Australians in Phuket gain easy access to visa services

Photo courtesy of KTC

From Monday, April 29, Australians residing in Phuket can access visa services and provide biometrics within the city, according to a statement released by the Australian Ambassador to Thailand, Angela Macdonald.

The service, which was previously only available in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, is now available in Phuket through the Australian Biometric Collection Centre, operated by VFS Global.

“The Australian Biometric Collection Centre in Phuket makes it easier and more convenient for visa applicants. Previously people needed to travel to Bangkok or Chiang Mai to provide biometrics, so this is excellent news.”

As of April 22, VFS Global has begun accepting bookings for biometric collection appointments that are scheduled for or after April 29.

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The centre is situated at the Australian Consulate-General office in Phuket, within the CCM Complex Building. For appointments, applicants are advised to visit the official VFS Global website. All VFS Global offices offer facilities for visa applicants to lodge and pay for their Australian visa application online.

This accessibility improvement comes in the wake of the 2024 ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, wherein Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced a package of 1.1 million Australian dollars (approximately 26 million baht) aimed at enhancing visa accessibility to Australia from Southeast Asia, including Thailand.

Thai travellers were further advantaged by the extension of Business Visitor visa validity to up to five years. Later in the year, Thailand will also be included in the Frequent Traveller stream, providing 10-year visas for both business and leisure purposes, reported Phuket News.

Ambassador Macdonald emphasised the significance of these measures.

“These measures send a clear signal that Australia is open for business, tourism and trade.”

This development was announced a day before Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong confirmed the appointment of Kirsten Fletcher as the new Australian Consul-General for Phuket and neighbouring provinces.

In related news, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced the country’s ambitions to boost its tourism industry and international relationships, following a promising discussion with French President Emmanuel Macron.

ExpatsPhuket NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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