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Hi,

As we all know, the VSF office in the Trendy Building has been closed throughout the lockdown and I can't find any useful information regarding when it might reopen. Govt.UK website appears to offer the ability to apply for passport renewal online. Does anyone have experience of this process because I have seen no guidance or forum discussions about it? Even now, while Trendy closed. 

Cheers, Leo 

Trendy.png

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You cannot legally make an online application to renew a UK Passport from Thailand.

Some people apply online using the UK address of a friend or relative, that option has dangers.
Are you currently in Thailand, you can apply online from Ireland?

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There is no alternative offered. HMPO is working with limited staff so any passport application is taking longer.

They offer the following advice.

1. Wait for VFS to open.

2. Apply foe an ETD - not possible if no travel plans.

3. Contact the British Embassy for local advice.

I did 3. There advice was contact HMPO !!!!!

The only correct one is 1.

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4 hours ago, theoldgit said:

You cannot legally make an online application to renew a UK Passport from Thailand.

Some people apply online using the UK address of a friend or relative, that option has dangers.
Are you currently in Thailand, you can apply online from Ireland?

I did that, it was very easy.

Applied online, even used an app for the photo

Sent my passport to the UK. Family member posted it to Liverpool. Processed and back to me inside 4 weeks.

That was over Christmas and New year too!

200 baht to send to UK, about 10 quid return

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3 minutes ago, Canuck1966 said:

I did that, it was very easy.

Applied online, even used an app for the photo

Sent my passport to the UK. Family member posted it to Liverpool. Processed and back to me inside 4 weeks.

That was over Christmas and New year too!

200 baht to send to UK, about 10 quid return

I suggest being without a passport during this State of Emergency would be most unwise.

The only legal way to apply at the moment is via VFS. Most people I expect have at least a few months validity left on there passport but if  anyone has one really close I suggest calling the Embassy is the only option.

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11 minutes ago, brewsterbudgen said:

I can't see any reason why VFS won't re-open later this week when the public holidays are over.  

I,m with you. They, unfortunately, cannot open until UK GOV tell them to.

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On 5/4/2020 at 2:31 PM, brewsterbudgen said:

I can't see any reason why VFS won't re-open later this week when the public holidays are over.  

Still not open🤬

Surely they will open on the 17th when malls etc are given the green light to resume business?

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On 5/4/2020 at 2:45 PM, pontious said:

I,m with you. They, unfortunately, cannot open until UK GOV tell them to.

 

 

I would have thought that they would subject to rules in Thailand rather than the UK.

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1 hour ago, pontious said:

1040606937_Screenshot_2020-05-08FAQsCovid-19TravelAdviceVisaApplicationCentreTravelNews.png.b6cc9592eb4463f49ec0698a6f5871e9.png

But, as far as British nationals requiring new passports in Thailand are concerned, one is eventually directed to the GOV.UK website where one is then required to go round the houses (for maybe the umpteenth time in one's case) in order to establish the current position. Far easier, I think, to do this in 1 click via the following link!

 

https://www.passport.service.gov.uk/overseas/information/thailand/renew/adult

 

 

 

Edited by OJAS
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2 hours ago, pontious said:

1040606937_Screenshot_2020-05-08FAQsCovid-19TravelAdviceVisaApplicationCentreTravelNews.png.b6cc9592eb4463f49ec0698a6f5871e9.png

 

 

Doesn't matter what the UK says - if Prayuth says Bangkok offices can't open, they won't open. 

 

 

Once Thailand eases it's lockdown rules people can at least collect/receive renewed passports.

 

 

Then up the UK when they want to receive new passport and UK visa applications.

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Just now, hotandsticky said:

 

 

Doesn't matter what the UK says - if Prayuth says Bangkok offices can't open, they won't open. 

 

 

Once Thailand eases it's lockdown rules people can at least collect/receive renewed passports.

 

 

Then up the UK when they want to receive new passport and UK visa applications.

Offices have never been ordered closed in Bangkok.  Businesses like banks, insurance companies, immigration offices can operate.  VFS closing was entirely down to them and/or UKVI.

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2 hours ago, hotandsticky said:

 

 

Doesn't matter what the UK says - if Prayuth says Bangkok offices can't open, they won't open. 

 

 

Once Thailand eases it's lockdown rules people can at least collect/receive renewed passports.

 

 

Then up the UK when they want to receive new passport and UK visa applications.

Nobody will pick up passports until UKGOV tells VFS to open. 

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4 hours ago, hotandsticky said:

 

 

Doesn't matter what the UK says - if Prayuth says Bangkok offices can't open, they won't open. 

 

 

Once Thailand eases it's lockdown rules people can at least collect/receive renewed passports.

 

 

Then up the UK when they want to receive new passport and UK visa applications.

The VFS office closures were, as far as I can tell, ordered by HMPO back in the UK, who, quite frankly, don't give a toss about what Prayuth (or anyone else in a position of power in LOS) might or might not say on whether or not their agent's offices in Bangkok and Chiang Mai should re-open. Accordingly the timing of any re-opening of these offices will almost certainly be solely dependent on how HMPO interpret current Government advice back in the UK, which could well have little relevance in practice to the situation on the ground here in Thailand. 

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4 hours ago, OJAS said:

The VFS office closures were, as far as I can tell, ordered by HMPO back in the UK, who, quite frankly, don't give a toss about what Prayuth (or anyone else in a position of power in LOS) might or might not say on whether or not their agent's offices in Bangkok and Chiang Mai should re-open. Accordingly the timing of any re-opening of these offices will almost certainly be solely dependent on how HMPO interpret current Government advice back in the UK, which could well have little relevance in practice to the situation on the ground here in Thailand. 

