PHUKET: Phuket Immigration opened a new office at Blue Tree Phuket in Cherng Talay today (May 11) to provide services to foreigners living in Thalang.

The office is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 3pm, but closed during lunchtime from midday to 1pm. The office is closed on public holidays.

The office, which is currently staffed by just two officers, is located at Unit 9 on the third floor of the Lifestyle Village at Blue Tree Phuket, located on Srisoonthorn Rd.

At this stage, the office is open for only two services: 90-day reports and a ‘Certification of residence for foreigners’.

An officer at the new Cherng Talay Immigration office ‒ who declined to give his real name and asked to be called only “Inspector Joe” ‒ told The Phuket News this afternoon (May 11) that the new office was opened to help reduce congestion at the main office in Phuket Town “as well as reduce the risk of people being infected with COVID-19.”

“Additionally, we know that there are a lot of foreigners living in Cherng Talay and other areas of Thalang District. This office will help them save time instead of going to the main office [in Phuket Town],” he said.

“We will work transparently as our commander has ordered by installing a sign explaining how much it costs for each service, so that foreigners can know that we do not overcharge them,” Inspector Joe added.

“The sign has not been installed, but it will be soon,” he said.

The confirmation that a sign will be posted at the Cherng Talay office explaining the costs of different services follows The Phuket News confirming that a foreigner at the main Phuket Immigration Office in Phuket Town last week was asked to pay B300 for a formal notice confirming the foreigner’s address, so that the foreigner could renew his driver’s licence.

An officer at the main Phuket Immigration Office yet again confirmed to The Phuket News that the request for payment was a “misunderstanding” and that the confirmation of address was to be issued for free.

The request for B300 payment for the confirmation of registered address by officers at Phuket Immigration appears to be a recurring problem. The same issue was raised not even 12 months ago.

Meanwhile, ‘Inspector Joe’ at Cherng Talay said, “For these first two weeks, the office is like a ‘soft opening’, as the office is not 100% ready to open. We will review our work and solve any problems happening with providing the services.

“We may provide more services, such re-entry permits and tourist visa extensions, next month,” he said.

“Right now, we have only two officers standing by at the office. Foreigners who want to come to receive the two services do not have to make any booking in advance,” he added.

“Foreigners can walk in, but they will need to take a queue card at the front of the office. We also have some staff from Blue Tree to facilitate foreigners for queuing,” he said.

“Today as the first day, and we have already had 20 foreigners come to the office,” he noted.

Phuket Immigration opens Cherng Talay office