Changes to British Passport Services in Thailand

Changes to British Passport Services in Thailand

british passport

Applying for a new British passport in Thailand has just got easier. Or at least for those of us who live near Bangkok. And from next month it will be 2,423 Baht cheaper. I just received three press releases from the British Embassy which explains some recent changes:

Changes to British Passport Services in Thailand: From 26 March 2014, British nationals should submit their passport application, in person by appointment only, to the UK Visa Application Centre in Bangkok. The application will then be sent on to Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the UK for processing. All the information needed to complete the passport application process, including the address and contact details for the UK Visa Application Centre, is available on the GOV.UK website. Those who cannot find the information on the website can call the Passport Advice line on +44 300 222 0000 (operates from 8am-8pm UK time) or e-mail

The Visa Application Centre in Bangkok is moving at the end of this month. The press release for that is here. But it is still advisable to click on the link above to check latest details.

From March 31, the UK visa application centre in Bangkok will relocate to bigger and better premises at:

Trendy Office Building,
28th Floor,
Sukhumvit Road Soi 13,
Klongtoey Nua, Wattana,
Bangkok, 10110,

The final press release is the good news that the cost of renewing your British passport will go down in April.

Reduction in passport fees for UK citizens overseas: From 7 April the passport fee for customers applying for a UK passport overseas will be reduced by £45 for adults and £28.50 for children. The new fees are as follows: Adult 32 page passport £83.00 Child 32 page passport £53.00 Jumbo 48 page passport £91.00 (Child and Adult). This reduction comes as a result of efficiency savings made over the last 3 years by bringing back the processing and issuing of overseas passports to the UK, whilst maintaining the highest levels of security and customer service.

259 thoughts on “Changes to British Passport Services in Thailand

  1. Slightly off topic
    Does anyone know if not having a British passport in any way affects a child’s status as a British Citizen ?
    Specifically one born from mixed British/Thai parentage. ?

    1. my daughter is half thai/british she has 2 nationalities with 2 passports. leaves thailand on thai passport enters other countries on uk one and comes back in on thai one. dont know if this helps?

      1. Thx for the prompt reply
        However my question is whether having a British passport is a requirement in maintaining British citizenship ?

      2. I have two passports too and was told to get my British passport stamped last time at heathrow. I travel on my thai passport but I,m British. So do I need a stamp on my british passport or not. I have thai passort from being married to a thai guy, 40 odd years ago.
        I,m traveling first week in march 2015. Thanks

    2. I am currently going thru process for my son(20mths),and visited Uk embassy last month.You will require the form BMD 001/007 Application To Register An Overseas Birth.
      the docs you require are:
      1.childs birth cert+English translation.
      2.fathers birth cert(full version only,shows parents names.
      3fathers passport
      4mothers passport/national ID
      5marriage cert+english copy

      The fee is TB9500 hope this helps

      1. Hi have you made a typo with the fee you paid, I just did one for my daughter the fee is 53.00 gbp and 23.00 shipping handling so a total of 73.00 Gbp

        So that would be : xchange of around 53.8 THB

        3934.44 THB

    3. No. It’s the certificate of citizenship you get from the home Office that matters. Then you use that to apply for her passport.

    4. your child is a british citizen or can apply for it, if one of the parents is a british citizen by birth inside the uk. Doesn’t need passport to be citizen but will not be allowed into the uk without applying for citizenship( cannot enter with another country passport

      1. If Citizenship is bestowed by birthright
        How/why do you need to apply for it ?
        Surely the only thing you need to apply for is the passport should you wish to travel ?

    5. not having a British passport doesn’t affect nationality status, but it would make life easier later on if your child did have a British passport. Under Thai law born to a child born to a couple where one of the couple is a Thai National, the child can have dual nationality, until they are 18.

  2. can someone help me with the correct on line app? and why do we need to write an email to make an appointment, would they not just give you the application upon arrival so we can get on with our business!!! July 28 th 2014 I went in circles with them today..

    1. You need to go to the HMPO website to download the application form. It’s not an ‘online application’ (as I understand it), but the steps are quite easy to follow.

      If you go to Trendy Office building first thing in the morning, and tell them that you haven’t got an appointment, but it is urgent, they will tell you to come back before 3 pm, and fit you in then. That worked for me anyway. If you send an email, its about a 3 week waiting list.

