Renewing a UK passport in Bangkok
A fairly painless procedure
Thank you for all the very kind comments that have been posted about this blog and it's nice to see that the info has helped a lot of people. In fact, the blog has now been read over 40,000 times!
Although my UK passport renewal was six years ago, it doesn't seem as if the process has changed a great deal - not at the moment anyway. So you can read this blog with a degree of confidence.
Today (4th October 2017) I applied for a new 10-year UK passport at the 'HM Passport Office' on Sukhumwit Soi 13 in Bangkok. Even though my current passport is valid for another year, I'm quickly running out of pages (sound familiar?) so it needs to be replaced.
As several readers have mentioned, the place where you will renew your UK passport isn't actually an official HM Passport Office but outsourced to a company called VFS. However, this blog is all about what you need to do to renew a UK passport in Bangkok so please indulge me if I call it a UK Passport office or something similar. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter what we call it.
Applying for a new UK passport was actually a very straightforward procedure and I was in and out of the building within ten minutes. However, like many bureaucratic processes in Thailand, advance preparation is key. In terms of paperwork, it's all about getting your ducks in a row so that the actual application day goes as smoothly as possible.
There are a number of online blogs that outline the process involved but none of them really go into enough detail - and I'm a details man!
Before I start, let me just point out that I haven't picked up the new passport yet. Only when I have the new passport in my hand will it be a case of mission accomplished. So I'll keep this blog updated right to the end of the process (including picking up the new passport and transferring visa stamps from the old passport to the new passport at Thai immigration)
But for now, we are just concerned with the passport renewal.
OK, here's an overview of what you need to take to the passport office. Don't worry, I'll go into detail for each one of the six requirements later.
1) A completed application form
2) Two passport-size photographs
3) Proof of address (in English)
4) A completed credit card payment form
5) Photocopies of your current passport (every single page)
6) Your appointment letter
Please note - this blog is getting quite a lot of readers and as a result, I'm receiving a significant number of questions on Thai immigration procedures and other UK passport services. Sorry, but I can't answer them. You need to fire the questions at either an immigration officer or the UK passport office (VFS) in Bangkok.
This blog is just one man's experience of applying for a UK passport in Thailand. I can't answer questions on people's visa re-entry stamps or whether your bank can provide you with a statement, etc, etc. You need to ask these questions to the appropriate people. Please keep this in mind.
The passport office, where you will make your application to renew a UK passport, is located in The Trendy Building on Sukhumwit Soi 13 in Bangkok.
When I did my passport renewal, the office was on the 28th floor and it wasn't a particularly busy office - at least it wasn't at nine 'o' clock in the morning. Some time later, according to readers'comments, it moved down to the 8th floor, then back up to the 28th. As of 2023, it's on the 8th floor again. I think.
Assuming you will go by sky-train, Sukhumwit soi 13 is about half-way between BTS Asoke and BTS Nana. The walk from BTS Asoke is far more pleasant - and if you're a little early for your appointment, there are a few decent coffee shops on the way.
Once you arrive at Soi 13, The Trendy Building is just a hundred metres or so up the soi, on the right-hand side. It's not a particularly pleasant or welcoming building. It's not a place where you'll want to linger and spend more time than necessary.
Please note - Many of the businesses on the Trendy Building's ground floor are geared towards providing services for Thai people applying for visas to go abroad (photocopying, translation services, etc) and because a number of countries (including the UK) outsource their visa application services to offices in The Trendy Building, the lobby area can get a tad chaotic.
There are always lots of visa agents milling around, providing a relatively inexpensive service to those Thais who are too busy to come into town and apply for a foreign visa themselves. But none of these people concern us. I'm merely just painting a picture for you.
OK, let's get back to the six requirements mentioned in the overview and take each one in turn.
1) A completed application form
OK, let's get this form filled in! You can download and print off the application form (a four-page pdf file) at this link.
There are TEN sections to the application form and it can appear daunting at first glance, but don't get stressed out. A number of the sections you don't even need to bother with if it's a straightforward renewal for a UK adult passport.
Work your way through the application form (don't forget to use black biro ink ONLY)
Two important points to bear in mind.
In section one of the form, you need to check the box if you want the sooper-dooper 48-page passport or just stick to the standard 32-page one.
The 32-page passport is £118.51
The 48-page passport is £128.51
Both prices include a courier fee (the cost of delivering your passport from the UK to Thailand)
(I actually paid less than above for my 48-page passport but Steve got in touch in March 2019 to say there had recently been a price increase)
In section 10 of the form, you have a decision to make - whether or not you need a counter-signatory. This is when someone - a friend, a doctor or a retired army colonel (if you're lucky enough to know one) signs the back of one of your passport photos with the following;
‘I certify that this is a true likeness of [title and full name of adult or child who is getting the passport].'
Then they sign and date the photograph.
The counter-signatory also needs to fill in section 10 of the application form for you.
You can get all the information about who qualifies as a counter-signatory at this link.
What's interesting - and I researched this - is if you do not feel that your appearance has changed much in the last ten years (when you got your current passport) then you are free to skip section ten completely and not bother with a counter-signature. That's certainly what it says on the official UK Government website.
Personally, I didn't want to take the risk. So I invited a good friend for lunch (a guy who has known me for well over five years) and got him to sign one of my passport photos and complete section 10 of the application form.
Just to balance things out, Joshua from Khon Kaen got in touch at the end of October 2018 after reading this blog and going through the UK passport renewal procedure himself. Joshua said "I did NOT fill in section 10 of the application form and neither did I bother with a counter-signature. And I had no problems at all. I am now the proud owner of a new 10-year UK passport"
2) Two passport-sized photographs
The photos must measure 45 millimetres high by 35 millimetres wide (the standard size used in photo booths in the UK)
As we covered in the previous point, the first of your two photos will be signed on the reverse by a counter-signatory (if you decide to go down the counter-signature route), your second photograph will be blank.
If you have found the secret of eternal youth and your appearance hasn't changed much in the last ten years, then BOTH of your photographs will be blank.
3) Proof of address (in English)
For many applicants, this part is the real pain in the ass - and I'm no exception. For example, all the utility bills to our house are addressed to my wife and the address is always in Thai.
In the end, I decided to submit three bank statements with my address clearly shown in English as part of my application, and the receiving officer was more than happy. Three bank statements was probably overkill though. I'm sure I would have got away with just one.
Thai banks are actually very helpful here if you go in and ask for something nicely. For a small fee, any bank will usually issue you with a bank statement showing your address in English. It might cost you a hundred or perhaps a couple of hundred baht - and you may need to go back to collect it the following day - but you'll get the job done.
Other acceptable forms of ID could include a work permit, a driving licence, a utility bill or an employment letter but be aware that anything in Thai has to be translated into English, giving you yet another hoop to jump through.
There are numerous offices on the ground floor of The Trendy Building offering translation services and I noticed one them was quoting 150 baht a page on their window, but I really have no idea how long it would take them. Personally, I wouldn't risk messing around with getting translations done on the day of your passport renewal unless you have plenty of time to spare.
4) A credit card payment form
Cash is NOT accepted at the passport office. You will need to download and fill in the credit card payment form. It can either be your credit card or someone else's. I used my wife's card so she had to provide her signature on the form. It's pretty self-explanatory. Download the form here.
Chris, an ajarn reader from Bangkok, also went through this UK passport renewal process and he says "I just want to point out that you can also pay by debit card (even one for a Thai bank account) if you don't have, or don't want to use a credit card"
Thanks for that Chris.
5) Photocopies of your current passport (every page)
Now this is where things start to get expensive. You need to photocopy - in colour - EVERY single page of your existing passport (even the blank pages with no stamps on). For me that was a whopping 30 pages at 20 baht a copy. 600 baht! Ouch!
Once again, it's all about getting your ducks in a row.
I had done my color photocopying a couple of weeks beforehand when I happened to be in the Sukhumwit area and I decided to use one of the photocopy shops in The Trendy Building. I figured at least these guys would know what they are doing.
That said, perhaps you can find somewhere that does colour photocopying cheaper than 20 baht a page. Good luck!
I got this interesting comment from a reader on March 6th 2021 - regarding colour printing of all pages of your passport. If you have a printer/scanner and some very basic graphic or word processing software, it is possible to get FOUR passport pages onto one sheet of A4 paper thus saving 50% of the printing costs. I recently emailed VFS and asked if this is acceptable - and I provided a sample. They replied very quickly and confirmed that FOUR passport pages printed onto a sheet of A4 (in colour) is acceptable. I will be submitting my renewal application in the next few weeks and if I encounter any problem I will update you.
6) Your appointment letter
You have to make an appointment with the passport office in advance. You can't just turn up uninvited. Here's how you do it.
Send a short e-mail to BangkokHMPO@vfshelpline.com and explain that you are looking to renew a UK adult passport. Then request THREE dates.
I requested either the 4th, 5th or 6th October and I cheekily asked for a morning slot if possible (if you don't ask, you don't get)
I got an e-mail reply within half an hour asking me to come on 4th October at 8.50 am.
The e-mail not only confirms your appointment but gives you a lot of background information that thanks to reading this blog, you will already know.
Print off the appointment e-mail because you will need to take that with you on your application day.
Time things so you arrive at The Trendy Building about 15-20 minutes before your scheduled appointment (there's really no point arriving any earlier)
You've already got all your colour photocopies, application form, proof of address etc, etc arranged in a nice folder (you have, haven't you? Good)
Take the elevator up to the required floor. Go through security. Take a queue number at the desk. Finally, file your application when your number is called.
The officer checks all your application documents and gives you a ‘collection document' (we could even refer to this as a 'receipt')
The officer told me that my new passport would arrive in three to four weeks, possibly even sooner. Plus of course he would give me a letter for Thai immigration to help facilitate any transfer of visa stamps.
To reiterate, the whole application process took me less than ten minutes and everything was handled courteously and professionally. I couldn't have been more impressed and many of my friends on social media echoed the same thoughts. How rare it is in Thailand to undertake a bureaucratic process and end up thinking ‘shit, what am I going to do with the rest of the day?'
Job done. Go and have a well-earned cup of coffee.
Finally, this is the actual UK Government website where you can click through the process and go over the information again.
Update - 16th October 2017
Received a very nice e-mail from the passport office this morning to say that my new UK passport is now ready for collection. So from the day of application, the process of getting a replacement passport has taken just 12 days. Wow! I'm impressed.
They also called my wife on her mobile phone to tell her that her husband's new passport was ready for collection (I always give out my wife's mobile number as my contact because I often don't answer my own phone or even hear it ringing. I hate phones!)
The e-mail says that there is no need to make an appointment for a collection. I can go anytime from Monday to Friday between 9.00 am and 3.00 pm.
I need to take the receipt (which was given to me on the day of application), a copy of the e-mail letter informing me the new passport has arrived and thirdly, my old passport (which presumably they want to cut up)
If you can't go in person, you can send a third party along to collect it on your behalf. They need to show 1) your old passport 2) their own form of ID and 3) an authority letter signed by you giving the third party authorization from you, stating his/her name and that you are permitting him/her to collect the passport on your behalf.
I plan to pick the passport up on Thursday 19th.
Update 27th October 2022 - with regards to how long it takes to process a UK passport application, we are living in very different times at the moment compared to when I applied for mine (and wrote most of this blog) a number of years ago. Many folks on social media are saying that the current wait time can be anything up to 12-16 weeks!
A few comments from other UK passport renewers
Terry, a reader from Pattaya, said that he very recently went through this UK passport renewal process. When VFS sent him an e-mail to collect the new passport, he had to give them a specific time and collection date. Interesting, because that was not my experience at all. VFS said I could come to pick up the new passport any time.
Terry also went on to say that on his actual application day, he waited for ONE HOUR before he was called in to file his application. Again, not my experience at all. I waited about five to ten minutes.
Jackem (another Ajarn reader) was also asked to request a specific time and date to pick up his new passport and this led to a somewhat confusing e-mail exchange. Jackem decided to ignore the e-mail completely and just turn up at VFS without an appointment. And he was successful!
