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Leo Walless

UK Passport issues during COVID-19

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5 minutes ago, OJAS said:

You may not need to make a further 600km round trip since HMPO's Liverpool office could be amenable to your sending your second passport direct to them by DHL courier.

Yep that would help.

 

Then I would only have a 300km round trip to the nearest DHL office, much easier. Maybe I could DHL it to VSF.

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Just now, pontious said:

Has your complaint been resolved?

Not yet, I have only received an acknowledgement. They are crystal balling it!

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Posted (edited)
Just now, Saltire said:

Yep that would help.

 

Then I would only have a 300km round trip to the nearest DHL office, much easier. Maybe I could DHL it to VSF.

DHL will collect the package from your home. When you book their service online they will give you a date for collection. The online booking form is very good, when completed DHL send you a PDF shipping label for you to print off and give to the courier. When I used the service they collected on the Thursday evening and it was delivered to HMPO the following Monday morning. The cost was 1,598 baht by bank transfer. Not cheap but an otherwise excellent service.

 

https://www.dhl.com/th-th/home/contact-us.html

Edited by ImageDude
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17 minutes ago, ImageDude said:

DHL will collect the package from your home. When you book their service online they will give you a date for collection. The online booking form is very good, when completed DHL send you a PDF shipping label for you to print off and give to the courier. When I used the service they collected on the Thursday evening and it was delivered to HMPO the following Monday morning. The cost was 1,598 baht by bank transfer. Not cheap but an otherwise excellent service.

 

https://www.dhl.com/th-th/home/contact-us.html

Thank you, very useful.

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Wasted most of yesterday afternoon and evening trying to communicate with HMPO.

 

Telephone support line states 3 to 4 minutes queuing but after 4 minutes you are forced to leave a call back number.

 

Email service seems uncoordinated, either that or they don't read my emails properly as their recommendation to get a letter from my non-existent employer for the 2nd passport is repeated.

 

When you do get to talk to someone (they did call me back), while friendly and helpful, they were unable to confirm what I need to send where to nullify my second passport to allow the to give me my new one. The most annoying thing is when they put you on hold, the line drops and you have to start again (but can't as you can't get through to a human). Or they say they will transfer you and the person they try to transfer you too is busy so the hold menu kicks in again, and again you need to use the call back option.

 

So to cut a long story short I have decided to bite the bullet and do the 300 Km drive to VFS once again. I will take the second passport, a copy of all the pages (they are all blank) and a cover letter for Liverpool and submit it as additional documents to be sent to HMPO Liverpool.

 

I am now dreading being met by blank stares in the VFS office as I will have nothing to support that this advice came from Liverpool.

 

Now, am I correct in saying VFS should be open tomorrow and the rest of this week, unaffected by the current public holidays?

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Saltire said:

 

 

Now, am I correct in saying VFS should be open tomorrow and the rest of this week, unaffected by the current public holidays?

 

 

 

 

They are usually affected by public holidays....... Thai and UK. However, their website is very informative on opening times:-

 

 https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/th/en/vacs/bangkok/public-holidays-and-closures

 

 

https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/th/en/vacs/bangkok

 

Substitution for Asarnha Bucha Day 06-Jul-2020 Monday
Substitution for Songkran Festival Day 27-Jul-2020 Monday
H.M. King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua’s Birthday 28-Jul-2020

Tuesday    

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2 minutes ago, hotandsticky said:

 

 

They are usually affected by public holidays....... Thai and UK. However, their website is very informative on opening times:-

 

 https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/th/en/vacs/bangkok/public-holidays-and-closures

 

 

https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/th/en/vacs/bangkok

 

Substitution for Asarnha Bucha Day 06-Jul-2020 Monday
Substitution for Songkran Festival Day 27-Jul-2020 Monday
H.M. King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua’s Birthday 28-Jul-2020

Tuesday    

Thanks, I did look but was looking under the Passport pages.

 

Looks all clear for this week then, may go tomorrow or Thursday.

 

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1 hour ago, Saltire said:

When you do get to talk to someone (they did call me back), while friendly and helpful, they were unable to confirm what I need to send where to nullify my second passport to allow the to give me my new one.

Who are you expected to ask then.? They are the passport office.!!!

