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VFS Bangkok experience, UK Visa application.


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#1 Guemlum

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Posted 2014-01-23 10:32:17

Its been some time since submitting a visa application at the VFS, Regent House and I must say that they have certainly cleaned things up at Regent house.

 

Ther are no longer touts hanging around outside insisting on checking your application, which was a real nuisance in the past, and the VFS have located their office to the ground floor. There is a seating area outside where you can wait and are called in depending on your appointment time. We were there early and as a result of not many people being there, were called in an hour earlier than our appointment time.

 

Show your appointment confirmation and passport to the security guard sitting at the desk inside the entrance and then you are scanned using a hand held scanner by another guard before entering.

 

You are given a ticket which shows your counter number and then you wait until your turn appears on the screen. Prior to this, you have the opportunity to have your photos taken for your application at a cost of 250 baht and also use computer and printer facilities should you require.

 

Once you have submitted your application at the counter you are asked whether you want your documents couriered back to your partner which will cost you 275 baht. Upon completion you are handed back your application/documents in a pouch style folder, given another ticket where you wait to have your biometrics taken and submit the folder to a clerk. Thats it.

 

Your English partner is not allowed in to the centre, however if there is a problem you are allowed in. I was allowed to go in as the documents I submitted sponsoring my partner had to be taken out of the nicely presented folder I had put together and there was a query about some original documents which was resolved quickly. I was told that the British Embassy do not accept ring bound folders anymore. My folder was nicely presented, indexed, making it easy for the ECO to identify the information they require and the VFS just rip it all appart. My main concern is that it will now be mixed up giving the ECO a massive headache. Please be aware.

 

We will now wait and track our application on the internet with the reference number we were given.

 

All in all, a problem free experience which was not the case in the past. Hats off to the VFS for cleaning up their act. :-)

 

Guemlum

 

 



#2 gprit

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Posted 2014-01-23 15:20:11

Thanks for that...like you I have been putting everthing in a folder, neatly indexed and separated!  Makes you wonder....

Actually I have been trying to find ouit whether they are affected by the Bangkok protests/accessability, but they haven't answered emails - they keep bouncing back as spurious email....

Ditto about going to register/hospital back to registry for TB test.

 

Question on the documents - there are many orginal documents required to be produced, but I don't see any reference to copies.

COmmon sense says I copy everything, but do they keep all the originals or just copies after checking agaianst the originals?.



#3 Guemlum

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Posted 2014-01-23 16:52:28

We took a taxi yesterday from Don Muang airport to Regent House and encountered no problems on the way. There are demonstrations at Lumpini park directly next to Regent House but it has not affected the VFS. They are still opening.

 

Regarding copies, I created a section at the back of the folder which contained all originals asking for them to be returned with everything else. For each original document you supply, I would provide a copy for them to keep.

 

Guemlum



#4 SantiSuk

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Posted 2014-01-24 06:49:00

Worth mentioning that the bank in the lobby will give you a cashiers cheque for the visa fee for a reasonably small fee (something like 50 baht from memory). Not worth chasing around Bangkok for it (as the VFS instructions tend to imply you would have to). Also can park at Regents House, though not recommended if the demos are on full bore outside.

 

[All assuming nothing has changed since this time last year when I last did it, which is about the time they moved downstairs and sorted things out]



#5 David48

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Posted 2014-01-24 07:18:05

... and it's really helpful to put in the Title of the OP which country you are referring your Visa about.

 

People from Thailand apply for Visas to counties all over the world.  Though granted that most issues seem to be in the UK system.

 

The same with the VFS agents.

 

They work for both the UK and Australian governments and may indeed work for other countries.

 

7x7 used to bang on about this constantly ... and with good cause.

 

When you title the OP ... it really helps to put the Country or destination in the headline.



#6 theoldgit

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Posted 2014-01-24 07:48:38

Worth mentioning that the bank in the lobby will give you a cashiers cheque for the visa fee for a reasonably small fee (something like 50 baht from memory). Not worth chasing around Bangkok for it (as the VFS instructions tend to imply you would have to). Also can park at Regents House, though not recommended if the demos are on full bore outside.
 
[All assuming nothing has changed since this time last year when I last did it, which is about the time they moved downstairs and sorted things out]


Just to note that you cannot pay by cashiers cheque any more, you have to pay online (in US$) when you make you make your application.

#7 Guemlum

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Posted 2014-01-24 17:14:19

I thought there were a few clues in the OP as to the country, but for those that don't know Regent House is for those applying to visit the UK and Canada.

