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Visa-COE, what if it is not ready by flight date?


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Sent my passport in last week overnight to consulate-general in L.A. Due to USPS weather delays last week my passport and supporting docs have still not arrived and I'm getting a little concerned this delay will cause my fly date to BKK  to come without enough time to get the COE in hand.

 

My flight and ASQ reservation are changeable but since the original dates were used in the visa application what is going to happen if I dont have the COE yet? Will I be allowed to change the dates on the flight and ASQ or have to do an all new COE application. Pretty sure I will get my passport w/visa back in time, more worried about the processing time for COE. 

 

Anybody been through this? Or more specifically anyone with knowledge of the current turnaround times for the COE after applying?

 

Thanks!

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10 minutes ago, Captain Monday said:

You absolutely cannot be boarded and will need to reschedule.

I had to. 2 times due to flight changes and new COE  are required.

One time due to mistake on COE. 

 

Thanks for the reply! So I would need to change flight and ASQ dates and then apply for a new COE? 

Edited by gtrinbkk
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Simple answer: You won’t get past the airline check-in counter. 
 

There isn’t much of an excuse not to have a CoE. The application process is incredibly simple and efficient now. 

 

I received my CoE in 3hrs from initial submission / application (Doha - which I imagine is a very quiet Thai Embassy at the moment).

 

I guess the efficiency depends on how busy the embassy is. 

 

Edited by richard_smith237
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47 minutes ago, gtrinbkk said:

Sent my passport in last week overnight to consulate-general in L.A. Due to USPS weather delays last week my passport and supporting docs have still not arrived and I'm getting a little concerned this delay will cause my fly date to BKK  to come without enough time to get the COE in hand.

I am exactly (100%) in this situation. The LA Embassy vaguely says it takes at least three weeks. (and they aren't clear when the counter starts: is it from the time we pay for the online application? from the time they receive the passport? No clear answer) Anyway I told them that since they can't tell me a clear timeline I might miss the flight and they told me ~"too bad, then you have to notify us about the change, and it will take at least one week to process". I assume that this is either a new CoE, or an amendment to the existing one.

 

FYI I went to 2 USPS offices today, including where my mail is currently located, and they have no clue when packages will be delivered.  (~" could be tomorrow, in a few days, next week"). And they won't give me back my mail either.

 

Anyway are  you even sure that you'll get your passport back in time? Also I assume that you applied for a visa (hence the requirement to send the passport by mail) and that you haven't applied to the CoE yet? 

 

USPS + Thai consulate = dream team...

 

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29 minutes ago, richard_smith237 said:

There isn’t much of an excuse not to have a CoE. The application process is incredibly simple and efficient now. 

 

Speak for yourself, try to do it at the Thai embassy in LA! With that being said, yes I agree that the Thai embassy must be much less busy currently. But still, >3 weeks to process visa/CoE and no time to provide decent/clear instructions to apply for a visa in the US.

Edited by user70
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19 minutes ago, user70 said:

I am exactly (100%) in this situation. The LA Embassy vaguely says it takes at least three weeks. (and they aren't clear when the counter starts: is it from the time we pay for the online application? from the time they receive the passport? No clear answer) Anyway I told them that since they can't tell me a clear timeline I might miss the flight and they told me ~"too bad, then you have to notify us about the change, and it will take at least one week to process". I assume that this is either a new CoE, or an amendment to the existing one.

 

FYI I went to 2 USPS offices today, including where my mail is currently located, and they have no clue when packages will be delivered.  (~" could be tomorrow, in a few days, next week"). And they won't give me back my mail either.

 

Anyway are  you even sure that you'll get your passport back in time? Also I assume that you applied for a visa (hence the requirement to send the passport by mail) and that you haven't applied to the CoE yet? 

 

USPS + Thai consulate = dream team...

 

Yeah, I applied for a visa, guess I should have just gone visa exempt and applied for the non-o in Bkk, would have saved some time in this. Bummer man, hope it works out for you, and me.

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29 minutes ago, gtrinbkk said:

guess I should have just gone visa exempt

Same here, same regrets! High five if you also had to redo the online visa application due to the change of website last Thursday (which was not mentioned to me when I called the LA embassy last Wednesday). So many things already went wrong in this application process!

