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  1. #1
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    US Citizens Services - American Embassy - Great Service!!!!

    I had an amazing thing happen today!

    I had to go to the Citizen Services at the US embassy today to get pages added to my passport and get a document notorized.

    You have to make an appointment from http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/service.html to get pages added, no appointment was needed to get the document notarized.

    My appointment was at 10:30. Despite the vagaries of Thai transport, I was exactly on time. After having the woman check all of the paperwork and me paying for the services, I turned in my paperwork.

    At ~10:50 I'm called to the window, do the notary thing and she gives me my passport with the extra pages. ~15 minutes or so from start to finish.

    I complimented the lady on the speed of the service and she said that never come early as the place is a madhouse, the best time to make an appointment is after 10 or better yet between 1-2 after lunch.

  2. #2
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    Actually CSFFan you did need an appointment for the notary.. You just can only select ONE choice from the menu to make an appointment and you can do more than one thing at the appointed time... If you'd showed up for a notary stamp without having made an appointment they wouldn't have let you in the front door. I think what you're saying is you didn't need to make TWO separate appointmentz.

    Since they went to mandatory appointments except for emergencies (which adding pages to your passport and/or a notary service aren't) that place has really started running a lot smoother.

    They only have x number of appointments for each time slot. What slows it down is people wanting to tell their life story in thailand to the clerk, filling out the forms AFTER they check in rather than before and mostly being ill-prepared for what they're tryin' to do. Coincidentally or not, those are the exact same things which slow the process down out at thai immigrations as well....

    I do agree with your assessment of optimal times to go. Seeing as they run really restrictive hours 7:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m, you should always shoot for an appointment in the 10 to 11 slot or during the last hour in the afternoon when they're open.

    Now, I was there last week and there was a foreigner getting a notary stamp. He had his thai wife and baby in tow (although why he needed them there was beyond me). They wouldn't let the wife and baby in and that guy threw a hissy fit about it.

    FWIW: If you're gonna go with someone or lug someone in with you, call the ACS phone number BEFORE you go and have them added to the list.
    OR
    Open that phone box on the right, next to where you check in, and dial the extension listed on it. It goes right to ACS and they'll call the check in people to allow people to go in with you.
    "Whoever said `Money can`t buy you love or joy` obviously was not making enough money." <- quote by Gene $immon$ of the rock group KISS

  3. #3
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    My first visit the the embassy in Bangkok was about a month ago. I have visited the one in Chiang Mai on several occasions and found the staff there to be very helpful and courteous.

    If I had to pick begween the two, I would prefer the embassy in Chiang Mai. They take more time explaining things and seem to go the extra mile. In Bangkok, they seem to be pressured to get done quicker due to the sheer number of individuals they process.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
    My first visit the the embassy in Bangkok was about a month ago. I have visited the one in Chiang Mai on several occasions and found the staff there to be very helpful and courteous.

    If I had to pick begween the two, I would prefer the embassy in Chiang Mai. They take more time explaining things and seem to go the extra mile. In Bangkok, they seem to be pressured to get done quicker due to the sheer number of individuals they process.
    Not to come across pedantic, but the facility at CM is a true consulate and rather limited to what services that can be offered. A different beast to an embassy.

  5. #5
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    Not to be even more pedantic but americans get into the American Citizen Services area of the building and of course people applying for a visa to the US get into that area of the same building..

    No one gets past those two places or into the real US Embassy, which is, unless I'm mistaken, across the street..

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddaniels View Post
    Not to be even more pedantic but americans get into the American Citizen Services area of the building and of course people applying for a visa to the US get into that area of the same building..

    No one gets past those two places or into the real US Embassy, which is, unless I'm mistaken, across the street..
    Yes....as well as the residence.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddaniels
    Actually CSFFan you did need an appointment for the notary..
    I stand corrected.....



    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers
    In Bangkok, they seem to be pressured to get done quicker due to the sheer number of individuals they process.
    The "check in" lady asked me to add a line about what the document I was having notarized and took the time to explain what was needed and why.

    Again, couldn't be happier with the changes they made.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
    My first visit the the embassy in Bangkok was about a month ago. I have visited the one in Chiang Mai on several occasions and found the staff there to be very helpful and courteous.

    If I had to pick begween the two, I would prefer the embassy in Chiang Mai. They take more time explaining things and seem to go the extra mile. In Bangkok, they seem to be pressured to get done quicker due to the sheer number of individuals they process.
    Not to come across pedantic, but the facility at CM is a true consulate and rather limited to what services that can be offered. A different beast to an embassy.
    They have taken care of all my needs.

    1. Verification letter of income.
    2. US passport for my American/Thai son.
    3. Social Security card for my son.
    4. Extra pages for my passport.

    They also take time to assist in paperwork needed and answer all questions courteously.

  9. #9
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    ^ sounds a winner to me......

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
    They also take time to assist in paperwork needed and answer all questions courteously.
    ACS in Bangkok has never met that standard from any citizen I've spoken to including myself.

