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BANGKOK 24 May 2019 20:28
samtam

Extension of Stay experience at Chaengwattana

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I completed my 12th EoS for Retirement at Chaengwattana yesterday. It was by far the worst experience in 12 years. I arrived at just before 10 am, having left my apartment at 9 am.

 

A new system requires ticket holders to go to counter 45, (which took 2 hours 15 minutes plus 1 hour for lunch break) to reach, where an IO relieves you of your ticket, and scribbles the number and the counter of the reviewing IO (37 or 38) on your paperwork. You then sit for another 10-20 minutes, and are interviewed by the IO. All my paperwork was in order, but I had to sign 3 or 4 new sheets regarding non working "affidavit", confirmation that I am who I say I am, the new money regulations, plus a hand draw a map of where I live. You pay, get a receipt, and then take paperwork to a more senior IO in the next cubicle. She examines everything. It was all in order. You are then asked to wait whilst it goes to the most senior (3rd) IO, counter 41 (? not sure, as I was completely bamboozled by the "process"). Again, everything appeared in order, and so was handed back the bank book and passport. At this stage you have no numbered receipt, so you cannot inquire about process. All OK in my case, and completed by 2 pm.

 

My friend had the next ticket number and after (IO no 2), he was asked to sign the same sheet of one of the additional papers for the second time, (in the Thai version section of the English version section he had signed). He then waited 2 1/2 hours for the IO to return from an "urgent" meeting "upstairs". We then just had enough time to process our Re-entry permits, which took until about 4.30 pm, and then of course hit the rush hour traffic, returning to the Sathorn area at around 6.30 pm, a rather long 9 1/2 hour day. At 4.30 pm, when the office closes, all the IOs seemed to scurry, pointing upwards, (upstairs?) for a meeting.

 

Several others we spoke to were experiencing the delay caused by the senior IO's absence, so one hopes this was just a one-off. Normally, I am quite relaxed about a 7 hour door-to-door excursion, but I am seriously wondering whether employing an agent wouldn't be money well spent, if their activities can mitigate a very long, stressful and tiring day. Maybe that's the point of the apparent "go slow". I am quite able and happy to provide the requisite funds for the 12 months.

 

There appeared to be quite a number of agents in operation, so, as I am not familiar with the illegal money provision activities of the past, I presume they are just providing the "Fast Track" service I think I am now looking for.

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You were using the 800,000 THB money in the bank method?

 

What documentation did you need to get from the bank? Did you get this documentation at your bank's branch in Chaeng Watthana?

 

Your description of the queuing process seems a bit different than my most recent experience (Sep. 2018), where I just got an "L" ticket from the main counter just inside the primary hall, and went to the IO station which eventually flashed your number.

 

Yes, agent-escorted individuals seem to jump the queue and can throw off the dwell times, but then they also get approved in minutes vs. us unwashed masses who have to run the three or four level management gauntlet, so it might actually make things better.

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That's unfortunate. Was it very crowded?

 

I was there a few weeks ago to do a TM30 and after I completed that, I went over to the L desk where they do retirement extensions to get the handout about the new money seasoning rules (and to double check that they were not still following the old rule).  It did not seem to be that hectic.

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1 minute ago, mtls2005 said:

Yes, agent-escorted individuals seem to jump the queue and can throw off the dwell times, but then they also get approved in minutes vs. us unwashed masses who have to run the three or four level management gauntlet, so it might actually make things better.

 

I thought the purpose of an agent was to go on your behalf, thus freeing you of the trip entirely?  If there is an agent service that goes along with you and does hand-holding, I might be interested in that too if it means one hour instead of six.

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Posted (edited)

but will the agent want your business?  i was leaving the country a few weeks before my 45 days, all papers in order, 800k in the bank for 4+months.  tried to find an agent who could get it done early. 

 

one agent told me he didn't want the business of "lazy" foreigners who could do it themselves, only wanted the ones without the requisite cash or other required documents.

 

*****

 

recent CW applicants:  did you successfully apply for a retirement extension with only 2 months seasonings?

Edited by ChouDoufu

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36 minutes ago, samtam said:

A new system requires ticket holders to go to counter 45, (which took 2 hours 15 minutes plus 1 hour for lunch break) to reach, where an IO relieves you of your ticket, and scribbles the number and the counter of the reviewing IO (37 or 38) on your paperwork.

 

I don't understand this part of your post... As MTLS noted above, for a long time, the process has been pretty straightforward of going to the front counter wide area, waiting in a queue there if necessary, and them giving you a numbered queue ticket for the service you want, in this case, a retirement extension at the L section of IOs....

 

I don't know what/where is counter 45 and why there would have been a 2+ hour wait there.

