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Vfs Application Centre At Regent House Bangkok


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#1 johnrushton1982

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Posted 2011-01-21 23:08:56

Just a quick word of warning when visiting the VFS UK visa application centre at regent house bangkok.

Make sure you go direct to VFS centre and not get reeled into the visa agent office next door. The staff there do their best to make you think they are part of VFS. They are NOT.

Basically on the second floor look for the white office with the UK flag and VFS a logo, there are usually 2 security guards outside.

Whatever you do, do not go into the offices with the glass fronted entrance.





#2 fishhooks

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Posted 2011-01-22 07:56:41

So what did these "nasty" next door people try to do to you?

#3 VisasPlus

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Posted 2011-01-22 09:34:41

So what did these "nasty" next door people try to do to you?


They will try to take your money. I recently spoke with an applicant who went to Regent House to submit a settlement application. She had come back from a visit in the UK to do so, and her husband remained in UK. She had her complete application and the visa fee - 32,500 - with her. She was intercepted by someone from the office next door to VFS, and that person offered to check her documents. She was told that her application was incomplete, her 32, 500 baht was taken as a "deposit", and a further 50,000 was requested to assist in completing the application. The applicant was confused, naive, and whatever else you may think, and she now knows that. The point is, however, that she came out Regent House without submitting her application, and 32,500 baht poorer.
Please don't suggest that she can go back and insist on a refund, etc, etc. That will not happen. You actually have to see how this company operates, and accept that this is not the kind of company that is interested in customer service. Also, VFS and the Embassy are unable to do anything about this company. This has been the subject of many previous threads.

#4 sketcher

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Posted 2011-01-22 09:45:00

Another word of warning, we were approached by someone downstairs near the coffee counter, I can only presume it was one of them so they are operating downstairs as well as upstairs.

#5 little_muppet

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Posted 2011-01-22 12:05:01

i always buy the bank cheque from them and thats it. they never get my money except from the cheque i brough from them. :lol:


actually when it was my first time doing the process things myself they tried it on me too, but obviously they realized I can read and understand everything in my application. :jap:

#6 NanLaew

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Posted 2011-01-22 13:34:55

i always buy the bank cheque from them and thats it. they never get my money except from the cheque i brough from them. :lol:

actually when it was my first time doing the process things myself they tried it on me too, but obviously they realized I can read and understand everything in my application. :jap:

Next time, don't even give them your cheque business. There's Siam City Bank immediately inside the main entrance, ground floor, right hand side as you come in. They even have the list of visa fees printed and laminated on the counter top. How much 'commission' did the visa shop charge to send someone downstairs to the bank for your cheque?

#7 little_muppet

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Posted 2011-01-22 14:27:27


i always buy the bank cheque from them and thats it. they never get my money except from the cheque i brough from them. :lol:

actually when it was my first time doing the process things myself they tried it on me too, but obviously they realized I can read and understand everything in my application. :jap:

Next time, don't even give them your cheque business. There's Siam City Bank immediately inside the main entrance, ground floor, right hand side as you come in. They even have the list of visa fees printed and laminated on the counter top. How much 'commission' did the visa shop charge to send someone downstairs to the bank for your cheque?



well i only paid on how much the fee is for visa . they already have it print out too. didnt have to wait or anything at all.

anyway i will go to the bank myself than next time . to make ppl happy. hahahaha :jap:

#8 ThaiVisaExpress

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Posted 2011-01-22 16:46:22

The visa office in question regularly does this.

#9 7by7

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Posted 2011-01-22 17:21:11

As said, this has been the subject of many threads in the past.

The embassy say "the VFS UK visa application centre at Regent House is clearly signposted, and VFS staff are clearly identifiable by their uniform." No signs, no uniform means that you are in the wrong office.

VFS staff do not 'meet and greet' people entering the building; anyone who does so and tries to persuade you into their office is not VFS staff.

VFS staff will never offer advice on an application; except to say that it is incomplete and suggest that you go away and come back with the missing parts/documents. Even then they must accept it and forward it to the embassy if the applicant insists.

