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Tywais

Immigration Promenada One Stop Service v2

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Is there any possibility the on line appointments will start again? If not, I can see that I'll be paying an extra 3,000 baht as don't want to be qing at 4am.

At the moment I'm quite pessimistic that happening anytime in the near future. Apparently CM IO got annoyed at complaints regarding it and other reasons such as support from Bangkok keeping it in working order. One can hope though.

At the Expat meeting with Immigration 12 months ago, they presented the actual figures of those residing in Chiang Mai, which staggered me, plus the fact that the numbers living here had doubled in recent years.

The big boss there would have exact numbers.

It always seemed to me that the staff and buildings at that time were quite inadequate.

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I went to Immigration Promenada today to file a 90-day report since the on-line system still refuses to let me proceed past the first page. I can successfully file a 90 day report on-line for Hubby, but no joy for me. I guess they must like to see me out there. (Yes, I know I can mail a 90 day report, but it's been a couple weeks since I visited Promenada -- a.k.a. "The Happiest Place in Chiang Mai" and I was missing the place). I arose at 5:00 am so I stood a chance of snaring a tuk-tuk from my side of town before the morning rush hour started. In previous trips, I've found it difficult to engage a tuk-tuk after 6:30 am.

After the usual hair-raising morning journey across town, I arrived at Imm. Prom. around 7:30 to find several neat, orderly queues.

attachicon.gifImmigration Retirement Queue 8.15 am 19 October 2015.JPG

This is the queue for retirement/medical extensions at 8:15 am! The fellow on the end, with the white hair arrived at 7:45 am. Ahead of him are three stools with personal possessions "holding" the place for regular customers. At the head of the queue are young Thai women -- visa agents with Power of Attorney forms from their clients. Three other people arrived after the fellow with the white hair before the officers came out to distribute queue cards for the day.

Just before 8:30 am, something interesting happened. All the Thai visa agents placed their POA forms on the first stool and left the queue. The Immigration official proceeded to hand out queue cards to all the "retail" customers in the queue, carefully reviewing documents and passports. The fellow with the white hair received queue card No. 4 -- much to his amazement. In all, 7 or 8 queue cards were distributed to every "retail" customer before the visa agents returned to the queue to claim queue cards. Even so, there were queue cards remaining. Not all 20 were distributed at the morning opening.

The think the visa agents delayed claiming a queue card because they had to call their clients to tell them what time (approximately) to come to Immigration for their interview. Clients can't arrive quickly, so there's no point in getting a low number queue card. The agents could tell that they weren't going to go thru all 20 queue cards that day -- and they probably hadn't been chewing thru all 20 queue cards on previous days' openings either.

So, it looks that if you arrive at, say 7 am, there's a very high probability that you'll receive one of the coveted 20 queue cards for a retirement extension for the day. Imm. Prom. is far from the point that visa agents are taking all 20 queue cards.

In other news, Immigration is allowing the customers to wait indoors. There are chairs inside the office -- with the officers working thru a noise level that I, personally found rather distracting, and they've opened up a waiting area next to Immigration, in the mall, by knocking out a portion of the wall and installing a door:

attachicon.gifImmigration Indoor Waiting Area 19 October 2015.JPG

The aircon wasn't on, probably because the mall hadn't opened yet, but it was better than waiting outdoors. There is a TV screen on the wall and the senior Imm. officer on duty today confirmed that eventually they will display queue numbers on that TV screen. Meanwhile, it's dicey to listen for queue numbers in the new waiting room. It's not bad for 90 day reports, because that desk is right outside the new waiting room, but there's no way you'll hear the announcements for retirement extension queue numbers.

So, it appears that slowly, slowly Immigration Promenada is making improvements.

For whatever reason, they haven't used all 20 retirement/medical queue cards at opening the past three times I've been there, although people probably do get turned away if they come much past 9 am.

The indoor waiting area is a big, big improvement. I hope they get several queue number display boards up and running soon -- both in the new waiting room and in the actual office. People coming in with new queue numbers interrupted the officer processing 90 day reports several times, not aware that their queue number was a long way from being called.

Ultimately, it would be very good to have a supervisor on duty at Promenada who could sign off on retirement extensions, so people didn't have to wait around for hours and hours after their "interview" with the officer. And, it would be fantastic to bring back an on-line queue so people didn't have to arrive before opening to stand in line or suffer from the nervous tension that strikes some because they have to come a distance and want to know they'll be able to take care of business in one day.

