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Cm Immigration Doing Their Best


Flatouthruthefog

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On August 24th I went to Immigration for one of the simpler tasks: to transfer my current visa, TM card and 90 day slip from my old passport to my (damned expensive 8,000b) UK passport.

Knowing over years to avoid Mondays and Fridays, I arrived on the Wednesday at 7.20am to find one gate open, the car park half full and several people milling about the waiting area, the doors already open.

On the main desk near the door was an A4 sheet with numbers down the left and a sign in English. 'Continue the numbers and write in your own name'. Just before 7.30am, I was number 22.

As 8.30am came up the place was packed, and a young Thai officer stood up at the front and wished us a polite 'Good morning.'

He pointed out the 'signing in sheet', explained that he would now move over to the ticket machine, and call out our numbers and names in order. Then we must go to him with our passports and tell him exactly what we needed. As he was talking, an older man loudly (in Thai) brought out trays of forms for different purposes.

Maybe because many foreigners did not undestand the young man's (clear) English, they immediately stood up and formed a queue at the ticket machine, many of whom (it turned out) had not even put their names on the paper. This wasted their own time and formed a needless crush.

Promptly and quickly he worked his way through the numbers, directing people to forms, photo copies, photographs etc. My 22 came up in a matter of a few minutes, and all I needed were a few photo copies, which were done at 2b each out at the back by the fastest photo-copy operator I have ever seen. Just as my whole operation was completed in under an hour, i heard the man's chilling announcement:

"From number 56 onwards, please come back at 1.00pm."

Immigration will never start any operation in the morning that they cannot finish by lunch time.

I report this as advice and guideline. These people are currently terribly over-worked but in my view are doing the most efficient job possible. Calmly and politely too, which is more than can be said for some of we foreign applicants.

Anyone seeking to convert to a Retirement visa may have to allow 2 or 3 days to be seen. Especially if you don't get there by 7.20am........!

Just "be soon" - and stay calm.

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Yeah my last 90 day was similar.. I always go early, but the car park was so full, and I messed around looking for parking for 10 minutes that by the time I got to the 'pre ticket list' I was down in the 40's..

I would also say, they are very adept at streamlining so that quick 90 day reports do one queue and slower renewals do another. But its clear they are heavily over worked and understaffed.

Having dealt for years with the rudest nastiest immigration (Phuket) who seem to compete with each other as to who can be the most insulting to see if you blow up and leave, CM is a pleasure.. Sure they may be busy but my experiences so far is they try their best to do assist and accomplish the visa rather than put obstacles in the way of it.

I would also say that mid / late afternoon the 90 day window is often not many either.. Seems early morning or mid / late afternoon is the best bet. For renewals which I will need in a month or two, its early only is my guess.

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"Anyone seeking to convert to a Retirement visa may have to allow 2 or 3 days to be seen. Especially if you don't get there by 7.20am........!"

Or you could simply book a time online, there is an ongoing thread relating to it going on for some weeks.

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Yeah my last 90 day was similar.. I always go early, but the car park was so full, and I messed around looking for parking for 10 minutes that by the time I got to the 'pre ticket list' I was down in the 40's..

Directly opposite immigration on the other side of the road is a large car park that is nearly always empty.

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I was in there last Thursday,. Got there before 7 and number 14. As for that booking an appointment on line.........I did dpeak to someone that arrived at 0950 for his 10.00 appointment. He was seen at exactly 10.00 and was out 15 minutes later!!! There are only half a dozen slots available for online appointments every day so it is not going to be a cure all. If they dont want to spend money increasing the size of the building, car parks etc then how about a double shift. Start very early and end late, that would spread the customers out a bit.

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I was in there last Thursday,. Got there before 7 and number 14. As for that booking an appointment on line.........I did dpeak to someone that arrived at 0950 for his 10.00 appointment. He was seen at exactly 10.00 and was out 15 minutes later!!! There are only half a dozen slots available for online appointments every day so it is not going to be a cure all. If they dont want to spend money increasing the size of the building, car parks etc then how about a double shift. Start very early and end late, that would spread the customers out a bit.

They could be helped immensely if the stupid 90 day reporting was done away with and for say, retirees, give them a 5 year extension after 3 consecutive one year extensions. I can't get emotional with a system that is too paranoid to look at alternatives.