 

1. If you have a reference number for your application I would quote it and DHL it to them. That is all VFS can do anyway.

 

2. If you decide the VFS route I would consider making an appointment.

They seem quite keen you are on the 'list for the day'. You have a long  drive and do not want to be disappointed.

 

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2 hours ago, pontious said:

Who are you expected to ask then.? They are the passport office.!!!

 

1. If you have a reference number for your application I would quote it and DHL it to them. That is all VFS can do anyway.

 

2. If you decide the VFS route I would consider making an appointment.

They seem quite keen you are on the 'list for the day'. You have a long  drive and do not want to be disappointed.

 

Yes agree, didn't want to drive 6 hours for nothing, I emailed them and see response below - an IMPORTANT change for anyone going - only open 3 days a week, must be quiet I guess.

 

"The appointment is not required for submit additional documents as it state on the letter but our operation time has changed.  We are open only Monday, Wednesday and Friday (except public holiday) from 08.30-16.00 hours.

 And please noted that there are additional cost for submit additional document please see the details at https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/th/en/hmpo

 

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10 minutes ago, pontious said:

That says passport collection 1500 - 1600 -do they stick to that.! I want a morning 'pick up' and drive home before dark.

The collection slip I got on 16th June when applying says collections 9.40 till 11.50 AM ad 13.00 till 15.50 PM so I think you should be ok. It was a hand-written change from PM only.

 

I will certainly be going in the morning for the same reason. 6 hours each way and I want to avoid a hotel a while longer. I can only think the reason why they are on a 3-day week is because they are not busy. The UK visa section is probably dead.

 

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17 hours ago, Saltire said:

I can only think the reason why they are on a 3-day week is because they are not busy. The UK visa section is probably dead.

That is probably correct. They are there though to provide a service. After a lengthy shutdown they now reduce the service to 3 days a week. That makes it less convenient for customers. The GOV UK website still says they are on the 8th Floor. The whole system is outdated and is based on the last century. Americans do it all by post - I just helped a friend renew his. It was very easy. And quick. If they can do it so can we. This thread just shows the complete fiasco people have to endure to renew there passport. Thank goodness it is only once every 10 years.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, pontious said:

That is probably correct. They are there though to provide a service. After a lengthy shutdown they now reduce the service to 3 days a week. That makes it less convenient for customers. The GOV UK website still says they are on the 8th Floor. The whole system is outdated and is based on the last century. Americans do it all by post - I just helped a friend renew his. It was very easy. And quick. If they can do it so can we. This thread just shows the complete fiasco people have to endure to renew there passport. Thank goodness it is only once every 10 years.

"The whole system is outdated and is based on the last century."

 

More likely the century before, I think, given that the applicant-to-Bangkok/Chiang Mai leg of the application journey and Bangkok/Chiang Mai-to-applicant leg of the return replacement passport journey are both reliant on "shanks pony" delivery methods which predate the introduction of the Penny Black in 1840!

 

what I personally find particularly galling (and ironical in our case) is that HMPO are, these days. openly encouraging the use of the GOV.UK online system for passport renewals, despite the fact that applicants from Thailand are not permitted to use this service for some ridiculous reason!😡

 

Edited by OJAS
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Quick update

 

I got an email last night apologising - they saw all the dropped calls from my attempt to get some advice the night before. They asked me to email confirming I no longer require a second passport and someone would get back to me with instructions on what I need to do.

 

If I don't get something back today or tomorrow I will go to Bangkok on Friday, this is dragging on too long.

 

Incidentally their call queuing system is useless. It tells you the approximate wait time (always between 30 seconds and 4 minutes but it never is) and then holds. It repeatedly asks you if you want to use call back or hold, but after holding for 4 minutes it forces you into the call back option whether you like it or not. They do call you back as it's automated but it takes about 24 hours.

 

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17 minutes ago, Saltire said:

someone would get back to me with instructions on what I need to do.

I suspect that this will entail a pair of scissors being wielded in order to snip off the top and bottom corners of the front cover of your second passport. However, whether HMPO will permit you to perform this onerous task yourself or whether they will instead insist on it being performed by someone at that glorified post office called VFS when you collect your original replacement passport is, I think, the $64,000 question.

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