Thanks for the report.

That being said if I remember correctly you were told that last year they processed over 5,200 That is more than 20 a day. Perhaps it is just not this time of year when people choose to retire here. Some where there has to be a pile up of people if those figures are correct. The on line registration unless they change it will not even help half the people who apply.

Maybe they will have another officer to handle them. The officer could also handle the Visa agents that have a proven record of correct paperwork. This would greatly improve the system. this officer could also take walk in's when none of the on line or Visa agents are there. Make them qualified to help in any area would be the ideal situation.

Yes, I know -- the numbers don't add up. CM needs to be doing more than 20 retirement extensions per day to equal the number of retirement extensions that are granted in one year. In recent discussions with several parties, Col Rutjapong, the head of CM Immigration has said he intends to put more manpower on processing retirement extensions when the demand warrants it.

Maybe they have left as we are not welcome in Thailand as a few posters here like to trumpet on occassion but of course they have nothing to backuptheir statement other than the tired reframe of the rules keep changeing. It will be interesting to see how it goes in Dec. when I have to do my extension. My 90 day report a few days ago was seamless one hour from leaving home to return and I have my own transport

Malaysia, Cambodia make it easy to stay long time. I gather the Phillipines also. Dunno about Burma and Laos.

Only Thailand keeps moving the goalposts. Draw your own conclusions.

Of course 90 days was easy, there's no point to make that more difficult as it is only for people already with extensions.

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At the Expat meeting with Immigration 12 months ago, they presented the actual figures of those residing in Chiang Mai, which staggered me, plus the fact that the numbers living here had doubled in recent years.

The big boss there would have exact numbers.

From the stats page at CM immigration, only going up to the year 2012, there were 304,646 visits to immigration for all categories in 2012. 237,202 were for 90 day reports. 604 for visa conversion. 171 for re-entry permits. Most of the rest for extensions in the various categories.

Year 2011 238,159 in total. Year 2009 there were 72,904 in total for all categories. 2010 only shows partial data.

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At the Expat meeting with Immigration 12 months ago, they presented the actual figures of those residing in Chiang Mai, which staggered me, plus the fact that the numbers living here had doubled in recent years.

The big boss there would have exact numbers.

From the stats page at CM immigration, only going up to the year 2012, there were 304,646 visits to immigration for all categories in 2012. 237,202 were for 90 day reports. 604 for visa conversion. 171 for re-entry permits. Most of the rest for extensions in the various categories.

Year 2011 238,159 in total. Year 2009 there were 72,904 in total for all categories. 2010 only shows partial data.

237,202 visits for 90 day reports.

What a complete waste of everybody's time (immigration officers included) facepalm.gif

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At the Expat meeting with Immigration 12 months ago, they presented the actual figures of those residing in Chiang Mai, which staggered me, plus the fact that the numbers living here had doubled in recent years.

The big boss there would have exact numbers.

From the stats page at CM immigration, only going up to the year 2012, there were 304,646 visits to immigration for all categories in 2012. 237,202 were for 90 day reports. 604 for visa conversion. 171 for re-entry permits. Most of the rest for extensions in the various categories.

Year 2011 238,159 in total. Year 2009 there were 72,904 in total for all categories. 2010 only shows partial data.

238,159 visits for 90 day equals 59,300 people doing 90 day We know that there is probably more today in spite of the Thai Visa prophets of doom. But surely there can not be that many doing just 90 days. What are the other 53,500 making them for?

As for the rules changing they are not and every one that says thy are is just talking. They know perfectly good and well that the proof of residence is an on and off again thing depending on the officers mood and that the letter from the bank must match the bank book. I have heard of times wwhen even that was not mandatory.

Keep to the facts people not what you think is stupid even if it is. You change nothing by continually bitching about it. I see no reason for the 90 day and I see no profit in continually complaining about it on Thai Visa.

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What would be useful is a survey and a poll to estimate how many expats are in Chiang Mai on retirement visas and what months they apply to have them extended. This would give us a clue to the numbers that immigration need to process on each working day.

I roughly guess the figure should be a least 60 to make this realistic.

