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Thai Visas and Visa Runs Tell us about your Thailand visa run experience, ask about doing a Thai Visa run here. Where is the best place to get a visa for Thailand? What paperwork did you need for a Thai Non Immigrant Visa? Where can you get Thai Multiple Entry Visas? Is a Retirement Visa that difficult to get? Want to take your Thai Girlfriend back to the UK or need a Thai Visa for yourself? Also for questions on visa entry requirements to other countries & overstay in Thailand.

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Old 04-01-2012, 06:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1st visit to my new immigration office.

I rumbled into the parking lot on my ground pounding Honda Wave. There were about 40 or so foreigner men ranging from cripples, drunks, scrawny sickly fellas, huge fat guys with cankles requiring canes to even walk and some either high or severely self medicated men. All of them following their lil missus around like little lost puppy dogs while she was trying to understand what he needs. It was a funny site quite honestly. Even more funny was very few brought a pen and as most of you guys know, they do not supply them(business opportunity staring at me here). This was very different from my Chaengwattana Immigration visits.

I filled out the one request for extension form outside(~2 mins). I went in and got number. I sat down and waited about 7 minutes or so and in that time I heard more whining, sniveling, BS spewing by dirty looking grumpy foreigners about why they are late etc etc and the fine yaddy yaddy while their missus stood over their shoulder correcting everything the man said.

Then I heard my number, I sat down at the booth, handed the cute gal my passport with form. Gal looked at form. She hit the bottom of the form with a myriad of stamps, signed it, stapled it to my Passport and said with a beautiful smile, "See you in April".(1 minute) Total time, ~ 10 minutes.

Cant wait for my April visit.
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Which Isaan town was that in?
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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^ Which immi office?

Saving grace of my office (Ubon) is there are relatively few farang. If you go after lunch, usually you are the only one. I think they make up for their lack of activity though by being incredibly slow, albeit pleasant enough.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Mine was in Hua Hin. It seriously looked like a Geritol convention where they are handing out free meds to senior citizens.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Man that's really cool. You must be the coolest sexpat loser in LOS.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Did you see some slob try to walk in without a shirt? That's always entertaining.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Similar pleasant experience in Surat Thani. Main difference, no farang, just heaps of Malaysian and Burmese doing bulk passports. In and out in 5 mins for me.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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This is story reminds me of when I was a kid and said, "Look, mommy! I can tie my own shoes now!"
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My last trip to the immigration office had the immi girl telling me a should leave my wife and have a baby with her. She was actually trying to slip me her phone number and mouthing "call me mister" when my missus was not looking. SHe then rang later and asked me to come back and fill out a paper that was missing that I knew I had giver her. She had checked everything 5 times. She said come in alone mister. I showed up with Mrs. Chi and funny thing the missing paper mysteriously appeared!

Now if this happened with some male worker at an immigration office in the US or UK, the official would be terminated and I would have a nice lawsuit. But no in Thailand- totally acceptable.

Do you guys thing it was my dashing, debonair looks that had her all hot and bothered or was it my income verification form that she did the conversion on wither her little calculator? Probably my good looks!
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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^ That's quite an offer Chi

During my last visit to immigration they advised they were short of funds to redecorate the office. I advised if they let us know what colour and brand of paint they needed, they our company could supply it. Not surprisingly they hadn't decided what colour they were going with and "could I just give them the cash?"

The outcome of my application seemed to depend on whether I donated or not.

At least you got a simple request which you could decline.

After I paid them what they wanted they issued me with an official thank you letter, with Garuda..... wishing me and our company a prosperous future.

We have it hanging on the wall in the office
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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^^ You could do far worse than having a mia noi mole in Immigration mate.
I seemed to have most of the female staff at Zanotti's besieging me with offers when I was a regular diner there, but they couldn't be of much help with the Thai government unfortunately.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:12 AM   #12 (permalink)
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^^ You could do far worse than having a mia noi mole in Immigration mate.
I seemed to have most of the female staff at Zanotti's besieging me with offers when I was a regular diner there, but they couldn't be of much help with the Thai government unfortunately.
She was a 40 plus, horse faced, pale, Thai Chinese woman. Hardly my flava'!
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Got my Non Immigrant O Visa renewed for another year yesterday at Ayuttaya. Also got the multi-entry - total cost 5,700 baht. Not cheap for sure. Was in/out of the office in <1/2 hr.