What about Liz, who lives down in Hua Hin? Well, Liz's new UK passport took just 8 days to arrive and when it came to collecting the new passport, she was told she could come and pick it up at any time.
This 'do you or don't you need to make an appointment to collect your new passport' seems to have suddenly become the 'cloudiest' part of the whole process. To use an expression I often use in Thailand - 'it all depends which way the wind is blowing'
It might be worth asking the application officer on the day that you make your application as to what the current collection procedure is.
This of course is the problem with blogs of this nature. They are merely snapshots in time. They are one man's experience of what happened on a specific day. On another day with different dynamics at play, the experience might be vastly different. And of course rules and requirements can change. Again, always bear that in mind.
Update - 19th October 2017 (picking up the new UK passport)
I went along to the UK passport office at around midday and collecting the passport was a very simple 10-minute procedure.
I was served by the same kind and helpful young man who took care of my original application. He cut a corner off the old passport in that time-honored fashion and also gave me a request letter to show to Thai immigration in order to facilitate the transfer of my visa extension and re-entry permit from my old passport to the new one.
Initially I was quite surprised (and a tad disappointed perhaps) at how unofficial-looking and plain the request letter was, but on further inspection it does have a proper signature and an embossed stamp as well as the British Embassy crest. The actual body text of the letter contains blank spaces that you have to fill in yourself.
So the next stop is Thai immigration, which I plan to do on Tuesday the 31st October. Surprisingly, there is very little information on-line about transferring visas, etc from one passport to another. There are the usual expat forum threads which quickly descend into argument and disagreement (I really don't know why I bother) but there is virtually nothing written on the topic within the last three years. But as I often say, the best way to find out is to go through it yourself.
So let's see how easy or how difficult Thai immigration can make this. Fingers crossed.
Update - 31st October 2017 (transferring extension of stay stamp and re-entry permit from old passport to new passport)
Well, that was about as easy as it gets when you make a trip to Thai immigration.
I needed to transfer two things from my old UK passport to the new one - firstly, a one-year extension of stay stamp and secondly, a multiple-entry re-entry permit.
Both of these things were issued to me in July 2017 so both were only a few months old.
The whole process once I had handed over my two UK passports (and a few photocopies) was LESS than fifteen minutes. You can't grumble at that. Plus there was NO charge for this service. I have read on several forum threads of people being charged a 500 baht service fee but that wasn't the case for me today. It was freemans. Whether that applies to all Thai immigration offices, I couldn't tell you.
OK, here's a checklist of what you need to take to immigration.
1) The official 'stamp change application form (you can download it from this page)
2) The official letter that was given to you by VFS / UK Passport office when you picked up your new passport (filled in)
3) A copy of your TM6 departure card
4) A copy of the photo page from your OLD passport
5) A copy of the photo page from your NEW passport
6) A copy of the page or pages showing your extension of stay stamp, re-entry permit, etc - in other words, the stuff that you want transferred to the new passport
7) A copy of your last entry stamp into Thailand
On a final note - and again this is only stuff that I've got from various expat discussion forums - you ONLY need to go to immigration if you want an extension of stay stamp transferred to a new passport (as in my case)
If you are here in Thailand on an actual visa that you obtained from a Thai embassy or consulate abroad - perhaps a tourist visa or a single entry non-immigrant B, etc - you do NOT need to go to immigration to transfer the visa to your new passport. Thai immigration can't do that anyway.
You can simply show BOTH of your passports to the immigration officer when you exit Thailand. Your old passport will have your visa in it (and it's still valid despite the passport being cancelled) and your new passport is your identification.
Please don't shoot the messenger. That final bit of info is only what I gleaned from expat forums and as we know, they are not always the most reliable source of info. As I tell everyone - if in doubt, go and speak to your local immigration office.
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As I have to regularly travel as part of my job Is there any way that you are able to retain your current passport during the renewal process?
By Jon R, Rayong (27th May 2023)
I had to use a Thai address as I’m on an education visa so last minute change to the form. I requested a statement from the SCB app to my email and printed this. That was ok but don’t use your parents address back in the UK like I did. Otherwise everything is as stated. Definitely get your colour photocopy done somewhere else. I did it at a copy shop on the suburbs and was about 100b for all pages. Here it will be around 500. It’s 30b for 1 Black and white copy!
By Ali, Bangkok (10th May 2023)
For me, the process of both renewing a child’s passport and renewing / changing a child’s passport to an adult passport took 5 weeks (February 2023 - March 2023).
This was shortly before the Passport Office strike in the UK.
As of February / March 2023 the vfs / UK passport office is located on the 8th floor of the Trendy Building, Soi 13.
The walk from BTS Asoke is still very pleasant; in fact you can take the new skywalk from BTS Asoke as far the Sofitel Hotel, almost by Soi 13.
(Note: There is a little vfs booth on the ground floor of Trendy Office but they don’t appear to keep details of that day’s appointments).
As the vfs passport office is on the 8th floor, you can also use the less busy 'lower-floors' glass-fronted elevators (located at the right side of the ground floor) in addition to the main (busier) ‘all-floors’ elevators (located at the back of the ground floor).
At vfs, once through bag / security check, in front of you is a desk for 'India and Consular'. It was at this desk that they had the list of the day’s vfs / UK Passport appointments. I just showed them the copy of the appointment email / letter on my phone (didn’t need to print it out) and they gave me the queue number.
Once you’re checked off on the list, the UK Passport Office itself is behind you directly opposite the India and Consular desk. There’s a small waiting area with chairs, a Photo Booth, printer and copier, as well as the door to the vfs officers' booths.
As of February 2023:
* a child's 32-page passport (valid for 5 years) including courier fee cost £94.51.
* a 48-page adult passport including courier fee cost £138.51
Photocopies of current passport (every page)
I used the method of putting 4 scanned passport pages per printed page of A4 (a bit of a faff but fairly straightforward) and this was accepted without question.
By the end of the same day of the my application appointment, I had received an email from vfs confirming that the applications had been forwarded to HMPO.
5 weeks later I received an email to confirm that the passports were ready to be collected, that an appointment would not be required but that collection times were Monday to Friday (except on public holidays) from 14:00-15:00 hours.
Finally, having collected the passports I received a final email from to confirm that my passports had been collected.
By CB, Bangkok (25th April 2023)
George: It is not possible to auto track a UK passport application made abroad in the same way as online. Try calling HMPO Liverpool.
By Mike44, Bangkok (24th April 2023)
Hey all, is it possible to track the application? Mine was delivered to the UK almost a month ago now and my card was charged at the same time. Still nothing so far so had to extend my tourist visa. I saw a helpline number on the receipt but not sure if they provide updates and I can't even make calls while abroad.
By George, Bangkok (17th April 2023)
Bangkok bank assured me that the payment for my passport would be met. I got an email from H M Passport Office in the UK. Bangkok bank have refused the payment! I would be very grateful if anyone knows of a bank in Thailand that honors what they say they are going to do. It will be a miracle if I can keep my cool when I get to the bank.
By Richard, Bangkok (18th March 2023)
Really helpful blog.
Any recent update on how long they are taking to process and send the passports?
By Lucy, Currently in Patong (15th March 2023)
My application on 2 March 2023, went smoothly, thank you. For proof of address I took the original and a copy of my Tax code notice, dated January 2022. It is one of the recommended proof's on the gov.uk web site - table A supporting documents. I wrote down the renewal costs £138:51 for a 40 page & £127:51 for a 32 page
The tax code notice had my address, in English in the top left corner with HM Revenue & Customs above it. It is headed 'This is to tell you your tax code(s) for 6 April 2022 to 6 April 2023.' Initially it was pointed out to me that it was dated January 2022, I pointed out that it was current until 6 April 2023 & it was accepted as proof of address without further question. I received an email confirming that the application had been sent so my visit to Bangkok Bank to ensure that payment would be met was not a waste of time.
By Richard, Bangkok (8th March 2023)
Hello all. Thought this might help! I lost my passport whilst I was in Amsterdam, entered Thailand on an emergency passport and got a passport appointment within a week. Applied and sent off on the 7th February, got an email back on 23rd February to say passport is ready for collection. So much quicker than the 13 weeks quoted! I hope this helps
By Callum, Bangkok Thailand (24th February 2023)
Thank you for reminding me Kevin Martyn. I had tried to use my Bangkok Bank Debit card to buy something and it was refused. I went to the bank & protested. They refused to give me a Visa card but gave me a Mastercard Debit card. My Thai wife went with me to the bank & explained my concern about payment for my passport renewal. They put me on the phone to speak with someone at a “call centre” He took my card details & asked some security questions. He authorised my card to be used as a Mastercard would usually be expected to be used, saying that after 3 hours time I could use it to pay for anything, anywhere. I specifically asked if payment for my passport would be honoured & he said yes. Now I feel more confident that there is a chance that I can pay for my passport renewal. All I need now is a couple of photos & an appointment at the Trendy Building. If they refuse the payment, I will probably be heard screaming at them as far away as China!
By Richard, Bangkok (17th February 2023)
You cannot pay for uk passport with a Bangkok Bank debit card!
By Kevin Martyn, Bangkok (27th January 2023)
Thank you for this renewal article (that keeps updating as new info arises). If followed properly, all the process tends to go smoothly (loved the tips on proof of identity (first page of passport) + of address (Thai driver’s license in reverse).
As of January 2023, the wait time was 3 weeks (VFS sending documents via DHL Express to HMPO Liverpool), instead of what HMPO Bangkok mentioned of 11 weeks. Hoping the online renewal/application will be available for Thailand in the near future (cost less)
By Sam, Thailand (23rd January 2023)
Very good guide. If you follow it and have everything listed here, it should all go smoothly. I used a copy shop in the suburbs near where I live for the colour copies of every page of my old passport and paid 5 baht a page so shop around. I applied to renew my passport on December 14th and got the new one just over 3 weeks later. Maybe things have improved or I just applied at a quiet time of year.
By Jonathan Galvin, Bangkok (23rd January 2023)
Does anyone know is there any way we can track the progress of our passport application (renewal) once it is delivered to HMPO in Liverpool via DHL Express?
By Sam, Nonthaburi (16th December 2022)
Thanks for the very helpful article. I had an appointment to submit my application on November 14th. Have just received an email to say that my passport is ready for collection, today, December 15th. Somewhat quicker than the 11 weeks the staff forecast! It must be the kipper season now...
By Guy, Rayong (15th December 2022)
An update to my previous post on the 29th October- having been told originally by VFS that my passport will take 16 weeks to return, I was pleasantly surprised to read an email from VFS confirming my replacement passport is ready for collection. Total of 6 weeks 6 days. The email arrived in my “junk mail” so it’s worth keep checking daily
By Gary, Bangkok (14th December 2022)
Thanks Phil, this article had me 100% prepared before I went yesterday (6th Dec 22). I went 20 minutes before my time and was called straight inside, my passport copy was missing 2 pages but there is a visa office just outside the passport office which will colour copy for 15 thb per page. Once that was done the lady checked everything and made me sign some papers and told me it will be 16 weeks before my new passport will arrive and that I cannot travel outside the country as this current one will be cancelled. All done and finished in 20 minutes and it would have been 10 minutes if not for my missing pages. All in all a painless procedure except having to fly up from Phuket to do it :)
By Andy, Phuket (7th December 2022)
Addresses in English for children can be difficult. We got a letter from the school to confirm their home address and visa address.
By Zoe, Bangkok (18th November 2022)
Appointment 26th October 2022 at VFS Bangkok - My experience with VFS was nothing short of excellent. Professional, polite staff welcoming, then walking straight in for my appointment 15 minutes early! Previously, I sent an email requesting 3 dates I could attend and within 10 minutes I received a reply confirming my appointment at 1.15. Krungsri bank (the branch I opened my account with) , provided my address details in the form of a statement in English, without having to use a translation service and this was provided whilst I waited for a fee of 100 baht.