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I was in there last Thursday,. Got there before 7 and number 14. As for that booking an appointment on line.........I did dpeak to someone that arrived at 0950 for his 10.00 appointment. He was seen at exactly 10.00 and was out 15 minutes later!!! There are only half a dozen slots available for online appointments every day so it is not going to be a cure all. If they dont want to spend money increasing the size of the building, car parks etc then how about a double shift. Start very early and end late, that would spread the customers out a bit.

They could be helped immensely if the stupid 90 day reporting was done away with and for say, retirees, give them a 5 year extension after 3 consecutive one year extensions. I can't get emotional with a system that is too paranoid to look at alternatives.

Well I would have to agree with you on that one but if immigration are reading this I thought they were more likely to go for a double shift as it still keeps them all employed and looking busy which of course is what it is all about......bureaucracy! But I guess the system is deisgned to tell you whether they really want you here.

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They could be helped immensely if the stupid 90 day reporting was done away with and for say, retirees, give them a 5 year extension after 3 consecutive one year extensions. I can't get emotional with a system that is too paranoid to look at alternatives.

Well I would have to agree with you on that one but if immigration are reading this I thought they were more likely to go for a double shift as it still keeps them all employed and looking busy which of course is what it is all about......bureaucracy! But I guess the system is deisgned to tell you whether they really want you here.

I can assure that Thai Immigration will not give up their 8-30 - 4 jobs to accommodate farang visa requirements. They couldn't give one iota if you get there at 3 am. They may be busy...that's OK, but at least they have a day job in an air con place....they could be doing a real job in the fields under the hot sun.

Edited by uptheos
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Yeah my last 90 day was similar.. I always go early, but the car park was so full, and I messed around looking for parking for 10 minutes that by the time I got to the 'pre ticket list' I was down in the 40's..

I would also say, they are very adept at streamlining so that quick 90 day reports do one queue and slower renewals do another. But its clear they are heavily over worked and understaffed.

Having dealt for years with the rudest nastiest immigration (Phuket) who seem to compete with each other as to who can be the most insulting to see if you blow up and leave, CM is a pleasure.. Sure they may be busy but my experiences so far is they try their best to do assist and accomplish the visa rather than put obstacles in the way of it.

I would also say that mid / late afternoon the 90 day window is often not many either.. Seems early morning or mid / late afternoon is the best bet. For renewals which I will need in a month or two, its early only is my guess.

If you're referring to the office in Phuket Town, I can only wonder why we all have such radically different experiences at such places. My experience of Immigration in Phuket Town is that they are super efficient (retirement visa extension completed from start to finish in under 45 mins, four years in a row) and 90 day reports completed in less than 15 mins, every time - having got to know some of the people that work there over time I also find them really friendly and very helpful. BUT, if you're talking about that idiot that works in the one man Patong office, Mr you pay for copy, I couldn't agree more,

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"Anyone seeking to convert to a Retirement visa may have to allow 2 or 3 days to be seen. Especially if you don't get there by 7.20am........!"

Or you could simply book a time online, there is an ongoing thread relating to it going on for some weeks.

Will have to have a dig as that sounds efficient !!

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I'm currently an outsider but interested in the whole immigration changes for foreigners topic. I'm wondering is there an organisation or representative that advocates for foreigners and has some direct input into Thai government on an advocacy or advisory level ? Mike

They could be helped immensely if the stupid 90 day reporting was done away with and for say, retirees, give them a 5 year extension after 3 consecutive one year extensions. I can't get emotional with a system that is too paranoid to look at alternatives.

Well I would have to agree with you on that one but if immigration are reading this I thought they were more likely to go for a double shift as it still keeps them all employed and looking busy which of course is what it is all about......bureaucracy! But I guess the system is deisgned to tell you whether they really want you here.

I can assure that Thai Immigration will not give up their 8-30 - 4 jobs to accommodate farang visa requirements. They couldn't give one iota if you get there at 3 am. They may be busy...that's OK, but at least they have a day job in an air con place....they could be doing a real job in the fields under the hot sun.