 

By the way I am curious, what instructions did you follow to prepare your mail to the Embassy? The instructions from https://thaiembdc.org, the instructions from the e-appointment PDF or the instructions from the visa  application websites? All three sets of instructions were widely different. Also did you try to call the LA embassy to get some ETA?

Edited by user70
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1 hour ago, user70 said:

Same here, same regrets! High five if you also had to redo the online visa application due to the change of website last Thursday (which was not mentioned to me when I called the LA embassy last Wednesday). So many things already went wrong in this application process!

 

By the way I am curious, what instructions did you follow to prepare your mail to the Embassy? The instructions from https://thaiembdc.org, the instructions from the e-appointment PDF or the instructions from the visa  application websites? All three sets of instructions were widely different. Also did you try to call the LA embassy to get some ETA?

I followed instructions on the LA consulate website. When I went to the website to read the list of supporting docs to send I saw the announcement of the new online application system too and that confused the hell out of me. But since I already had done the application online(step 1) I just followed what they said and sent in my passport and all docs and $ by mail. Now waiting for them to receive the passport, hopefully tommorow. Did you get your visa back already? if so how many days did they take to process? You just waiting on COE now er? Glad I found someone in the same situation to share info with, very helpful!

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4 hours ago, gtrinbkk said:

Did you get your visa back already?

No, same as you as I sent my passport last week (last Friday, but I see that my passport is still the USPS center near me, so it increasingly looks like I won't to be able to make it for my flight in 2.5 weeks). Turns out for the instructions of the visa application, I didn't look at the Thai LA consulate website, only at the Thai DC embassy (I didn't expect the Thai LA consulate website to have their own instructions, they should better work on processing visas instead of playing copy pasting). No wonder why we get so much incorrect/contradictory/outdated information with the amount of duplication there is amongst different Thai websites.

 

One of my remaining points of confusion is that the Thais keeps saying that "e-Visa and COE processing time is 15 business days" (e.g on https://thaiconsulatela.org/en/stv/) and at the same time for COE alone (e.g. when one use the visa exemption), they also say it takes 15 business days (https://thaiconsulatela.org/en/visa-exemption/). And also I wonder if it is possible to apply for CoE via visa exemption while the visa is being processed (rationale: if CoE via visa exemption is approved, I cancel my visa application and ask them to send me back my passport). I tried to ask the question to the Embassy but they couldn't understand. The entire process is such a pain. The Thai tourism industry should really try to influence the Thai embassies to make the process more smooth.

Edited by user70
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7 hours ago, user70 said:

Speak for yourself, try to do it at the Thai embassy in LA! With that being said, yes I agree that the Thai embassy must be much less busy currently. But still, >3 weeks to process visa/CoE and no time to provide decent/clear instructions to apply for a visa in the US.

 

I see that you were sending your passport... it may be the visa process itself which is slower.

 

 

When already holding a Visa the CoE process is quite streamlined (or relatively streamlined). 

 

- Register and submit initial documents (Passport, Visa, Marriage Cert, Wife's Passport, Insurance)

- Receive e-mail of conformation of application (with pin code)

- Receive further e-mail of Pre-Approval 

- Log on and upload travel documents (ASQ Flight)

- Receive e-mail / CoE document

 

Any delays are obviously due to an embassy being busier etc..  I too read information which suggested to apply more than 3 weeks before travel date and not less than 2 weeks before travel date (the reality is it took me 3 hours). 

 

It would be interesting to learn how long it took people applying through the online MFA portal to other Embassies. 

 

Edited by richard_smith237
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4 hours ago, user70 said:

No, same as you as I sent my passport last week (last Friday, but I see that my passport is still the USPS center near me, so it increasingly looks like I won't to be able to make it for my flight in 2.5 weeks). Turns out for the instructions of the visa application, I didn't look at the Thai LA consulate website, only at the Thai DC embassy (I didn't expect the Thai LA consulate website to have their own instructions, they should better work on processing visas instead of playing copy pasting). No wonder why we get so much incorrect/contradictory/outdated information with the amount of duplication there is amongst different Thai websites.