 

As Santisuk says, there is a small bank in the lobby but it is now a requirement to pay online when filling out your application. However, the information on the notice board outside still implies you can pay by cashiers cheque. This does need removing by the VFS.

 

Guemlum



#8 sms747

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Posted 2014-01-24 17:34:21

250 baht for photos is just another rip off as it's 100 baht anywhere else



#9 Guemlum

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Posted 2014-01-24 17:40:14

250 baht for photos is just another rip off as it's 100 baht anywhere else

 

I agree, and I have had photos taken in the past only for them to be refused by the VFS, when they were taken by an authorised passport photo booth. It is a scam, and one that the VFS should stamp their foot on, but I couldnt be bothered with the hastle again so my partner paid for them herself.

 

Guemlum



#10 David48

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Posted 2014-01-24 20:32:46

I thought there were a few clues in the OP as to the country,

 

I mentioned the title ... not the OP.
 



#11 Jay Sata

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Posted 2014-01-25 05:38:42

250 baht for photos is just another rip off as it's 100 baht anywhere else

So £2.75 overcharge which won't even buy you a pint in the UK.

 

If you don't want to pay then walk away.

 

You say 100 baht for photo's then bring your own and argue.



#12 Tony M

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Posted 2014-01-25 08:20:59

*
POPULAR

 

250 baht for photos is just another rip off as it's 100 baht anywhere else

So £2.75 overcharge which won't even buy you a pint in the UK.

 

If you don't want to pay then walk away.

 

You say 100 baht for photo's then bring your own and argue.

 

 

You have done it again.  You have no idea what the main points of the discussion are, do you ?   

 

Whether the "overcharge" will buy a pint in the UK or not is totally irrelevant.  The cost to the applicant when they are in the VFS office is nearer 5 GBP ( 250 THB for new photos), plus the applicant has already paid 100 THB for their own photos.  The price of two pints in the UK may be nothing to you, but it is the equivalent of maybe food for a couple of days, or more, to many Thais.  The point is that this is appears to be a scam by VFS, and you are saying that it is okay for an agency, contracted by the British government, to scam visa applicants ?   You do the math, and work out how much this scam could bring in when applied to a large proportion, or even a small proportion, of 100,000 visa applicants a year in Bangkok. If VFS did it to only 25% of the total applicants, then the scam would bring in 125,000 GBP a year ( or 40,000 pints of beer, to make it easier for you to understand).

 

You say " if you don't want to pay then walk away".   And how would that applicant then submit their application ?  They would have to make a new appointment, as VFS will not hold their appointment slot open for them to go outside and get new photos. They are telling applicants that it must be done quickly, in their office, or the applicant cannot submit their application.

 

You say "bring your own and argue". That is exactly what applicants have to do, bring their own.  Then VFS say they are not good enough. Arguing is going to lead to VFS giving the ultimatum, pay for the new photos or go away.  And you think this is acceptable ?



#13 Suhari

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Posted 2014-01-26 03:53:40

Is that an accurate statement that you can't submit a ring-binder?

 

Just doing the forms for my wife's sister to apply for a visitors visa....



#14 krisb

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Posted 2014-01-26 07:45:56

I thought there were a few clues in the OP as to the country, but for those that don't know Regent House is for those applying to visit the UK and Canada.

 

As Santisuk says, there is a small bank in the lobby but it is now a requirement to pay online when filling out your application. However, the information on the notice board outside still implies you can pay by cashiers cheque. This does need removing by the VFS.

 

Guemlum

 

Well which is the VFS for Australia?



#15 krisb

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Posted 2014-01-26 07:47:03

 

I thought there were a few clues in the OP as to the country,

 

I mentioned the title ... not the OP.
 

 

 

I agree, it is slightly annoying when the country is not mentioned in the title.
 



#16 NanLaew

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Posted 2014-01-26 08:15:49

Is that an accurate statement that you can't submit a ring-binder?

 

Just doing the forms for my wife's sister to apply for a visitors visa....

Why would the OP have highlighted the fact that he was handed back his unwanted ring binder if it wasn't accurate? Do you want a letter from the Ambassador?

 

Regarding the 'rip off' for photographs. The whole application process is repeatedly very specific in stating the very precise requirements for the applicants visa photo. Now, if all these repeated reminders are totally missed by the whiny proxies of these applicants and the pictures are rejected, I think paying a premium for the CONVENIENCE of getting acceptable pictures at the last minute in lieu of having to withdraw the application with loss of application fee is totally acceptable.



#17 Tony M

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Posted 2014-01-26 09:17:36

 

Is that an accurate statement that you can't submit a ring-binder?