Only other farang in that office was a Russian and his old lady also a Russian. Can't have 'em coming up here - y'all keep 'em in Chonburi, OK?
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:42 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Did you see some slob try to walk in without a shirt? That's always entertaining.
Did not witness one of those guys yet.....

I was surprised to see all these torn up men. They were not new comers. They know the rules and yet the majority walked around lost and totally dependent on their missus to think for them coupled with the fact that most looked like they had given up on themselves.

At least at Chaengwattana the men cleaned themselves up, had their papers in order, brought proper supplies etc. Here was just pathetic and to get mad and make excuses about being 20 days late is retarded. Maybe the meds or the booze or the drug interaction....who knows.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Got my Non Immigrant O Visa renewed for another year yesterday at Ayuttaya. Also got the multi-entry - total cost 7.5K baht. Not cheap for sure. Was in/out of the office in <1/2 hr.

Only other farang in that office was a Russian and his old lady also a Russian. Can't have 'em coming up here - y'all keep 'em in Chonburi, OK?
Never been to Chonburi immigration, the Pattaya one must be a jewel. Mine is now Hua Hin. Its actually quite small but was efficient and the gals spoke very good English. I got there right after lunch and when I walked in the place totally smelled like food.

It was interesting they have a flow chart on the wall with the steps to follow and in parenthesis the expected time to complete through each step. They even had a customer questionnaire you could fill out to make suggestions to better improve the service. 10 minutes was pretty good.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:59 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Got my Non Immigrant O Visa renewed for another year yesterday at Ayuttaya. Also got the multi-entry - total cost 7.5K baht. Not cheap for sure. Was in/out of the office in <1/2 hr.

Only other farang in that office was a Russian and his old lady also a Russian. Can't have 'em coming up here - y'all keep 'em in Chonburi, OK?
Never been to Chonburi immigration, the Pattaya one must be a jewel. Mine is now Hua Hin. Its actually quite small but was efficient and the gals spoke very good English. I got there right after lunch and when I walked in the place totally smelled like food.

It was interesting they have a flow chart on the wall with the steps to follow and in parenthesis the expected time to complete through each step. They even had a customer questionnaire you could fill out to make suggestions to better improve the service. 10 minutes was pretty good.
It's not that organized in Ayuttaya and nobody speaks English. Well, maybe the head Immigration chick can say please, thank you but that's it. Their office is in the Optomall since getting flooded out of their permanent place by the river.

Heh...no little customer questionnaire on how to improve the service. In fact, these folks are borderline rude but that's the place I gotta go to living in Suphan...
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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During a recent trip to immigration, I had the misfortune to be sitting next to an Australian with a bad case of Tourette's and a need to get quite a lot off his chest. He told me his story over a period of about 10 minutes, and spoke extra loudly with more than the usual number of expletives whenever he mentioned immigration officers. If ever I wished I had one of those Harry Potter invisible cloaks it was then.

Anyway, if you're interested in the story, he was here on a non-immigrant visa, but had been unlucky or careless enough to lose his passport. He'd been to the police and filed a report, he'd kept a photocopy of the passport and all the stamped pages, and he'd been to the Aussie Consulate where they'd issued him with a one-year replacement passport. All he needed now was a stamp from immigration saying that he had a valid visa.

Ooops. Immigration told him they could only give him a "copy" visa in his new passport if he brought his old lost passport along with him. You could see the penny drop as he began to absorb this information, and then smoke started coming out of his ears. He tried to remain calm as he explained that he'd lost his original passport, but he had a copy, had been to the police and had had a new temporary passport issued. Could they please just put a stamp in the new passport to allow him to stay here up to the expiry of his original visa? If he had his old passport, he wouldn't be here now asking for a visa in his new passport.

