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brewsterbudgen

Getting a new passport while stranded outside Thailand

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My 5 year-old son has been stuck in Laos since 20 March.  He has a UK passport and has been getting his Lao visa extended each month (at a price!).  It's just been extended again to 5 August, but my wife was told they will not extend it again as his passport is full (it also expires in December).  She was told she would need to go to the UK Embassy in Vientiene (670km away) to get him a new passport.  I think this won't be possible as my wife does not have any of the documentation required to renew a child's UK passport.

 

I'm doing everything I can to get him, and my Lao wife, back home to Thailand before 5 August.  They got as far as the border at Chong Mek last week, but were not allowed to leave Laos without a COE, even though the Thai border police confirmed that they would be able to enter Thailand and use a State quarantine facility near Ubon.

 

With any luck, the land border situation may be relaxed before 5 August, or I may be successful in getting a COE.  But if not, what should we do about his UK passport?  Can a ETD be issued without having to go to the UK Embassy in Vientiene (they are in Pakse)? 

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Posted (edited)

Does your child have a Thai Passport at all? (I’m guessing not as neither parent is Thai)

Could your Wife (Laos citizen) apply for a Laos Passport for your son? 

 

 

Options:

- Wife Couriers you your Childs Passport (you have all your sons documents?), and you apply for a renewal.

Renewing a passport usually takes 3 weeks (I’m not sure about now). Then sit tight and wait for the renewal. 

You can keep the original passport, but you may need to present it when you collect the new passport, and they cut off the corner. 

The courier the renewed passport to your Wife in Laos.

 

- You Courier documents to your Wife and she travels to Vientiane and apply's for the passport renewal (this may need your signature as the British Parent). 

 

Regarding the Emergency Travel Document: One could be issued from the Consular office (not sure if this is only in Vientiane or in Pakse) - you can call them and find out?

https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-vientiane

 

I think an Emergency travel document can only be used with flights and for travel to country of origin (through a maximum of 5 countries).

 

Edited by richard_smith237

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5 minutes ago, richard_smith237 said:

Does your child have a Thai Passport at all? (I’m guessing not as neither parent is Thai)

Could your Wife (Laos citizen) apply for a Laos Passport for your son? 

 

 

Options:

- Wife Couriers you your Childs Passport (you have all your sons documents?), and you apply for a renewal.

Renewing a passport usually takes 3 weeks (I’m not sure about now). Then sit tight and wait for the renewal. 

You can keep the original passport, but you may need to present it when you collect the new passport, and they cut off the corner. 

The courier the renewed passport to your Wife in Laos.

 

- You Courier documents to your Wife and she travels to Vientiane and apply's for the passport renewal (this may need your signature as the British Parent). 

 

Regarding the Emergency Travel Document: One could be issued from the Consular office (not sure if this is only in Vientiane or in Pakse) - you can call them and find out?

https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-vientiane

 

I think an Emergency travel document can only be used with flights and for travel to country of origin (through a maximum of 5 countries).

 

Thanks.  I have emailed the UK Embassy in Vientiene to see what they advise.

 

Your first suggestion of my wife couriering over his passport to me in Bangkok was what I was thinking too, as I already have all the forms, and documents required here.  But I am loathe for him to be without his passport in case the borders re-open and there is also the risk of it getting lost in transit.

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1 hour ago, brewsterbudgen said:

She was told she would need to go to the UK Embassy in Vientiene (670km away) to get him a new passport. 

Looks like she was given duff info since the process for renewing British passports from Laos is pretty much identical to the process from Thailand:-

 

https://www.passport.service.gov.uk/overseas/information/laos/renew/child

 

Maybe you could courier the required documentation to her by DHL ASAP, to enable her to set the wheels in motion for getting your son's passport renewed in Laos (even though this will necessitate a couple of 670 km trips on her part to the UK VAC office in Vientiane)?

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I got a reply from the UK Embassy, and yes the above is correct, although currently there is no facility to renew a UK passport in Laos.  

 

So, I'm left with either getting my wife to send me his passport so I can renew it for him at VFS, Bangkok, and then I will have to send it back to him in Laos.  I don't like this idea!

 

The UK Embassy mentioned that it is possible to arrange a daily fee of 20,000 kip to stay legal, although this may still require there to be a new passport eventually. 

 

I guess I will just have to make sure they manage to get back to Thailand before 5 August, or just risk overstaying in Laos.  He is only 5 years-old, so not sure how they will fine him.  Unfortunately I don't think Lao Immigration waive overstay fees for kids like they do in Thailand.

 

 

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