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Yeah my last 90 day was similar.. I always go early, but the car park was so full, and I messed around looking for parking for 10 minutes that by the time I got to the 'pre ticket list' I was down in the 40's..

I would also say, they are very adept at streamlining so that quick 90 day reports do one queue and slower renewals do another. But its clear they are heavily over worked and understaffed.

Having dealt for years with the rudest nastiest immigration (Phuket) who seem to compete with each other as to who can be the most insulting to see if you blow up and leave, CM is a pleasure.. Sure they may be busy but my experiences so far is they try their best to do assist and accomplish the visa rather than put obstacles in the way of it.

I would also say that mid / late afternoon the 90 day window is often not many either.. Seems early morning or mid / late afternoon is the best bet. For renewals which I will need in a month or two, its early only is my guess.

If you're referring to the office in Phuket Town, I can only wonder why we all have such radically different experiences at such places. My experience of Immigration in Phuket Town is that they are super efficient (retirement visa extension completed from start to finish in under 45 mins, four years in a row) and 90 day reports completed in less than 15 mins, every time - having got to know some of the people that work there over time I also find them really friendly and very helpful. BUT, if you're talking about that idiot that works in the one man Patong office, Mr you pay for copy, I couldn't agree more,

No Phuket town.. And yes 90 day reports are routine, but visa extension applications are a nightmare (my and others experiences) I hear part of this is to push you to use a legal service who pay them under the table.

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2 weeks ago there was a national holiday on the Friday. So I arrived at immigration Monday 13:30 for a tourist visa extension. I had the stamp and was out the door in 60 mins with no extra curricular payments.

Extra curricular payments???

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I was in there last Thursday,. Got there before 7 and number 14. As for that booking an appointment on line.........I did dpeak to someone that arrived at 0950 for his 10.00 appointment. He was seen at exactly 10.00 and was out 15 minutes later!!! There are only half a dozen slots available for online appointments every day so it is not going to be a cure all. If they dont want to spend money increasing the size of the building, car parks etc then how about a double shift. Start very early and end late, that would spread the customers out a bit.

They could be helped immensely if the stupid 90 day reporting was done away with and for say, retirees, give them a 5 year extension after 3 consecutive one year extensions. I can't get emotional with a system that is too paranoid to look at alternatives.

She who must be obeyed

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Just out of curiosity what is the problem with the 90 day and retirement renewal at immigration.

If you are retired it should ber no problem. Last renewal I made went in at 1:00 out in two hours last 90 day got there about 7:45 out at 9:15

What are retired people doing that they can not spend the time taking care of their visas. Kind of ridicules to ask a government to streamline their system for a miniscule number of people who are retired and should have no problem with the time involved.

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It would help that early morning crush if the people doing 90 day reports kindly stayed away and came later in the day! 10 am and 3 pm are ideal. The office is almost peaceful by 3:30 pm.

Last time I was at Immigration, I saw some new English language signs. Perhaps they need to add one about their "early morning procedure" so that people know to sign the clipboard immediately upon arrival and not to form a queue the moment the Immigration official picks up the clipboard.

I agree, the Immigration officials are very professional and polite during that early morning circus, but they don't use loudspeakers to announce the procedure and some foreigners have trouble understanding their Thai-accented English.

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Just out of curiosity what is the problem with the 90 day and retirement renewal at immigration.

If you are retired it should ber no problem. Last renewal I made went in at 1:00 out in two hours last 90 day got there about 7:45 out at 9:15

What are retired people doing that they can not spend the time taking care of their visas. Kind of ridicules to ask a government to streamline their system for a miniscule number of people who are retired and should have no problem with the time involved.

Maybe your time has no value.. Mine does..

And if not retired ?? Time off work for the workers.. Married men (I say men as women get a very easy route to citizenship).. Etc.

And this time out accomplishes what exactly.. Hello again.. Still at the same address again... Nothing at all gained or learnt (again).. See you in 90 days then !!

Just a monumental waste of everyones time, and yet cant see any point in it..

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Maybe I am stepping out on a limb, but wouldn't it be more constructive to find out what department head in the government is looking after the immigration offices, and then direct our energy into getting him/her (they) over to look at the overcrowded situation first hand?

In my opinion that would be the most constructive way of getting the department heads to realize that there is a real problem with a crowded facility, not enough staff, and disgruntled clients.

