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VFS Bangkok restrictions, UK Passport and Visa Applications


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My UK passport is due to be renewed in December.

Due to the VFS being closed in Bangkok.

My visa extension due for renewal in November, so it's important to have my new passport before then.

The question I'm asking is what's my opinions in renewing my UK passport ?

1. Can anyone recommend a agent in Chiang Mai who can assist ?, as VFS there is open as normal.

2. Send my passport to Liverpool direct from Thailand for renewal ?.

Will Liverpool post my new and old passport back to Thailand ?. And if so how and where would I get the embassy letter to transfer my visa stamp from old to new passport ?

 

very much appreciated for any feedback

 

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Check with the many Agents who offer UK passport renewal services to see if they can process it for you via Chiang Mai.

 

However, I think VFS are closed until 2 August and may re-open then, unless the lockdown is extended.  Which, obviously is a BIG "if"!

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The VFS announcement is quite confusing. It specifically refers to appointments for Visas and says nothing about passports.  Clarification needed. Are VFS shut completely as they were last year, or still open for passport renewals?  Have asked them direct, but no response as yet

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The VFS Visa Application Centre in Bangkok (Trendy Building) is closed to new applications (UK visa and passport renewal).

 

We apologise for the inconvenience and will continue to monitor the situation and post updates on this page.

Our Visa Application Centre in Chiang Mai remains open.

 

More information: https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/th/en/news/information-about-the-uk-visa-application-centres-in-thailand?fbclid=IwAR39iaEOKihisSPBWAsAezZqX5U1ryxCbQ6TphNrddbk716JRKxdEY0jjaU

 

212161172_4710536758976149_2463408074068141676_n.png

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41 minutes ago, dayo202 said:

Guys, have anyone have the UK embassy letter template or download file that the VFS supply when you renew your passport, to transfer my visa extension into my new passport at immigration

Sorry, I never took a copy of it, and it is retained by Immigration. From memory, there was an embassy embossing stamp on it, so unless you are skilled at counterfeiting such things, you might not get it past the IO.

Edited by Eff1n2ret
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39 minutes ago, dayo202 said:

Guys, have anyone have the UK embassy letter template or download file that the VFS supply when you renew your passport, to transfer my visa extension into my new passport at immigration

I don't think that's possible.  It has an embossed stamp on it to prove it's genuine.  But you might be able to get one from the UK Embassy.

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3 minutes ago, brewsterbudgen said:

I don't think that's possible.  It has an embossed stamp on it to prove it's genuine.  But you might be able to get one from the UK Embassy.

Indeed.

 

Transferring your Thai visa after renewing your British passport

If you renewed your British Passport (or it was lost, stolen or damaged and you have replaced it), you will need a visa transfer letter to move your Thai visa from your old passport in to your new one at the Immigration Bureau. There are 2 ways to obtain the visa transfer letter:

  • If you renewed your passport at VFS Bangkok, you will be given a blank letter when you receive your new passport

  • If you have not been given a copy of this letter, send us your name and Thai address via our web form and we will post a copy to you.

Fill in the blanks by hand and submit to the Immigration officer with both passports. The visa transfer letter is free of charge.

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3 minutes ago, brewsterbudgen said:

But you might be able to get one from the UK Embassy.

From the embassy website. 

"If you have not been given a copy of this letter, send us your name and Thai address via our web form and we will post a copy to you."

Source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/notarial-and-documentary-services-guide-for-thailand#transferring-your-thai-visa-after-renewing-your-british-passport

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1 hour ago, ubonjoe said:

From the embassy website. 

"If you have not been given a copy of this letter, send us your name and Thai address via our web form and we will post a copy to you."

Source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/notarial-and-documentary-services-guide-for-thailand#transferring-your-thai-visa-after-renewing-your-british-passport

That's great thanks guys very much appreciated.

I have send the UK embassy a request this afternoon hopefully I will get apply soon.

 

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1 hour ago, Eff1n2ret said:

Sorry, I never took a copy of it, and it is retained by Immigration. From memory, there was an embassy embossing stamp on it, so unless you are skilled at counterfeiting such things, you might not get it past the IO.

The letter is a photocopy, including the VC's signature, done on very cheap paper.  The Embassy embossed stamp is so faint that it is hardly noticeable.

 

I scanned my letter into a pdf and then completed the required fields using Adobe.  I presented the copy which I made to the IO together with the required copies of my old passport photo page, original visa and all the previous stamps.  He didn't bat an eye lid and in less than 10 minutes I was walking out of the office with my new passport dually stamped over two pages.

 

Embassy Letter for Immigration.pdf

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14 hours ago, brewsterbudgen said:

However, I think VFS are closed until 2 August and may re-open then, unless the lockdown is extended.  Which, obviously is a BIG "if"!

If a Wuhan-style lockdown comes to pass it appears inevitable that the VFS office in Bangkok will have to remain closed (and their Chiang Mai office also have to be closed) for several months. Not good news for Brits needing new passports over the next 6 months at the very least, I fear.

