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Thai Passport Offices on Limit

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  • Thai Passport Offices on Limit

    Saturday passport offices in Bangkok see a huge demand

    The Covid-19 pandemic is winding down, or at least the travel restrictions that came with it are, and for Thai people, this means it’s time to get the heck out of the country, according to passport office statistics this weekend. Two Bangkok-area passport offices were open on Saturday and reported a huge demand for processing passports on the weekend.
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    As it’s finally becoming reasonable to travel internationally, Thais are planning trips for business, studying abroad, working in another country, or just tourist holidays. And for many, that means getting a new passport or renewing their expired passports.

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Don Pramudwinai, ordered offices to be streamlined for quick processing and efficiency, and 19 passport offices in Bangkok were expanded to 27. They have been lauded for their speediness. This past weekend, two offices opened on Saturday and were flooded with customers, prompting officials to consider opening on weekends in other provinces too.

    In Nonthaburi, the Bangyai office located in Central Westgate saw a flurry of Thai people taking advantage of the opening to process passports. Some 629 passports were handled at booths and another 159 were processed at self-service terminals, for a total of 788 passports.

    Meanwhile, in downtown Bangkok, the Pathumwan office opened on Saturday on the fifth floor of MBK Centre. They normally deal with somewhere between 700 and 900 passports a day. But this weekend, 379 alone were processed using the electronic self-service terminals. Another 1,339 passports were handled at regular service booth counters, for a total of 1,718 passports in one day, double the normal daily demand.

    Chatchai Wiriyawechkul, now in charge of running the offices, has been successful in quickly processing new Thai passports, complete with modern features.
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