Sadly, the only negative part of this process is with HMPO. Vfs advised that U.K. passports are now taking a minimum of 16 weeks from sending to arriving back at VFS Bangkok meaning I am unable to travel outside Thailand during this time.
By Gary, Bangkok (29th October 2022)
Got an email this afternoon telling me that my passport was ready for collection. It took 16 weeks from they received it until it arrived back here
By Steve, Nonthaburi (26th October 2022)
My passport information (colour copy of every page and other information as I live in Thailand and I used VFS in the middle of July 2022 ). I called the HMPO at the end of September 2022, I was transferred to three different people two could not help me as I did not have a tracking number only a reference number. Finally after being transferred to a 3rd people, and giving them the same information that I had given the other people i was informed that they had received my application, and they were working on it(8 weeks since they received my information and they are still working on it). It is now 12 weeks and still nothing. I was told that people in the UK have to wait 10 weeks.
By Steve, Nonthaburi (21st October 2022)
Just want to thank you for this excellent guide. My appointment was for 1 PM, I was seen at 1 PM and was finished within 10 Minutes. VFS staff were polite and even complimented me on having everything needed and forms filled in correctly. I took the praise (lol) but it wouldn't have been so easy without this guide.
Just a few updates....
1. Floor 8 is the new location.
2. Standard passport 118.51.
3. Proof of address was letter from bank. Only 1 needed.
4. Didn't bother with section 10. No counter signature needed unless your appearance has changed drastically.
5. Offered to pay with Barclays or Kasikorn debit. Lovely Thai lady said "pay with Barclays or they'll rip you off with exchange rates".
6. If like me you have to fly in from up country don't muck about with taxis. The skytrain took me from the airport to Asok BTS for 50 baht.
By David Milne, Ubon Ratchathani (20th October 2022)
I applied for my passport renewel as per your very helpful advice the whole process was very easy.
But now I have received scam emails posing to be the Belfast Finance office saying my card had been declined please telephone the officd on a tuesday or thursday, when you phone you get a recorded message telling you your through to HMP Belfast it asked you to leave a message and they will return your call, shortly after the phone rings bit the number was prefixed +6970 so you know it's a scam.
I gave the information to HMP who confirmed it was indeed a scam so please all be sware.
The problem I have now is I cannot track my passport application in the UK system, both the help line and trsck my passport page require postoffice codes, but all the Bangkok office give you is a Reference number and it seems impossible to get through to a real person. Has anyone else needed to track there application made from Bangkok if so any information would be appreciated. I am concerned as I have no way of knowing if my application is in the system or has been stolen, I have DHL track that says it arrived in Liverpool.
By Dave Lang, Buriram (12th August 2022)
Thanks for your really helpful article! I was wondering if, while I’m waiting for my new passport to arrive I am allowed to travel briefly outside Thailand as I still have my old passport which has more than 6 months’ validity? My current visa allows me to stay in Thailand for 90days and a little bit worried my new passport might not arrive in time so would like to start a new 90 days stay.
By Martin, Bangkok (4th August 2022)
I applied for a replacement passport at VFS because I lost mine. Now my tourist visa is going to run out and I can't renew it without a passport but HMPO said it will take 13 weeks to come. Thai immigration offices said there is nothing they can do. What happens? Am I illegal?
By Alexandra, United Kingdom (20th July 2022)
When I renew my British Passport do they send my current passport off with the paperwork. Worried that I will not get it back for my next 90 report.
By Tee, Koh Phangan (9th June 2022)
About 18 months ago I had a conversation with the previous UK ambassador, and he informed me they were in negotiations with the Thai authorities to allow new passports to be shipped locally by EMS. That never happened and now nobody replies to my messages. Having to travel twice, from Phuket to Bangkok, during a world wide pandemic, is just irresponsible!
By Geoff Morris, Phuket (8th February 2022)
I did my passport application in November. It’s been 7 weeks and I still haven’t got it back. I have emailed UK passport office and they said they are still processing it. Warning to those.
By Andrew, Bangkok (13th January 2022)
Filling in the credit card section for payment, I have no problem finding the expiration date of my Kasikorn Visa / ATM card but I can't see the date it was issued, required on the form.
Will I have to go to the bank to find out?
By bannork, Northeast Thailand (20th November 2021)
Oct 02, 2021
Renewing/Applying UK Passport - Option:
Thai Visa Express can apply & process application for you. No need to travel BKK & apply in person at Trendy Office. They will submit passport application, arrange collection when ready & EMS to your address. Charges are reasonable.
I live in Mae Sai, their services saved me time, cost of flights, taxi, maybe hotel, & took all the stress away. Highly recommended & should be considered wherever in Thailand you live.
By Bob, Mae Sai (2nd October 2021)
Does anyone know what happens if you do not have your passport and so cannot hand in the photocopy of every page?
By Patricia, Bangkok (3rd July 2021)
Update on that ....
Just looked my emails and passport is ready for collection, How's that 21 days in all . great service
BUT .... another 600 kilo round trip, the UK government really do look after us EXPATS. 2 trips to BKK in a pandemic, one would have thought go back to the courier way, at least till it's all over, the last time i renewed it was a trip to DHL office in korat and they phoned you when it arrived.
make a good thread that phill ( those were the days ) & thanks for the heads up those that posted and for leaving the door open phil to help us guys in need of info.
By Thaiga, phimai (4th June 2021)
Hi guys, so this is how it was for me. emailed VFS on the 10th may, asked for an appointment to renew passport on any day around 11am. got a reply same day for appointment 11am on the 14th may.
was told not to arrive more than 15 mins early and if more than 15 mins late a walk in charge would apply of 1,500.60 bht. or book for another day.
I got there an hour early, just walked in took temperature test, found lift 10 got to the 28th floor, 2 security men took me through the airport style check, put your items in a tray collect the other side. they pointed where to go, got a ticket number, went through another door, large room full of empty chairs, before i could sit down my number was called.
I handed my paperwork to a most helpful lady. for verify my address i downloaded a statement from my UK bank which she said was fine.
( must be no more than a year old )
I must say they are very helpful, no hoops to jump through.
well done & thanks to the VFS Global.
By Thaiga, phimai (4th June 2021)
Hi Phil & guys,
thanks for the updates, i was refused the letter of confirming address @ Bangkokbank today, although i have had the confirmation letter before, i was told (not do now sooory)
By thaiga, phimai (5th May 2021)
Update on my Renewal
Submitted renewal application on 17 March (see post below). Collected new passport today (9 April). Bearing in mind that there was a 2 day holiday last month for Easter, the total turn-round time was 15 working days which I consider to be excellent considering the Covid-19 situation in the UK. Well done UKPO.
By OldTiger, Nakhonpathom (9th April 2021)
Does anyone know if it is possible to make a passport renewal application on behalf of a friend?
By Rod, Khon Kaen (5th April 2021)
Received an email today (following my appointment at VFS on 22 March) saying that due to Covid I could expect to receive my new passport within 8 weeks. This is a couple of weeks longer than I had been told to expect but is of no real consequence for me.
By David, Bangkok (1st April 2021)
Just an update . Been there today 31st March
They have moved back to the 28th floor for now .
Very quick process just remember to download and fill out the payment form as cash and cards are not taken .
On my receipt it said when its ready I can only pick up Monday - Wednesday 1 pm to 2pm
By Gary Craig, Thailand (31st March 2021)
Super in details and very useful information!!! Thank you very very much!
By Tack, Samuthprakarn (26th March 2021)
I failed in my post to thank Phil for his excellent article which I followed and helped considerably in the whole process, thank you!
By Bangkok Farang, Thap Sakae (26th March 2021)
I had an excellent experience with VFS, less than 10 mins and the application for passport renewal was completed, polite, timely and friendly. Amazingly it took 16 days when I received an email to inform the new passport was ready for collection. Again no problem with VFS, the passport could be collected between 1-3pm on Monday or Wednesday. Passport received, excellent service.
That’s when things went wrong, the morning after receiving the new passport I went to immigration at Chang Wattana to transfer my visa to the new passport. On arrival I was given a form clearly listing all the copies needed for the transfer, I had previously prepared these so feeling confident it would be a fast visit.
The immigration officer, checked all my documents, agreed all was in good order. However I was told I needed an update of my bank book. Why I asked the visa was issued for 12 months all conditions prevail with exception of a new passport!
So I go to the local branch of my bank which was only 10 mins away, luckily I had the bank book with me so it was updated, returned to immigration, updated bank book accepted and just before the 12am lunch break the passport was received. Nowhere have I read that this is a requirement for passport visa tupdate, be aware of this!
By Bangkok Farang, Thap Sakae (25th March 2021)
An update on making my application to renew my passport at Trendy on the 17 March 2021.
Sent email to VSF requesting appointment and giving 3 dates 2/3 weeks ahead. Asked for pm appointment to allow me to travel into Bangkok from Nakhonpathom. It took VSF a couple of days to respond but they offered me the 2nd of the dates I had requested, and in the afternoon, which was great.
Arrived approximately 10 minutes before my designated appointment time (13:00) and made my way up to the 28th floor in the lift. I was the 1st person there but G4S would not let me into the VSF area until it was exactly 13:00.
Collected ticket number from the reception desk and entered the large room behind the reception desk. My number was called almost before the door shut behind me.
Presented my application form, supporting documents, photos and original passport to the VSF officer. He quickly looked at the application form and called a supervisor over. I was then informed that the form must be completed in black biro. I had used Adobe Acrobat Forms to fill the info in on my computer and then print it in black. It was totally readable and looked very neat, but the supervisor advised that the HMPO may well reject it which would mean that I would be charged for submitting a ‘duff’ application form and then have to pay again for submitting a new form as specified in black biro. The officer gave me a blank form and a black biro and it took a couple of minutes to complete the form. Lesson learned – don’t be a clever clogs.
Whilst I was completing the replacement application form the officer checked the copies of my passport (4 pages printed in colour on one sheet of A4 as per my earlier update) against my passport. He checked my replacement application and payment forms. All now OK.
FYI – I provided a bank statement with my address in English as proof of my address whilst in Thailand. I redacted (blacked out) the details of the account number and amounts of deposits/debits on the copy. The redacted copy was accepted, and the original was returned.
A few minutes later he issued me with a ‘Document Receipt’ and advised that it is currently taking 4 to 6 weeks for new passports to arrive from HMPO and they (VSF) will email me when mine arrives. He also advised that I must bring the ‘Document Receipt’ and original passport when I collect the new passport. Apparently passports can only be collected on Monday’s or Wednesday’s between 13:00 and 14:00.
Despite the slight hiccup on my part, I was dealt with professionally and was out of the VSF office by 13:15. Good service so far.
Later that day I received an email from VFS Global to advise me that my application has been forwarded to HMPO.
Please be advised…. In your original post under the heading ‘Application Day’ you state “Take the elevator to the 8th floor”. This may be a typo as VSF office is on the 28th floor.
By OldTiger, Nakhonpathom (20th March 2021)
After the UK left the EU, I thought I'd take advantage of my Irish heritage and apply for my Irish passport. I did it all online in less than 10 minutes. I got my passport delivered to my door within 2 weeks.
Now that really was easy.
By Liam, Bangkok (8th March 2021)
Re: Colour printing of all pages of your passport.
If you have a printer/scanner and some very basic graphic or word processing software, it is possible to get 4 passport pages onto one sheet of A4 paper thus saving 50% of the printing costs.
I recently emailed VFS and asked if this is acceptable - I provided a sample. They replied very quickly and confirmed that 4 passport pages printed onto a sheet of A4 (in colour) is acceptable.
I will be submitting my renewal application in the next few weeks and if I encounter any problem I will update you.
By OldTiger, Nakhonpathom (6th March 2021)
Update to my posts of 24th February & 8th January 2021.
On Wednesday, 3rd March, 2021 I attended the VFS address in Chiang Mai and duly collected my new passport along with the transfer of stamps letter. Very quick, in and out within 2 minutes. Lovely new British Passport and as other people have stated your passport picture is now on 3 pages. Also, of note is that with the passport instructions I had to sign my passport in black ink.