    Brusque rudeness is more the norm. Tiny little room with chairs stacked so tight. No room to maneuver thru the crowd to get to the window.

    It's a nightmare.
    A Deplorable Bitter Clinger

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
    They also take time to assist in paperwork needed and answer all questions courteously.
    ACS in Bangkok has never met that standard from any citizen I've spoken to including myself.

    Brusque rudeness is more the norm. Tiny little room with chairs stacked so tight. No room to maneuver thru the crowd to get to the window.

    It's a nightmare.
    Yep...
    They do because they can.
    Indifference might be their clarion.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
    They also take time to assist in paperwork needed and answer all questions courteously.
    ACS in Bangkok has never met that standard from any citizen I've spoken to including myself.

    Brusque rudeness is more the norm. Tiny little room with chairs stacked so tight. No room to maneuver thru the crowd to get to the window.

    It's a nightmare.
    Yep...
    They do because they can.
    Indifference might be their clarion.
    Well, this poster has had passports/Visas and various sundry tasks performed at US Embassies all over the globe but have to admit that the PR at Bangkok is the worst anywhere I've been.
    A Deplorable Bitter Clinger

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
    They also take time to assist in paperwork needed and answer all questions courteously.
    ACS in Bangkok has never met that standard from any citizen I've spoken to including myself.

    Brusque rudeness is more the norm. Tiny little room with chairs stacked so tight. No room to maneuver thru the crowd to get to the window.

    It's a nightmare.
    Yep...
    They do because they can.
    Indifference might be their clarion.
    Well, this poster has had passports/Visas and various sundry tasks performed at US Embassies all over the globe but have to admit that the PR at Bangkok is the worst anywhere I've been.
    On the bright side, their website is well organized.


  14. #14
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
    They also take time to assist in paperwork needed and answer all questions courteously.
    ACS in Bangkok has never met that standard from any citizen I've spoken to including myself.

    Brusque rudeness is more the norm. Tiny little room with chairs stacked so tight. No room to maneuver thru the crowd to get to the window.

    It's a nightmare.
    Yep...
    They do because they can.
    Indifference might be their clarion.
    Well, this poster has had passports/Visas and various sundry tasks performed at US Embassies all over the globe but have to admit that the PR at Bangkok is the worst anywhere I've been.
    On the bright side, their website is well organized.

    They're still a bunch of un-helpful folks who really don't give two sh*ts for the people who pay their taxes.
    A Deplorable Bitter Clinger

  15. #15
    I am in Jail

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    All the workers American,or Thai.?

  16. #16
    Member Thaimato's Avatar
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    You guys just be happy you don't have to deal with the British Embassy. Now THERE'S a real fukwit organization that has zero interest for their countrymen. I've never actually heard a Brit say anything good about that place - now there's even less to comment about, as the CM branch has been closed down, too.

    Where else in the world do they make you manually fill out a passport application form by hand with a BLACK PEN - no other colour is allowed. And online application forms? Not in this century - tho spiffing, old chap - you CAN actually download a form - wonderful, innit..but it still has to be filled out manually. I believe that Japs & sheep shaggers can just upload their info online - and a passport will magically appear a short time later.

    Anyway - fuk the British Embassy..
    I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio Hornblower View Post
    All the workers American,or Thai.?
    We're talking here about American passport holders. Born and bred in the USA are are treated as crap. Not a single event either but every time one has to endure their BS.

    And whose paying their salaries I might ask?
    A Deplorable Bitter Clinger

  18. #18
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio Hornblower
    All the workers American,or Thai.?
    A few Thais work the front. US staff do the official stuff.

  19. #19
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    Boon Mee, when exactly was the last time you were at ACS in Bangkok?

    They haven't had people stacked to the gills since they went to the mandatory appointment only thingy which totally put the kibosh on random walk up stuff. I've been there almost a dozen times this year alone and never seen more than 10 people in there (not counting "tag-along-thaiz"). Then again I pick times I know aren't going to be all that busy..

    The website gives some pretty good explanations on what steps you take for specific things. It has forms, other links which explain it more in detail, etc. If you show up without having done your homework as far as what you're gonna do down there, how is it on the staff to hold your hand, and walk you thru the process?

    In watching the flotsam and jetsam who cycle thru that place, some who get quite wound up with the staff because they didn't come prepared, I think the ACS workers do a remarkable job.. Are they friendly? No, not all that much. Should they be? No, not all that much. They're there to provide a service, not be your best friend or hold your hand.

    Boon Mee, we must be goin' to different places. I have never had the staff be surly, inattentive, or not do their jobs. I doubt there's a worse place to work, I mean imagine how many self entitled people they deal with on a daily basis who think just because they're american and at the US embassy that they're gonna be fawned over and treated with kid gloves.

    Get your ducks in a row before you go, get your paperwork filled out before you go, read up on what you're going to need from their website BEFORE you go and you'll be in/out in a matter of minutes.

