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Jonathan Fairfield

VFS Thailand to UK: Allow extra time for visa application

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We exchanged messages, but for the benefit of others it was 20 working days to the day.

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Finally got ours back yesterday at noon via courier, it was actually available to pickup from Weds 26th so using the courier added almost 2 full days even though it was being delivered in Bangkok 😐

 

Applied on Saturday 1st of June (paid almost 4k baht extra to VFS to have a Saturday appointment otherwise it would have been a 2 week wait just to submit) so pretty much a full month.

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We applied for my wife earlier this month - our 5th trip as a family.  The UK government part of the application doing the online application was fine, but when you get directed to the VFS site for document upload and appointment it was a disaster.  Constantly timing out, crashing.  Select documents click "upload", error "Ooops, something went wrong!".  Sometimes can't even get to the upload page.  Tried several different browsers, same issue.  No number to contact them, so emailed and got a reply after a few days that didn't help.  I even asked if they can manually make an appointment and I pay for their document processing.  Nope.  Googling it seems many people have similar problems worldwide.

 

After two weeks I cancelled the application (28 days wait to see if they will refund it or not).  Then I started again with a new username, only this time selecting the option for them to scan the documents (460 baht, fine), and due to the two weeks lost I also paid an extra $425 for the premium service.  Apart from a long wait at Trendy the application was done in super quick time and we had the passport back within three working days - but it cost me a fortune!

 

I am not a technophobe - I work in technology.  I am generally not a moaner.  But this really is a terrible system that does not work reliably and therefore should not have been implemented until tested beyond all doubt that it would work.  So, I may or may not get back my original $125 visa application fee that I had to cancel, I had to pay an additional $425 for a new application.  All in all an expensive process.

Final thing, I find their website and process quite distasteful as it is obviously designed to maximise profit - it is like booking a low cost airline ticket: click here for document scanning, click here for sms confirmation, click here for use of a waiting room, so many options - all costing way more than they should.  A genuinely horrible company and they shouldn't be allowed to gouge so openly..

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