Thailand’s Immigration Bureau has announced the launch of a new system that enables expats to apply for visa extensions online.
Polizei Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas
The Electronic Extension of Temporary Stay (e-Extension) is available at https://thaiextension.vfsevisa.com/ and can be used for the entire application process, including the submitting of documents and the payment of fees.
Initially the online system will only be available to expats living and working in Bangkok but it is expected to eventually be made available nationwide.
Using the system, people can apply for a ‘visa’ in one of four categories: Exemption visa, Non-Immigrant Visa, Official Visa and TR60.
Eligible applicants can apply for visas due to one of 12 reasons:
1. Tourism 2. Public school teachers 3. Attending a public school 4. Serving in a government agency 5. Former Thai 6. Resident’s families 7. Press 8. Trainer and researcher for a government agency 9. Machine installation and repair 10. Medical Specialist 11. Stationed vehicle operator 12. Embassy-certified and requested
However, it wasn’t immediately clear if the system could be used to apply for the so-called ‘retirement’ or ‘marriage’ visas, which are used by a large number of expats who live in Thailand.
Once the application is submitted via the website, the applicant still needs to attend the Immigration office at Chaeng Wattana in order to verify their identity and have their visa stamped into their passport.
According to national police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, the e-Extension system, which has been launched in conjunction with VFS Global, will cut the time it takes to process visa applications from one hour to just three minutes.