A Visa Crawl

Long-term foreign residents of Thailand not fortunate (unfortunate?) enough to have a permanent residency or Thailand Elite card must apply for visa extensions, usually every year. It’s pretty much expected to be a long and drawn-out process. This year proved to be no exception. We left Mahasarakham at 6:15 AM and arrived at Mukdahan immigration shortly after 9.
Because the idiots in our personnel department couldn’t get our documents together, our trip had been delayed until one of the busiest days of the year – just a couple days before many people’s contracts (and hence visas) end.
The whole day was long and tiring; I spent most of it standing at the application window watching our stack of applications not moving on the counter for about 5 hours straight and joking with the immigration official, fellow teachers, and other random applicants. Let’s just cut to the chase and say that we left the immigration office after 7 PM, nearly three hours after official closing time.
I have to give props where they’re due and say that the two officials working the window really worked hard and got everybody through with a minimum of fuss, all things considered. They were also very nice, patient, and understanding, which hasn’t been the case in the past at either Muk or Nong Khai immigration.
The next and final step in this process is getting our work permits renewed, and since the aforementioned idiots in Personnel managed to delay our paperwork for this as well, we were unable to go today and are forced to go tomorrow. It has to get done tomorrow, or we have to leave the country and our visas will be canceled. That might cause a bit of a stir, even by the low standards of Personnel, so I’m pretty sure they’ll be ready. I just hope they’re done in the morning like we’ve been promised, because I’m teaching a community learning class in the afternoon…
UPDATE 9/30: I FINISHED! I FINISHED! I FINISHED! No more of this bullshit for another year (except for reports every 90 days)!!!

7 thoughts on “A Visa Crawl

  1. Meanwhile, back in Osaka…we have a braaaaand new immigration building. No more fans for us, we gots AC, bro. They slip us in and out of there like Mexican food thru a gringo.
    It might be because I’m married to a local…ain’t you got any pull wit dat?

  2. What a day for you!
    I remember how I goofed with my own visa and you were able to stage a run to the border with me and patiently understanding Nam and baby Max, who suffered through the long card ride wailing and making me want to cry, too!
    Thanks for that. Now I know how NOT to make such a dumb mistake!

  3. I swear Engraulis Mordax anchovy man, you are a word nerd. Them there marsh crabs do resemble fiddlers, as far as I can reckon….
    Good luck on that 10 day tuna trip and remember to bring back some Pargo, our new fave!

  4. During obon, as I had nothing else to do, I went to the Nara immigration office and turned in my application for the permanent residence visa. A somewhat pain in the rear, but much easier than what it used to be. And after I turned in it they tell me, “You’ll hear from us in about 6 months.” I would love to know how it takes 6 months to process about 10 pieces of paper. Just imagine the number of inkan and other stamps that are being applied to my pretty paperwork…

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