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  1. #1
    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ the_link's Avatar
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    Default My wife submitted her visa settlement application today...

    My wife submitted her settlement visa application today, Wednesday, 11 August 2010, to VFS in Bangkok.

    If you are interested in following our progress, please feel free, and for anyone starting out on this road and have any questions, please fire away.

    I will dispense with the affirmation of freedom to marry rigmarole. Though, happy to answer questions if required.

    I haven't all the answers, but have up-to-date gen on the application process and can show some of the costs involved along the way. It can be done slightly cheaper, it must be said, but we hadn't much time before I return to the UK and my wife returns to her home-town. We didn't use the services of an agent either.

    This has been a hard slog for us both and not inexpensive venture, as well as stressful and time-consuming, as has been for many before us and sure to be for many more in time to come.

    We married last week on Monday, 2 August in Thailand, wedding party on Tuesday 3rd, flew to BKK on Wednesday 4th.

    Though, immediately after marrying on 2 August, we went to local government office and changed her name on her ID card and house registration.

    We couldn't fast-track changing name on her passport in her home-town so had to do this at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chaeng Wattana Road, BKK. We applied for this on Thursday, 5 August and received the new passport on Monday, 9 August. Cost: 1000 baht.

    In the meantime, armed with the passport receipt, we went to IOM on Silom Road, Friday, 6 August, and parted with 3000 baht for the TB test. We didn't have an appointment, just turned up early in the day. Took a trip up to Phyathai Hospital, x-rays completed and back to IOM within two hours.

    Shortly after arriving back to the IOM office, got the all clear on the x-rays. IOM wouldn't give us the TB certificate there and then until we returned with the new passport on the Monday. It was nice to know that she had a normal x-ray though.

    On Saturday, 7 August, we attended the same translation service that we used for the affirmation of freedom to marry process.

    In all our research over the last seven or eight months, all the information about what was required to be translated for the settlement visa has been very vague. We even emailed VFS to ask what should be translated and their reply, though prompt, was just as vague - 'some documents'.

    To save a lot of grief at a later date, we had my wife's birth certificate, ID card, house registration, marriage certificate and marriage registration certificate all translated. Cost: 1900 baht.

    We picked this up from the translation service Monday morning, 9 August. But before we picked up the translations, we had already been to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and collected her new passport on opening at 8am and returned to IOM to retrieve the TB certificate.

    Then back to Ministry of Foreign Affairs the same day to submit translations for fast-track notarisation.

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs still have this policy of no fast-tracking, but the obligatory visit to the Supervisor's office and a not-so-insubstantial fee of 4000 baht soon sorts this out. Though, this was for the five above mentioned documents. We were able to collect these on the Tuesday morning, 10 August.

    The remaining time we had on Tueday 10th was used to collate all our documentation into the pictured lever-arch file, type the index and get a cashier's cheque for 33,488 baht from Bangkok Bank. This is the visa settlement fee at the moment.

    Amazingly, VFS are using the f/x rate of 52 baht to the pound. I would love to know where in BKK they can get 52 baht to the pound, as the best I could get was 49.79 from Bangkok Bank. But not to worry.

    The banks in BKK charge the small fee of 20 baht for a cashiers cheque, though some specified branches of Bank of Ayudhya do this for free. So the total cost the for visa settlement fee was GBP 664.38.

    Anyway, we arrived at VFS, Regent House, this morning, at 8am (they open at 8.30am). There was a long queue already but was glad to have got there early and received the ticket no. 54.

    When you eventually submit the application at the desk you have the option for SMS and email updates for critical stages of the application. There is a small charge of 75 baht for this service. We paid this to save a lot of phone calls down the line.

    After the application has been submitted, the wife was finger-printed. So, all-in-all, we were at the VFS office for just over five hours.

    I am relieved that all the hard-work is now over. It is just left to receive a decision in the months to come (up to three, apparently).

    Though, as the photo of my wife's application file shows, there is a lot of documentation.

    I will keep you posted on what happens next.

    http://i37.tinypic.com/velx1u.jpg
    Last edited by the_link; 11th Aug 2010 at 14:58.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ millermac's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    That's Brilliant very clear and to the point. Thanks very much, hopefully soon we will be going through this process and this will help a lot.
    Congratulations on your marriage and good luck for the future

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    Member สมาชิก fsh76's Avatar
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    Hi The_Link,

    Excellent thread I will be visiting LOS Oct/Nov to do the same sounds like alot of running around but I am sure it will be worth it in the long run!