 

 

I stick by what I said..... if the UK move first and say VfS can start accepting applications, nothing is going to happen unless Thailand say that Bangkok offices can open again. 

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14 minutes ago, hotandsticky said:

 

 

I stick by what I said..... if the UK move first and say VfS can start accepting applications, nothing is going to happen unless Thailand say that Bangkok offices can open again. 

We will have to agree to disagree. GOV UK shut the offices. There are many offices open in Bangkok. With extra precautions in place obviously. The VFS center  will open when GOVUK says so. And not before. Thailand did not shut down the office - UK did. If you look at the FAQ,S on VFS Global it says so. They will open when the respective government says so.

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25 minutes ago, hotandsticky said:

 

 

I stick by what I said..... if the UK move first and say VfS can start accepting applications, nothing is going to happen unless Thailand say that Bangkok offices can open again. 

The Thai government's emergency decree never said that offices have to close!  Other offices at The Trendy are open, and, in case you weren't aware, Immigration and Embassies have never been closed during this period.

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7 minutes ago, brewsterbudgen said:

The Thai government's emergency decree never said that offices have to close!  Other offices at The Trendy are open, and, in case you weren't aware, Immigration and Embassies have never been closed during this period.

 

Duly noted.

 

I wrongly assumed that Trendy wasn't open.

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6 hours ago, Canuck1966 said:

Where will the passports be?

Kept in the UK until reopening or sent to BKK ?

 

 

With no scheduled flights coming in one would suspect UK - until DHL can start couriering again.

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1 hour ago, hotandsticky said:

With no scheduled flights coming in one would suspect UK - until DHL can start couriering again.

 

Whilst there are no scheduled passenger flights allowed into BKK, except those classed as repatriation flights, cargo flights are allowed to land and are indeed still operating, in fact DHL claim there is no change in delivery schedules between the UK and Thailand. 

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I have just spoke with the passport office back in the UK, at present give no confirmation on when the passport office will be open again.  The one thing the assistant did assure me is that due to the restrictions in force it is going to be a long drawn out process. Currently, I am here in Thailand and my passport expires in Jul. I attempted to get the ball rolling in March to no avail, now with no concrete direction in which to turn does anyone have any advice they would like to share with me in this matter.  Any help is appreciated.

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3 hours ago, theoldgit said:

 

Whilst there are no scheduled passenger flights allowed into BKK, except those classed as repatriation flights, cargo flights are allowed to land and are indeed still operating, in fact DHL claim there is no change in delivery schedules between the UK and Thailand. 

 

3 hours ago, blackcab said:

 

DHL fly their own cargo planes into Bangkok. Their import and export of goods has continued uninterrupted throughout the current situation, and I would imagine it will continue to do so.

But what does sound potentially worrying for those with new passports in the pipeline is that, with no-one in the VFS offices around to sign for them, how many unsucessful deliveries will DHL be prepared to undertake before giving up and returning these passports to HMPO in the UK?

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4 hours ago, blackcab said:

 

DHL fly their own cargo planes into Bangkok. Their import and export of goods has continued uninterrupted throughout the current situation, and I would imagine it will continue to do so.

 

 

Thanks for clarifying that.

 

 

Logistically, it makes sense to retain the passports (if processed) in the UK until VfS does re-open. Personally, I would prefer my passport to remain with HMPO rather than a DHL storage facility in Bangkok.

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29 minutes ago, hotandsticky said:

Logistically, it makes sense to retain the passports (if processed) in the UK until VfS does re-open. Personally, I would prefer my passport to remain with HMPO rather than a DHL storage facility in Bangkok.

And there would be no guarantee that DHL would be prepared to hold your new passport in a local storage facility for any length of time before sending it back to HMPO in the UK in any event. Condition 3 of their terms and conditions covering Deliveries and Undeliverables includes the following provision:-

 

"If …. Receiver cannot be reasonably identified or located, … DHL shall use reasonable efforts to return the Shipment to Shipper at Shipper’s cost"

 

https://www.dhl.co.uk/en/express/shipping/shipping_advice/terms_conditions.html

 

So, as you say, it would appear logical for HMPO to hang on to new passports until such time as the Home Office eventually saw fit to re-open the VFS offices. Unfortunately, though, common sense is, as we all well know, a characteristic in which they are sadly lacking!

 

 

Edited by OJAS
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4 hours ago, cheekysailor said:

I have just spoke with the passport office back in the UK, at present give no confirmation on when the passport office will be open again.  The one thing the assistant did assure me is that due to the restrictions in force it is going to be a long drawn out process. Currently, I am here in Thailand and my passport expires in Jul. I attempted to get the ball rolling in March to no avail, now with no concrete direction in which to turn does anyone have any advice they would like to share with me in this matter.  Any help is appreciated.

You are in a very difficult situation - I do not think you have enough time. I can only suggest you contact the Embassy and ask what you are to do. They will probably say apply for an ETD. If you have no travel plans that will not work. Insist you will not phone off until you are told what to do. Or what they are going to do about it. You will probably be the first of many if this goes on. Good luck.

PS. if you are trying to travel somewhere an ETD maybe OK.

Edited by pontious
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  • theoldgit changed the title to UK Passport issues during COVID-19

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