CM Immigration already has this data. I haven't seen it broken down by month, but I have seen a chart for 2014, broken down by nationality. In all of 2014, CM Immigration handled 5226 retirement extensions. If you do the math, you'll see that's more than 20 per working day, keeping in mind there are many holidays.

Persumably, the number of 5226 per year is now higher but I seriously doubt that it's 60 per day -- more like 30 per day, tops.

As I said in my post -- the last three times I've been at the opening bell for Imm. Prom, they haven't distributed all 20 tickets for the retirement/medical extension queue.

What is needed are more TV posters who are willing to do the boots-on-ground work and show up at Imm. Prom. at 8:15 am to observe and report, like I do every couple weeks.

It seems there are too many people who just stay behind their keyboard and speculate. Or wander past Imm. in the middle of the day and take a quick gander, rather than coming early and actually watching what's going on for a time.

Incidentally, most times I go there, I spend at least 400 baht on transport, too. Plus, I'm not normally an early riser. Surely some TV regular likes to get up early and lives near Imm. Prom.

It seems this is mathematical problem and can give you a reason why doing some groundwork on the field would be useless.

If according to the figures it averages at 22 retirement applicants each working day, what gums up the works is that the spread of retirement visa applicants is not equal on every given working day. Some months or days there may be many more applicants then on other months and days. Just for arguments sake. January could see on average between 40 to 50 per day and in March only 4 or 5 on average a day. Doing a survey would require a person or a team being present every day at the promenada-one-stop-service for every working day for one year to make an accurate report.

My method would be to bring back the online appointment system, allowing 22 slots a day booked at least 100 days in advance. This way the immigration one no go service would know in advance which days are going to be busy and which days there will be fewer customers. This is why it is just as important to know when retirement visas are due for renewal as well as how many per year.

This requires organization, working with the system and not against it. But who is going to be the hero and tell the lads how they should be doing their job? Not me that’s for sure.

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At the Expat meeting with Immigration 12 months ago, they presented the actual figures of those residing in Chiang Mai, which staggered me, plus the fact that the numbers living here had doubled in recent years.

The big boss there would have exact numbers.

From the stats page at CM immigration, only going up to the year 2012, there were 304,646 visits to immigration for all categories in 2012. 237,202 were for 90 day reports. 604 for visa conversion. 171 for re-entry permits. Most of the rest for extensions in the various categories.

Year 2011 238,159 in total. Year 2009 there were 72,904 in total for all categories. 2010 only shows partial data.

238,159 visits for 90 day equals 59,300 people doing 90 day We know that there is probably more today in spite of the Thai Visa prophets of doom. But surely there can not be that many doing just 90 days. What are the other 53,500 making them for?

As for the rules changing they are not and every one that says thy are is just talking. They know perfectly good and well that the proof of residence is an on and off again thing depending on the officers mood and that the letter from the bank must match the bank book. I have heard of times wwhen even that was not mandatory.

Keep to the facts people not what you think is stupid even if it is. You change nothing by continually bitching about it. I see no reason for the 90 day and I see no profit in continually complaining about it on Thai Visa.

A rational immigration service does not depend on how the officer feels at the time.

Proof of residency was not always required, or it would be written on the list of requirements they give out.

My bank letter matched the bank book, but she wanted it updated the same day, not the day before.

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At the Expat meeting with Immigration 12 months ago, they presented the actual figures of those residing in Chiang Mai, which staggered me, plus the fact that the numbers living here had doubled in recent years.

The big boss there would have exact numbers.

From the stats page at CM immigration, only going up to the year 2012, there were 304,646 visits to immigration for all categories in 2012. 237,202 were for 90 day reports. 604 for visa conversion. 171 for re-entry permits. Most of the rest for extensions in the various categories.

Year 2011 238,159 in total. Year 2009 there were 72,904 in total for all categories. 2010 only shows partial data.

238,159 visits for 90 day equals 59,300 people doing 90 day We know that there is probably more today in spite of the Thai Visa prophets of doom. But surely there can not be that many doing just 90 days. What are the other 53,500 making them for?

As for the rules changing they are not and every one that says thy are is just talking. They know perfectly good and well that the proof of residence is an on and off again thing depending on the officers mood and that the letter from the bank must match the bank book. I have heard of times wwhen even that was not mandatory.

