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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Thai O-A Visa Renewal

This will hopefully be of benefit to people who decide after they have been here a year, to go for the second year of being here on an O-A (Long Stay or Retirement Visa). I learned that terminology can be confusing. This experience is for the Phuket office, and may be different depending on the office and the officer. I must admit that the Immigration Police Volunteers, dressed in white shirts and all foreigners, are incredibly helpful. They also have a counter set up that has all the blank forms on it, as well as the blue pens and sample forms for you to follow.

So I took a shower, put on deodorant, brushed my teeth, found my lone pair of long pants and a nice shirt and headed off. Not before I got questioned by Clive about why I was doing this dressing up routine. I explained that OI thought it proper when I went to a government office that I should be presentable. As I waited for the office to open; it closes for lunch from 1200-1300, I watched the collection of people assembling waiting for the office opening. I was particularly riveted to a group of men, all in a pair of flip flops and beach shorts, with 9 empty beer cans in front of them, as they all cracked open more, whiling their time to go into the office. I thought, maybe I am overdressed. But I am also seeing many instances of people who go out in the daytime for business dealings, still smelling like the booze they downed the night before, probably not having a shower, and in obvious cases, not being in possession of deodorant, and in their best beach attire.  I am also one who researched my documents, checks all the boxes in the right place, and rewrites a form if I made a mistake on it. I would attribute any time delays today to the people who do not research and hand in 1/2 done forms, thus holding many people back. They also seem oblivious to that impact. But then again they may be drunk and not notice anyway.