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matt9998

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  1. I went for a visa run last week to Vientiane and was ultimately rejected. My friend and I both made an appointment around a month in advance and showed up on time. We were sent to different windows. He has 5 back to back tourist visas while I have 3. However, I previously had a work permit last year. The consular official at his window warned him he may not be approved if he didn't provide a flight ticket out and a bank statement showing sufficient financial means of staying in Thailand. He was able to book and print a flight on the spot but was unable to provide a bank statement at the time. I was told nothing and simply handed a receipt to pickup my passport with a fresh 60 day SETV tomorrow. At this point I thought I was in the clear and he could possibly get rejected. The next day we went to pickup our passports and again there are two lines. The left line is the "fast" line with people spending 30 seconds at the window, getting their passport, and continuing on their way. The lady organizing the lines had a piece of paper with queue numbers written on it. If your number was written down you would be going to the right line which is the rejection/problem line. My friend's number was on the paper and he was directed to the line on the right. My number was not on the paper and I was sent to the fast track line on the left. Upon meeting the consular officer at the left window I was informed to go to the right line. This is when I knew I was in for some problems. The consular officer on the right window informed me I was rejected and couldn't reapply or show additional proof such as a flight or bank statement. There were no marks or stamp in my passport indicating I was denied. My friend was asked to go the office next door and wait for an interview with the head consular officer who makes the decisions on issuing visas. He was able to print a bank statement and provided that as well. After waiting ~2 hours he has informed that his visa application was approved and he got the SETV in his passport with no other markings or stamps. I would estimate 40% of applicants were denied visas that day. This would be at least 80 people. Roughly 10-15 people were granted interviews or asked for additional information. One couple was asked to show a bank account with at least "200k baht". They said they didnt have this much money and were quickly told the rejection would not be over turned. My friend has 100k in his bank account and they didnt seem to give him any problems. If you plan to apply for a visa I would provide as much documentation as possible if you have more than a couple tourist visas in the last 6 months. They are really cracking down and Vientiane would not be a place i'd recommend to go to for a visa run anymore.
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