How and where do your renew US visas in Chiang Mai?

Not like this! A 50-year-old Thai man wanted for fraud was arrested on Thursday in Nonthaburi. Pairoj Kanchanarat had been telling US tourists that he was a lawyer able to get a permanent visa for Bt20,000-Bt50,000. His arrest stemmed from a police complaint filed by a US expat in February who said Pairoj claimed to be able to secure permanent visas and work permits for foreigners without their needing to go to the government offices to apply for the documents. The US victim allegedly paid Bt25,000 for a permanent visa and his Italian friend paid Bt49,000 for a work permit.  Pairoj duped people many times over 10 years and he was wanted for another seven fraud arrest warrants in Bangkok, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Nakhon Ratchasima and Chiang Mai. The police said Pairoj would go to tourist attractions to befriend potential victims with false promises. Needless to say, our Concierge service can get you legal visas much cheaper!!

Here’s how to renew a US passport in Thailand and, specifically, in Chiang Mai. Start by going on line to your local consulate’s website (this is Chiang Mai’s) where they list their services. Here’s what the Chiang Mai consulate offers:

US Passport Application Chiang Mai
US Passport Application Chiang Mai

Next,  you’ll be directed to the Passport Wizard, which looks like this. It’s just a series of checkboxes and, bless their hearts, the USGovt. has done a splendid job of simplifying a complicated process. You’ll quickly discover which category you fit (passport expired? lost? stolen?) and move on to the final – and important – stage of printing out the form, which you’ll take with you to the Consulate. If you don’t have a printer at home, save the form as a .pdf and print it at any internet cafe. Now make your appointment on line here and you’re ready to go.

If you need a statutory declaration about your income, download this form Downloadand fill it out but DO NOT SIGN IT until you are talking to the US Consul. He needs to witness it.

After I’d made my appointment I found that my flight date was too close to the appointment date (it was more than two weeks away and my flight was only three weeks away) so I emailed the Consulate asking them to bump me up. It was a Sunday but the US Department of State never sleeps, apparently. Back shot an email telling me to come the following Thursday at 8:00 am and to bring the email with me. The visit was smooth and easy (except for the massive security) and the Americans behind the windows – who will ask you to swear an oath, so be prepared – were pleasant and knowledgeable.

Six days later I received an email from the Consulate inviting me to pick up my passport that afternoon. I was in and out in 20 minutes with my shiny new passport that’ll last me another ten years. Congratulations to the US State Department for a job well done!

If you want to stay on the Consulate’s radar – which I recommend – register at their website.

Where to park? Just 150 yards up the road from the Consulate is covered parking for 30 Baht/day. Such a deal! Here’s the video:

And here are the  GPS coordinates: 18.79428° 98.99939°
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=18.79428,98.99939

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