    Just one question, you mention about dispensing with Affirmation of Freedom rigmarole, any chance you could briefly explain procedure inc. costs etc.

    Many thanks

    fsh76

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    FSH76 I'm doing the Affirmation of Freedom to marry on friday and hv just found out that it can be done in jomtien at the consolate soi 5 cost i think 2400-2600? and they do it quicker (Instant) than the embassy but then needs to be translated to thai i'm not quite sure yet where that is in bangkok, going on tuesday 17th to do TBtest so will check out that side of things there, then it's off to the village to marry mind you only a register job!!

    ---------- Post added at 17:16 ---------- Previous post was at 17:05 ----------

    Link,
    good to see all you have wrote as i'm just starting now!! just one thing that folder i thought the VFS wouldn't take folders like that?? or maybe you just had that to keep things alltogether

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    Banned peterinkendal's Avatar
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    deland, n

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    Quote Originally Posted by the_link View Post
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs still have this policy of no fast-tracking, but the obligatory visit to the Supervisor's office and a not-so-insubstantial fee of 4000 baht soon sorts this out.
    Just a minute - 4000 baht? I also used the non fast track, fast track department (supervisor's office ) in November 2009. The correct fee is 100 bant per document - double for fast track. I had 4 documents and therefore paid 800 baht. Somebody has been lifting your leg!

    Attachment 1790

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    Quote Originally Posted by peterinkendal View Post
    deland, n
    What does this mean

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    Admin maokaang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flip View Post
    Somebody has been lifting your leg!
    I've heard of others being quoted the exact same fee in recent months for the espresso [sic] service. Seems like someone at the MFA is looking to upgrade their coffee machine.

    T.I.T.
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    Yes and if you refuse or question it Paul, you will probably be told "sorry sir, fast-track finish already".

    The_Link, were you given a receipt?

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    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ the_link's Avatar
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    Hi fsh76

    No probs. We did the affirmation of freedom to marry process back in March.

    The following example in the link is a very good example of the document that you must prepare yourself. And as far as I can see is verbatim to what I prepared back in March.

    http://www.phuket-discovery.com/example1.htm

    Once you have filled in the required information, print it out on A4 and take to the British Embassy on Wireless Road, just round the corner from Phloen Chit BTS.

    The British Embassy charge GBP 60.00 for this service and it takes 24 hours for them to notarise the document. There is no fast-track service.

    They use the daily f/x baht/GBP rate so that you pay the equivalent in Thai baht. You cannot pay in sterling and they only accept cash.

    Obviously, you are required to take your passport with you, and if you have been married previously, the relevant documents to show you are divorced.

    When you pick up the notarised document the following morning, you are required to have it translated.

    We used the Interlanguage Translation Centre, Chidlom Branch. We have used them twice now and they are very good. If you want to use their services, come out of the Embassy and walk up Wireless Road towards Phloen Chit BTS and when you get to the junction you will see a very large branch of Bank of Ayudhya on the opposite side of the road. Cross over the bridge to the bank and carry on up Sukumvit Road past and it is a two minute walk on your right.

    http://www.itctranslation.com/eng/contact_eng.htm

    Be careful on the translation of english names. If in doubt, get a second opinion.

    Once you have the translation, take this to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Chaeng Wattana Road for notarisation. I think the fast-track cost 800 baht. Though, if you are prepared to wait a few days, costs next to nothing.

    There is no requirement for any documents relating to your wife-to-be. This is just about you.

    I hope this helps.

  11. #11
    Moderator Tobias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_link View Post
    ... and if you have been married previously, the relevant documents to show you are divorced. ...
    Or a death certificate if widowed.
    Tobias - โทเบียส

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    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ the_link's Avatar
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    Hi deland

    Yes, it was quite a sizeable folder and also accompanied by the following photo album.

    http://www.picture2life.com/Pictures/Open/9521906

    VFS accepted it without any fuss. I have seen photos of folders others have submitted that have made mine look quite weedy. I wanted to make sure that all the documents were indexed for easy accessibility. No prizes or presentation but I'm sure it helps expedite the review process.

