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Changes to visa applications at the Thai Consulate-General in Penang

Tanutam Thawan

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The Royal Thai Consulate-General in Penang has announced changes to its acceptance and delivery of visas.

Penang, Malaysia, has been a popular destination for expats and tourists to head to, particularly from Phuket. There is an entire visa-run industry heading out of the island each day heading for Penang with hotels, restaurants and taxis all ready for the daily hordes seeking visas to extend their stay or convert to Non Immigrant visas for a longer stay in the Kingdom. The van trip can take around 10 hours.

Just recently Air Asia announced daily flights to the island of Penang out of Phuket to compete with Firefly airline which was the only direct flights from Phuket to Penang. The flight takes around an hour.

The Consul-General says that, starting May 14, they will only be accepting a maximum of 100 applications per day. The application and pick-up times will remain the same though.

They’ve also vowed to get tough on people who don’t fill in their application forms properly and won’t be accepting extensions to visas for tourists that can’t show proof of their accommodation arrangements in Thailand or bookings for flights out of Thailand.

They say documents will only be accepted in Thai and English and that any financial statements for proof of their financial status can only be submitted in Thai Baht, USD, Euro and Malaysian Ringit.

The Consulate-General will not allow people with incomplete documentation to enter the premises and anyone found to have incomplete documentation will have to leave and line up again the next day. They’re also warning applicants if they’re found to submit any fake documents they will be blacklisted for a year and that ‘overstayers’ have a ‘high risk of visa refusal’.

Altogether, it’s making the trip south for visa extensions and new applications a lot more difficult and plans for a quick in-out visit to the Malaysian island more complicated unless you can guarantee yourself a place in the first 100 applicants.

Recent visitors say that people are now arriving at the Consulate-General building nearly two hours early to make sure they get accepted in the day’s intake.

Changes to visa applications at the Thai Consulate-General in Penang | News by Thaiger

 

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