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theoldgit

UK Visa Application Centres Closed

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UK Visa Application Centres in Thailand have closed to new applications and the processing of current applications will be delayed.

 

They hope to contact customers who already have appointments booked, though they state they will not be able to reschedule appointments until the Centre is re-opened.

 

Passports can still be collected at all main centres.

 

https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/th/en/news/important-information-regarding-thailand-visa-application-centres

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This is understandable regarding the visas, as there is virtually no travel allowed anyway.

However, it does raise the question about passport renewal, especially if this situation drags on as expected and the Thai government end up placing a lock down on most peoples movements.

How would people renew their passport, especially if they have left it to the last minute to do so, there could come a situation where their passport is about to expire and there isn't a way of renewing it, meaning they are here in Thailand with an expired passport and therefore permission to stay.

One option in that case would be for the UK to allow an extension of validity to the passport.

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11 minutes ago, Mattd said:

One option in that case would be for the UK to allow an extension of validity to the passport.

 

Other governments would have to agree to that, and some don't, especially some host countries, and it would require some sort of physical stamp/notation in the passport.

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It seems negligent of VfS not to make specific reference to passport applications.

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3 hours ago, Mattd said:

However, it does raise the question about passport renewal, especially if this situation drags on as expected and the Thai government end up placing a lock down on most peoples movements.

How would people renew their passport, especially if they have left it to the last minute to do so, there could come a situation where their passport is about to expire and there isn't a way of renewing it, meaning they are here in Thailand with an expired passport and therefore permission to stay.

One option in that case would be for the UK to allow an extension of validity to the passport.

A particular consideration in all this, of course, is that, if a wholesale ban were placed on inter-provincial travel, those who live away from Bangkok (or Chiang Mai) would, in practice, find it impossible to make the necessary trips in order to submit their passport renewal applications and, subsequently, to collect their replacement passports unless they were prepared to run the risk of being arrested (and possibly banged up).

 

And we should, of course, not forget that those forced into making these trips could, in any event, find themselves at considerable risk of contracting COVID-19 as a direct result of following the existing procedures – particularly if they were to find themselves cooped up cheek-by-jowl with others in the solitary lift operating from the lobby to the 28th Floor in With-It Tower where the VFS passport renewal office has (apparently with HMPO’s blessing) has now been relocated from the 8th Floor for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic for some absurd reason.

 

One immediate action which HMPO could IMHO take in order to alleviate the plight of those who need to renew their passports from Thailand at the present time would be to permit them, at least temporarily, to do this via their online system. Unfortunately, when I raised this possibility with HMPO a couple of days ago, I was informed in no uncertain terms that no changes to existing procedures were being considered. We therefore have seriously to wonder, I think, whether HMPO are, in effect, more than happy for those in imminent need of renewing their passports from Thailand at the present time to run the risk of being offered up as sacrificial lambs on some high altar of Passport Security – which, presumably, must, in their view, always be paramount regardless of any practical negative consequences for those seeking their services.

 

Edited by OJAS
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My passport expires in November, if things are not back to normal by then I guess I will have to fly under the radar and hope my neighbours don't grass on me.

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3 hours ago, theoldgit said:

 

Other governments would have to agree to that, and some don't, especially some host countries, and it would require some sort of physical stamp/notation in the passport.

And that would, of course, pose a particular problem in the case of mainland Europe, thanks to the EUSSR Politburo's pointless diktat that passports used to enter the Schengen Area must be no older than 10 years (which, I understand, is the main reason why we Brits are no longer given automatic extensions covering unexpired periods on passports being renewed up to a maximum of 9 months).

Edited by OJAS

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People might begin to understand soon that the UK Foreign Office is not there for, nor have any intention of, being there for the facilitation of British Citizens. They are there to defect any problem you might cause to the host nation in order to ensure no one gets upset and causes trade disruption. It's all about money and keeping the peace and <deleted> all to do with helping you.

 

If you are banged up or there is enough media attention then bums get off seats to show a face to promulgate the idea that they actually gave a purpose to the average citizen.

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1 hour ago, Jip99 said:

It seems negligent of VfS not to make specific reference to passport applications.

It says it remains open for passport collection, just no longer accepting new applications. Hopefully it will only be closed for a matter of weeks, so shouldn't affect too many people as most leave plenty of time to renew a passport, and no one is travelling anywhere.

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A planeload arrived at Heathrow from Bangkok last night ,,,,,,no checks just stamped as quick as possible & all went their seperate ways,,,,, no hope now. BORIS, you are letting your people down

or was the on air G20 last night a decision just to let the infected die

The crew s,,t scared as a lot of coughing on the plane, 2 hostesses have stated    "no more work

for me"

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Just to mention that the notice @theoldgit linked to mentions Visa Application Centres. I was at the UK VFS Passport Application Centre this afternoon at the Trendy Building on Sukhumvit Soi 13.

 

The UK Passport Application Centre was open, and I submitted my application with no problem at all. The entire centre was almost empty, with virtually no applicants at all.

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4 hours ago, Jip99 said:

It seems negligent of VfS not to make specific reference to passport applications.

What else would you expect from them as they are well below par in the customer service dept in my experience. 

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25 minutes ago, Andycoops said:

What else would you expect from them as they are well below par in the customer service dept in my experience. 

 

 

Despite what you say being true, I would have expected better........................... my bad.

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52 minutes ago, blackcab said:

Just to mention that the notice @theoldgit linked to mentions Visa Application Centres. I was at the UK VFS Passport Application Centre this afternoon at the Trendy Building on Sukhumvit Soi 13.

 

The UK Passport Application Centre was open, and I submitted my application with no problem at all. The entire centre was almost empty, with virtually no applicants at all.

Maybe you were there on their last day and they're closed from now?

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