Any advice VFS staff do give will be free of charge. The only charges they make, over and above the visa application fee, are for ancillary services such as photocopying, photographs etc. (see Additional Services).

Anyone who says that the application has problems which they can fix for a fee is not VFS staff. (If they are VFS staff, then they are breaking the terms of VFS' contract with the UKBA and their own terms of employment and should be reported to both the VFS management and the embassy immediately.)

Unfortunately there seems little the embassy can do about the agency. They have no control over who the owners of Regent's House lease office space to and moving to other premises would only mean the predatory 'agents' would follow.

Just make sure that anyone you know who is applying for a UK visa is aware of these people and that they should be ignored.

#10 rixalex

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Posted 2011-01-22 17:49:51

Unfortunately there seems little the embassy can do about the agency.

I do think they could do a better job of warning people though. How things are set up, it's all too easy for people to get hood-winked. The embassy must be aware of this, and should do more to try and stop it, rather than simply accepting it with the attitude of "well if people are silly enough to be fooled, what can we do?"

Do more.



#11 7by7

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Posted 2011-01-22 18:11:26

The embassy website says

....VFS and its staff cannot give you advice on how to complete your application, or what type of visa you should apply for........
.......Your visa application will be processed and decided by UK Border Agency staff. VFS provide a visa application support service only, and VFS staff play no part in the outcome of your visa application. The decision to issue or refuse a visa is made by the UK Border Agency only.........
..........There are a number of visa agents operating in Thailand and within the Regent House building. Prospective applicants may choose to use a visa agent in order to support or prepare their application, but any decision to utilise the service of an agent is entirely at the discretion of the applicant.

Please note: Visa agents are in no way whatsoever connected to the Embassy, and have no influence over the outcome of an application. The VFS UK visa application centre at Regent House is clearly signposted, and VFS staff are clearly identifiable by their uniform......

This information is also available in Thai, but for some reason the link to the Thai pages of the embassy website seems to be broken at present.

Similar advice is on the UKVAC website, in English and in Thai.

Putting warning signs up in Regents House would almost certainly be against Thailand's strict libel laws, and probably wouldn't be acceptable to the landlord anyway.

So what 'more' do you suggest they do?

#12 rixalex

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Posted 2011-01-22 20:31:45

Putting warning signs up in Regents House would almost certainly be against Thailand's strict libel laws, and probably wouldn't be acceptable to the landlord anyway.

So what 'more' do you suggest they do?


I'm not sure why you think that putting up warning signs would break any laws - it's not as if the signs would have to point any fingers or name names. Just raise applicants awareness to underhand tactics that go on.

I think the blind eye that VFS more or less takes has more to do with what you mention about issues with the landlord. Pretty sad, if true.

#13 7by7

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Posted 2011-01-22 22:05:15

Both VFS and the embassy have the information posted above on their websites.

I've never been to Regents House, but the majority of those that have and have expressed an opinion in previous threads here say that the VAC is pretty well signed; my sister-in-law managed to find it on her own a couple of years ago.

So how is that turning a blind eye?

As for warning signs not breaking any defamation laws, I'm no Thai legal expert and stand to be corrected on the following by someone with more knowledge than I.

I understand that even the slightest implication that an agent operating in Regents House was using underhand tactics would place whoever placed those signs, whether it be VFS or the embassy, open to an action for defamation by any agent who operated in Regents House. The landlord could also be sued for allowing the signs to be placed.

Proving what was published is true is no defence in Thai defamation cases if the statement adversely affects the financial or business interests of the plaintiff.

The defence that the signs were in the public interest might work; but I'm sure that neither VFS, the embassy or the landlord would want to be tied up in a lengthy and expensive court action to find out.

See Defamation and Thai law and Criminal defamation of character: the Thai regime (both published by Tilleke & Gibbins)

So, again, what 'more' do you suggest VFS and the embassy do?

#14 rixalex

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Posted 2011-01-22 23:02:34

Both VFS and the embassy have the information posted above on their websites.

I've never been to Regents House, but the majority of those that have and have expressed an opinion in previous threads here say that the VAC is pretty well signed; my sister-in-law managed to find it on her own a couple of years ago.

