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Online visa extensions to be piloted for expats in Bangkok

Flickr/sharon pinto

Immigration officials are piloting an “Electronic Extension of Temporary Stay” service which will allow expats to apply online for a visa extension. But not all annual visa extensions (at the moment anyway). National police chief Damrongsak Kittiprapas says the e-Extension service will help streamline visa services and covers the entire extension process, including payment of fees.

He says if expats opt to extend their visas through the dedicated website at Thaiextension.vfsevisa.com, it will reduce the processing time from 1 hour to just 3 minutes.

According to a Bangkok Post report, over 200,000 expats seek a visa extension each year. Reasons vary, but include going on holiday, teaching jobs, studying, working at a state agency, or to be with family. Damrongsak says the Immigration Bureau is dealing with a growing number of applications, which is proving time-consuming.

The new online system will initially be piloted among Bangkok expats. However, while they can apply for the extension online, they will still be required to present themselves in person at the Immigration Bureau on Chaeng Watthana Road in order to have their identity verified and have a visa sticker placed in their passport.

It’s understood that eventually the Immigration Bureau plans to roll the service out to all immigration offices across the country.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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