, it was exactly what I asked in my emails to the consulate which they didn’t reply to. As it happened, on this occasion I was flying out of Thailand anyway so I could submit proof of this.

According to the form above, if you are travelling by other methods, you need to submit the vehicle registration number and owner’s passport details. Bus companies don’t provide this info when you book a bus ticket so I didn’t want to risk giving a bus ticket, but I’d love to know if it works – contact me!

Alternative options are as follows:

Some websites such as Thai Airways allow you to book a flight ticket without paying, and give you a valid booking reference for 24 hours if anyone checks. If you don’t pay, the booking expires after this period.

However, given that you’ll be leaving your paperwork here for closer to 30 hours, and that the staff could process your application the following morning (ie over 24 hours after you submit it) I wouldn’t have taken this risk in case they check the booking confirmation. One website I have used successfully before is Best Onward Ticket which gives you a valid booking confirmation for 48 hours and currently costs US$12. You can request longer periods for an extra fee too.

9. What is the official website for the embassy and how can I contact the embassy directly prior to going?

Here is the official website. However I found some info was incorrect / out of date and other things were missing. If you read the checklist on the website, it says (as I write this) to bring one passport photo, yet the checklist on arrival clearly states two are needed, which the guy confirmed.

The website also says you need proof of funds of 20 000 baht, yet this was not listed upon arrival.

More worryingly, parts of the website seem to have been hacked and current divert to spam sites. Also, the website fails to mention that you need a photocopy of your passport data page AND proof of accommodation booking, which are both listed as required on the form you’ll be given upon arrival. All in all, not very helpful!

The two email addresses for the Thai Consulate in Penang, listed on the website are and However when I emailed both with a query, neither replied. (Nor did they bounce back)

Summary – How to Get a Thai Visa in Penang

Overall I can highly recommend getting a Thai visa in Penang. I found the consulate to be very efficient with short wait-times when I attended Wed and Thu. Everyone else who attended when I did also got their visas efficiently – staff appeared professional and willing to help.

I hope you found this information to be useful and I wish you a successful trip to the consulate. If you found this information helpful, please can I ask you to consider buying me a coffee using the link below. This helps to fund my travels and allows me to keep writing articles which I hope you’ll benefit from again. Many thanks!

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