Keep to the facts people not what you think is stupid even if it is. You change nothing by continually bitching about it. I see no reason for the 90 day and I see no profit in continually complaining about it on Thai Visa.

Burmese labourers make 90 day reports.

btw I'll bitch about what I want. s-t-f-u if you don't like it wink.png

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What would be useful is a survey and a poll to estimate how many expats are in Chiang Mai on retirement visas and what months they apply to have them extended. This would give us a clue to the numbers that immigration need to process on each working day.

I roughly guess the figure should be a least 60 to make this realistic.

CM Immigration already has this data. I haven't seen it broken down by month, but I have seen a chart for 2014, broken down by nationality. In all of 2014, CM Immigration handled 5226 retirement extensions. If you do the math, you'll see that's more than 20 per working day, keeping in mind there are many holidays.

Persumably, the number of 5226 per year is now higher but I seriously doubt that it's 60 per day -- more like 30 per day, tops.

As I said in my post -- the last three times I've been at the opening bell for Imm. Prom, they haven't distributed all 20 tickets for the retirement/medical extension queue.

What is needed are more TV posters who are willing to do the boots-on-ground work and show up at Imm. Prom. at 8:15 am to observe and report, like I do every couple weeks.

It seems there are too many people who just stay behind their keyboard and speculate. Or wander past Imm. in the middle of the day and take a quick gander, rather than coming early and actually watching what's going on for a time.

Incidentally, most times I go there, I spend at least 400 baht on transport, too. Plus, I'm not normally an early riser. Surely some TV regular likes to get up early and lives near Imm. Prom.

It seems this is mathematical problem and can give you a reason why doing some groundwork on the field would be useless.

If according to the figures it averages at 22 retirement applicants each working day, what gums up the works is that the spread of retirement visa applicants is not equal on every given working day. Some months or days there may be many more applicants then on other months and days. Just for arguments sake. January could see on average between 40 to 50 per day and in March only 4 or 5 on average a day. Doing a survey would require a person or a team being present every day at the promenada-one-stop-service for every working day for one year to make an accurate report.

My method would be to bring back the online appointment system, allowing 22 slots a day booked at least 100 days in advance. This way the immigration one no go service would know in advance which days are going to be busy and which days there will be fewer customers. This is why it is just as important to know when retirement visas are due for renewal as well as how many per year.

This requires organization, working with the system and not against it. But who is going to be the hero and tell the lads how they should be doing their job? Not me thats for sure.

I don't see how applying logic is going to work in any shape or form?

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Yes, I think most people would agree the best solution would be to have a functional on-line queue system and one much better than they had before, with adequate appointments and the ability to cancel your appointments easily.

However, the management of CM Immigration doesn't feel this is a priority and point out that they aren't distributing 20 queue tickets for retirement extensions each morning now. They say -- don't worry -- when it gets busy we'll bring on another officer and everything will be fine.

My suggestion about the need to continue to observe the early morning queue ticket distribution process is to make sure this is true. That people aren't getting turned away. Also to let people know that they don't need to arrive at zero-dark-thirty and stumble around in the unsafe conditions in the dark at Promenada in order to get a retirement queue ticket. And that visa agents aren't taking all 20 queue tickets. To be sure that the story Immigration is telling the Consuls, Embassies and others is true.

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aising

Yes, I think most people would agree the best solution would be to have a functional on-line queue system and one much better than they had before, with adequate appointments and the ability to cancel your appointments easily.

However, the management of CM Immigration doesn't feel this is a priority and point out that they aren't distributing 20 queue tickets for retirement extensions each morning now. They say -- don't worry -- when it gets busy we'll bring on another officer and everything will be fine.

My suggestion about the need to continue to observe the early morning queue ticket distribution process is to make sure this is true. That people aren't getting turned away. Also to let people know that they don't need to arrive at zero-dark-thirty and stumble around in the unsafe conditions in the dark at Promenada in order to get a retirement queue ticket. And that visa agents aren't taking all 20 queue tickets. To be sure that the story Immigration is telling the Consuls, Embassies and others is true.

You make some good points Nancy but we all have to remember it is Bangkok who calls the shots on anything of importance. Iam sure if anyone gets turned away they will be here doing the Paul Revere ride.We also have to remember it isn't only retirees who get extensions we are more than likely on the bottom end of immigration usage. It really wasn't that long ago you could pop into immigration at anytime of the day fill out your paper work and be done in 30 mins.but thoses daysare long gone.

