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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawThe Royal Thai Consulate in Savannakhet, Laos

The Royal Thai Consulate in Savannakhet, Laos

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the Royal Thai Consulate in Savannakhet, Laos. 

In recent years this Consulate has gone from being a rather sleepy post to being quite a busy little place. They do a brisk number of visa applications. We would occasionally send folks up there to process various types of visas and our feedback would generally be "Wow that is just a quiet place." It was sort of the Mayberry of Thai Consulates in this region. Folks would go in, get there about 08.30, out of there 9 o’clock, next day come pick up the Visa; hardly anybody around. 

When protocols change with the Thai Embassy in Vientiane, Laos specifically the requirement that appointments be made in advance and online to obtain or to process a Visa through that particular Embassy, it resulted in a large amount of the overall caseload, it sort of got shifted over to Savannakhet, Laos because there is just a certain subset of folks seeking visas to Thailand, I generally see large numbers of this are the case for people that are like backpackers and they don't have sort of a set plan but they say "yeah, I kind of want to do another couple months in Thailand" and they say "yeah let's go get a Visa", and they start looking around. For those folks Vientiane may not be the best option because of all the scheduling, backlog and things like that. Savannakhet which kind of still takes a “first come first serve” approach to this overall issue, they have seen their caseload go up rather tremendously in the last roughly 18-24 months. So where this will lead in the future remains to be seen.

The other thing to take away from this video is different Visa Sections at different Embassies and Consulates outside of Thailand do things differently. The very nature of the plenary power vested in the Visa Officers who are the staff of Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Thai Embassies and Consulates abroad, that very power is very fluid in its own way. Folks that are tasked with adjudicating these, are making findings of fact and conclusions of Law and they are also doing it under a situation where they have a tremendous amount of administrative discretion to make determinations as to evidentiary requirements and just how they like to see Visa applications process. For this reason, things may vary from post to post so what works in Savannakhet, Laos may not necessarily work in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia or Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for example. 

So the thing to take away from this video is just understand, different posts do things differently and you need to act accordingly. So those who are looking to obtain a visa to Thailand especially in the aftermath of COVID-19, again Border Runs and Visa Runs may or may not be all that available, those options may not be all that available as they were prior to this lockdown, but again understand, you may want to contact a legal professional to understand the difference in how different posts process different applications for different types of Thai visas