      They only deal with about 12 applications each day, which takes about 2 hours.

      1. Does anybody know if this is still possible. As I understand the system requires you to show your letter before the securitylets u into the centre.

        1. Stephen,

          It would be quite easy to walkl arround security, on ground floor., but you might have a problem upstairs. I would not try this unless you live locally. Why not mail direct to UK(SMS) like someone above did.

  3. After an 8 week wait have email from Liverpool to say I had not shown evidence of my address. At that time it was generally thought this was no longer needed.
    Immigration will not give me a confirmation of address. My bank is unsure and thinks it will take several days. The local tessaban have just told me they can do a yellow book for me if I can visit an office in Bangkok and have my passport translated into Thai…..and show evidence of my marriage with a postcard sized photo of us together!
    Wouldn’t it be good if an official organisation such as the Consulate, through Trendy, could send our appointment by mail instead of by email and we could use this as evidence of our address?
    Still don’t know why they want us to have an address anyway. I guess a lot of travellers and business people do not have one. Are they really not allowed to get a new passport without a trip to the UK?

    1. Did my application yesterday. for proof of address use the Thai driving licence and get it translated. this was easy enough but make sure the address on your Thai driving licence is correct as then do tend to make mistakes.

      I found the staff and whole experience to be easy enough and although i was an hour early for my appointment they let me in and got it all done quickly enough. now the waiting begins

    1. as long as you have a passport with a visa stamp and can show you have applied for a replacement then you are fine. i have found that since i got a Thai driving licience they prefer that to a passport as a form of id. Oh and getting a Thai driving licence was real easy. I showed my british licence took a colour blindness test paid the fee and walked out with the licence

      1. Where did you go for the driving license. I heard that you needed an International License in order to get a Thai one. It would be good news if this was not so. Could you let me know? Thanks

  4. Hi After ten weeks my passport is ready to collect at trendy bangkok
    i have read that a letter is required for imigration to transfer your
    extension of stay to your new passport. Can i get this at trendy when i collect my passport or is it an embasy trip. Thanks . pete

    1. I will be getting a new extention of stay for retirement as my passport and extention run out september. when i go to get these after collecting the new passport. do i need a letter that this passport is genuine or not as i have read somewhere and can i get said letter at trendy office. I have even seen a download of said letter but i can no longer find it. I want to go to jomtien imigration pattaya with all revalent paperwork. Peteinpatts

      1. Peter,

        When you go to Trendy, they cut off the appropriate corners of your old passport effectively cancelling it and I had no problems with this at Phitsanulok Immigration.

        1. Just returned from a trip to the UK where I got my Passport and drivers license in six (6) days, with no special requests checked with the post office and off in regular mail about 90 pounds for the large passport

      2. Peter,

        I have just extended my visa and had the information transfered from old to new passport at Phitsanulok Immigration. I never was asked for a letter confirming if my new passport was genuine. Aside from the usual documents for extending your retirement visa, you need copies of photo page and any page showing visas of old passport ( best copy the whole thing )

  5. Can anyone tell me the cost of renewing a child’s UK passport at the Trendy building and whether or not they accept cash or only Credit/Debit cards?

    Thx in advance.

    1. cant tell you the cost of the childs passport, but its on the governmnt web site. they do not take cash only a form to pay by credit or debit card. it is not processed in Thailand, but when it gets to the UK. hope that helps

  6. Hi,
    We processed the paperwork for our daughter’s British Passport renewal through Trendy house on June 9 (appointment made by e-Mail). I spent a lot of time making sure the application was correct in every way and we included a translated copy of her Thai ID Card as proof of address.
    Trendy gave her a call last week to tell her the passport was ready for collection. It’s been exactly 10 weeks in the process.
    So, she’s OK now for the next ten years. My passport is due for renewal in 2019. I hope that by the time we have to go through the process again, common sense has prevailed in the Halls of Westminster and Whitehall and we shall have gone back to the tried and tested system that worked perfectly well before and resulted in a passport renewal completed in a couple of days rather than 10 weeks.
    Good luck to all you out there still waiting :)!

    1. Yay I got my passport renewal this week. Only had to wait 14 weeks, and that was after 2 emails to the Chief Passport Officer and the Home Secretary!