    Also, I checked the receipt this morning for the TB test at IOM and it was 2600 baht (not 3000 baht as I stated last night), and most importantly, IOM will only accept the passport identification of your wife that she will use to enter the UK.

    Anyway, deland, good luck from a fellow Kent resident (Rochester).

    ---------- Post added at 13:14 ---------- Previous post was at 13:05 ----------

    There was no mistake, Flip, 800 baht per document, as it was back in March when we had the affirmation of freedom to marry document notarised. There is a tariff on the wall of the office.

    Expensive, I know, but necessary. Also, the marriage certificate will serve a dual purpose for registering our marriage in the UK.

    ---------- Post added at 13:15 ---------- Previous post was at 13:14 ----------

    Yes, have the receipt Flip.

  13. #13
    R.I.P. ddwjg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_link View Post
    Also, the marriage certificate will serve a dual purpose for registering our marriage in the UK.
    If you don't mind me asking. Why would you need to?

    A registered marriage in Thailand is automatically recognised in the UK.

    Dave.

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    Member สมาชิก fsh76's Avatar
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    Thanks alot 'The_Link' appreciate that. I think I've got everything just about sussed for when I return.

    Thanks again

    fsh76

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    Admin maokaang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_link View Post
    Also, the marriage certificate will serve a dual purpose for registering our marriage in the UK.
    Quote Originally Posted by ddwjg View Post
    If you don't mind me asking. Why would you need to?
    The term 'registering' is not technically correct. You cannot be married twice at the same time, not even to the same person.

    Once legally married in Thailand you can record (not register) your marriage at the British Embassy. It's completely optional and offers some, but not much, benefit:

    Benefits of depositing your certificate:
    • When you are not in Thailand, you can obtain certified copies of your documents without having to apply to the Thai authorities.
    • Your marriage documents will become an official record.
    The first point solves a rare problem where 'certified translations' of Thai marriage certificates have not been accepted by some UK authorities.

    The second point is, I guess, handy for your future descendants who'll be able to find a UK record of your marriage when looking up their family tree.

    See: Recording a marriage in the UK

    It is worth noting that the fee mentioned on the Embassy website only covers the cost of recording your marriage and having your original certificate sent to the GRO in the UK. An additional fee is payable to the GRO back in the UK when you want a copy of that record.

    See: Overseas marriages and civil partnerships

    Regards
    Last edited by maokaang; 12th Aug 2010 at 15:53. Reason: second link added
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    Well that's a hell of an increase in just 4 months - from 200 baht per document to 800 baht (fast track)

  17. #17
    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ the_link's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddwjg View Post
    If you don't mind me asking. Why would you need to?

    A registered marriage in Thailand is automatically recognised in the UK.

    Dave.
    Good question, ddwjg, I am not sure to be honest. Though, for the sake of good order, I may as well.

    ---------- Post added at 06:18 ---------- Previous post was at 05:56 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by maokaang View Post
    The term 'registering' is not technically correct. You cannot be married twice at the same time, not even to the same person.

    Once legally married in Thailand you can record (not register) your marriage at the British Embassy. It's completely optional and offers some, but not much, benefit:

    The first point solves a rare problem where 'certified translations' of Thai marriage certificates have not been accepted by some UK authorities.

    The second point is, I guess, handy for your future descendants who'll be able to find a UK record of your marriage when looking up their family tree.

    See: Recording a marriage in the UK

    It is worth noting that the fee mentioned on the Embassy website only covers the cost of recording your marriage and having your original certificate sent to the GRO in the UK. An additional fee is payable to the GRO back in the UK when you want a copy of that record.

    See: Overseas marriages and civil partnerships

    Regards
    Thanks, maokaang. This is very helpful.

    Reading this further link, it appears that the marriage certificate doesn't necessarily have to go through the British Embassy and can be deposited when, and if, my wife arrives with it in the UK. Though, correct me if I am wrong.

    http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-...ips/depositing

    On balance, I might as well record our marriage in the UK.

    ---------- Post added at 06:20 ---------- Previous post was at 06:18 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Flip View Post
    Well that's a hell of an increase in just 4 months - from 200 baht per document to 800 baht (fast track)
    Dear, Flip. You appear much more concerned about it than me.

