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Ubon Ratchathani Immigration - What A Pleasant Experience !

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1 Year Extension of a Non Imm "o" Visa. ( Retirement Visa )

Ubon Ratchathani ( its actually in Phibun Mangsahan about 35km from Ubon ) immigration office.

My previous experience with Thai immigration had been mainly in Bangkok - a huge complex of government buildings where you take a ticket from the machine and wait in a queue for what seems like ages until your numbers up. The office closes for lunch and when the doors open after lunch you're faced with a rugby scrum of about 100 people trying to be 1st through the door. Thais don't do queueing and it seems farang living in Thailand don't either ! My other experience was having my passport retained and being frog-marched to an ATM machine at Suvarnabhumi Airport to withdraw TB4500 after overstaying by 9 days last year !

So it was with some trepidation that we drove into the car park at Phibun Mangsahan immigration office . I had done some research and attempted to ensure all documents were complete with correct number of copies etc etc. However a niggling doubt surfaced that maybe something was missing or wrongly completed. What if more papers were needed from UK ? - yikes !

Some weeks earlier, during a break in Bangkok, i had visited the British Embassy and obtained a letter of income ( which i should say cost an extortionate TB2300, but still preferrable to the TB800000 Thai Bank account option IMO).

So it was armed with umpteen letters, photocopies, forms, and documents that we climbed the few steps and entered into a pleasant and empty reception area. 3 or 4 smartly dressed staff were sitting at computer screens behind the reception desk, and upon enquiring i was told i would be dealt with immediately.

A young lady asked for all my documents and carefully examined each one. In my fraught state i had left the p/copy of my departure card in the house. Resigned to having to roam round Phibun trying to find a p/copy machine, i was pleasantly surprised when she offered to run off a copy on their office machine next door.

And so it was that i left the office 30 mins later with the all important stamp in the passport and with a cheery "Sawadee Kha" from the girl officer. Also TB1900 the poorer, but hey-ho what's free in Thailand ?

Maybe i was just lucky and went on the "right" day but after reading some of the horror stories some people have had, i found the process simple and the immigration staff helpful and courteous. :)

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Retirement visas, are renouneded for being easy to get, at all offices. But still glad to hear.

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Changwat SiSaket's office at Choam SaNgam is also very user friendly - I'm the only one there when I go. Maybe it helps that it's in a war zone :rolleyes:

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