So how is that turning a blind eye?

As for warning signs not breaking any defamation laws, I'm no Thai legal expert and stand to be corrected on the following by someone with more knowledge than I.

I understand that even the slightest implication that an agent operating in Regents House was using underhand tactics would place whoever placed those signs, whether it be VFS or the embassy, open to an action for defamation by any agent who operated in Regents House. The landlord could also be sued for allowing the signs to be placed.

Proving what was published is true is no defence in Thai defamation cases if the statement adversely affects the financial or business interests of the plaintiff.

The defence that the signs were in the public interest might work; but I'm sure that neither VFS, the embassy or the landlord would want to be tied up in a lengthy and expensive court action to find out.

See Defamation and Thai law and Criminal defamation of character: the Thai regime (both published by Tilleke & Gibbins)

So, again, what 'more' do you suggest VFS and the embassy do?


I have been to Regent's House a number of times and i have to say that the whole set up there is very confusing, with the unscrupulous agent and the VFS office being pretty much together and looking like one and the same thing, and with the staff of said agent who do a good job of presenting themselves in a manner that one could confuse for being a part of the VFS operation.

I am no legal expert, but i really can't fathom why general warning signs would be a problem. If they would be, surely the same would apply for the warnings you mention on their website. What is the difference between telling people at the location by way of signs, and telling people on the website, besides the fact that it would help a lot more people avoid being conned?

Edited by rixalex, 2011-01-22 23:03:18.


#15 Thongkorn

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Posted 2011-01-23 00:20:40

This has been a topic of conversation for years . the point is why has the VFS not had it closed.

Edited by Thongkorn, 2011-01-23 00:21:07.


#16 fishhooks

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Posted 2011-01-23 07:08:50

So what 'more' do you suggest they do?............... So what 'more' do you suggest they do?

As explained it seems there is little anyone can do, a shocking miscarriage of law in any language.

Anyway a simple answer; Those needing to visit this place need to do what anyone in a foreign country needs to do.......Be aware at all times!

Of course no member of T.V. would get caught up in a scam such as this.

#17 sketcher

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Posted 2011-01-23 08:14:59

There is a warning sign downstairs just before you get to the lifts, warning about the use of agents and also showing what VFS uniformed staff should look like. It is in both English and Thai. Once you get up to the second floor there are VFS 'footprint' stickers on the floor to step on that lead you direct to the VFS office. It was probably a bad choice of office location by the VFS who didnt forsee the likes of the agents next door moving in.

#18 7by7

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Posted 2011-01-23 18:10:36

Rixalex, signs telling people that agents have no connection with the embassy are one thing; signs warning people that agents may try to con them are another.

Sketcher, thanks for the description. It seems from your report that one would have to be very unobservant not to see the signs. Unfortunately, wherever they chose to place the office, agents would move in as well. Even if VFS took the whole building they would hang around outside; as they did when applications were submitted at the embassy.

Thongkorn, VFS cannot dictate to the owners of Regents House who they can and cannot let office space to. As said previously, VFS could move, but agents such as this would only follow.

Of course, in an ideal world the whole process would be carried out inside the embassy compound. My wife's applications were all submitted there and from what I have read and been told the VAC office is a lot more comfortable and user friendly than that hell hole ever was! It's just a shame that whoever decides these things determined that there was no room inside the embassy to build a decent VAC there.

#19 Berek

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Posted 2011-01-23 18:37:15

Slightly OT.

It says not to bring any electronic devices etc. At the Aus embassy the security station will look after your gear but what about at VFS?? No way to leave mobile etc at the hotel then travel all the way there and back. Waste of a day. Is there anything available to leave your valuables while attending?

#20 7by7

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Posted 2011-01-23 18:53:32

You mention the Australian embassy, so are you talking about the UK VAC or the Australian one? Both are run by VFS, but they are in different locations.

There is nothing on the UKVAC website to say this, and my sister-in-law took her mobile with her when she went; but this was 2 years ago.