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5 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

I don't understand this part of your post... As MTLS noted above, for a long time, the process has been pretty straightforward of going to the front counter wide area, waiting in a queue there if necessary, and them giving you a numbered queue ticket for the service you want, in this case, a retirement extension at the L section of IOs....

 

I don't know what/where is counter 45 and why there would have been a 2+ hour wait there.

new head of immigration = new system = new rules?

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1 minute ago, ChouDoufu said:

new head of immigration = new system = new rules?

 

Hopefully the OP will explain a bit more clearly just what he encountered at CW.....  Haven't heard anything like what he's describing from any of the recent CW visit posts I've read here.

 

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17 minutes ago, ChouDoufu said:

one agent told me he didn't want the business of "lazy" foreigners who could do it themselves, only wanted the ones without the requisite cash or other required documents.

These agents (as in other countries) and their companies were originally created for exactly that business, aiding "lazy" foreigners who didn't want to stand in an office all day. They were subverted by those who didn't meet the  money qualifications to be here long term. Consequently we all pay and eventually so will these companies which is too bad for the folks who wanted or needed to use these services legitimately. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, mtls2005 said:

You were using the 800,000 THB money in the bank method?

 

What documentation did you need to get from the bank? Did you get this documentation at your bank's branch in Chaeng Watthana?

 

Your description of the queuing process seems a bit different than my most recent experience (Sep. 2018), where I just got an "L" ticket from the main counter just inside the primary hall, and went to the IO station which eventually flashed your number.

 

Yes, agent-escorted individuals seem to jump the queue and can throw off the dwell times, but then they also get approved in minutes vs. us unwashed masses who have to run the three or four level management gauntlet, so it might actually make things better.

Yes, using the THB800k method. I obtained the bank letter from my bank in Wittayu the day before. It could be done at CW on the same day, and would take about 30 minutes; I inquired about that yesterday, when I was paying in the THB100 to show the same date transaction.

The queuing process is now twofold. You get your printed ticket from the counter as before, and then the display shows your number (2 and a half hours later, in my case), and when it comes up you go to counter 45, where there is a cursory (non-existent) look, and the IO removes the printed ticket and writes that number plus the next IO number's counter (37-38) in pencil in the left hand corner of your TM.7. You then wait, (in my case 15-20 minutes), and you see the IO. So there is a new layer added, which does not appear to have any purpose.

Edited by samtam

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59 minutes ago, attrayant said:

That's unfortunate. Was it very crowded?

 

I was there a few weeks ago to do a TM30 and after I completed that, I went over to the L desk where they do retirement extensions to get the handout about the new money seasoning rules (and to double check that they were not still following the old rule).  It did not seem to be that hectic.

Did not appear any more busy than previously. I spent the majority of my time outside, enjoying the multiple 🕺⛷️🚴‍♂️🏊‍♂️💅⛳ delights on offer at CW, which make the hours just fly by.

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

I don't understand this part of your post... As MTLS noted above, for a long time, the process has been pretty straightforward of going to the front counter wide area, waiting in a queue there if necessary, and them giving you a numbered queue ticket for the service you want, in this case, a retirement extension at the L section of IOs....

 

I don't know what/where is counter 45 and why there would have been a 2+ hour wait there.

See my reply to MTLS about "new layer" of queuing system. Why it takes 2 hours is a serious question, way beyond my pay grade or understanding!

 

Counter 45 is in the back, and does not run sequentially with those manned by the IO doing your EoS. (It's new...to me, since last year.)

Edited by samtam

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, ChouDoufu said:

but will the agent want your business?  i was leaving the country a few weeks before my 45 days, all papers in order, 800k in the bank for 4+months.  tried to find an agent who could get it done early. 

 

one agent told me he didn't want the business of "lazy" foreigners who could do it themselves, only wanted the ones without the requisite cash or other required documents.

 

*****

 

recent CW applicants:  did you successfully apply for a retirement extension with only 2 months seasonings?

Well, I have the requisite cash, both THB800k, for about 3 1/2 months, just 'cos I wanted to get the transfer done when I was planning the year in January, but no other reason.

 

I would be prepared to pay an agent to deal with my laziness, (aka not wasting 9 1/2 hours enjoying the exquisite beauty of CW and the journey to and from..)

Edited by samtam

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8 minutes ago, samtam said:

so there is a new layer added, which does not appear to have any purpose.

This extra step should save the wait for people not present (which is often 5 minutes or more before a new number would be called).  It should speed processing up.  

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2 minutes ago, lopburi3 said:

This extra step should save the wait for people not present (which is often 5 minutes or more before a new number would be called).  It should speed processing up.  

Ahah! Well-intentioned, but obviously not working as intended?

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