 

One of my remaining points of confusion is that the Thais keeps saying that "e-Visa and COE processing time is 15 business days" (e.g on https://thaiconsulatela.org/en/stv/) and at the same time for COE alone (e.g. when one use the visa exemption), they also say it takes 15 business days (https://thaiconsulatela.org/en/visa-exemption/). And also I wonder if it is possible to apply for CoE via visa exemption while the visa is being processed (rationale: if CoE via visa exemption is approved, I cancel my visa application and ask them to send me back my passport). I tried to ask the question to the Embassy but they couldn't understand. The entire process is such a pain. The Thai tourism industry should really try to influence the Thai embassies to make the process more smooth.

My passport arrived in LA just yesterday and should arrive to the consulate today. I too am thinking about asking them to just send it back right away without doing the visa and go the visa exempt route to save time. My flight is on March 11th so is there still time for them to process the non-o, send my passport back overnight return envelope(assuming USPS doesnt delay it again)and do the COE? Seems unlikely at this point. And I got approved thought the initial online application(step 1) back on Feb 9th. Then they sat on that and didnt request supporting docs until Feb 17th, and only after I emailed them asking whats going on.

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10 hours ago, richard_smith237 said:

 I too read information which suggested to apply more than 3 weeks before travel date and not less than 2 weeks before travel date (the reality is it took me 3 hours). 

Thanks for the information! it is quite a mystery to me why visa or CoE aren't processed right away by most embassies/consulates since there is almost nobody entering Thailand nowadays (~1% of what it used to be).

 

6 hours ago, gtrinbkk said:

March 11th

March 12 on my side, and the consulate received my application this morning. If only the LA consulate could provide some slightly more precise time estimate for processing visa/CoE!  I wish I could apply to the visa exempt CoE in parallel to the visa+CoE application, however I am afraid it might derail everything (the consulate wouldn't tell me  if that's possible to apply to the visa exempt CoE in parallel). So I might just "sit tight and wait", to quote the embassy consulate  I last spoke with.

Edited by user70
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2 hours ago, user70 said:

Thanks for the information! it is quite a mystery to me why visa or CoE aren't processed right away by most embassies/consulates since there is almost nobody entering Thailand nowadays (~1% of what it used to be).

 

March 12 on my side, and the consulate received my application this morning. If only the LA consulate could provide some slightly more precise time estimate for processing visa/CoE!  I wish I could apply to the visa exempt CoE in parallel to the visa+CoE application, however I am afraid it might derail everything (the consulate wouldn't tell me  if that's possible to apply to the visa exempt CoE in parallel). So I might just "sit tight and wait", to quote the embassy consulate  I last spoke with.

same here, they received mine this morning as well. Spoke with the operator and she basically told me the same thing. She said they may get to it this week or it may not get to visa section until next week, no details...just wait and see

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another update, just heard back from one of the visa officers via email and he said it's on his to do list for tommorow and as soon as he gets the visa back he will email scans of the passport and visa so I can get started on the COE right away...this should really speed it up!

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22 hours ago, user70 said:

I am exactly (100%) in this situation. The LA Embassy vaguely says it takes at least three weeks. (and they aren't clear when the counter starts: is it from the time we pay for the online application? from the time they receive the passport? No clear answer) Anyway I told them that since they can't tell me a clear timeline I might miss the flight and they told me ~"too bad, then you have to notify us about the change, and it will take at least one week to process". I assume that this is either a new CoE, or an amendment to the existing one.

 

FYI I went to 2 USPS offices today, including where my mail is currently located, and they have no clue when packages will be delivered.  (~" could be tomorrow, in a few days, next week"). And they won't give me back my mail either.

 

Anyway are  you even sure that you'll get your passport back in time? Also I assume that you applied for a visa (hence the requirement to send the passport by mail) and that you haven't applied to the CoE yet? 

 

USPS + Thai consulate = dream team...

 

Absolutely disgraceful service. The COE in the UK is all done online and many cases reported all done and dusted in 2 hours. Evem changes and a new COE issued done by email almost immediately

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9 hours ago, gtrinbkk said:

Spoke with the operator and she basically told me the same thing. She said they may get to it this week or it may not get to visa section until next week, no details...just wait and see

Sounds like we spoke to the same person! No idea why it's so hard for them to give ETA.

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9 hours ago, gtrinbkk said:

he will email scans of the passport and visa so I can get started on the COE right away

Great to know they do this, sounds like a good way to speed up the process indeed.