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"Kind of ridicules to ask a government to streamline their system for a miniscule number of people who are retired and should have no problem with the time involved".

Absolutely! Thailand should quit developing and stop doing things like improving idiotic, bureaucratic government systems.

"And this time out accomplishes what exactly.. Hello again.. Still at the same address again... Nothing at all gained or learnt (again).. See you in 90 days then !! "

"Just a monumental waste of everyones time".

Agree 100%.........but mustn't expect improvements or streamlining.........no progress wanted here.wink.gif

Edited by uptheos
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Yeah my last 90 day was similar.. I always go early, but the car park was so full, and I messed around looking for parking for 10 minutes that by the time I got to the 'pre ticket list' I was down in the 40's..

I would also say, they are very adept at streamlining so that quick 90 day reports do one queue and slower renewals do another. But its clear they are heavily over worked and understaffed.

Having dealt for years with the rudest nastiest immigration (Phuket) who seem to compete with each other as to who can be the most insulting to see if you blow up and leave, CM is a pleasure.. Sure they may be busy but my experiences so far is they try their best to do assist and accomplish the visa rather than put obstacles in the way of it.

I would also say that mid / late afternoon the 90 day window is often not many either.. Seems early morning or mid / late afternoon is the best bet. For renewals which I will need in a month or two, its early only is my guess.

If you're referring to the office in Phuket Town, I can only wonder why we all have such radically different experiences at such places. My experience of Immigration in Phuket Town is that they are super efficient (retirement visa extension completed from start to finish in under 45 mins, four years in a row) and 90 day reports completed in less than 15 mins, every time - having got to know some of the people that work there over time I also find them really friendly and very helpful. BUT, if you're talking about that idiot that works in the one man Patong office, Mr you pay for copy, I couldn't agree more,

No Phuket town.. And yes 90 day reports are routine, but visa extension applications are a nightmare (my and others experiences) I hear part of this is to push you to use a legal service who pay them under the table.

I fully confirm LivinLos' account of Phuket Immigration, main office. May have changed but 2 years ago living there for 5 years, the unspoken but open demand for cash for the simplest stamp was not to be overlooked. You were expected to put some bills into your passport. The booty was discretely shown to colleges, after all "We are one team", " No I never would do this for my own pocket"

Yes, I am very pleased with Chiang Mai Immigration

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I fully confirm LivinLos' account of Phuket Immigration, main office. May have changed but 2 years ago living there for 5 years, the unspoken but open demand for cash for the simplest stamp was not to be overlooked. You were expected to put some bills into your passport. The booty was discretely shown to colleges, after all "We are one team", " No I never would do this for my own pocket"

Yes, I am very pleased with Chiang Mai Immigration

I think on balance most people are quite pleased with CMI now

Regarding your comment, many here will recall the days when the same unspoken demand for cash was not to be overlooked......also, quite common was; "you can come back in a month or we can fax Bangkok today for XXXX baht"...........one month later......." not back yet we can call and enquire for xxxx baht".

And people will certainly remember farang's turning up dressed as for church, with Thai g/f and both laden with more baskets of gifts than the three wise men!

Yes, it's changed a lot.

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I fully confirm LivinLos' account of Phuket Immigration, main office. May have changed but 2 years ago living there for 5 years, the unspoken but open demand for cash for the simplest stamp was not to be overlooked. You were expected to put some bills into your passport. The booty was discretely shown to colleges, after all "We are one team", " No I never would do this for my own pocket"

Yes, I am very pleased with Chiang Mai Immigration

I think on balance most people are quite pleased with CMI now

Regarding your comment, many here will recall the days when the same unspoken demand for cash was not to be overlooked......also, quite common was; "you can come back in a month or we can fax Bangkok today for XXXX baht"...........one month later......." not back yet we can call and enquire for xxxx baht".

And people will certainly remember farang's turning up dressed as for church, with Thai g/f and both laden with more baskets of gifts than the three wise men!

Yes, it's changed a lot.

I hate to be the odd man out here but I have say I've never had or seen any of those things at Phuket Immigration in my four years of dealing with them. Oh well.