On Thursday, 4th March, 2021 I attended the CR Immigration office to get the stamps transferred with the required copies of my passports as outlined by Ajarn Phil and the completed transfer of stamps forms. This took 1.5hrs, which is quite bizarre as there were only ever 3 people along with myself in attendance with 7 immigration officers. On completion I was asked for Baht300 and handed my old and new passport. I in return asked for a receipt of payment, however, the IO asking for payment walked away and another IO asked for Baht300. Again I politely asked for a receipt of payment and he bluntly said 'No'. I again asked for a receipt. At this the IO then required me to go away and make further copies of my passports, him outlining which pages he required copies of. On return I waited and then handed over said copies. Again I was sent away to make additional copies of my old passport. Again on return I waited and handed over said copies. About 5 minutes later I was given back my 2 passports without request for payment! It appears to me that no payment is required for transferring of stamps and I was not asked again for payment and I never handed over any monies for this.
I would agin thank Phil for this post, which greatly helped and made it easy to apply for and obtain a new passport.
By Harry, Chang Rai (4th March 2021)
Update to my post of 8th January, 2021
140121 email from VFS Global stating my passport application had been forwarded to HMPO.
210121 email from HMPO Communications apologising that due to covid-19 processing of my passport application was taken longer than usual and that I should receive my passport within 8 weeks.
220221 telephone call from VFS Chiang Mai stating that my new passport was ready for collection and I was required to nominate a time and date for collection. I have booked an appointment for 1300hrs on Wednesday, 3rd March, 2021 for collection and will further update here.
By Harry, Chiang Rai (24th February 2021)
Regarding countersignatory (section 10) :
A little additional info needs to be inserted at section 8.
See left-hand box at section 10 - "GET IT RIGHT" text:
Please use the boxes at Section 8 to tell us which country's passport your countersignatory holds, and his or her email address.
Excellent website, Phil, and helpful comments also !
Cheers, Big Al
By Big Al, Koh Samui (3rd February 2021)
Mick, Bangkok said (24 September, 2020
"...Interestingly, your photo now appears on three separate pages of the new style passport..."
Interestingly, we are asked to supply (only) two photos.
Mai Khao Jai...
By Big Al, Koh Samui, Lamai, Koh Samui (25th January 2021)
An excellent detailed blog that I found so helpful. Initially I was going to renew in Bangkok and had booked an appointment as detailed below. One thing I would add is that in my case I could not book more than 1 month in advance for an appointment. Having said all that, I have since cancelled my appointment in Bangkok due to the ongoing climate with covid, particularly travelling a distance from Chiang Rai by car.
I then went and booked with VFS Chiang Mai and sent an email for an appointment late on a Sunday night (0301) and received an email back the following morning with an appointment for Wednesday, 6th January, 2021 at 1130am. Location easily found and the staff at VFS Chiang Mai very efficient and I was served in a timely manner, having arrived at 1105am I was in and out by 1120am. The lady that served me said my new passport would take approximately 4 weeks. I enquired of her as to how busy Chiang Mai is with passport applications and she stated that since they started the service in Chiang Mai in 2019 they have been fairly quiet with applications.
I will update with news of when passport is ready for collection and times.
Thanks again to Phil for his blog, whose advice I followed throughout for my application in Chiang Mai.
By Harry, Chiang Rai (8th January 2021)
The counter-signatory also needs to fill in section 10 of the application form for you
for the above comment . if I'm in Thailand at moment the person who signs my photos, can it be a Thai person? like a police officer?
By Nancy, Bangkok (18th December 2020)
Does anyone know if you are able to track your overseas UK passport on-line. I have been given a tracking number but I am unaware if there is a website that I can use this on.
By Benjamin, Rayong (5th December 2020)
Went to VFS last week (Nov 6, 2020). Everything was dealt with very efficiently and quickly. They didn't even look at the pics, or if they were signed, just popped them into a cellophane sleeve and stapled them to the application form. I had provided all the colour pics of the old passport pages and the other support info needed, including a proof of address. After submitting the form I was asked to sit down for 5 minutes, after which I got my receipt. I was told that a new blue passport had already been ordered and it would take 6-8 weeks, but with UK in lockdown, maybe longer. The lady dealing with my application was very friendly.
The only info comment I would make is that the waiting room is in two parts. The first is for Australian applications and the second, beyond a semi-dividing wall, for the UK. As they gave me a waiting card with number 1 on it, I sat waiting (alone) by window 1. After a while I noticed that there were arrows pointing to the right hand end of the room for UK applications. I moved there and was dealt with instantly at window 16.
The whole thing took 10 minutes or so. I was soon on the ground floor supping a large hot chocolate in Tom n Toms coffee shop. I look forward to a similar experience (including hot chocolate) on my return trip to pick up my new blue passport!
By Paul, Hua Hin (9th November 2020)
1) Yes, you keep the old passport after making the application. The corner of the old passport is cut by VFS only when you go to collect the new one.
2) To quote from the gov.uk website and the VFS appointment letter; "You can’t travel with it after you’ve applied for a new one - but you will be able to keep your existing passport for ID purposes."
...which suggests that you cannot use the old passport as a travel document to cross an international border whilst waiting for the new passport, but that you should still be able to use it as an ID document when travelling within Thailand.
Hope this helps.
By Mick, Bangkok (6th October 2020)
Do they give you your old passport back on the same day as you apply for the new one? Are you allowed to travel while waiting for the new passport to arrive?
By Grant, Phuket (5th October 2020)
Just to follow-up. I applied at VFS on 2 September and received an email from them on 18th advising that the new passport was ready to collect. Collection is currently Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1-3pm and no appointment is necessary. They will hold the passport for 30 days. Interestingly, your photo now appears on three separate pages of the new style passport, and be aware that you have to sign a manual signature on the passport which I don't think was the case the last few times I have renewed. I was surprised VFS did not flag this although to be fair there are some accompanying notes from HMPO which do.
The procedure and required documents described in the original post for transferring visa and re-entry permit stamps to the new passport appear to be unchanged based on my experience at CW earlier today.
Hope this helps.
By Mick, Bangkok (24th September 2020)
Thank you very much for the excellent background info! It was a great help.
Just by way of a September 2020 update on filing an application at VFS:-
In mid- August, the waiting time for the next available appointment was around 2 weeks but this was dealt with well by VFS same-day response and a date and time confirmed. It looks like they are currently handling applications only on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.
The passport renewal office is currently (Sept. 2020) on the 28th floor at Trendy Building. No checkin required at lobby level - just go straight to 28 via the high-rise lifts at the rear of the lobby. Show your appointment letter to gain entry to VFS (with airport-style security and temp checks), then straight to reception to receive a queue number. I arrived about 20 mins before the appointed time and was called straight to the counter without even finding a seat. The place was not at all busy. I had taken the precaution of having a friend do the counter-signatory stuff in section 10 so can't comment on what the current approach might be if you choose to leave this part of the form blank. In terms of proof of residence and mailing address, a copy of my retirement visa was accepted, even though the visa does not mention the address. I had gone prepared with some Thai bank statements and AIS bills showing my address in English but although I offered them, they were not looked at. (The agent mentioned in passing that they could not accept originals of supporting documents - only colour photocopies.)
The whole process took less than 15 mins and I was advised that the passport should be ready in "about 4-6 weeks" and that they would email me to confirm when it was ready. As icing on the cake, I was told to expect that the passport would be one of the new traditional blue ones.
Hope this helps a bit.
By Mick, Bangkok (2nd September 2020)
Thanks for all your information, it’s very useful for me as I have to make an appointment very soon and renewing my own one. Do you have any information about renewal for a child? As we have to do one for our daughter,(I should do it before we left the UK) unfortunately she need a counter signature?
By Tucky, Chiangmai (20th August 2020)
Thank you for this. I am about to renew and this has been the most helpful advice that I could find.
By Bryan, Hua Hin (10th August 2020)
For anyone in Pattaya needing colour copies, there is a shop corner of Third Rd and Pattaya Klang doing these for B5 for each A4 page.
By Archdeacon, Pattaya (24th July 2020)
The ‘Stamp Change Application Form’ (Bangkok Immigration only) can be found here:
For those outside Bangkok maybe you can obtain the Form from your local Immigration Office or somewhere else online.
By Bob in Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai (30th May 2020)
Thanks for your update Bob.
"Re: Transferring Thai stamps from one UK passport to another.
The link provided for the form (donslifeinthailand.com) no longer works. Can you provide a new link?"
That was the only link I could ever find and it's a great shame it's gone. If anyone out there knows where to download the visa stamp transfer form, please let us know.
"Key Visa Pattaya appears to offer UK passport renewal services. Do you know anything about them?"
No, I have seen them advertise but don't know anyone who has used them. It might well be a very useful service for someone who lives a long way from Bangkok.
By Phil, Samut Prakan (28th May 2020)
Thanks for this posting.
1) Re: Transferring Thai stamps from one UK passport to another.
The link provided for the form (donslifeinthailand.com) no longer works. Can you provide a new link?
2) Key Visa Pattaya appears to offer UK passport renewal services. Do you know anything about them?
By Bob in Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai (28th May 2020)
Wish I'd had the foresight to renew mine a month earlier, but since my passport doesn't run out until May 2021 and my visa extension not due until September, I thought that I was ok. Now of course, there's no way to renew my document until the Covid restrictions end, whenever that might be. If it drags on, it could bring with it all sorts of problems with Thai immigration, who aren't renowned for being merciful. Your summing up of the process was excellent by the way, I know because a few years back I helped a friend with the process, even travelling to Bangkok with him to make the application at the Trendy Building.
By John, Pattaya (6th April 2020)
I followed the advice on this blog to apply for a second passport, as I had 1 blank page remaining - not enough for the thai visa and work permit.
As I couldn't risk any complications, delays or mistakes I also had two online chats with HM Passport Office to double check some facts, eg if I was using the correct and latest form since it referred to 48 page passport, but actually it's now 50 pages; and to whom my employer's letter should be addressed to, in support of justifying a second passport for business needs).
I've recently arrived to work here so a countersignatory was a big hurdle, as I knew nobody in Thailand. A new French colleague worked on same project as me in a different country a few years ago but we didn't meet or know each other, so I weighed up asking him to sign but strictly it would be dishonest. The HM Passport Office online chat made up my mind for me saying "the countersignatory must have a current British, Irish or other EU, US or Commonwealth passport, but my your application will be processed more quickly if they have a British or Irish passport. If they hold a EU, US or Commonwealth passport then you must send in a colour copy of their bio details page on their passport." So instead I ditched the idea of a countersignatory and left section 10 of the application form blank, and hence didn't sign the back of the photos. My current passport photo was from 2012 - so of course I don't look the same.
The outcome: application made in the Trendy Building on 03 March. On 17 March I received DHL notification that delivery is estimated for 19 March. Today, 19 March, I received DHL notification it will be delivered today, so I await the email to invite me to collect.
The document receipt given to me 03 March confirms what the application officer told me in person, that after receiving the confirmation email I can collect at anytime from monday-friday 9am to 3pm at the Trendy Building. I need to bring the document receipt and my passport (if renewal)
By tim_c, bangkok (19th March 2020)
Just wondering if anyone else has had this happen, about 3 months after I received the new passport I began to get the automated notifications about my renewal from the UK.GOV portal.
I checked the provenance and the emails are genuine.
Has anyone else received these emails so late or should i be concerned that someone might be cloning my passport?
By Richard, Thailand (10th March 2020)
Something that was in the back of my mind for months,thinking of all the complications,and what ifs,was a very easy job in the end. Following Phils advice,made it a piece of cake. Vfs were very efficient,very little waiting about etc. I was emailed when my Passport was ready,and told i needed no appointment,and this was indeed the case. In the whole process nothing proved to be a problem.