    After spending over GBP 5k in the last few weeks on the wedding, sin sot, flights, visa application and sundry expenses, 4000 baht doesn't even touch the sides.

    The most important point to me is that the visa application has been submitted before I return to the UK on Monday. Every document that the Embassy require, and more, has been furnished and every document in Thai has been been translated and notarised.

    In my heart I know that, my wife and I, couldn't have done any more to make this application the most complete that we could possibly prepare.

    Maybe, you are held in such high esteem by the Ministry, they have a special rate for VIPs, such as your good self.

    Probably time to move on, really.

    ---------- Post added at 06:26 ---------- Previous post was at 06:20 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by millermac View Post
    That's Brilliant very clear and to the point. Thanks very much, hopefully soon we will be going through this process and this will help a lot.
    Congratulations on your marriage and good luck for the future
    Thanks, millermac.

    Good luck to you too in time to come.

    ---------- Post added at 06:34 ---------- Previous post was at 06:26 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by deland
    just one thing that folder i thought the VFS wouldn't take folders like that?? or maybe you just had that to keep things alltogether
    Hi deland

    Yes, it was quite a sizeable folder and also accompanied by the following photo album.

    http://www.picture2life.com/Pictures/Open/9521906

    VFS accepted it without any fuss. I have seen photos of folders others have submitted that have made mine look quite weedy. I wanted to make sure that all the documents were indexed for easy accessibility. No prizes or presentation but I'm sure it helps expedite the review process.

    Also, I checked the receipt this morning for the TB test at IOM and it was 2600 baht (not 3000 baht as I stated last night), and most importantly, IOM will only accept the passport identification of your wife that she will use to enter the UK.

    Anyway, deland, good luck from a fellow Kent resident (Rochester).

    ---------- Post added at 13:14 ---------- Previous post was at 13:05 ----------

    Just to add, deland, the reason that you must use your wife's passport for identification at the IOM that she will enter the UK on, is because the TB certificate is annotated with the passport number.

    IOM accepted the receipt for the new passport that my wife had applied for because this contained the new passport number.
    Last edited by maokaang; 13th Aug 2010 at 07:31. Reason: UBB code for one of the quotes fixed

  18. #18
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ sumrit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_link View Post
    Just to add, deland, the reason that you must use your wife's passport for identification at the IOM that she will enter the UK on, is because the TB certificate is annotated with the passport number.

    IOM accepted the receipt for the new passport that my wife had applied for because this contained the new passport number.
    I've posted in Deland's thread as well, but in case people don't read both threads in the future......

    If your wife has changed her passport after having her TB test (old passport number on the TB certificate), but before applying for her visa, it's not a problem, she just submits both her old and new passports with her visa application and carries both passports when she enters the UK.

  19. #19
    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ the_link's Avatar
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    Thanks, sumrit, and good point.

    This also leads me on to, and I didn't know this prior to attending the VFS office at Regent House on Wednesday, that VFS shipped both originals of my wife's new passport and previous passport and the original TB certificate off with the visa application, even though I provided photocopies. Geez, I hope they don't lose them.

    Also, they courier the passports back to applicants in due course. Except, my wife lives in Phitsanulok, and guess what, they haven't a courier centre in Phitsanulok, so my wife has to return to BKK to pick hers up in person. You couldn't make it up.

    So this will entail me booking her a flight to Don Muaeng, an overnight hotel, and return flight the following morning as you can only pick up passports after 3pm from VFS office. Too late to catch return flight to Phitsanulok at 3.40pm.

    Still, I never kidded myself that marrying a Thai lady would be cheap.
    Last edited by the_link; 13th Aug 2010 at 12:12. Reason: Removed quote of entire previous post.

  20. #20
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ sumrit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_link View Post
    Thanks, sumrit, and good point.

    This also leads me on to, and I didn't know this prior to attending the VFS office at Regent House on Wednesday, that VFS shipped both originals of my wife's new passport and previous passport and the original TB certificate off with the visa application, even though I provided photocopies. Geez, I hope they don't lose them.
    I've never heard of them losing a passport or TB certificate yet...............'mislaid' a whole folder for a while last year, yes, but it was 'found' eventually.

    They'll return the originals and keep the copies for their records.

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