Thai Life

2014

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Thailand Travel Shield...

Travel insurance for visitors to Thailand


Link Here 5th August 2014
  The Tourism Authority of Thailand signed a memorandum of understanding with the Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) to create low-cost insurance schemes for foreign tourists that start at just 650 baht per person.

The Thailand Travel Shield insurance scheme allows foreign tourists to voluntarily purchase insurance to ensure protection against threats that may not be covered by the tourists' primary insurance.

Such threats include riots, terrorism and political turmoil. The premium for Thailand Travel Shield is between 650 baht and 12,000 baht.

The duration of coverage is from 1 week to 60 days. There is also an annual cover option but this is limited to multiple trips each of which is restricted to 60 days, so is not suitable for those staying on 90 day border runs or on a 12 month visa extension.

The insurance premiums are as follows

  Plan 1 covering 1 million Baht of medical expenses Plan 2 covering 2 million Baht of medical expenses
1-7 days 650 Baht 1,100  Baht
8-14 days 1,000 1,750
15-30 days 1,400 2,850
31-60 days 1,750 3,150
Annual Trip 6,900 12,000

 

 

 

Thailand set to ban visa runs for back to back 15/30 day entry permits...

Whilst also making tourist and non-immigrant visas tougher to get too


Link Here 1st July 2014
Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed embassies and consulates in Thailand and the Royal Thai embassies and consulates that it will crackdown on travellers who cross the border and return immediately to extend visa-free stays in the Thailand.

Thaivisa.com reported that the ministry had issued a letter to all embassies and that the letter coonforms that the ministry will crackdown on border runs as stated earlier by Thailand's Immigration Bureau.

Travellers who enter Thailand on visa-free conditions can currently cross the border with neighbouring countries to repeatedly extend their visa-free stays. such misleadingly named visa runs allow foreigners to remain in Thailand without the need to apply for a long-stay visa. The government claims that many of them work in Thailand to avoid the onerous and restrictive system for work permits.

In the letter The Foreign Ministry confirmed, earlier information that border runners will be prohibited from re-entering Thailand at overland checkpoints as of 12 August, once their original visa-free stay expires. It apparently does not impact on airline travellers who visit a neighbourng country and then return to Thailand.

It is also likely that travellers applying for tourist visas at Thai embassies in Asia, could face scrutiny or even be told to return to their home countries to apply for a new visa. However government intentions here are not clear.

Long stay visa applicants are advised to acquire appropriate (Non-Immigrant) visas at Thai embassies or consulates prior to their arrival, but even here Thailand has recently introduced more restrictive conditions such as minimum income requirements.

 

 

An end to renewing passports by post...

UK government introduces a massively inconvenient process for renewing passports in Thailand


Link Here 31st May 2014

Letter to British community: Changes to British passport services in Thailand

Her Majestys Passport Office is making important changes to the way it delivers British passports overseas.

The goal is to ensure that all British nationals living overseas receive a consistent, trusted, secure and efficient service whilst keeping the costs as low as possible. In order to do that, on 10 December 2013, responsibility for handling passport applications in Thailand passed from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to Her Majestys Passport Office.

Following on from this, from 26 March 2014, British nationals in Thailand will submit passport applications, in person by appointment only, to the UK Visa Application Centre. All the information needed to complete the passport application process, including address and contact details for the UK Visa Application Centre, will be available on GOV.UK at www.gov.uk/overseas-passports

I know that this change will seem inconvenient, but the new measures being put in place support the wider public protection, helping to ensure that the risks of fraud and identity theft are minimised for those living and working overseas.

If you need to travel urgently but your passport is not available, you should still contact the nearest Consular Assistance team at the British Embassy Bangkok. In certain circumstances Consular staff may be able to issue an Emergency Travel Document but this is not a substitute for a full UK passport. So the best course of action is to apply as early as possible, and to make sure that you follow the new guidelines.

 

 

Reductions Passed On...

UK reduces the cost of renewing a passport from Thailand


Link Here 15th March 2014
UK Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire announced:

I am pleased to announce that from 7 April the passport fee for customers applying for a UK passport overseas will be reduced by £45 for adults and £28.50 for children.

The new fees are as follows:

  • Adult 32 page passport £83.00

  • Child 32 page passport £53.00

  • Child and Adult 48 page passport £91.00

This reduction comes as a result of efficiency savings made over the last 3 years by bringing back the processing and issuing of overseas passports to the UK, whilst maintaining the highest levels of security and customer service.

This reduction follows the 2012 decrease in fee by £5 for all UK citizens applying within the UK.

 

 

All UK passport replacements and renewals will now be processed in Liverpool...


Link Here 4th January 2014
The UK government has announced that all new and replaced passports, except emergency travel documents, will now be issued in its passport office in Liverpool.

The new procedure applies to all Brits no matter from which country they are making an application. As regards British nationals in Thailand, they will no longer make the postal application to the British consulate general in Hong Kong, but direct by mail to the passport office in Liverpool.

The UK government advises all applications to be made by courier mail, such as DHL, and states that the normal waiting period is four weeks for an adult passport and six weeks for a child. Passports will be delivered to the applicant by courier mail.

Applicants in Thailand will not send to Liverpool their original passport, but retain it in accordance with Thai police procedures.  It is therefore necessary for applicants to send a colour photocopy of all pages (including the blanks) in the old passport.  The destination address in UK is HM Passport Office, OVS-L, 101 Old Hall Street, Liverpool L3 9BP.

The British embassy in Bangkok will still issue emergency travel documents in some circumstances where the applicant can prove an imminent and necessary journey.


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