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Renewing British Passport in Thailand

18 posts in this topic

Posted

For those retired or near retired long term UK ex-pats who have decided to eke out the rest of their lives in the LOS, there are at least a couple of events they will be confronted with, sooner or later.

One would be the sudden or natural enforced departure from Planet Earth. While another, hopefully before the former, is the renewal of one's passport.

Not too long ago, it was simply the case of leaving your details with the Brit. Embassy and returning for new passport collection about a week later. But still with a bitter taste in the mouth, after handing over the exorbitant fees.

But in August last year, the Embassy in it's wisdom, announced that that it would no longer be doling out passports and in order to 'increase levels of service to it's clients,' [WTF] applicants would have to sort a DIY job and forward details to Hong Kong. Waiting period could be around 4 weeks.

So there was some slight unease, when I had to renew mine recently.

Application form, notes and credit card autherization form can be down loaded from the embassy site. The app. form could be misleading, giving the impression you are required to have the doc. and your pic. countersigned. But this is not the case, providing your appearance has not changed too much since your present passport was issued.

You do not send your passport to HK. Only a copy of data page and current visa/extension stamp.

The criteria required for the standard of your 2 photo's is very high,and there have been reports of photo's not being accepted, but I took a chance and did not have them checked at the Embassy.

DHL seems to be the way to go. I went to the Emporium Mall branch on Sukhumvit. The counter lady spoke excellent English and knew exactly what she was doing.

The cost of posting and return delivery was bt980. I was provided with 2 tracking numbers for delivery and return. The lady suggested I try the return one in about 2 weeks.

I tried the first one the following day, which showed delivery and signing at the HK Consulate at 2.15pm.

4 days later I checked my credit card online, whiched showed a withdrawal of around 136 pounds.

10 days after posting, I happened to be in the garden, when I was slightly surprised to see the DHL van come around the corner.

Now that was excellent service.

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Posted

I'm going to have to bite the bullet and apply to HK in a month or so.

I thought I might make it through until my next UK visit, and make a day trip to Newport, but I think not. Coming through Survarnabhumi at the weekend the young lady at immigration pointed out that my passport was full with "no empty pages". She found space, indeed, there's easy room for another six or seven more stamps, but after that immigration need to start searching for real estate.

So looking over the passport application website I've noted that the previous advice to retain your passport whilst submitting the application for a new one has gone, least ways I can't see it.

Anyone got any info? I'm not too happy about spending 3 to 4 weeks without any ID bar a photocopy.

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Posted

False alarm, I'm going gah-gah I've found the info I saw previously:

Specific requirements from Thailand

ORIGINAL PASSPORT: Thailand is an exception to the main guidance given on our primary website. It is not advised to be without your original passport in Thailand and we recognise this. You may therefore submit a clear photocopy of your passport (just the page with your personal details and photograph). Please note that the passport being renewed will be electronically cancelled and is therefore not valid for use as a travel document from the moment you submit your application. On receipt of your new passport, you must physically cancel your old passport by cutting the corners of the photo page and the front and back covers. Failure to do so may leave your replaced passport open to abuse. Alternatively, you should visit the British Embassy in Bangkok to have your replaced passport physically cancelled.

http://ukinhongkong.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/passports/how-to-apply/thailand/renewals

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Posted

I'm renewing my passport quite often and indeed I can keep the old passport while they process the new one.

But that does not really mean anything, the small island on the west side of continental Europe has specific rules that we have difficulty understanding. :D

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Posted

I agree Blue. Ireland's a joke. :drool:

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Posted

Stocky, the reason they say it takes up to four weeks, is because all applications are now processed only in the UK, but from what I've heard here, many people are getting them back in about 2 weeks.

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Posted

It's variable, that's the problem, I've heard reports of 10 days to five weeks. I guess it all depends on how busy the system is when your application hits the queue. Why they can't add a priority lane that costs extra I don't know, I'd pay more for a quicker and guaranteed service. The uncertainty means I don't know how long I'll be away from the projects in Indonesia, the company understands, but it's a pain.

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Posted

Well I sent my application off by DHL today, lets see how long it takes to get my shiny new passport.

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Posted

IF you get any correspondence from them and when you get your shiny new passport back do post on here. I know a coupla Brits who’re gonna hafta renew soon, and any information I can pass on to them is appreciated.

It goes without saying, BUT when you get your new passport, go out to your Immigrations office and get your “permitted to stay until” stamp moved to the new passport. It’s totally free, you just need the form and both passports.

They won’t transfer visa stamps or re-entry permits, only the “permitted to stay until" stamp. So until your re-entry permit expires you’ve gotta lug along both passports when you leave/enter the Kingdom.

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Posted (edited)

Don't worry I'll keep everyone posted.

Re transferring entry stamps it is my understanding that is no longer necessary, you just present both passports when leaving.

I know I need to carry both passports around, the current one has both my Thai and Indo multi-entry visas. I had it do it for the last one, and the one before, and..............

.

Edited by Stocky

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Posted

It's true that you no longer need to go to the Immigration office to get stamps transferred. I got a new UK passport in December - which took about two weeks, by the way - and took a chance and took the old passport with me to the airport along with the new. The immigration lady didn't bat an eyelid (or politely say 'Good Evening' of course), just asked if I had my old passport with me when I explained that I had a new one. Done in seconds. I was amazed that something to do with Thai bureaucracy could go so smoothly. My visa stamp is a non-immigrant 'O', by the way. Other stamps might get different treatment, or the official might be feeling cranky and you'll be told to p### off.

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Posted

No, you're just confirming what I heard and read elsewhere, mine's a multi-Non O too, I don't expect any problems at Swampy when I head through next time.

Good news if I do get my new passport in two weeks. DHL sent an SMS this morning to say the application had been delivered, next thing is to see is when my credit card gets debited.

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Posted

Well they hit my credit card yesterday for HKD2,054.00 so I guess the paperwork was in order.

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Posted

I've never transferred Thai visa stamps from old to new UK passports, in a decade or slightly more of life in Asia. Used to have a Non Imm B (with extension of stay). These days just a Non Imm O as don't live in Thailand any more. Either way, I have always just presented both passports and never had a problem.

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Posted

New passport pitched up this evening DHL delivered it at 6:30pm. I thought they would have sent an SMS or email saying it was on its way but no, it arrived out of the blue.

So that was exactly 3 weeks from my putting it a DHL bag to my opening a DHL bag. Not too bad, but it would be a very useful option to pay extra for a guaranteed 1 or 2 week service.

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Posted

Good to hear that. I guess you will be celebrating Songklan in Indonesia...

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Posted

That's a given.

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Posted

No problems at immigration, I just gave them both passport and they scanned the new passport and stamped the old one.

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