This is no surprise at all.2lz2p wrote: ↑Mon Nov 21, 2022 2:48 pmI have been told by several folks over the past few years that they will put all kinds of stumbling blocks in your way. The reason apparently is they want you to use an agent - a couple of times it was reported that they were even told to use a specific nearby agent and in one case the person told me they were told outright that for a certain fee they could get expedited service for both the Visa and subsequent extension.
The immigration office is often overcrowded, so it's hardly a place for discreetly discussing extra payments to grease the wheels. Once the customer interaction is moved out to agencies, that problem is solved.
For the avoidance of doubt, my visits to a couple of agencies were merely to explore the options for extending my stay in Thailand for a few weeks, when I wasn't eligible for covid extensions or anything like that. If I am eligible for something, I'm inclined to deal with it directly.
I also get the impression that Jomtien immigration try not to make things easy. For a simple 30 day extension:
Jomtien: Get passport photos. Queue. Collect the forms. Go away, fill them in and make copies of them. Go to the side office & queue to get confirmation of accommodation. Queue to finalise the process in the main office, have your photo taken again etc.
Hua Hin Blueport: Fill in one form and hand over passport. Collect queue ticket. When number is up, go inside, answer a few questions, have your photo taken and pay the fees. Best of all, there is a coffee shop that's in sight of their queue display, so you can go and have a coffee whilst waiting.
The process in Hua Hin was far more straightforward.
Neither is optimum, as almost all of it could be handled online, with no offices needed.