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I fully confirm LivinLos' account of Phuket Immigration, main office. May have changed but 2 years ago living there for 5 years, the unspoken but open demand for cash for the simplest stamp was not to be overlooked. You were expected to put some bills into your passport. The booty was discretely shown to colleges, after all "We are one team", " No I never would do this for my own pocket"

Yes, I am very pleased with Chiang Mai Immigration

I think on balance most people are quite pleased with CMI now

Regarding your comment, many here will recall the days when the same unspoken demand for cash was not to be overlooked......also, quite common was; "you can come back in a month or we can fax Bangkok today for XXXX baht"...........one month later......." not back yet we can call and enquire for xxxx baht".

And people will certainly remember farang's turning up dressed as for church, with Thai g/f and both laden with more baskets of gifts than the three wise men!

Yes, it's changed a lot.

I hate to be the odd man out here but I have say I've never had or seen any of those things at Phuket Immigration in my four years of dealing with them. Oh well.

I've been going to CM immigration for work extensions for nearly 20 years and also have not experienced that. Actually the first several years here I didn't even know where immigration was as I never went. University personnel handled the extension and WP and 90 day reporting was not enforced. However, immigration later decided they wanted to see my face so have to go in person now. ;)

Perhaps there is less of a chance of attempts of 'under the table requests' due to my being with a major university?

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I was in there last Thursday,. Got there before 7 and number 14. As for that booking an appointment on line.........I did dpeak to someone that arrived at 0950 for his 10.00 appointment. He was seen at exactly 10.00 and was out 15 minutes later!!! There are only half a dozen slots available for online appointments every day so it is not going to be a cure all. If they dont want to spend money increasing the size of the building, car parks etc then how about a double shift. Start very early and end late, that would spread the customers out a bit.

They could be helped immensely if the stupid 90 day reporting was done away with and for say, retirees, give them a 5 year extension after 3 consecutive one year extensions. I can't get emotional with a system that is too paranoid to look at alternatives.

This 90 reporting is a perennial beef I have. Maybe there's a good reason for it, but I can't think of one. If they have to have it, then, for their own sakes, it would help to streamline it. They've gone some way in doing that by allowing reporting by post (which, btw makes a mockery of the whole idea of 'reporting', but, whatever). Perhaps they could make that a requirement so that everyone reports by post.

*My theory for this requirement is that they want to periodically remind us foreigners that we are just guests. No matter how good this might make Thai chauvinists feel, the effect is a net negative for the country. The periodic reminder of our guest status, I'm sure, causes many to invest less money here than they otherwise would, as well as investing less time and money in Thai language proficiency.

I need to get this 90-day bugbear off my chest every now and then. Thanks for the opportunity. :)

T

Edited by Thakkar
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This 90 reporting is a perennial beef I have.

I believe it is for most of us who have been here a while and at the same address. Makes sense if you move to report a new address. Mentioned to my boss that I had to go to immigration for my 90 address report. He gave me a puzzled look and asked why and agreed it doesn't make sense?

Guess an update on that 90 day report last Thursday. Arrived around 3:15, got a queue card - believe it was something like 575 and serving 570. Was out in about 10-15 minutes max.

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This 90 reporting is a perennial beef I have.

I believe it is for most of us who have been here a while and at the same address. Makes sense if you move to report a new address. Mentioned to my boss that I had to go to immigration for my 90 address report. He gave me a puzzled look and asked why and agreed it doesn't make sense?

Guess an update on that 90 day report last Thursday. Arrived around 3:15, got a queue card - believe it was something like 575 and serving 570. Was out in about 10-15 minutes max.

Agree that the immigration office makes it as painless as possible, so no complaints there.

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If you can now get an appointment for visa extension etc on line why can't you do the 90 day report on line? After 12 years I think I must have reported at least 40 times.Waste of my time,paper and immigration staff time. Agree an option would be that you are required to do it ONLY if you change your address as suggested in a previous post.

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If you can now get an appointment for visa extension etc on line why can't you do the 90 day report on line?

The time slots are 1 hour apart as most extensions take up to this amount of time. A 90 day report takes about 2 minutes when you reach the window so seems reasonable not to have it as part of the on-line queue. Having said that though, perhaps a separate queue form for 90 day reports with 10 minute separation instead of the 1 hour.

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