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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsLonger Lines at the Thai Consulate in Savannakhet, Laos

Longer Lines at the 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. 

For those who are unaware of the Thai Consulate Savannakhet you are probably not alone. Many people were unaware of the Thai Consulate in Savannakhet until about two or three months ago when the Royal Thai Embassy in Vientiane, Laos, the capital, stopped allowing folks to come on a first-come first-serve basis; basically get in line and apply for their visas and started implementing a system wherein an online queue had to be implemented. Basically, one needed to go online, get a queue number to go in for an appointment to get a visa application filed.  As a result of the online system there was effectively a cap placed on the number of applications accepted per day and as a result there has been a great deal of spillover if you will especially stemming from the demand for Thai Visas which is kind of inherent to certain aspects of the regional traveling public if you will. There are many people that come to Thailand, backpackers for example, to say they don't have a plan isn't necessarily the correct thing, but their plan isn't exactly set in stone. They can come to Thailand, they say I am going to check out Thailand and maybe I will go over to Laos or Cambodia or Vietnam. Maybe I will go check out Myanmar. I don't exactly know but I will definitely go someplace and they come here and oftentimes they find they really like Thailand and in certain instances they say "well I need to get a Visa, I want to stay longer."  In the past, Laos was a very popular destination specifically the capital, Vientiane. The Thai Embassy there was a very popular Consular destination for those who were seeking visas to come back into Thailand, especially Tourist Visas. A lot of Tourist Visas process up in Vientiane, Laos. That has changed. Again the cap that has been placed on the number of those applications has resulted in fewer of those application being processed in Vientiane. Now Savannakhet which was at one time a rather sleepy Thai Consulate, in fact  most of the anecdotal information I received from clients and other people involved with this channel etc., said "yeah. I just walk in, nobody was there, there was a person at the window. I filed it, paid my fee, came back the next day and picked up my Visa." Now as you can see, we are going to go ahead and throw up some photos. I found these in various parts of the internet discussing Savannakhet specifically. There are lines and those lines are substantial as you can see from these two photos. The lines at Savannakhet are not short. There is a large caseload being processed out of Savannakhet presumably now and it remains to be seen exactly how this is going to play out.  I suspect for at least the near-term it is just going to be a matter of "yeah, you got to go up there. You have got to wait in that line and you can process your visa application."  

That being said, as there is increasingly a trend toward digitization of the visa application process, I suspect it may be possible at some point in the relatively near future that we see an appointment system being set up in Savannakhet as well so that it provides a little bit more organization. If that should come to pass, presumably it would mean there would be a cap on the number of appointments there as well. 

We will update you as things progress but I do think it is notable that Savannakhet is seeing a serious spike in volume and there is a direct correlation to what has occurred in Vientiane. So what happens if Savannakhet gets an online queue system remains to be seen but again we will update you on his channel so stay tuned.