I recently got married to a Thai and it was now time to get a proper visa to match.
I had the option of Savannakhet, Laos or Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam. I chose Vietnam due to better plane connection and from memory Laos was terrible.
Paperwork that I provided:
Original and signed copy of marriage certificate (the fancy one คร.3)
Original and signed copy of the other certificate (with the witnesses คร.2)
Signed copy of my wife's name change certificate
Signed copy of my wife's Tabien Bahn (Thai style copy of this takes the first page of the book on the top half and then her page at the bottom half, trust your wife in this)
Signed copy of front and back of my wife's ID card
Wife hand written letter in Thai asking them to give me a Visa
Filled out but unsigned application form
1 Photograph 4cm x 6cm
On suggestion of @overherebc I merged point 5 and 6.
Which they did seem to appreciate.
I let my wife sign and date every copy of every paper I took with me.
I took the last flight into HCMC through BKK and arrived around 9pm.
On the way to BKK I was the only one at immigration in Chiang Rai and had a pleasant conversation with the officer stamping me out of the country and he even gave me his phone number and said to call if I ever have questions, so the trip started well. I had no luggage to pick up so went straight to immigration.
I had been drinking since earlier in the day so my mind was not working 100%. I saw a line of immigration with white people and I joined the queue for the visa.
It took a couple of minutes until I realised I only hear american speaking and suddenly remembered as a British citizen I don't need a visa, I get a waiver.
So walked from that line and to the real immigration. The officer asked what I was doing here and when I was leaving. Then asked to show my ticket out.
I only showed him a screenshot of my itinerary as I did not have internet, but this was enough. Got a 15 day stamp into Vietnam.
I wont bother you with the search for my hotel, but I was given the wrong address and was not sent the right address until I connected to the internet,
which was after I had been searching for quite a long time.
But the beer was nice and the air clean(ish) so I was not complaining.
Next morning got up before 8 to change dollars. Bank redirected me to a market, from the market to a currency exchange.
Had to then go to the ATM down the road and take out millions of dong to exchange for the 200 dollars that was needed.
Still was at the Thai Consulate before 9, when I realise I did not take the photograph needed from my wife's purse.
At the consulate they have a piece of paper on the window for dumb people like me with the following information:
135 Dong Khoi Street, District 1, HCMC
Place for taking Photo:
148 Ly Chinh Thang Street, District 3, HCMC
Booking Travel Ticket:
63 Tran Quoc Thao Street, District 3, HCMC
There are always hundreds of taxis driving by, except when I need one, so ended up walking like 10 minutes to 148 Ly Chinh Thang Street,
I spend another 15 minutes finding the right place. As google maps put me in a side street instead of the main street where it was quite easily spotted.
I was back at the embassy before 10am. There was no line to get in. Inside maybe 8 people filling out forms, rushed to the table which has a glue stick on it. Stuck my photograph on the form and signed it and went to the desk.
I stated I was here for Multiple Entry Non-O based on marriage. And put the originals of the marriage certificate in front of me.
I then gave them the bundle of copies and paperwork which they scanned through in a minute or two. They said everything looked ok and asked for the 200 dollar payment.
I then asked if I could pick it up earlier as my flight would leave at 15:50 the next day so I was afraid there would not be enough time.
They said it would not be possible and asked me to wait for my receipt of the 200 dollar. After a minute or so they gestured me over and said I could come earlier. I confirmed it and thanked them graciously.
after another minute or so the second desk gestured me over and gave me my receipt. He underline 13.30 as the pick up time. I thanked him and went over to the first desk.
Showed them the receipt and asked again if it was ok for me to come morning instead. They said yes no problem, we wai and I am on my way.
Party in HCMC is fun. The drinks are cheap and venues are nice. Let's just say getting up at 8am to pick up the documents was not the highlight of the trip.
Anyway went over to the in the early morning with my receipt only to hear that i have to come back at 13.30. I kept calm and just thanked them and walked away.
At 13:30 there were lot's of people at the Consulate but I was one of the first to go in and I was out and in a taxi within 5 minutes.
Before 14:00 I was checked in and ready to go through immigration.
I flew from HCMC to BKK then from BKK to Chiang Rai. This means I did not have to go in the regular queue for immigration but you go into a sort of Fast Track Queue with nobody in line.
Only one officer who looked at my passport and without questions stamped me in for 90 days.
Cost including flights, hotel, drinking, visa, less than 20k baht. about 6k for flight, 6k for visa, 8k for hotel drinking, transport.
I would not recommend doing it in 3 days because HCMC is fun. The only reason I did it was because of the pregnant wife.
Next year we will go as a family for a week or something.
Things I would do different.
change the dollars in thailand
make sure I have the photographs with me
get a brand hotel
Take taxis everywhere, its super cheap
All in all great experience and no problems whatsoever.