      1. Hi Paul, what is the email address for the Chief Passport Officer?
        So far I have sent three email to the main website address and have not had a reply – but then I’ve only been waiting 8 weeks.

        1. I got my new passport in 8.5 weeks, everything fine now. I went straight to the embassy to get the visa transfer letter for immigration and will go to Chaeng Wattanna to get the visa transferred.

  7. Hi,
    Is it possible to do a boarder run to Cambodia while passport is being renewed?
    I know HMPO electronically cancel the passport once the application is received. Do they electronically check your passport at the Cambodian boarder or do they just visually check the date?
    Thanks in advance

    1. From what I understood, and this may have changed since I renewed last year, was that the passport was still good to use while they processed my application. When my new passport was sent to me I then physically cancelled it myself by cutting the corners off the old passport. That was the advice from their website.

      1. The advice I received from the embassy was that once your credit card payment is processed, your passport is cancelled with immediate effect. If you want to travel in the meantime, you must apply for an ETD (emergency passport) from the embassy. You can do this for the purpose of a visa run, but yoou will have to go to immigration to get your visa transferred to the emergency passport.

      2. When i applied for my new passport i was drummed into me that the old passport was no longer usable for travel and only usable for ID requirements of Thailand.
        Having said that most places that require my ID much prefer my Thai drivers licence. easier for me too

  8. Wife submitted son’s application on August 14. Appointment at Trendy Building was at 15.30 but she appeared early (12.30) and found the staff helpful accommodating and was done by 13.00!

  9. My passport is running out of pages. I have 2 questions- 1. Is the passport office in “Trendy” (ugh) open on weekends (let me guess, no)?. 2. I don’t live in Bangkok. I would have to fly there. If I give my passport up for this process, how can I get on the plane to go back home again / come to collect it without showing my passport? I have a work permit- is this okay to board an internal flight? Can anyone help? Thanks.

    1. I doubt it is open but maybe others can confirm for you. I’m not sure what the latest info is, but when I renewed my passport last year (by sending the application to Hong Kong) we were given special permission to keep our old passport due to local laws in Thailand. The info was on the website. For domestic flights I use my Thai drivers license. I have never done it, but I presume your work permit would do as it has your photo and is an official document. I know they ask for photo id. I did actually once see a couple with a photocopy of their passports when they boarded the plane.

    2. For most purposes I find that my Thai Drivers License is enough ID. It is an official government document with a photo attached. I would phone the airline in advance to see if that would be acceptable for them.

    3. John,

      You do not give your passport up at Trendy, they just look at it to confirm you. For renewal you submit color copies of every page of current passport. You retain your passport and can use for ID on domestic flights. I am surprised at the comments on this subject as all the answers are on the web sites shown by Richard Barrow. When you pick up new passport Trendy cut off the corners of your old passport and I used my new one to fly back, just show photo page.

    4. you do not give your passport up for the application, but you must supply full colour photocopies of every page, yes including any blank ones for them to make the application. from what i understand they cancel the old one when you are given the new one

  10. can someone tell me if i apply tomorrow (tuesday) but i know my card wont let the payment go through until wednesday is this ok do they charge the card straight away or does ot get done in uk

    1. Cherrylee,

      The money is not taken out of your account at Trendy, it is debitted in UK. In my case I submitted my forms etc at Trendy on 28th May 2014 and money was taken out in Liverpool UK 3rd June. I received my new passport 31st July.

  11. I live in Chiang Mai so the fact the passport renewal fee has gone done pales into insignificance when the cost of 2 return journeys to Bangkok (one to lodge the renewal application and one to collect the new passport)is taken into consideration.

    I don’t think British expats should simply roll over and accept a lesser service than we had when I settled in Thailand over 20 years ago. In “the good old days”, applications for passport renewals were routed through the British Consulate in Chiang Mai and replacements were issued from the Bangkok Embassy within two weeks. Under the current procedure, it will cost me a minimum of 15,000 Baht (airfares + taxi fares + overnight accommodation, + the passport fee to travel to and from the Trendy Place. And a minimum 6 week period where I am grounded and cannot travel internationally.

    Personally, I don’t much care about the cost (£300 travel and accommodation + £100 admin fee) as this works out at £40 per year for a ten year passport. But I am concerned about the stress and anxiety levels retired expats living anywhere other than Bangkok will suffer. For many retirees living on a frozen, non-inflation indexed pension, the cost of renewing their passport works out to be 10% (+or-) of their UK old age pension.