By Keith Wilson, Surin Thailand (4th March 2020)
I ravelled a long way to get to Bangkok and the Trendy building for my appointment 5 hour bus journey and i had read not to be more than 15 mins early i was going to just sit there downstairs and have a coffee but packed and no seats so i went to the desk the checked my name from the list (dont need a printed appointment letter) they are expecting you. and they let me go up 45 mins early i was the only customer. The girl said the 8th floor is busy but not always the British passport section i was in and out happy 40 mins before i was due to start which was great because it helped me with my transport times going home. I would say if you are early just ask the desk they were helpful to me
By Matt, Western Thailand (25th February 2020)
Passport is out of pages on a one year visa and I won't have an address with my name on it. I can provide a utility bill but that will contain my mums or aunties name on it I think and no Thai bank account do you think I'll be okay with just the utility bill?
(Phil - but the utility bill won't have your name on it so I would be surprised if it is accepted in all honesty)
By Iain, Chaiyaphum (1st February 2020)
I wonder if you, Phil, or anyone else can tell me what the process would be for a dual nationality Thai/Brit to replace a lost UK passport in Thailand. This is the situation of my partner who is in Thailand.
By Peter Morrison, London (17th January 2020)
Quick question to your specific experience: do you remember how far in advance you sent the email requesting the appointment? You requested to go on the 4th October but which day did you email the request? Thanks!
By Jon, Thailand (15th January 2020)
Regarding the comments about Debit Cards not being accepted. I had to pay my health insurance in Euro (I used to pay in GBP but have had to transfer the money her to top up my pension to meet visa requirements!!)
Anyway I checked with Kasikorn that I could use my ATM Debit card and they said OK. Refused - then they asked if I registered for Visa Verify - No so they said you need to do that - refused.
So I filled in an International Transfer form and went to my local bank and they gave me all sorts of waffle about needing copies of credit advice for the funds I received from UK. Eventually they put me on the phone to someone at HQ who told me my credit limit was too low for the amount I wanted to charge; she raised my limit and 'Hey Presto' accepted.
So now a Thai Debit card is a credit card!!!
Hope that helps someone in similar disarray. I'm off tomorrow to put in my application for a new passport. This blog has been most useful thanks
By Clive Evans, Pranburi (23rd December 2019)
Hi, my dad took my old passport and renewed it for me by post in London. My mother in-law brought both the old and the new passport last week.
I went to Chiangmai immigration the next day to get my visa swapped over and the woman said "where's the letter that came with the new passport". Told her I don't have one then she handed me a form and told me to get a letter from the British consulate (council) for the letter. How and how much will the letter cost and will it be done on the day?
Phil - Dan, we don't know the answers to these questions (for reasons stated in the blog) You need to ask the British consulate.
By Dan, Chiangmai (9th December 2019)
I found your blog post on this topic very useful and am now making preparations to get my documents ready to seek passport renewal in the new year.
With regard to copying pages of my current passport. I scanned my passport in the open position that produces a double page copy and it prints out in the top half of an A4 sheets.
My queries are:-
Do you know if the double-page format is acceptable or do they want each page copied separately?
Is Portrait format acceptable?
"Clive, only VFS will be able to answer these questions unless there's a chance a reader of this blog did the same thing"
By Clive Evans, Pranburi (7th December 2019)
Hi my daughters passport has arrived in Bangkok and ready for collection. My partner is Thai and is picking up our daughters passport on my behalf and will have an authorisation letter written by myself, my question is, does it matter what type of paper a authorisation letter is written on? It’s a strange question but I just want to make sure, many thanks.
Phil - I would't have thought it mattered but I don't know the concrete answer.
By Mark, England (22nd November 2019)
Thank you so much for this, followed the instructions and it was a breeze. Only took 10 minutes for the application and about 15 minutes for the pick up. No signature was required for the photos and they accepted my Thai debt card as a payment method no problem. Brilliant!
By Richard, Thailand (9th November 2019)
I used my Krungsri visa debit bank card ( Yellow bank - no extra numbers or anything needed), 3 month bank statement for 100 baht and 2 unsigned (no counter signatory) photos. Booked an appointment 5 days in advance at 8:55 on 31st October - taxi took forever as he was watching YouTube and trying to guess the lottery numbers from car accident videos. slightly ominous i know. Arrived 30 mins late and this was no problem, straight in, lady checked my forms and 10 mins later i was out of the building. Today is the 8th November and my new 50 page passport has arrived! No appointment required to pick up. All completed within 8 days!
By stewart, Ubon (8th November 2019)
This may help some people. If you need an update about your application, VFS can't help you as it's out of their hands. However I found an awesome resource: go to this web site and click WEBCHAT - Speak to an advisor -
They told me in 3 mins that "my new passport had been printed on 26 Sep and is on it's way" I just gave them name and date of birth.
I need to travel for work and book flights so this was very useful. Hope it helps someone in the dark.
By scott, Thailand (30th September 2019)
To transfer stamps, Chiangmai Immigration requires B/W photocopies of EVERY PAGE of your old passport (can't think why) except blanks. You'll be lucky to be out in an hour.
By Ian, Chiang Mai (4th September 2019)
Your blog was helpful, considering the adverse comments on other sites about VFS. I used their office in Chiang Mai, it's roughly opposite Maya shopping mall. It took quite a number of attempts to get an appointment as my e-mails were indicating delivery failures. After that, it was a breeze. The interview took 18 minutes and I received my renewal passport 18 days later. You will be surprised at how professional and friendly the staff are. But bear in mind, you must ensure you have all the necessary paperwork.
By Ian, Chiang Mai (29th August 2019)
Tried to pay using Bangkok Bank Debit Card (mastercard). Got an email about 8 days after application had been submitted, from HMPO dealing with fees, saying there was a problem with my card, telling me to go the Bangkok Bank and ask them if card can be used on a 'counter-top credit card terminal' in the UK. Long story short, very annoying and inconvenient and I had to choose another way to pay. So just be careful about debit cards. (Mine was brand new with certainly enough money in my account to cover fees.)
By Scott, Bkk (26th August 2019)
Thanks for the very helpful blog. It has encouraged me to consider renewing my nearly full passport here.
I have one point that needs clarifying. As a mere visitor to Thailand, and therefore not having a Thai address, I presume I only need to provide proof of my UK address? E.g. my UK driving licence. Is this correct?
By Geoff Keys, Pattaya (14th August 2019)
I'm doing a Passport replacement due to damage and having real trouble with getting things sorted. My work are refusing to give proof of employment history and address due to registering my residence at the workplace for some reason. They are also withholding my health card and just being extremely uncooperative which I can only assume are for nefarious reasons.
Long story short i'm going to go with my bank statements and condo contract and hope for the best.. Thai immigration has messed me around saying if I need a certificate of residence for a passport I need to go to my embassy and pay 2000 Baht..
Your blog is the only thing that makes any sense, will let people know the outcome of this debacle.
By Connor, Pattaya (11th August 2019)
Extremely helpful as I have a renewal coming up.Thank you.
One point I'm wondering about is how many months before a passport expiry date can one set the renewal process in motion.I'm sure I've seen this covered somewhere but can't seem to find it now.
By Marius, Bangkok (6th August 2019)
Had great experience whilst following your article.
I'm actually here as a tourist so I used downloaded bank statement pdf for proof of UK address. Which was accepted this side by VFS. I'll await a new passport in 3/4 weeks hopefully! In section8 I just had to explain why I need a new passport (will be travelling a lot and have no space left).
Something to note, the two people got rejected this morning I could overhear their conversations. One lady hadn't copied all the blank pages and the front/back of passport. The other guy hadn't printed passport photocopy in colour. I know you mention both of these.
By Alex, Bangkok (11th July 2019)
Thank you so much for this detailed post! It made the process of renewing my passport so much easier!
By Hannah, Bangkok (11th July 2019)
I have been scammed in the past letting my credit card go out of my sight in Thailand so I am like a previous poster worrying about putting all my credit card details including CSV number on a piece of paper and handing it over. I might get in touch with the credit card company and ask them to issue a new card after this transaction and to put a block on any other transactions in the meantime.
By ian, Bangkok (24th June 2019)
First of all a very big thank you for this information which helped a great deal. I went on Tuesday 4th June and was amazed at just how easy it was. I was just about on time after being delayed in traffic and was sent straight up to the 8th floor. Again once through the security check I was taken straight into the side room and was dealt with immediately. Although I had read through the application form, I was informed I had made a mistake and was given that page to fill in again whilst the person went through my letters, from my UK pension and my Thai bank as proof of address. All in all I was finished in 15 minutes. Today, 17th I went to pick up the passport and was again finished in under 10 minutes from entering to leaving the building. Very impressed as it was a lot easier than the last time I renewed at the British embassy.
By mike, Saimai Bangkok (17th June 2019)
They accepted my Teachers’ Pension P60 which has my address in English.
By Robert Smith, Chiang Mai (15th May 2019)
I have several letters sent to me from my UK Bank (HSBC) and Teacher' pension. They have my Thai address in English. Would these be accepted or do the letters have to have originated here in Thailand.
By Mike, Saimai Bangkok (12th May 2019)
Excellent article! However - I’ve just discovered (and consequently made an appointment) that you can also renew at VFS Chiang Mai. Very convenient!
By Robert Smith, Chiang Mai (10th May 2019)
Additional info for dual nationals - If you’re a dual national, you must photocopy EVERY PAGE from the other passport (non-UK passport).
By Len, Bangkok (7th May 2019)
Apply in person just in case any additional information is required. As an example, on my wife’s application, the lady at VFS wanted a new front page filling in that had a space for email and phone details.
Collection can be done by a third party and VFS give details on how to do that in the email they send regarding collection.
NB: Just to clarify, the VFS desk is still there on the ground floor, just to the left of the coffee shop.
By David, Bangkok (6th May 2019)
On the UK government website it says ' You must attend in person' to submit your renewal application. It goes on to say ' if you are unable to attend someone can do it on your behalf'. Which is it? I live a 5 hour bus trip away from BKK and I'd like to get someone to go for me. Same applies for collection.
By James, Buriram Province (30th April 2019)
Excellent service from VFS! My wife went for her appointment on April 2nd and she’s received notification today, April 12, via text message from DHL, that it’s been delivered to VFS.
As a Thai citizen, she also had to submit a full colour copy of her Thai passport. NB: Thai passport must be in the same name as British passport and this involves changing ID cards, house registration docs etc.
Mobile phone bill was accepted as proof of address.
Just to clarify that at VFS Bangkok, it’s the 8th floor for passports and 28th floor for visas.
By David, Bangkok (12th April 2019)
Thank you very much for the info. I have been trying to get with the VFS website, to no avail so i called the British Embassy for the info. Firstly the No 1 on their menu "Passports" does not work (just kept getting cut off) so i tried another number on the menu and spoke to a lady who told me "we do not know where you go to renew a Brittish Passport" you will have to visit the UKgov website and go to passports, i tried and went round in circles . So there you have it the BE in Bangkok do not know where i should go! Thank god for your very informative blog.
By Doud, Sattahip (25th March 2019)
Just got my notification my new passport is ready for collection.
Pretty nifty service - 10 days start to finish!!
By steve, Chaiyaphum (22nd March 2019)
So I went today to do my application. I totally over planned it and arrived there at 09.50 for an 11.00 appointment but was ushered straight up to the 8th floor ( not 28th now ? ) and through the security check, then a man crossed my name from a list and asked me to go straight in to do my application.
The girl there was very helpful and said I would get an email when the passport was ready for collection and that I didn't need to make an appointment for that.
I was out of the building in maybe 20 minutes, had a quick breakfast around the corner at McDonalds and back at Ekamai bus station by 11.00.
Cost for the day from Pattaya to Ekamai and BTS plus water and breakfast was around 500bt.
By mark mcgrath, Pattaya (20th March 2019)
Fees updated. as of my visit on 13th March they are
118.51 and 128.51
No big deal as could cross out old amount and write in the new one.
(Phil - thank you Steve)
By steve, Chaiyaphum (16th March 2019)
Just an add on to my previous message below, I changed my email to them so it said application and not renewal, this didn't seem to work but then suddenly after receiving the automated response I got an appointment email ?
