The Annual Misery
Nobody likes to have to make a new visa application, even if it is only once a year. As regular readers will already know, we recently spent four years in Europe. Well, during that time the Immigration Police opened a new office in Uttaradit. This is a whopping 200 km closer than when I had to go to Nan for it. Until a month ago, their office was in the city centre and easily accessible. However, it has been moved to an outlying village, which is impossible to find without SatNav.
Luckily, our lift had been there before and had SatNav, because without it he would not have found his way there or back!
So, we arrived to post my visa application twenty days early, according to my memory. Well within the thirty that is permissible, and went inside. We were the only ones there, so were helped immediately.
‘You are ten days overdue’, said an officer. “You are on overstay…’
I couldn’t believe it! I had remembered the date in my passport correctly, but it was the wrong date! My fine for overstay was £12 per day.
Not a good start at all.
The Uttaradit Immigration Police have always been more helpful than any of the other branches that I have attended. However, there were two very young, new, officers there… perhaps apprentices, and they made the visa application process extremely easy. The girl dealt with my wife, and the boy with me. His English was excellent and his manner respectful.
The last task was to draw a map so that the police could find out house if necessary. My map was very basic, as I cannot draw. Nevertheless, the officer, who I think is in charge of the station, redrew it for us personally, and our, or my, visa application was accepted.
Unfortunately, that is not quite the end of the story, as the police have to verify that we live in our house, and the head office in Chiang Mai has to corroborate the details on my visa application.
That all takes a month, but I will keep you posted.