Online visa extensions - but don't start jumping for joy just yet

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Gaybutton
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Online visa extensions - but don't start jumping for joy just yet

Post by Gaybutton »

Folks, it finally may be in the works that you will be able to get your visa extensions online, and I think that will eventually include the retirement visa, but not yet. The headline does say "Expats", but the list in the second article makes no mention of retirement visa extensions - so we will see. If things go as usual, confusion will reign about this for a while, at least until we find out for sure whether this includes retirement visa extensions, will include them in the future, or not include them at all.

It doesn't eliminate a trip to immigration, but it should make your wait time much shorter. I don't know how it works in Bangkok, but in Pattaya 2 trips to immigration are usually necessary for the retirement visa extension - 1 trip to submit the application, passport, documents and pay the fee, followed by a second trip the next business day to pick up your passport and visa.

At the moment this system will be available only in Bangkok. If any of you in Bangkok give this a try, please let us know the details.

I hope this portends the ability to do our visa extensions entirely online within the foreseeable future without a need for a trip to immigration at all. They got their act together so we can do our 90-day address reports entirely online. Maybe the day is coming when we can do our retirement visa extensions that way too.

Fingers crossed . . .
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Expats get online visa extensions

The Immigration Bureau (IB) unveiled its Electronic Extension of Temporary Stay (e-Extension) service on Tuesday to make it easier for expats to apply for visa extensions.

Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, the national police chief, said the e-Extension would enhance visa services as the system lets them lodge the extension request online.

The service covers the whole process including the payment of fees via a dedicated website, https://thaiextension.vfsevisa.com

It will reduce the time to process the application from one hour to three minutes, Pol Gen Damrongsak said.

According to the IB, over 200,000 expats seek to extend their visas each year for about a dozen reasons including taking holidays, teaching jobs, studying, working at a state agency or due to family ties.

The growing number of applicants spurred concern about the time-consuming and inconvenient nature of the process.

The e-Extension service will be piloted first for expats living or working in Bangkok. They can file an application online at the website.

However, they must show up in person to verify their identity and get a visa sticker at the IB office on Chaeng Watthana Road.

The IB plans to make the service available at all IB offices nationwide in the future.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... extensions
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The Thailand Immigration Bureau has officially launched an online visa extension for foreigners which they say will only take about three minutes.

The Immigration Bureau reported yesterday (November 8th) that General Dumrongsak Kittiprapas, Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police has officially launched the ‘e-Extension’ or the Electronics Extension of Temporary Stay in The Kingdom for the first time in Thailand.

General Dumrongsak explained, “There are more than 200,000 foreigners extending their visas each year. They took up to two hours in the normal process at an Immigration center.”

“The ‘e-Extension’ is an upgraded process in which foreigners apply their request and pay for the extension online before meeting with immigration officers to verify identity. After that they will get visa stickers within three minutes,” General Dumrongsak added.

“We have first tested the online system from October 10th this year for foreigners who live in Bangkok based on 12 categories which are:

1. Tourism
2. Public school teachers
3. Attending a public school
4. Serving in a government agency
5. Back to a country for Thai nationals
6. Resident’s families
7. Press
8. Trainer and researcher for a government agency
9. Machine installation and repairs
10. Medical Specialists
11. Stationed vehicle operator
12. Embassy-certified and requested

Mr. Kaushik Ghosh, regional head of Australia-Asia of VFS Global said, “This is a convenient platform that enhances the experience of visitors who need to extend their stay in Thailand.”

Foreigners can apply for an extension of stay online at https://thaiextension.vfsevisa.com

In the first phase, foreigners can get a visa sticker from Immigration Division 1, at the Government Complex Chaeng Wattana, Building B, Lak Si District in Bangkok. The Immigration Bureau is expecting to expand the service to cover every area in the country but did not release a timeframe.

https://tpnnational.com/2022/11/09/thai ... n-bangkok/
______________________________________________________

Whatever happens, it looks like there'll be some changes made



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Re: Online visa extensions - but don't start jumping for joy just yet

Post by Gaybutton »

Thai expats say they are confused by semi-electronic extension visa offer

By Barry Kenyon

November 10, 2022

The announcement by the head of the Royal Thai Police that some expats can now extend their stay by uploading documents online has caused substantial head scratching by the target groups. At the moment, foreigners already in Thailand who want to stay longer than their initial visa or stamp allows must queue up at immigration bureaux nationwide with their documentation and photos at the ready.

The new optional scheme described by police general Damrongsak Kittipraphet is currently a pilot available only in Bangkok with a promise for national implementation later on. The software has not been devised by Thai immigration but by VFS Global, the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specializing in governments and embassies worldwide. All Thai immigration extensions of stay are currently 1,900 baht (around US$50), but use of the latest scheme will cost an additional 500 or 1,500 or even 5,000 baht fee online to process the application between 1 and 7 days. Cash cows haven’t gone away.

However, the pilot scheme requires the applicant in person actually to pick up their new e-visa sticker at Bangkok immigration headquarters at Chaeng Watthana Road by showing their online receipt and their passport. So the scheme is not wholly electronic, only the initial registration, submission of documents and fee payment. The official publicity suggests that queuing at immigration will be thus reduced from about one hour to three minutes, although the generalization is certainly suspect. The website’s supplementary notes point out unsurprisingly that foreigners on overstay cannot avail themselves of the scheme.

There is some ambiguity which visas can actually be extended under the pilot. Visitors who have a 30 days visa on arrival, a 60 days tourist visa or a 45 days visa exempt are clearly included as are foreigners with a Thai spouse or dependants and wannabe students too. Those seeking an annual extension of stay based on retirement are specifically excluded, perhaps because the documentation required for them varies a great deal according to the immigration office responsible. Some work permit holders are specified, especially teachers and those employed by government agencies. The published details are at https://thaiextension.vfsevisa.com

Optimists believe the pilot is a first step in the move to create a completely-integrated system online. They point out that Thai embassies worldwide have now mostly adopted an online system which cancels the need for most potential travellers to Thailand to attend the diplomatic mission in person or even to submit their passport for scrutiny. Pessimists see the scheme just announced as a bureaucratic jumble based on confusing software which doesn’t work properly in any case. The history of electronics in Thai immigration procedures is mixed. The online appointments system at offices nationwide collapsed during the Covid pandemic and has not been resuscitated nationwide. On the other hand, the online facility for expats to report their address on a three monthly basis is relatively successful in most areas. All we can say for sure is that Thailand’s historic immigration bureaucracies are well-fortified and unlikely to crumble any time soon. If ever.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... fer-415689

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Re: Online visa extensions - but don't start jumping for joy just yet

Post by 2lz2p »

Barry Kenyon's article in PM gives a reason for not including retirement extensions in the new online system -

viewtopic.php?p=108868#p108868

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