I suppose we just have to accept the old TiT thing and keep banging off emails until we get the correct response ?
Booked in for March 20th so let's see what happens ?
Also some confusion about which floor I need to go, some are saying 28th floor while their email says 8th floor ?
Anyone know for sure ?
By mark, Pattaya (11th March 2019)
I'm having problems even getting through to them via email. I have sent a couple now requesting an appointment and I'm just getting an automated response back saying to apply via email and they only do appointments via email ?
What do I do ? Keep sending emails until someone reads it ?
By mark, Pattaya (10th March 2019)
I applied for a standard passport renewal on 11th Februrary. Still not heard anything and coming up to 4 weeks now, debit card not been charged and not sure what is going on. The DHL tracking number was on the collection form they gave to me at Trendy and i can see my application arrived at the Liverpool passport office on the 13th February, just two days later after i went to Trendy. Bit annoying and no number to call or anything...
By James, bangkok (7th March 2019)
Well the service must have gone downhill a lot since you guys applied.
It took me multiple emails to book an appointment, then on 12 Feb I went there and applied, money was taken from credit card of which i was not happy writing down my CSV number in pen and credit card number on a piece of paper to be sent to god knows where.
Now its 6th March and not a single email or notification. that's 22 days and I've emailed them and still no reply.
The place was very busy and there was a long queue to use the elevator too. Having said that staff were polite...
By dj, bkk (6th March 2019)
This advice is for those outside of Bangkok.
My 5 year old's passport was up for renewal. After reading a lot on here, Thai Visa and various FB expat groups I decided to dodge the system. IE - not go, or send anyone to BKK to submit the application.
I downloaded the form, filled it in, did the photos with counter-signatory, payment form, photocopied my house lease (which is bi-lingual) and sent it all off with the old passport via DHL direct to Liverpool.
3 days later I get an email from Liverpool confirming the application had been received. But I'd messed up the photo size. Sent new photos via regular post. They were recieved ok but I'd paid £3.85 too little. Rang them up via Skype, paid the balance.
A week later both the new and old passports have arrived at Trendy. My Thai teacher is going to Bangkok this week and with the 'Power of Attorney' letter I have written is authorised to pick them up.
So, it IS possible to partially circumvent the rules. Liverpool doesn't care about proof of address, only VFS do. And they WILL accept your application if you send it direct. DHL tracking was excellent. Email correspondence from Liverpool has been prompt and I've dealt with the same person each time.
For those who can't afford or want to go to Bangkok, this is the way forward. Hopefully if more of us do this they will realise it is easier for them to trust us and do away with the pointless beaurocracy. THe only hurdle is getting the new passport delivered back to a home address. Which is odd - they trust DHL to deliver to Trendy, but not to a proven home address outside of Bangkok.
That's my story anyway, hope it helps those on a budget!
By Dave Blond, Phuket (5th March 2019)
i have emails over 3 days ago to BangkokHMPO@vfshelpline.com and still had no reply, its now wednesday so they were definitely open.
any advice on how to book an appointment?
By dj, bangkok (6th February 2019)
excellent service again today.
w.r.t. colour copy of every passport page;
2 passport pages per A4 sheet was accepted.
130thb @TVS downstairs for a complete colour copy of 48 page passport .
w.r.t. proof of residence;
translated & certified copy of blue book (vehicle) was accepted.
300thb @TVS 3 days in advance or 500thb same day service
for those driving, park on 5th floor and you can go up the service stairs to 8th floor to avoid the elevator queue.
free for 1 or maybe 2 hrs with a stamp from vfs or any business in trendy
By ed, smog city (30th January 2019)
Thank you so much for your article. I followed it to the letter, applying for a new UK passport, and the whole process was a breeze. I found the staff at the Trendy Building to be extremely helpful, polite and efficient. Great job.
Just to respond to a couple of points raised by other people here (apologies if these have been answered already):
Burton Schrader – you’re issued the document receipt checklist at the VFS counter when you make the application, just remember to bring it with you go to pick up your passport :)
Pete Cranner – I used 1 double spread scan on one sheet (2 pages of passport on 1 A4 sheet), not sure if that's what you mean but it was accepted.
Dan - I used a Thai address, my landlady helpfully printed out a letter confirming that I was staying with her - even though I didn't have a non-immigrant visa, just a tourist one at the time. It was accepted with no question, so maybe try that if the address is a problem for you..
I didn't have countersigned photos or fill in section 10 (countersignatory).
My photos weren't clear enough so the lady at the counter waited while I popped down to the ground floor to get better ones taken (visa service company right at the back on the right hand side, don't remember the name but it's the one next to the cosmetic surgery at the elevators).
Paid with UK debit card, using the payment instruction form available on the UK passport website.
Picked it up three weeks later.
Thanks again, this was so helpful.
By Eleanor, Chiang Mai (29th January 2019)
To avoid the colour photocopying cost, if you have or a friend has a scanner / print DIY. Laborious, tedious but will save a few Baht. (And be grateful you didn't have a larger passport to start with.)
In February, my boy will turn 16 and is applying to "renew" his British passport. There may be an issue as his "current" British passport expired in 2009. Also, he receives zero postal correspondence in English. May try a translation of his motorbike driving licence. If fun and games do occur I'll let you know as to how they were resolved.
On the comment of VFS NOT retaining your old passport, normally the UK Passport Office does require the old passport to be submitted with a renewal application. However, if the renewal application is made in a country that requires the holder to carry their passport with them at all time (such as Thailand) a colour photocopy is accepted.
Twelve months back I renewed my passport. So easy when those ducks are all in a row. I scan / printed my old passport and had colour problems. The prints were still accepted without comment.
By Maurice, Buriram (17th January 2019)
It's a great blog certainly much more clear than the official government websites!
There are however many people asking, myself included, if you must have a proof of address in Thailand OR if your UK address is acceptable.
Seems this has been raised many times in the comments - but there is no black and white answer - must it be a Thai address or can they use your UK address. Thanks again :)
By dan, Bali (16th January 2019)
I would like to know if when the passport is ready it can be sent to you in another city.... courrier.... and if the vfs office is open on Saturdays... anybody know please
By Phil Shute, Khon Kaen (5th January 2019)
Anyone done scan and print and is two double spread images on one sheet ok ?
By Pete Cranner, Khon Kaen (19th December 2018)
The documents that you used are not on the list of acceptable documents on gov.uk website " Guidance for applying for a passport outside the UK (not first passport) ". They state ONE of following as photo ID AND one of following for proof of address and/or residency abroad.
• Your British passport (if you are renewing)
• Non-British uncancelled passport
• National identity card or equivalent (or colour photocopy)
• Visa or residence permit (or colour photocopy)
• Tax record eg a letter from a tax authority
• Educational record eg school report
• Employment record eg official letter from your employer
• Letter sent to you from a central, regional or local government department
• Medical/health card
• Voter’s card
• Immigration documents
Can't believe Vfs would have their own set of rules for Thailand. So, either the gov.uk website is wrong or Vfs are not following UK Ministry rules.
This attached list suggests the old passport can be used as photo ID. And the nonimmB or multi entry stamp within the passport is proof of 'residency' or living in Thailand.
By IAN, Bangkok (19th December 2018)
Hi, just to update (18th Dec 2018) that when transferring the stamps the immigration at Chaengwattana also ask for a copy of your work permit. This isn't on the list of requirements on the form but they are still expecting you to have it.
By Harry, Bangkok (18th December 2018)
My visa will expire during the renewal process, is there a way round this?
Do they give you a letter to show immigration if I'm taking my old passport to get extended?
By Pat, Bangkok (15th December 2018)
If like myself you have migrated to on-line banking, you don't receive printed bank statements through the post anymore...or at least I don't. So I went to a large branch of my bank on the Sukhumvit near two well-known shopping malls to ask for two pages of statements.
Once I got across to them that I wanted two pages, not two weeks, two months or two years all was well. But it still took almost an hour and the staff do speak English, plus 100 Baht for the privilege. Allow time for what should be a simple procedure. I suggest getting someone who can write Thai to write a note as to what you actually want. I wish I had!
Also on Soi Udom Suk (Sukhumvit 103) there's a photo-shop that does colour copying (A4) at eight Baht per page, it's about 300m from the Udom Suk BTS if you're in the area. All-in 200 Baht for my expiring 48-page passport.
I'll try and send a map of where it is and a scan of their business card. I'll add I have no connection to the business beyond a satisfied customer.
By Steve Anderson, Udom Suk, Bangna, Bangkok (15th December 2018)
A Google search threw up this page which I have found extremely helpful and accurate. Just one small addition - there is a translation service at the rear of the ground floor with a 30 minute express service, charged me 300 baht for bank statement address and 500 baht each for I.D. card and yellow house book, pricy but efficient and helpful and the documents were accepted without question at HMPO on the 8th floor. Thank you.
By Michael, Bangkok (5th December 2018)
Just want to say a big thank you for taking the time to put this blog together, really, really helpful.
By Craig, Bangkok (15th November 2018)
Awesome info, thanks so much for writing this up.
Can confirm as of 13th Nov 2018, that this information is correct and up to date. Procedure was exactly as described here, I was also in and out of the building within 15 minutes.
Just one thing, the confirmation email I received from VFS had this paragraph in it:
> Her Majesty’s Passport Office have advised that some customers applying for their passport from outside of the UK have been provided with incorrect guidance relating to the supporting documents required in support of their passport application.
Not sure what that is in reference to, but I followed the instructions on this blog exactly and had no problems. So probably nothing to worry about.
By Alex, Chiang Mai (13th November 2018)
This article was a fantastic help thank you.
8 days after submitting my application I received the DHL tracking information. 3 days later, mid morning on Monday I had an email to say my passport was ready for collection, no appointment was necessary.
Both visits to Trendy building took about 10 minutes and a significant amount of that time was waiting for lifts!
Well done to all concerned - both professional staff and service.
By Liz, Hua Hin (3rd November 2018)
Absolute great article, don't know what I would have done without it, followed it to a tee and no problems. Sorry to ask you but it's like looking for a needle in a haystack, trying to find information in Thailand. When you renewed your UK passport did you have to change your driving licence.
By Graham Leiverws, Samutprakan (30th October 2018)
Just to add I also did not fill in Section 10 of the UK forms or have my photo countersigned and had no problem at all in obtaining a new passport.
By Joshua, Khon Kaen (29th October 2018)
Just want to confirm that I got my confirmation letter and that my renewed passport is ready to pick up.
So from 19th October it has only taken 10 days from start to finish.
The service from VFS has been professional in every way.
Many Thanks for the original blog.
By Joshua, Khon Kaen (29th October 2018)
Thank you for the original blog which was very clear and precise and I just want to add that I visited trendy building last week to renew my UK passport.All forms filled in,photos taken and appointment letter in hand.
All very professional and painless and you are right about alighting BTS at Asoke as it's a stones throw from the Trendy building.
No problem paying with my Bangkok Bank Debit card either.
By Joshua, Khon Kaen (26th October 2018)
I have to say reading all the info about UK passport renewal l was expecting bit of a hassle at the Trendy building....not so. The desk was easy to find as you walk in, just look to your left, present your appointment letter it will be stamped and advised to go to the 8th floor. The lift is situated at the rear of the building behind the coffee bar. My appointment was for 1415 hours o October 16th 2018. I went upstairs at 1330 hours, and was called straight in. 10 mins later. I was finished, given a paper which l must present when l return to pick up passport and advised l would be given a letter for tbe Thai immigration to transfer my retirement and multi entry visas. I was also given a DHL number to check the delivery status of the passport application to Liverpool. I have today October 23rd received an SMS from Dhl to say passport is on the way back and will be in Bangkok by the 25th. Now l just wait for the people in Bangkok to contact me to give me a date and time for collection of my new passport. Now that is good service but l will let you know how the collection of the new passport goes. My advice is get everything organized before you go, get translations and paperwork in orderand read through the form slowly so that you fill in all details correctly.