#21 Berek

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Posted 2011-01-23 20:33:14

The Oz one sorry. I didn't realise they were different places Posted Image It mentions it on their website and after getting the patdown twice before you even get into the building at the Oz embassy I don't want to run into trouble at vfs.

#22 rixalex

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Posted 2011-01-23 22:26:04

Rixalex, signs telling people that agents have no connection with the embassy are one thing; signs warning people that agents may try to con them are another.

I don't believe we actually got into the specifics of how the warning signs should be worded did we? All i said was there needed to be warning signs. You stated:

Putting warning signs up in Regents House would almost certainly be against Thailand's strict libel laws.


I think now, thanks to sketcher, we can safely say that warnings signs are not against any laws, can we not?


I must admit now, on further recollection, that i may too have seen this sign he mentions, but i'm not sure whether it was on my first visit. If it was, i certainly didn't notice it going in. I may have seen it in the process of wandering around trying to kill a couple of hours waiting. I don't think i am a very unobservant person, as you conclude despite never having been there yourself, i think my observational skills are about average. Judging by the number of people who are getting confused there, there must be an awful lot of very unobservant people about. Either that or the sign they have isn't that prominent and they could use more of them, especially in the area of the entrance where it is very easy to walk into the agents thinking it is part of VFS. I guess these measures aren't being taken because they take the same sort of attitude as you seem to: "if people are stupid enough not to notice our warning, more fool them".


It's a sad attitude but unsurprising as this is normal behaviour in most government agencies where they simply don't have to care whether they offer good service or not. You can guarantee that were this a private business we were talking about that was having its customers duped into shelling out money at an establishment that opened right next door, the private business would be 10 times more proactive in helping its customers. I guess therein lies the problem: we are not customers. I accept that and accept that things won't change. Don't tell me that more couldn't be done though, especially when you have never been there before. You are in no position to judge.



#23 Thongkorn

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Posted 2011-01-23 23:35:22

Thongkorn, VFS cannot dictate to the owners of Regents House who they can and cannot let office space to. As said previously, VFS could move, but agents such as this would only follow.

Yes i totally agree , but don't the British Embassy have a Duty to Protect UK citizens. If I was from Eastern Europe and arrived On the back of a wagon in England , they would give me a house and Dole and the works , because they have Human rights , So wheres mine . What about my protection . as you well know Money gets things done In Thailand so why does the VAf center not spend some to protect Uk Citizens . maybe have your own building. that would go along way .

#24 madjbs

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Posted 2011-01-24 00:05:59

It's very obvious which one is the VFS center. I really can't see how anyone could be fooled by the agents next door. They have posters and stickers all over the window offering all types of services unrelated to visas for god's sake!

#25 7by7

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Posted 2011-01-24 02:38:13

I don't believe we actually got into the specifics of how the warning signs should be worded did we? All i said was there needed to be warning signs. You stated:

Putting warning signs up in Regents House would almost certainly be against Thailand's strict libel laws.


I think now, thanks to sketcher, we can safely say that warnings signs are not against any laws, can we not?

I assumed that you meant warnings about agents conning people; after all that is what we were talking about. Signs saying that visa agents are not connected with the embassy are a completely different matter. I'm sure that the embassy and VFS took advice on what these signs could and could not say. Sorry that I misunderstood you on this point.

You seemed to have missed the signs, but it previous posts in previous threads here and anecdotal evidence from friends and family of mine indicate that most people don't.

However, you originally stated that the embassy should do more. I asked you what more they could do and, apart from signs which are already there, you have yet to suggest something.

If I was from Eastern Europe and arrived On the back of a wagon in England , they would give me a house and Dole and the works

No, they wouldn't.

There comes a time when people have to take responsibility for themselves. The VAC is signed, the embassy website, the VAC website and signs in the building itself tell people that the agents are not connected to the embassy. The embassy website and the VAC website tell people that they will know they are in the VAC because signs will tell them and the staff are in uniform. (Do the signs before you get there? I don't know.) If people still end up in the wrong place, to be blunt that is not really the fault of the embassy or VFS.

Other points raised by you both have already been answered in previous posts.





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