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Leo Walless

UK Passport issues during COVID-19

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On 7/31/2020 at 10:18 AM, Saltire said:

I have to say none of this problem lies with VFS, they do everything expected of them.

Whilst agreeing in general with that statement they are not without criticism. Two weeks ago when I picked up my passport I told them they were telling people by email / sms they could pick up new passports 8 am to 4 pm Mon to Fri. That is obviously incorrect. They are shut Tuesday and Thursday and the times are wrong as well.  They said they would change that. No they have not -I pick up my wife,s passport tomorrow and they sent the same email .Although the Home Office probably said they could reduce working days - why? At the end of the day some UK citizens  have been severely affected by the total incompetence of HMPO. This is not some visa agent from Nakhon Nowhere this is a  UK government department. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Eff1n2ret said:

I'm sure you're right about the EMS service, but the alleged rationale behind the current procedure inflicted on applicants of having to go twice to Bangkok or pay an agent to do it for you is that foreigners are supposed to keep their passports with them at all times. We all know that is not required in practice, but it's the law, and it is rather negated by putting your passport in the post to a third party.

 

I messaged the Passport Office at the beginning of the year after I'd jumped through all the hoops to get a new passport, suggesting that the whole process would be a lot more efficient if we were treated the same as UK applicants and could apply online, with an uploaded copy of the expiring passport instead of a paper copy (what do they do with all that paper, it's inconceivable that they file it?!). The new passport could be sent to VFS, either for collection on production of the old passport, so one trip less than at present - or yes, you could EMS the old passport to VFS and they could EMS it back to you with the new one. So you'd be without a passport for very few days, much less time than using an agent.

 

I never had the courtesy of a reply.

What I have been left wondering is how much HMPO are paying VFS for providing a service which, as far as the renewal of UK passports from Thailand is concerned, appears to stretch to little more than (in the case of the first enforced trip, whether undertaken in person or by an agent) placing application docs into an envelope which they then seal before sending it on its merry way to the UK, and (in the case of the second enforced trip) wielding a pair of scissors in order to snip off the top and bottom corners of the front covers of the passport being renewed. Unfortunately, commercial confidentiality considerations probably mean that we shall never know the exact amount involved.

 

In connection with the perceived local requirement for foreigners to have their passports on them at all times, it might be worth noting that the State Department don't apparently have any problems with our American cousins being temporarily passport-less at renewal time, as will be evident from the following link which also clearly demonstrates just how smooth and easy the American passport renewal process from Thailand is when compared to the cumbersomely bureaucratic shambles which HMPO have inflicted on us Brits (as exacerbated, of course, by their inherent incompetence):-

 

https://th.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/passports/adult-passport-renew/

 

Edited by OJAS

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I finally got my new passport yesterday on a trip to VFS in Bangkok.

 

It was the wrong size as expected, I didn't mention it (and neither did they) I just signed for it and left.

 

Incidentally on the way home I called into my Imm office in Kanchnaburi city and transferred the stamps (no charge). I had stopped n the way to get a copy of the new passport and one of the photo page of my now voided one, but Imm need a copy of every page of your old one.

 

I asked while I was there if 90 day online would still be ok (i've used it 3 years with no issues) I was told I may have to leave Thailand and come back for it to accept the new passport number. The agen told me just to use the old number till I made a trip abroad and it would be ok as she had the new one in her system.

 

I also asked if there was any change in the rule for a TM30 but unfortunately in this office even if you just go to another province you need to do a TM30 in 24 hours of your return.

 

Hopefully thats me hassle free for 90 days till my annual extension id due.

 

I have posted the complete process in a separate thread here.

 

 

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1 minute ago, VocalNeal said:

^ Roughly how long did it take?

It took a day short of 6 weeks, which is the maximum standard time for delivery promise. Was told 3 to 6 weeks.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

^ Cheers

 

Mines been expired about 10 years so i doubt it will be at the front of the queue!

 

Edited by VocalNeal
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