More Government Bearaucracy Needed

I’ve spent this morning going through the process of renewing my working visa in Thailand, because it is set to expire before I come back from annual leave. Having dealt with this two times previously, I think I’m getting better at it (or used to it). Thankfully, there is someone in the office who handles nearly all of the process for me, because I don’t think I have the patience to do it myself.

There are a couple of things you need to remember when dealing with Thai immigration:

  1. They won’t photocopy anything for you even though they require photocopies. Don’t worry though, because there’s a photocopying service provided – at a small fee. This applies to all government agencies that I know of.
  2. They require 4cm x 6cm recent photographs of you EVERY TIME, which you also have to foot the bill for from a third party. They’re quite inflexible about the size too, because any other photo size is refused.
  3. To apply for a one month extension just so that the Department of Labour could review my work permit renewal (I haven’t reached the stage where they look at renewing that yet), I had to visit three different places in the building. One place to take my money (technically, it was company money), one to check I had the correct pile of documents (that I’ve previously submitted identical copies of twice), and one other (I don’t know what the last one was for).

Now that I’ve got my one month visa extension, the Department of Labour (who’s offices are located quite far from Immigration) will review my work permit. In the process of reviewing it, they will contact the Police to check if there is any problem with me. It’s happened every time so far, that Immigration has had to extend my visa another month because the Police haven’t given their verdict on my suitability to work in Thailand, and I fully expect it to happen again.

After the Police give the go-ahead, the Department of Labour approve my work permit and then it’s back to Immigration again to get the full year visa, which is actually not the real full year, but only what is remaining from when you started the whole process. There’s also some ‘report 30 days’ rule that I don’t understand at all.

This is only what I know of the process, so I assume it is more complicated in reality and makes me wonder if my friends who do the regular border run are worse or better off than myself.

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