By Trish, Naiyang Phuket (23rd October 2018)
Many thanks and I have checked that the procedure is almost identical in Yangon, save for the absence of the Trendy building and any BTS station. Taxis only!
Keep up with your entertaining advice.
By Alasdair, Myanmar (18th October 2018)
Excellent information however visited this office in late August 2018 to find it has moved to the 8th FLOOR of the same building. Absolutely no problem. I had a routine enquiry regarding passport renewal no appointment was necessary for this problem quickly and easily sorted and I was furnished with the info I needed ready to make an appointment early next year (2019). Photos and translations all available in the same building for quite reasonable fees but allow about an hour for this. Was informed that the new passport takes four weeks to arrive. Once in possession of my new passport Thai Immigration (Nakhon Sawan) informed me that it was no problem to transfer my visa information however was advised to obtain my new passport before applying for my new annual visa as any visa issued against the old passport would only be valid for the life of that passport and on expiry I would have to start from square one again for visa renewaL.
Bit puzzled however as to the "Credit Card Payment Form" this was not mentioned during my meeting. I have Thai bank account and Debit card and also UK accounts Debit and Credit cards but I was given the impression they were quite happy with cash any one any ideas.
By brian Stocks, Thailand (13th October 2018)
Phil, you obviously kept hold of your passport whilst renewing? Hence all the page photocopying. I'm presuming if you are going to physically send your passport with the application, then the photocopying isn't necessary?
In case you were wondering, I hold two passports!
By Peter, Hua Hin (28th September 2018)
Hi Mate thanks for the useful information! I am doing the same deal but was worried (from what I have read) that once I have submitted for renewal that I would not be able to travel on the old passport. Did you get any information on this?
By Chris, Bangkok (26th September 2018)
My new passport is ready for collection. I must bring my old one AND 'When collecting the passport you must bring a document receipt checklist'.
What is receipt checklist and where do I get one please?
By Burton Schrader, Near Korat (18th September 2018)
I submitted renewal applications for two children's passports today. I requested an appointment yesterday afternoon and was told a slot was available today at 10:55. I arrived at the Trendy building 20 min early but couldn't see any VFS reception desk on the ground floor. I followed the sign for VFS at the back and was directed to join the queue for the lift. Don't go to the 28th floor- that is for visa applications. However, if the lift is full of visa agents you may miss your opportunity to get off at the 8th floor, which is for the UK passport office. I showed my appointment email to the clerk who ticked my name off the list and gave me a queue number. 5 min later I was served by a very helpful lady who checked the application forms and supporting documents for me. I had forgotten to get the house registration book translated, but brought the children's most recent school report as well. Fortunately, this was accepted as proof of residence although it has nothing much other than the child's name, exam results and School letterhead. My children are in an EP school and so their reports are in English. However, with hindsight it would have been better to get the house registration properly translated and certified beforehand. As the children are dual nationals, I had to submit full colour copies of both UK and Thai passports. This is quite expensive, especially the Thai one with 65 pages! I asked the lady if a countersignatory is required for adult renewal, and she said usually no. All done with 15 min with an excellent service. This was very welcome after the very tedious 2.5 h drive in morning traffic.
By Pathumthani Phil, Pathum Thani (12th September 2018)
Great article .Thank you. Submitted mine on 16 July ( with appointment made )
Collected on 29 July ( I notified them I would pick up next day after getting their email )
The "4 weeks" is obviously worst case after the UK " summer holiday" rush when I expect they are busy ...but very fast turnaround for me.
People, office, service and location all excellent.
By Bruce, Bangkok (28th August 2018)
Thanks for the great info on the page. I followed it to the word and it was a great help and spot on.
My email for my passport collection was only 11 days after I visited.
Great service from the company from the staff to the organisation and security.
The only mayhem I encountered was downstairs in the Trendy Building. It is chaos! People not knowing where to go and what lift and floor to get.
Apart from that it's spot-on service.
By Shawn, Hua Hin (27th August 2018)
Thanks for the invaluable advice Ajarn Phil.
I followed your instructions to the letter and received my passport in 11 days without a hitch. However I had to send a time and date for collection of new passport.
By Loddie, Bangkok (21st August 2018)
Thank you so much for having posted such clear & informative guidelines!
Just one question - I have 2 British/Thai kid's and both of their British passports have expired.
Would you have any idea if both applications could be done under the one appointment?
If you're not sure, no worries, I'll rummage around until I find out, and then I'll pass that info on so you can add it on here.
Keep up the great job, and many thanks for the help!
By Paul, Bangkok (14th August 2018)
I was suitably impressed with the valuable information regarding an application for a UK Passport renewal. It was a great help for me. My only concern was that when I eventually go to The Trendy Building next January, I will have to part with my current passport (it expires in August 2019) . This means I cannot travel back to Khonkaen by air so I'll have to suffer a six hour bus ride instead!
By Ajarn Anthony, Khonkaen (8th August 2018)
"I asked how long it will take to get my passport back, and they (hmp email) said it will take 4 weeks. If this is true then I run the risk of overstaying my visa. Is the 4 week quote just a standard response, and is it more than likely I'll receive back within 23 days? Or is there anything I can do (pay more etc) to get it back quicker?"
I have absolutely no idea sorry. These are questions you need to aim at the staff who work there.
By Phil, Samut Prakarn (7th August 2018)
Hi, great post.
I will be needing a new passport, and have been given an appointment date of 27th August.
However, my visa will finish on the 19th September (23 days after my appointment date).
I asked how long it will take to get my passport back, and they (hmp email) said it will take 4 weeks. If this is true then I run the risk of overstating my visa.
Is the 4 week quote just a standard response, and is it more than likely I'll receive back within 23 days?
Or is there anything I can do (pay more etc) to get it back quicker?
I'm just a little confused as I see in you post you got yours back in 2/3 weeks.
By Daniel, Phuket (6th August 2018)
Bit late in the day, perhaps, but...
David Mackenzie, Chonburi (29th January 2018) said...
"I would like to add that I don't have a credit card only a Thai bank debit card. For whatever reason the accounting department at UK passport office would not accept it but they contacted me with alternative ways to pay.
So, David, can you please tell me... what are the alternative ways to pay ?
My problem is much the same as yours. My bank (Kasikorn) won't give me a Credit Card. And you had a Debit Card refused.
By Big Al, Samui, Koh Samui (27th July 2018)
Many thanks Phil. Terrific information, clearly explained. The photography store is Eastbourne Cameras in shop E2-3, on what they call Level 2, but which the escalators/lifts still show as the 4th floor.
Like you state, VFS are very efficient, and called me that my passport was ready for pickup, which they backed up with an email. DHL also sent me an SMS!
However, the emailed pickup letter required me to arrange a pickup time and date by email (this hadn't been mentioned in the phone call). But when I sent this email, it triggered a confusing auto response that stated "this email address is ONLY for booking an appointment to submit a passport application." Hmm.
So ignoring my own requested appointment time, I just went to Trendy straightaway to pick up my passport, a procedure that took 10 minutes, as you describe. Checking my emails later, I realized that VFS had accepted the appointment time I had requested in my email. But by this time the new passport was in my pocket!
By Jackem, Bangkok (10th July 2018)
I have just had a message back from VFS that says once I've applied for a new passport I cannot use my old one? Which means I cannot do a visa run while the other passport is being sent here to Thailand.
By Kev, Thailand (11th June 2018)
Thanks for the post, Phil. Very helpful. Just one question - were you able to travel on your old passport after submitting your application and before you picked up your new passport? Thanks.
(Hi, actually I didn't need to. I started using the new one straight away because the visa stamps had been transferred)
By Rufus, Chiang Mai (4th June 2018)
I waited an hour until I asked how much longer it might be and not seeing anyone go in. They had forgotten I was there despite checking in on ground floor and on 28th. When I went in there were 3 attended counters but no customers. A bit frustrating and disorganised. The forms they filled in misspelt my name, e-mail and phone number but luckily I spotted the mistakes.
Could have been worse but should be better
By Giles, Bangkok, Thailand (24th May 2018)
Excellent information, could not be clearer. Thanks for taking the time to do this. One query - do I need to get a visa extension before I got to apply for the new passport, or can the extension be put into my current passport during the time I am waiting (if I need to get one). Thanks, Tom
By Tom, Patong (20th May 2018)
hi exelent ifo thanks just a note go to the embasy site and cheque the current price for renewing passport all other info is correct and makes things easy thanks for the help
By keith, sinarin (17th May 2018)
Latest advice received this week to collect a new passport specifically states that an appointment is needed for collection.
By Nick Fisher, Isaan (27th April 2018)
Thanks for this article, it was very helpful when putting my application together.
I applied 26th March, New passport was back here on the 19th April.
The biggest stroke of luck I had was using a copy shop at a University, the prices are much cheaper. I got my expiring passport fully copied in colour for under 100 baht.
For my documentation I used a couple of TRUE mobile bills and my Condo monthly bill, which did have the name and address in English.
The only brief snag I did hit was they couldn't get payment through on my Kasikorn Visa card. I had to phone through to the finance office in Belfast and they quickly got payment sorted using my TSB (UK) card instead.
I went and transferred visas today, all pretty painless (and free) apart from the usual waiting around at immigration.
By StraightOuttaBKK, Bangkok (24th April 2018)
Thanks for the info this has been really useful! I’m on sabbatical and travelling SE Asia with my 8 year old who’s passport has unfortunately become rather full (yes I should have renewed before I left uk ). I’ve sent an email to request an appointment at the VFS centre in Bangkok and also only received the automated response so far..... however, will wait a little longer. My queries if anyone can help :
1) will a counter signatory be essential for a child? Not sure I know anyone with the credentials in Thailand.
2) as we don’t have a permanent address in thailand will confirmation of UK address suffice?
3) we are due to travel to Tokyo on 18th (10 days) - can I use her old passport to make this trip or is the old one null and void once I’ve submitted the new application?
Thanks to all who can help in any way :)
By Emma walton , Myanmar (9th April 2018)
Many thanks Phil. Your post has helped me greatly.
When I got my daughter’s Passport a couple of years ago, I could use a Bangkok Bank Visa card to pay. However now Bangkok Bank have Union pay cards, which don’t work and Kasikorn debit Visa card likewise.
Also, I was asked to state an exact time and date to collect my passport. I requested Monday 9am; I got collected my passport, but I had to go to get the visa transfer form later the same day at 1pm because the embassy hadn’t sent it on time.
So when you prepare to collect your passport, please give yourself enough time in case of any problems.
By Nathan, Si Sa Ket (30th March 2018)
Excellent information indeed and yes got lots of information before.
One point I would like to clarrify and am sure seen from official sites, one can ont the day of the application for a new 10 year British passport, one can pay and EMS fee (but you must mention and pay on the day) and they send the new passport to your home address.
any confirmation of this would be appreciated
By john west, kanachanaaburi (28th March 2018)
Fantastic information. Many thanks indeed.
Just one small question please.
This morning I went to have my passport photos taken and at the same time asked the person to copy every page of my existing passport in colour. He replied that the shop only had a black and white copy machine. He then asked me whether I wanted the copies for a passport renewal to which I replied yes. He then said it was okay to have the copies in black and white and he had done this lots of times for clients. Is this correct or is it mandatory for them to be in colour? Many thanks.
Phil - I was told by the passport office that the copies needed to be in colour. So I followed their directions. Personally I would trust the passport office over a bloke who runs a photocopying shop.
By Stuart, Bangkok (24th March 2018)
Great blog. Saved me just turning up thx
By Seb, Issan (21st March 2018)
Just picked up my new U.K passport today from Trendy VSF office soi 13 Bangkok. It has taken 13 days from application to collection. NOTE....... no appointment is nessesary to pick up your new passport, all that is needed is the receipt they gave you when you first applied and your old passport.
By Michael Burke, Bangkok (19th March 2018)
Hi Steven Thailand
Thanks for the info.
Just one more question for anyone out there. As proof of address will a translation of my yellow Tabien Ban or driving licence suffice? I have nothing else.