    Show up unprepared like a half, dim, or nit-wit, bluster on that you're an american which somehow entitles to "be treated different" and you're gonna get stonewalled. I guarantee it.
    "Whoever said `Money can`t buy you love or joy` obviously was not making enough money." <- quote by Gene $immon$ of the rock group KISS

  20. #20
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^Good post, and accurate from my experience.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddaniels View Post
    Boon Mee, when exactly was the last time you were at ACS in Bangkok?

    They haven't had people stacked to the gills since they went to the mandatory appointment only thingy which totally put the kibosh on random walk up stuff. I've been there almost a dozen times this year alone and never seen more than 10 people in there (not counting "tag-along-thaiz"). Then again I pick times I know aren't going to be all that busy..

    The website gives some pretty good explanations on what steps you take for specific things. It has forms, other links which explain it more in detail, etc. If you show up without having done your homework as far as what you're gonna do down there, how is it on the staff to hold your hand, and walk you thru the process?

    In watching the flotsam and jetsam who cycle thru that place, some who get quite wound up with the staff because they didn't come prepared, I think the ACS workers do a remarkable job.. Are they friendly? No, not all that much. Should they be? No, not all that much. They're there to provide a service, not be your best friend or hold your hand.

    Boon Mee, we must be goin' to different places. I have never had the staff be surly, inattentive, or not do their jobs. I doubt there's a worse place to work, I mean imagine how many self entitled people they deal with on a daily basis who think just because they're american and at the US embassy that they're gonna be fawned over and treated with kid gloves.

    Get your ducks in a row before you go, get your paperwork filled out before you go, read up on what you're going to need from their website BEFORE you go and you'll be in/out in a matter of minutes.

    Show up unprepared like a half, dim, or nit-wit, bluster on that you're an american which somehow entitles to "be treated different" and you're gonna get stonewalled. I guarantee it.
    I never used the terms 'surly/inattentive'. I said brusque/rudeness. A bit of a difference there. The rudeness bit most forthcoming from the cashier and this customer has always been polite.

    Not to worry - I've always 'had my ducks in a row'. This embassy ACS isn't my first rodeo and I don't need to have anyone 'hold my hand'. Regardless, given your 5 star impression of the place, that little room with the chairs jammed together is not a very good reflection upon the taxes and fees we pay for their service.
    A Deplorable Bitter Clinger

  22. #22
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    Americans are clearly spoiled brats. I mean their Embassy provides an "outreach" program where they send people out to service them, so they don't have to actually go anywhere other than some local hotel where the Embassy sets up shop to help them complete their own forms and hold their hands....

    The British would never contemplate such nonsense . We are never molly-coddled or given even the slightest reason to feel important. We don't get anybody "outreaching" and the BKK Embassy is a shadowy and mysterious place where nobody knows what goes on. They certainly don't want anything to do with us unpatriotic bastards that choose to live outside the UK.

    Just renewing an existing passport is a fucking nightmare...at least for those that happen to live a good distance from Bangkok.

    You have to complete your (downloaded) application from in black ink (they actually specify Biro..!!) make an appointment; travel all the way to BKK; up 28 floors to the passport office, through security tighter than Fort Knox, and present your papers to an agent. who will in time, forward everything to Liverpool where the overworked staff of gender and ethnically balanced Pakistani, Indian and Sub-Saharan ex refugees will spend six weeks (min) deciding if you should indeed have a replacement passport.

    If you manage to circumvent all these obstacles; you will be advised when your passport is ready for collection. You then travel all the way back to Bkk to pick it up. They will not mail, courier or use any other method known to mankind to deliver your passport to you.

    In the race to achieve the most inconvenient, expensive and frustrating passport renewal experience possible, the British are light years ahead of every other country in the world. It's all in our best interests of course....efficiency, security and service excellence.....
    I blame the Americans......and Thaksin.

  23. #23
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    You know what, Boon Mee; I will agree with you about that cashier. In all the times I've been there and dealt with her, I've NEVER ever seen her smile, not a single time. She's definitely got some hard bark on her..

    Again, you're beating the dead horse of how it's "not a good reflection upon the taxes and fees we pay for their service".. Oh, the injustice of it all...

  24. #24
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    Koman, the British Embassy's in the Middle East have a "Private Liquor Store," within their compounds. They are quite generous as they allow us septic's to utilize their resources. US Embassy's are forbidden from doing so, although alcohol is to be found within those compounds.

    I didn't find the US Embassy in Bangkok daunting either Boon Mee. Of course I've only utilized it a couple times. When paying fees there was a male cashier no female. Didn't make any difference to me as its simply a transaction not a love affair.

    I did have a small altercation at the Ambassador's residence when I took photos of the beautiful house and surrounding lake...Guards rushed me and demanded the film from my camera. I simply told them to fuk off and went on my way...its not like anyone couldn't get a photo of that residence. Perhaps they should install a "cloaking device on it?" AKA Star Wars and Klingon Warriors stuff...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee
    that little room with the chairs jammed together is not a very good reflection upon the taxes and fees we pay for their service.
    It's a function of available space and the number of people being served at any one time slot. Damn efficient in my opinion. If you think you deserve a first class lounge with champagne and snacks for your tax money you need to adjust your expectations.

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