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Phuket Immigration Chief calls on expats to report ‘wrongful requests for fees’

PHUKET: The Chief of the Phuket Immigration Office has urged foreigners to read up on immigration fees for services, and report any unlawful document fee requests to an immigration supervisor, after a reader reported being asked by a clerk to pay B300 to obtain a certificate of residence.

By Shela Riva

Friday 2 February 2018, 05:59PM

The Chief of the Phuket Immigration Office has called for expats to report officers who wrongly ask for fees. Photo: Shela Riva

The Chief of the Phuket Immigration Office has called for expats to report officers who wrongly ask for fees. Photo: Shela Riva

“I had the ‘pleasure’ today to visit immigration for a certificate of residence which I needed to transfer a car into my name,” said the reader who preferred not to be named.

“Can anybody explain why the young female clerk of 20 asked me for B300 when the service is FREE? I really think this needs to be investigated,” he said.

However, Phuket Immigration Office Chief Col Kathathorn Kumthieng told The Phuket News today (Feb 2), “There is no fee for a certificate of residence (sic). Our officers should only ask for fees from aliens (sic) as declared in the law.

“Also, clerks are not immigration officers, they operate separately. If there are other people who are not officers asking for a fee, please check first who they are, why they are asking for a fee that is outside of the law,” he added.

Central Phuket

“If you are being wrongly told to pay a fee, please contact the immigration supervisor or overseer with the information directly. These officers are always on duty.” Col Kathathorn said.

“They would have to investigate the real facts,” he added.

Col Kathathorn also confirmed that there is also no fee for foreigners re-registering their address, as made clear in the page one story in The Phuket News last week (see story here).

“There is no fee for re-registering your address,” he said.



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Kurt | 05 February 2018 - 10:37:14

I would be nice if the Immigration colonel, with his nice smile on Photo, comments on customers writings.
Seem he has to spend his energy in cleaning up the Phuket Immigration office, rather than spend time about a few residents re-reports after sleeping a few nights not at home.
Sure there is a law about how Immigration officers have to work, seems they are in a misunderstanding modus..

Christy Sweet | 05 February 2018 - 09:45:13

If you resist, and politely but firmly refuse to leave and ask for the passport back,  and then make noises about calling Bangkok Imm Hqtrs, they will give in IF you have everything in order. (BTW the hotline number does not work and good luck getting an English speaker if you do call.)

mikex67 | 05 February 2018 - 02:27:00

LOL, stay in Phuket for 7 years and every single time when I need residence certificate to renew my driving license or register a motorbike - they ask 500 baht for that paper. And now they saying it's always been free? And where is their official price list is written?

Christy Sweet | 04 February 2018 - 15:14:16

"Address re registered..." WHY WHY WHY WHY ?? Absurd  and only necessary if you move. Here's the deal- if I'm not at a hotel, I'm at my residence. Or maybe a friends. are we to make a trip  to immigration to report we spent the night at a friends? 

Kurt | 04 February 2018 - 12:37:07

.."There are no fees for certificate of residence.   Ok!
So what means: " Our officers only should ask for fees from aliens".
What are 'aliens' in the immigration office context setting?

Other comments give impression that the Phuket town Immigration is corrupt.
Needs to be investigated.

Klaas | 03 February 2018 - 19:01:05

The same happened to me. It all happened in the open ... anybody could see that money changed hands. As it happened more than once in an open office space, at least one of the other officers should have noticed. 

As it's Thailand and only 300 baht (I know a days work for underpayed workers), I just let it go. I don't have too much fate in a lot of the officials here.  

Phuket83100 | 03 February 2018 - 12:01:52

This is a joke, right? Anyone staying here longer than a few weeks knows they always ask for 300 baht.
Why do you think the same people have been working there for years?

Nasa12 | 03 February 2018 - 08:33:08

I try to speak whit the immigration supervisor 3 times about the fee fore certificate of residence but they are in a meeting ore out off the Office every time. Last time a ask fore a recipe and the Immigration Officer ask me if a want my Passport back or not.So what can we do ? You pay the 300 Bath to this Corrupt Officer some make this certificate of residence.It`s not abut the money a can pay th...

bojon | 02 February 2018 - 22:57:48

The easiest way to avoid this problem is for the immigration office to organize all payments to be made to a cashier and not to the individual officers or clerks.

Discover Thainess | 02 February 2018 - 19:44:45

I was charged 500 baht each for them recently, can I please have a refund, Immigration Chief? Patong Immigration, young lady dressed in University uniform collected it and handed it to the officer sitting at the desk. 

stegee68 | 02 February 2018 - 19:05:21

i've been using phuket town immigration office since 2006 and have never been asked to pay for anything that i don't have to pay for..

Fascinated | 02 February 2018 - 18:53:18

Good luck with that one next time you want to get a service there! The clerk is sat right next to the IO who has been playing this game for years. 

Mine had 2 errors in it despite paying for the privilege!

Neem | 02 February 2018 - 18:34:40

I am happy to see this article raising awareness about this rather serious problem. This very thing happened to me two weeks ago. I was also asked to pay 300 baht by a young woman at the Phuket Immigration office in order to have my address certification form processed. I shall try to contact the Phuket Immigration chief as well.

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