A passport is a document issued by the authorized government agency that serves as proof of identification and permit to travel to and from that country.
In Thailand, the Passport Division, Department of Consular Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs processes and issues Thai passports. These passports may either be dark red, blue, green and red. The passport is colored according what type it belongs. For example, the passports with green covers are temporary passports.
Electronic and Non-electronic Passport
Through the years, the Thai government continually searched for innovations to make Thai passports equal and even surpass the international standard. The first passports issued are non-electronic versions but to be able to comply with the specifications of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) the Ministry started issuing electronic passports (e-passport for brevity).
Unlike the non-electronic passports, the e-passports contain biometric data like finger prints and facial features in integrated circuit. The information in the e-passport can be conveniently read by the automatic gates at immigration checkpoints. Currently, the Ministry only issues e-passports. The non-electronic are still considered valid though only until their expiry dates.
How to apply for an e-passport?
The applicant needs to come personally to the passport offices designated in the area for the collection of biometric data. The Passport Division processes passport applications through the Department of Consular Affairs, Chaengwattana Rd and at the 3 temporary passport offices in Bangkok (Bangna, Pinklao and Thailand’s Overseas Employment Service Center). The service is available outside Bangkok through the temporary passport offices designated in Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai, Songkla, Ubon Ratchathani, Surat Thani, Nakhon Ratchasima or Yala.
The usual processing time is 2 days excluding the application day.
Here are the steps to follow:
- In the office, the applicant needs to present a valid Thai Identification Card to the receptionist and if the Identification Card he possess does not have a 13-digit Personal Number, he has to bring a House Registration with other official documents.
- He will need to take a queue number and fill up the necessary information.
- Afterwards, the biometric data will be collected by the office authorized personnel. He has to sign to certify the collected information and then apply for a postage service.
- Lastly, he has to pay the application fee and postage service fee and will be given the corresponding receipt and notification of the e-passport pick up date or notification of postage service.
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