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What would be useful is a survey and a poll to estimate how many expats are in Chiang Mai on retirement visas and what months they apply to have them extended. This would give us a clue to the numbers that immigration need to process on each working day.

I roughly guess the figure should be a least 60 to make this realistic.

CM Immigration already has this data. I haven't seen it broken down by month, but I have seen a chart for 2014, broken down by nationality. In all of 2014, CM Immigration handled 5226 retirement extensions. If you do the math, you'll see that's more than 20 per working day, keeping in mind there are many holidays.

Persumably, the number of 5226 per year is now higher but I seriously doubt that it's 60 per day -- more like 30 per day, tops.

As I said in my post -- the last three times I've been at the opening bell for Imm. Prom, they haven't distributed all 20 tickets for the retirement/medical extension queue.

What is needed are more TV posters who are willing to do the boots-on-ground work and show up at Imm. Prom. at 8:15 am to observe and report, like I do every couple weeks.

It seems there are too many people who just stay behind their keyboard and speculate. Or wander past Imm. in the middle of the day and take a quick gander, rather than coming early and actually watching what's going on for a time.

Incidentally, most times I go there, I spend at least 400 baht on transport, too. Plus, I'm not normally an early riser. Surely some TV regular likes to get up early and lives near Imm. Prom.

It seems this is mathematical problem and can give you a reason why doing some groundwork on the field would be useless.

If according to the figures it averages at 22 retirement applicants each working day, what gums up the works is that the spread of retirement visa applicants is not equal on every given working day. Some months or days there may be many more applicants then on other months and days. Just for arguments sake. January could see on average between 40 to 50 per day and in March only 4 or 5 on average a day. Doing a survey would require a person or a team being present every day at the promenada-one-stop-service for every working day for one year to make an accurate report.

My method would be to bring back the online appointment system, allowing 22 slots a day booked at least 100 days in advance. This way the immigration one no go service would know in advance which days are going to be busy and which days there will be fewer customers. This is why it is just as important to know when retirement visas are due for renewal as well as how many per year.

This requires organization, working with the system and not against it. But who is going to be the hero and tell the lads how they should be doing their job? Not me that’s for sure.

It is not just retirees who get extensions how about all those people who work here, students, business people and tourist. I think we get a bit of tunnel vision thinking it isonly farangs and retirees who use immigration

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The big problem seems to be with the retirees. And no, during the entire time I've lived here -- nearly eight years -- it's always been necessary for retirees to arrive early to be assured of being seen that day. You never could just arrive in the middle of the day to get a retirement extension.

And while Bangkok does call the shots with regard to manpower, there are local alternatives when it comes to developing an on-line queue, if only local Immigration would consider this option.

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The big problem seems to be with the retirees. And no, during the entire time I've lived here -- nearly eight years -- it's always been necessary for retirees to arrive early to be assured of being seen that day. You never could just arrive in the middle of the day to get a retirement extension.

And while Bangkok does call the shots with regard to manpower, there are local alternatives when it comes to developing an on-line queue, if only local Immigration would consider this option.

More than 8 years ago I had no problems with extensions for retirement. For myself, I had no problems walking in for extensions until 4 or 5 years ago. I would say only 4 or 5 years ago I made online appointments.. Not sure exactly. Then I started using an agency.

In addition, the documentation has not changed one bit for me during all of my extensions.

There are just a lot more foreign retirees now than before, along with all other types of people, including Thais, in Chiang Mai now.

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Let's remember, too, that not everyone who has a bad experience at Immigration runs to report it on ThaiVisa. Actually, few do. I've heard stories that go unreported on ThaiVisa and there was a story a while back here of an elderly person being "roughed up" at Imm. Prom. by visa agents, which personally I find a little hard to believe given that nearly all the visa agents I've seen there in the early morning look like sleepy young Thai women who just want to get their queue cards and get back to studying for their classes or whatever it is they do with the rest of their day.

It would help if this thread reflected accurate information and not speculation. People look to it for a source of information about what's really happening at Imm. Prom. Many people "liked" my post of Monday's early morning visit, complete with photos. Surely others can do the same from time-to-time.

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