By Steve, Isaan (19th March 2018)
Just a question. The email address at HMPO office seems to be sending 'invalid' responses when I try to contact it, though last month I got a reply from them...? Anyone know a new address?
By Marie Hutchinson, Thailand, Hua Hin/Petchaburi/Bangkok (19th March 2018)
Steve, when I went through the whole process, I had similar with my bank account details. It made no difference. As long as the bulk of your paperwork is up to date regarding your current address, you should still receive a speedy and prompt service
By Steven, Thailand (15th March 2018)
I live in Thailand and I will be providing my Thai address with my application to renew my UK passport. However my bank in the UK has a UK address for me which I will have to put on the debit card form.
Do you think having 2 addresses is going to complicate matters?
Thanks for your excellent blog :)
By Steve, Isaan (14th March 2018)
Thank you so much for that great blog, I have personally looked everywhere for information on this matter and weeks later stumbled across your blog. You've put my mind at rest.
Quick question - i've emailed them now and awaiting an urgent appointment (i have 1/2 pages left) I'm due to fly to the UK on holiday 18th April (I was going to renew there but wasnt sure how i would come back without my re-entry and visa)
If i renew from BKK as i read that they don't keep you old passport, what if i'm still out of the country when it comes back?
It's probably a silly question as i appreciate you don't work for them. But what do you reckon or anyone else that's reading this?
Hi - If you are not going to the UK until the 18th April, then you have plenty of time to get the passport done. It should be with you by the end of March if you can start the process asap.
By Tracey, BANGKOK (7th March 2018)
Hi Phil, followed your instructions and everything went as planed.
Can you guide me where i go to get my visa stamped onto my new passport at the new immigration center, it's huge. Thanks for all your precise help.
Hi Michael. Sorry, I have no idea. My local immigration office is Samut Prakarn. I don't go to Changwattana.
By Michael Burke, Bangkok. (6th March 2018)
I'm a dual national (Thai-Brit) and I'm renewing my British passport. My mother handed in the application form and supporting documents on my behalf at the VFS office. They gave her back my countersignatory's passport photocopy and said it was unnecessary as my photo is still recognizable compared to the old one. However, my countersignatory had already filled in section 10 in the application form and signed my photo. It means that the supporting documents are incomplete without his passport photocopy. Do you think this is strange? I'm very anxious as I need the passport before the end of April so naturally I don't want to prolong the process by missing some docs here and there. The only way I could think of now is to call the HMPO. Any other suggestions?
Sorry for my bad English.
Phil - I think you'll be OK but the truthful answer is I don't know. My blog above doesn't make me an expert on the system I'm afraid or even qualified to give out the kind of advice you are looking for..
By Alexandra C, Nankhon Nayok (28th February 2018)
This is a breath of fresh air...Help PLEASE.....passport application........do I copy every page separately.....Must I go to Bangkok again to collect my passport or can it sent to me via courier.......confusing for me about £23 courier fee.......proof of address in English.....I just received a letter about my UK pensions from UK.....I do not have anything else!!!???Thanks
By H Modha, CHANTABURI (26th February 2018)
Two years ago for proof of address I just kept explaining to the person processing all the long term visa stamps I had in my passport related to Thailand. It took a few minutes to convince her, but she except that and said it would be fault if my application was rejected.
You can use a debit card but you have to check with the bank about procedure to get those extra numbers. I used KBank and it was a nightmare of back and forth with their excuse for customer service. A friend recently did it with SCB. One form on line and then a number was generated simple as that.
By Simon McGuire, Chaing Mai (22nd February 2018)
"When I got the email the attached letter said they needed the exact time and date to pick up the passport. Did you have a letter what said the same (and ignored ) or is this a new rule"
No, as I said in the blog, VFS said I could come to pick up the new passport at any time so there is a possibility then that this is a rule change. This of course is the problem with blogs of this nature. They are snapshots in time. They are one man's experience on a specific day - and rules and requirements do change over time.
"When I dropped off the forms before I had to sit around for an hour to wait for my appointment time"
You mean application day right? I waited no more than 5-10 minutes before I was called into the officer's booth.
By Phil, Samut Prakarn (21st February 2018)
First of all let me say thank you for such a detailed description of what you need and what to do. Second just a heads up on collection of passport'
The guy at VSL couldn't have been more helpful when I dropped off my application form and he said after you get the email confirming the new passport was ready to collect just come and pick it up (making sure you bring the form and the old passport).
When I got the email the attached letter said they needed the exact time and date to pick up the passport. When I dropped off the forms before I had to sit around for an hour to wait for my appointment time. Travel time not being an exact science.
Did you have a letter what said the same (and ignored ) or is this a new rule.
By terry, Pattaya (20th February 2018)
after trying to find the right info,many adds from visa sharks,got your site,brilliant.yours graham
By graham holman, nongkhai (10th February 2018)
"I sent an e mail to the VFS e mail address requesting an appointment. Got an immediate automated reply saying the address was ONLY for appointments and giving a lot of links for further information. Did you get that auto response and then a FURTHER e mail with your appointment time and date?"
Hi Trevor, I can only really repeat what I wrote in the blog. I sent an e-mail to the VFS e-mail address and requested three appointments. They replied within half an hour and gave me an appointment date (and a lot of extra information about requirements, etc)
By Phil, Samut Prakarn (8th February 2018)
First off, thanks for the info, it’s excellent.
I sent an e mail to the VFS e mail address requesting an appointment. Got an immediate automated reply saying the address was ONLY for appointments and giving a lot of links for further information.
Did you get that auto response and then a FURTHER e mail with your appointment time and date?
By Trevor Wynn, Phuket (8th February 2018)
Hello Phil. Thank you very much for all information!
I like your writing. I have read some information for UK passport renewal from the official website. My husband and I are concerned with the long procedure, 4 weeks. Because we have to travel to South Korea around end of this month. After we found that you got it about 12 days. It makes us feel relieved.
Anyway, we will prepare all requirements and file them in a nice folder!
Your blog is precious for us. Thank you again.
By Finn, Bangkok (3rd February 2018)
Thanks for the info Phil.
I went to BKK on December 27th to do the application process and received a call and email telling me it had arrived last Monday...Jan 22nd.I collected it on Friday.Your info was helpful especially the follow up info about transferring the visa from old to new passport.
I would like to add that I don't have a credit card only a Thai bank debit card.For whatever reason the accounting department at UK passport office would not accept it but they contacted me with alternative ways to pay.Fortunately my parents were happy to call and use their card so that was cleared up.Thanks again for your very helpful info.
By David Mackenzie, Chonburi (29th January 2018)
Cannot thank you enough for this article - I couldn't find any reliable source regarding this and you've detailed everything so acutely!
I just have a quick question - I went to the immigration office at Changwattana to extend my current Visa (On Arrival), but they wouldn't extend as they said I had insufficient space on my passport for the 'stamp' - something which I protested but to no avail.
I accept that I am in scenario where I will inevitably overstay, while waiting for the arrival of my new passport.
My question is, do you think the office at Trendy will allow for me to apply for a new passport after acknowledging that it may not arrive before my current visa expires?
Thank you Anon,
I really don't know what they will say at the Trendy Building. Your biggest problem is that you might be walking around Chiang Mai with an expired visa. If you get caught in a police spot check, you'll be in enormous trouble.
I have no idea how many days you are playing with (you didn't mention it) but Trendy got my new passport back to me within 12 days.
By Anon, Bangkok (26th January 2018)
Excellent blog, thanks so much, I have been trying to make sense of the govt.UK website and sending email off to them but you have answered pretty much everything for me.
Except for I will only be on holiday in Thailand so don't have a "permanent address" there; does it have to be a residential address ? You mention a driving licence, will a Jersey one do? (It has no address on it)? Any help would be appreciated, cheers, james
By James Wakefield, Australia (7th December 2017)
Hi there, I have tried to send off an email to them for my application for a new passport. The email address seems to be invalid. Is that the correct email address?
- BangkokHMPO@vfshelpline.com is the only e-mail address I used to communicate with them.
By Steven Capaldi, Pattaya (6th December 2017)
I need to stress that just because I personally went through this process, I haven't become an 'overnight expert' on all aspects and sub plots of obtaining a new UK passport in Bangkok.
Bob - I would have said the 'proof of address' is a must and whether the letter of reference would suffice, I honestly don't know. Sorry.
Shawn - I think if your passport is running out of pages AND you do a lot of travelling abroad, then now is a good time to renew the passport. I have never been on a student visa so have no idea how many visa stamps you use for this process.
By Phil, Samut Prakarn (21st November 2017)
My son is visiting me and has arrived on a tourist visa. He is on a gap year and needs to replace his passport (has only 1 page), I have a work permit etc. My question is regarding the proof of address that is required in the necessary documents. Is this a requirement and would it be possible for me and my employer to write a letter saying he is staying with me
By bob pearson, Bangkok (21st November 2017)
How far in advance do you have to renew your British passport in Thailand ?.
I am on an education visa and my passport expires Sep 2020 but i have only 4 pages left.
By Shawn, Thailand (20th November 2017)
Doing this right now. But for a child, and it seems they DO need the photos signed off. We're on holiday in Bangkok so also no address, will have to use hotel address. Is there anyone you can pay to sign off photos, like a JP or solicitor or something? Other than that we just have an American friend here, it might have to be her.
By Alyson Long, Port Douglas (15th November 2017)
Cheers mate my passports full up because of my job your information is very helpful thanks
By Marcus, Kanchanaburi (11th November 2017)
Hello Phil. Very useful info for anyone faced with this situation. I went through it all, for exactly the same reason as you, a couple of months ago. Just want to point out that you can also pay by debit card (even one for a Thai bank account) if you don't have, or don't want to use a credit card.
Phil - Cheers Chris!
By Chris Demetsopoullos, Bangkok, Thailand. (1st November 2017)
Hi Phil, great article, thanks. My situation is a bit complicated as I'll be in BKK on a 30 day tourist visa and need to renew my passport (which is still valid for 11 months) now because I need a new passport with a year's validity to get a one year work visa. The UK passport office told me they require me to send the old passport with the application, but I will need my old passport in order to exit and re-enter the country if I don't get the new passport back before my 30 day visa runs out. Am I right in understanding from your article that VFS will NOT take the old passport at the time of application and that they take only the photocopies? Many thanks, Chris
Phil replies - Hi Chris. Yes that's correct. VFS do not keep the old passport. They just take photocopies.
By Chris Wyatt, Bangkok (27th October 2017)
A great article. Just one question, does the counter-signatory need to be English?
By Richard Hill, Phitsanulok (21st October 2017)
To the people having trouble with sim cards and bank books simply refer the company involved to the 2 pages worth of transfer stamps that the Thai immigration office filled in when you had any existing visas inserted All the details of your previous passport are included here...
This method may be a great boon for those Brits living in BKK but the postal passport from HK works out much cheaper for me than having to fly to BKK twice (once to apply and once to collect) also with the possibility of two overnight stays in the city...
To the OP I imagine the later in the day the appointment is the more chance of having a longer wait to be seen on time.
I'm going to have to do it soon though so I'll be watching the updates..
By stegee68, PHUKET (5th October 2017)
Mike raises a good point... which reminds me... TELL YOUR BANK!
I used my old passport as ID when I opened an account with the Bangkok Bank in Samut Prakan. When I needed a new passbook (the one that prints out your transactions) my new passport wouldn't fly in Ratchaburi, so I had to wait till I went back to the original branch to update my details... made all the more difficult because I no longer had my old passport!
By Mark, A. MUANG (5th October 2017)
I can confirm that your photos don't need to be counter-signed if your appearance hasn't significantly changed. Also, if you're working, a letter from your employer confirming your address also works.
By Henry, Bangkok (5th October 2017)
Don't forget to update your passport details with your phone company head office, lest you ever need to replace your SIM and want to keep the same telephone number, since your passport number has now changed.
By Mike, Bangkok (5th October 2017)
Awesome info for expats... Much better than the tedious rigmarole of sending everything to Hong Kong! I hope it stays this way.
By Mark, A. MUANG (5th October 2017)