 

By the way what template do you plan to use for the fit to fly certificate? I plan to get one from Donna and one from some physician in the US (and the one in the US has no clue what to write on the fit to fly certificate)

Edited by user70
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10 hours ago, jimn said:

Absolutely disgraceful service. The COE in the UK is all done online and many cases reported all done and dusted in 2 hours. Evem changes and a new COE issued done by email almost immediately

 

I think user70 was not very clear in the disclosure of information...  

 

It would appear that he's not just applying for CoE... He is applying for a VISA for which he has to send off his passport and also applying for a CoE, hence his confusion on timing and complaint that its taking longer than others have claimed their CoE application takes. Two different types of application. 

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3 minutes ago, Aomelia said:

Are they charging for COE I have a retirement visa already ?

 

No.. CoE is entirely free....  

 

You will however need to meet he insurance and ASQ requirements etc which can be relatively costly. 

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3 hours ago, user70 said:

Great to know they do this, sounds like a good way to speed up the process indeed.

 

By the way what template do you plan to use for the fit to fly certificate? I plan to get one from Donna and one from some physician in the US (and the one in the US has no clue what to write on the fit to fly certificate)

 

There is no specific ‘template’ - A simple letter from a Doctor which states you have no Covid-19 symptoms and are Fit to Fly will suffice. 

 

That said, there are some ‘formats’ floating around the web (I think a Thai Airways format somewhere) - but ultimately all thats needed is something which ‘looks’ official, with a Doctors contact details and Signature which states ‘fit to fly’ (and no Covid-19 symptoms).

Screenshot 2021-02-25 at 15.48.16.png

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13 hours ago, user70 said:

Great to know they do this, sounds like a good way to speed up the process indeed.

 

By the way what template do you plan to use for the fit to fly certificate? I plan to get one from Donna and one from some physician in the US (and the one in the US has no clue what to write on the fit to fly certificate)

FYI, as promised the officer at the LA consulate emailed me my visa today and I promptly applied for COE and now have it. All my docs were in order so actually received the finished COE in less than 2 hours. So if your docs are in order you should be good.

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13 hours ago, richard_smith237 said:

 

There is no specific ‘template’ - A simple letter from a Doctor which states you have no Covid-19 symptoms and are Fit to Fly will suffice. 

 

That said, there are some ‘formats’ floating around the web (I think a Thai Airways format somewhere) - but ultimately all thats needed is something which ‘looks’ official, with a Doctors contact details and Signature which states ‘fit to fly’ (and no Covid-19 symptoms).

Screenshot 2021-02-25 at 15.48.16.png

Many people using the online service from Dr Donna via video call

 

Screenshot_20201119-193542_Facebook.jpg

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11 hours ago, jimn said:

Many people using the online service from Dr Donna via video call

 

Thats exactly who I will use when I return again next month (unless the Covid-19 test offers Fit to Fly at no extra cost). 

 

 

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On 2/25/2021 at 2:50 PM, gtrinbkk said:

FYI, as promised the officer at the LA consulate emailed me my visa today and I promptly applied for COE and now have it. All my docs were in order so actually received the finished COE in less than 2 hours.

Great to hear that they processed your CoE application quickly! Enjoy your flight 🙂

Do you plan to get the fit to fly via Donna or US-based physician?

 

On 2/25/2021 at 5:58 PM, jimn said:

Many people using the online service from Dr Donna via video call

 

Screenshot_20201119-193542_Facebook.jpg

Thanks, does that work for people outside the UK? (in my case I am in the US).

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On 3/1/2021 at 4:33 AM, user70 said:

Great to hear that they processed your CoE application quickly! Enjoy your flight 🙂

Do you plan to get the fit to fly via Donna or US-based physician?

 

Thanks, does that work for people outside the UK? (in my case I am in the US).

Works for everyone. Contact via Whats App is best

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9 minutes ago, jimn said:

Works for everyone. Contact via Whats App is best

perfect, thanks! Does one  have to book well ahead of time or is booking the day before the flight or a few days before ok?

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On 3/2/2021 at 9:36 AM, user70 said:

perfect, thanks! Does one  have to book well ahead of time or is booking the day before the flight or a few days before ok?

Contact them before and make appointment for within 72 hours of flight. They will tell you the process

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