 

Just doing the forms for my wife's sister to apply for a visitors visa....

Why would the OP have highlighted the fact that he was handed back his unwanted ring binder if it wasn't accurate? Do you want a letter from the Ambassador?

 

Regarding the 'rip off' for photographs. The whole application process is repeatedly very specific in stating the very precise requirements for the applicants visa photo. Now, if all these repeated reminders are totally missed by the whiny proxies of these applicants and the pictures are rejected, I think paying a premium for the CONVENIENCE of getting acceptable pictures at the last minute in lieu of having to withdraw the application with loss of application fee is totally acceptable.

 

 

 

With respect, you miss the point.  It appears to be a scam. There is nothing wrong with the photos provided. VFS say there is something wrong with the photos provided, and that the applicant must purchase new photos for 250 THB. The applicant has no choice. They were previously doing it by telling applicants that their application had errors, and they needed to print out a new one in the VFS office. Cost 250 THB.  That is how a scam works.

 

I'm sure many members here, who are, or have been, sponsors, appreciate your description of them as "whiny proxies".  Or are you perhaps referring to someone else ?    Me ?



#18 NanLaew

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Posted 2014-01-26 10:11:27

^ I can only base my experience with VFS on three completely successful applications by my wife where the original passport photographs supplied were accepted upon application. These were obviously passport photographs that adhered closely to the strict BUT WELL PUBLICISED guidelines issued by the FCO that are only ENFORCED by the VFA.

 

It's neither a scam nor rocket science IMHO.

 

I do recall her first application about 5 years ago had 'discrepanices' since UKBA had revised the online application form some time between when she had completed it online and printed it and the application appointment date. The VFA officer came outside and had a coffee with us while she completed the 'new' application form by hand and then they went back inside and completed the (eventually) successful application submission.

 

Best regards,

non-whiny Brit spouse


Edited by NanLaew, 2014-01-26 10:19:01.


#19 GarryUK

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Posted 2014-01-26 17:37:17

Is that an accurate statement that you can't submit a ring-binder?

 

Just doing the forms for my wife's sister to apply for a visitors visa....

 

Yes, when we did our visit visa application back in March 2013 they removed the spines and tabbed dividers we had used to separate the "originals" and "copies", so all that effort to make it look good and easy to follow was pointless.



#20 SantiSuk

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Posted 2014-01-26 19:43:26

Why on earth is one now required (per a poster above) to pay for a UK visa fee in Thailand using US dollars?  British Government sending out all the wrong messages by allowing its subcontractor to do this (even worse if it's the British Government requiring their contractor to do it - don't even trust our own currency anymore?)



#21 theoldgit

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Posted 2014-01-26 20:50:28

Why on earth is one now required (per a poster above) to pay for a UK visa fee in Thailand using US dollars?  British Government sending out all the wrong messages by allowing its subcontractor to do this (even worse if it's the British Government requiring their contractor to do it - don't even trust our own currency anymore?)


It's a commercial decision by UKVI, it's already being discussed here http://www.thaivisa....-3#entry7349391

In China the application fee is also paid online, but in CNY.


Sent from my iPad using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

#22 solentstu

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Posted 2014-04-26 12:23:37

We are just in the process of applying for a visitors visa for my partner and wondered if anyone knew the situation with original or copies of bank statements. All my banking is online and I havent received paper statements for years. Am I ok to print off the online statements and submit them?



#23 7by7

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Posted 2014-04-26 16:50:36

You have asked this question, and others, in different topics as well as here.

 

With respect, doing so wont glean you any extra answers!

 

A mod has consolidated all your questions into one topic here.

 

Please make it easier for us to help you by placing any further questions you may have there.



#24 crazydrummerpauly

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Posted 2014-07-20 07:25:02

 

Worth mentioning that the bank in the lobby will give you a cashiers cheque for the visa fee for a reasonably small fee (something like 50 baht from memory). Not worth chasing around Bangkok for it (as the VFS instructions tend to imply you would have to). Also can park at Regents House, though not recommended if the demos are on full bore outside.
 
[All assuming nothing has changed since this time last year when I last did it, which is about the time they moved downstairs and sorted things out]


Just to note that you cannot pay by cashiers cheque any more, you have to pay online (in US$) when you make you make your application.

 

Just reading this post in July - could you clarify this new restriction of paying to an online method please - e.g., is it just by credit-card, or can it be paypal, or...i'm worried about it because my Thai g/f does not own a credit-card (thank god) and she is trying to complete the application on her own while i'm in the UK.  







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