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Phuket Opinion: Always a pleasant experience

Phuket Opinion: Always a pleasant experience

PHUKET: With the Thai Immigration Bureau’s online 90-day reporting option being offline, not for the first time we should add, those of us who have to make these regular reports, have the lucky opportunity to visit the happy faces of the staff at immigration.

immigrationopinion
By The Phuket News

Sunday 27 August 2017, 09:00AM


Phuket Immigration, a happy place. Photo: The Phuket News

Phuket Immigration, a happy place. Photo: The Phuket News

Visiting immigration last week, I realised I had forgotten just how amusing these visits can be. I thought I was taking a safe option – visiting later in the afternoon when the morning rush should have died down. How wrong I was.

Arriving at 2pm, a line of foreigners was queuing out the door, this came as somewhat of a surprise – albeit a simultaneously pleasant and unpleasant one. The pleasant side being that even though it’s “low season”, there are still plenty of tourists in Phuket. The unpleasant side: the dread of knowing how long it was going to take get my report done.

“Anyone for 90-day reporting?” asked an immigration volunteer stationed inside. Three or four of us moved forward and were given our numbered tickets. Steeling myself for a long wait, I sat in a chair facing counter two, where the man – let’s just call him “Mr Happy” – who deals with 90-day reporting resides.

There he sat – Mr Happy – blissfully pressing his “next customer” button – 96 go to counter number one, indicated the electronic board above the waiting area. The seat behind counter one sat empty. Nevertheless, some people dutifully approached the empty counter, looked around confusedly, and seeing no other course of action, sat back down.

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Then he spoke, quietly considering the volume of the general hubbub in the busy room, “96,” he said… then, five seconds later, “97,” nothing… “98,” and so it continued. With nobody approaching Mr Happy, including the people who had got tickets before me, eventually my number, 107, was called.

I jumped in front of Mr Happy and was getting my 90-day report processed when four or five people approached the counter, tickets in hand, exasperated as to why they hadn’t been dealt with in the correct order.

My report completed, I left the building knowing full well why I was served first. They were looking for a logical, orderly process – I, on the other hand, have been in Thailand long enough to know there is no such thing when it comes to Thai bureaucracy. If Monty Python were still being broadcast today, a visit to Phuket Immigration would make for a rather amusing sketch.

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Kurt | 28 August 2017 - 12:30:39

Due to traveling out of the Kingdom, in 1 year I only twice visited the Phuket town Immigration.
I must say, that it was going in, going out in just 10 minutes.
 1 time a very friendly lady immigration officer, 1 time a male immigration officer who obviously was not happy with his day.

One point of comment: The Phuket town Immigration office is a crampy accommodation.
And the whole setting d...

CaptainJack69 | 28 August 2017 - 11:59:09

Not joking, I'll drive to Krabi to do my 90 day report before I go to immigration in Phuket town. Luckily I haven't had to yet. Online reporting was working, and when it hasn't been I've gone to the little office on Patong (paying to park in the underground car-park at The Kee hotel and walking in).

I'd also be prepared to go to the airport and get on a cheap flight to KL an...

Sam hayman | 27 August 2017 - 14:57:39

For the past 7 years, always a very unpleasant experience.

Christy Sweet | 27 August 2017 - 12:37:23

To a prior comment-I'm sure the moniker 'Mr Happy' is facetious in the extreme.  Last time I was in front of Mr Happy, I felt sure my skirt had fallen off and my feet were now adhered to my forehead or some other dire demonstration of 'farang' rudeness.
 Speaking of which I am always careful to dress nicely and have for years worn the same sleeveless white button down shirt. L...

ERICLEK64 | 27 August 2017 - 10:35:25

The reporter must have been to another office then me 2 weeks ago. I greeted the officer, no reply, I say thank you when getting my passport back, again no reply, no smile even not looking at me.Thats the way we are served in many goverment offices, no respect for foreigners that you are a tax payer or not and finally pay a part of there salary.

swissman53 | 27 August 2017 - 09:03:21

I did my 90 days online on monday 21. August and got my approval
3 days later....

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