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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsThai Consulate Savannakhet, Laos Sees Heavy Caseload

Thai Consulate Savannakhet, Laos Sees Heavy Caseload

Transcript of the above video:

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

Why am I bringing this up? Well in recent weeks there has been a sea change with respect to Visa applications being sought; specifically Thai visa applications being sought through the Royal Thai Embassy in Vientiane, Laos; that is the capital. Now the thing to keep in mind with respect to this, the capital of Laos and those who are seeking Thai visas, Laos has been a major hub for those seeking visa application adjudication; specifically  long-stay tourist tend to go up there and seek visas applications. Other types of Non-immigrant Visa applicants seek their Visas up in Vientiane in Laos. But Thai Immigration Authorities instituted an online appointment system wherein there is a certain quota every day that cannot be exceeded for visa applications sought through that Embassy and as a result it has been my understanding through anecdotal evidence that there are far fewer Visas being processed through that post then were processed in times past. This is a relatively recent phenomenon and is having knock-on ripple effects and one of those ripple effects is the Thai Consulate in Savannakhet is seeing a much higher rate of visa applications being processed through that post compared to times past. In a posting I found on Facebook; it was somebody just was commenting, and they put up this photo. "At Savannakhet today but huge queue, and we are throwing up a photo here that shows the actual queue, the actual line outside the Consulate in Savannakhet. Apparently because Vientiane is too busy and people come here." So we are seeing this. This has practical implications. People are now, it appears, unable to get their Visa processed rather in a timely manner through the Royal Thai Consulate in Vientiane and they are now going over to Savannakhet and this is resulting in what was once quite a sleepy little post. In a given year we would see not an insignificant number but a few people every year would go through Savannakhet and I would ask them "how are things going up there?" and they mostly say "yeah in and out. Nobody really there. Pretty sleepy and pretty quiet post.” No longer!! Clearly, as you can see from the photo, we are now seeing a lot of people are looking for their visas at that particular post. What this means for processing of cases through that post remains to be seen. 

I think it is safe to presume they will probably come up with some kind of queue system. I don't know what that queue system will look like. If it was me, I would be presuming it might look something like the Royal Thai Consulate in Penang.  Penang utilizes a quota whereby they only accept a certain number of visa applications in a given day.  We may see that in Savannakhet rather soon. Their case load may become so large that they simply can't process more than a certain number of visas. All of that remains to be seen.  If there are further developments with respect to this matter we will go ahead and post another video as soon as we can.