 

 

Edited by OJAS
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16 minutes ago, brewsterbudgen said:

VFS have re-opened in a limited way, but not clear if this is just for UK visas.

 

Our UK Visa Centre in Bangkok (Trendy) will reopen tomorrow, 23 July 2021. For more information, please visit: https://vfsglobal.co.uk/th/
 

That link did not work.

Found this one. https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/th/en/news/information-about-the-uk-visa-application-centres-in-thailand

Just a vague mention of UK passports at the bottom of it with a link to the overseas passport webpage. Went through the step. and nothing about it being open on that page.

https://www.passport.service.gov.uk/overseas/information/thailand/renew/adult

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16 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

That link did not work.

Found this one. https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/th/en/news/information-about-the-uk-visa-application-centres-in-thailand

Just a vague mention of UK passports at the bottom of it with a link to the overseas passport webpage. Went through the step. and nothing about it being open on that page.

https://www.passport.service.gov.uk/overseas/information/thailand/renew/adult

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3 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

Just a vague mention of UK passports at the bottom of it.

And all that says is to go through the step-by-step guide on the GOV.UK website to be told that you need to apply in person at With-It Tower!

 

What bugs me is that VFS seem primarily obsessed with Thai nationals needing British visas, with Brits needing new passports being regarded as an irritating after-thought! 

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3 minutes ago, OJAS said:

And all that says is to go through the step-by-step guide on the GOV.UK website to be told that you need to apply in person at With-It Tower!

 

What bugs me is that VFS seem primarily obsessed with Thai nationals needing British visas, with Brits needing new passports being regarded as an irritating after-thought! 

There is some truth in that, but the urgency is far greater for UK visa applicants as they may have flights already booked.  Most people renewing their UK passport have at least 6 months (it really should be longer) left on their passport, so waiting an extra few weeks for the renewal shouldn't be a major issue./

Edited by brewsterbudgen
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5 minutes ago, brewsterbudgen said:

so waiting an extra few weeks for the renewal shouldn't be a major issue./

Could actually be an extra wait of several months if Bangkok went into complete lockdown as I suggested up thread. What 2 separate passport renewal shambolic incidents barely a year apart have, I think, clearly demonstrated beyond any doubt is that the With-It Tower Passport Renewal Experience is simply no longer fit for purpose (assuming it ever was).

 

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Send an email or phone Darren at Key Visa. I see you're in CM but nonetheless have a word with Darren. A few years ago he gave me a very reasonable quote for renewing my UK PP, including returning it to me with visa & Thai Imm transfers  done for me. 

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  • theoldgit changed the title to VFS Bangkok restrictions, UK Passport and Visa Applications

I have also used key visa, excellent service and the letter for immigration automatically is sent to you with your new passport.

 

Obviously as his staff use VFS this doesnt help you but if you contact him he may be able to recommend an agent or contact in Chiang Mai...... worth a try.

 

Good luck

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50 minutes ago, brewsterbudgen said:

@ubonjoe and might be better if this was in the Visas and Migration to Other Countries Forum

 

26 minutes ago, brewsterbudgen said:

@theoldgit this thread would be much better in the right forum. Can you move it?

This forum is also the correct forum for passport issues. Without a valid passport you cannot stay in the country or if less than 12 months remaining when applying for a extension it will be shortened.

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38 minutes ago, brewsterbudgen said:

Most people renewing their UK passport have at least 6 months (it really should be longer) left on their passport, so waiting an extra few weeks for the renewal shouldn't be a major issue./

The time left on the passport is not really the issue, permission to stay is much more relevant. I had 7 years left on my passport and about 3 months on my permission to stay, I had to apply for a marriage extension to get another 30 days on that, passport came back with 3 days to spare.

That was in 2014 when the government moved passports from the FCO to the Passport Office and a huge queue built up. With the "pingdemic" and the post brexit passport confusion I can see a similar situation on the horizon, people should be very wary.

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3 minutes ago, sandyf said:

The time left on the passport is not really the issue, permission to stay is much more relevant. I had 7 years left on my passport and about 3 months on my permission to stay, I had to apply for a marriage extension to get another 30 days on that, passport came back with 3 days to spare.

That was in 2014 when the government moved passports from the FCO to the Passport Office and a huge queue built up. With the "pingdemic" and the post brexit passport confusion I can see a similar situation on the horizon, people should be very wary.

True.  People need to plan well in advance.

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3 minutes ago, brewsterbudgen said:

True.  People need to plan well in advance.

For some it could be borderline already.

This is an issue where the Embassy should be stepping in now with preventative action rather that waiting for people to get into trouble.

They had to try and expedite my passport back in 2014.

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1 hour ago, OJAS said:

And all that says is to go through the step-by-step guide on the GOV.UK website to be told that you need to apply in person at With-It Tower! 

I find this quite scandalous. VFS is providing a service on behalf of the UK government and shouldn't be allowed to withdraw that service when alternative measure can be taken.

There is no reason why a passport application cannot be done online or by post. VFS do not make decisions other than to confirm that photo is a current likeness, something that can very easily be done with a smartphone.

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