You can probably guess the answer: they told him that if he wanted a new visa he would have to go back to Australia to get it. Meanwhile, they would give him a stamp for seven days while he got himself a ticket. The poor guy lost it.

Moral of the story: don't lose your frigging passport.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:06 PM   #18 (permalink)
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on the few times ive been in these places, yep lost passport on a night out with in udon with a few of the posters from here, it was quite a simple process, made a lot slower by codgers in the immigration fcuking about complaining etc, a fun few hours though, forget where in bkk it was, although i vaguely remember getting a motocy from near the brit embassy, and think fcuk me i couldve walked there when he dropped me off, where was the old immigation building in bkk?

got it, soi san plu, sathorn
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:42 PM   #19 (permalink)
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It's not that organized in Ayuttaya and nobody speaks English.
Does everyone still pile there shoes by the front door and run around barefoot in the office?
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:53 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Went to Phuket office the other day to renew my retirement visa.
They were having one of their "I am going to piss off the farang because I can day"
Due to a cock up by my Thai bank they hung on to my money for a few days so instead of money being in my account for 90 days prior to renewal it was only in for 87 days.
Tried to explain this to the ***t's but he just told me to go and if I no like it go live another country.
Helpfull bunch of twats down here
Why do they always make you feel like a criminal just for renewing a visa
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:08 PM   #21 (permalink)
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^ So the mistake is between your bank and you, but immigration get the blame?

As surprising as it maybe to many, immigration officers are normally sticklers for the details - 87 days is not 90 days. They don't make the rules, just enforce them.

If, if your paperwork is correct, you get the visa. If it ain't you don't.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:22 PM   #22 (permalink)
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My mate's passport expired over two years ago.

Stoner guy in his 30s, of not independent means.

As always with life in Thailand, I'm sure the show will end up being quite entertaining.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:07 PM   #23 (permalink)
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^ So the mistake is between your bank and you, but immigration get the blame?

As surprising as it maybe to many, immigration officers are normally sticklers for the details - 87 days is not 90 days. They don't make the rules, just enforce them.

If, if your paperwork is correct, you get the visa. If it ain't you don't.
Nid, that was kind of the jest on my OP. Firstly people show up looking like they are still drunk or high(probably are). They stink and present themselves like they do not respect themselves at all. Trust me I would cringe if I had to sit behind a counter and deal with foreigners. They argue with the immigration girl about being late on their Visa date and the fee or they lost their passport. FFS!!!! Come prepared, clean yourself up a bit, at minimum S3 and put on some clean clothes. If you are late come prepared to pay, if you lost your paperwork then be ready for the consequences.

This was my first visit to this immigration office and it was not a pretty site at all.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:21 PM   #24 (permalink)
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yes there are some grim characters in hua hin, but the immigration officers are no angels there either. they can and often do ask for backhanders to process faulty paperwork, the make people jump through hoops for no reason at all and some of the comments they pass around regarding their "customers" would get them fired in any other country or smacked in the mouth if it was on the street.

beneath the smiles there lurks a simmering dislike of the people they are supposed to serve, be they foreigner or thai. it seems to be present in all government employees. the abuse of power by petty officials.

if they want our true respect, rather than us just putting on out best shirts out of a fear of them, which lets face it, is how it is, then they should act professionally towards us too.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:08 PM   #25 (permalink)
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yes there are some grim characters in hua hin, but the immigration officers are no angels there either. they can and often do ask for backhanders to process faulty paperwork, the make people jump through hoops for no reason at all .
In all honesty, my experience differs. I have never, to my recollection, been asked for a backhander. Once or twice for highly technical reasons my paperwork has been bounced back to me, but correcting what they want has always resulted in the visa issued with no further problems.

My further experience is that when I am asked to do stuff (outside of immigration) "for no apparent reason at all" it turns out that there really was a reason behind it, and that communication at some point broke down so that I just did not GET the reason.

I work with civil servants every day (at work). They work within what are really quite tight restrains as to the laws givrning their actions. They want the "i"s doted and the "t"s crossed to protect themselves from future problems. Probably 50% of all activity in Thailand (in the civil service) is the small cogs in the wheel protecting themselves......
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