    I wonder what would happen if 500 fully fledged UK OAP pensioners booked on the same flight from Bangkok to Heathrow, and, upon arrival, applied for their frozen pensions to be upgraded to current levels, required immediate hospital treatment, and demanded to be housed by the last local authority to which they paid council tax to, before leaving the UK?

    Are there any Brits out there who are prepared to join me in flying back to the UK to arrive at LHR on the same flight, 3 weeks before next year’s general election, and demand the housing benefits, medical treatment and welfare benefits to which we are entitled, not by birthright, but by virtue of the fact we can show we have paid into the system though income taxes and national insurance contributions for the last 30 years?

    To maximise the publicity of the plight of expats on fixed pensions in Thailand, but not those who chose the Philippines as their retirement home, it would ensure global media coverage if one of the party were to collapse and die of a heart attack, while the rest of us straddled one of the main runways, joined hands and sang, “We shall overcome one day”

    But let me get back to the discussion on passports and put a Let me put a different slant on my comments thus far.

    I am now required to travel down to Bangkok (twice) and lodge my application for renewal of my passport with an external agency, not a direct employee of HM government. What guarantee do I have that the indirect employee will not clone my passport application details, hold back or shred my application and send in the cloned application first? Yes, this could happen with a security cleared British dimplomat – but they have a hell of a lot more to lose (e.g. inflation proof pension) if they got found out, than someone working for an agency on Thailand’s minimum wage.

    I have pointed all the above points this out to Mark Kent, Thailand’s current British Ambassador,( and have yet to receive a satisfactory explanation. So I urge every Brit who reads this post to email the British Ambassador to complain about the revised procedure. No-one living in the UK is required to travel 3,200 kilometers at their own expense to obtain a new passport, nor are they required to contribute anything to their health care costs even if they have lived on welfare benefits all their lives and paid no tax or national insurance contributions. Even though I have lived overseas since 1989, I continue to pay UK tax but the service I receive in return from the British Embassy in Bangkok and the Consular service in Chiang Mai seems to decrease each year.

    How long will it be before the Consulate in Chiang Mai is disbanded and the British Embassy is moved from its prestige address in Wireless Road to some sleazy bar near the Trendy Place in Soi Cowboy?

    1. David,

      I agree with you 100% on the change in passports. In the likes of Canada and Australia they can themselves courier their renewals to UK and the UK returns direct to them. I do not like the concept of Trendy, just look at the form you submit through them for Visa, anybody could use this information.

      I wrote to the British Ambassador and Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP ( Chairman of committee looking into passport backlog) particularly on the jeopardy we could be in ( I prefer not to discuss this here).

      Your comments on frozen pension or static as the HMRC say are interesting. You need to look at International Consortium of British Pensioners on Facebook, you must be aware of what is going on and the work ICBP are doing. There are people in Canada who I know would respond to your idea of flying back prior to next years election.

    2. And do not forget that that clown Osbounre is thinking of doing away with the P.A for non residents of the UK. So there is more woe to come soldier on until the grim reaper comes

      1. Phil,

        I believe this doing away with PA does not apply to pensions., but Expats who have other sources of income in UK eg. renting out properties. There is a petition on this subject on the International Consortium of British Pensioners Facebook Page.

          1. Baht,

            The answer would be yes, if I lost my PA, I would have to return to UK., there is no doubt about it. As evil as the Tories are I cannot see them completely abolishing PA but only allowed on state pension. In other words 20% tax on private pensions.

  12. I just renewed my passport. It was really easy. I downloaded the forms from the website and posted it to the uk with the required documents. Waited about 8 weeks and I received a call telling to me to collect the new passport from the new visa application place. I went there and picked it up, no hassle.

    To transfer my visas I needed to get a letter from the British embassy because the issuing code is different (my last passport was issued in bkk but the new on is from uk. All I did was go to he embassy and the wrote the letter in front of me and have it to me. Took about 5 minutes and no fee.

    So I didn’t have any interviews or pay extra fees (except the cost of the passport and postage)

    Hope this posting is helpful

    1. Am I reading you right, you mailed all the relevant documents to the UK and did not initially go through Trendy except to pick up new pasport. I have wondered what would happen if you did this.

      1. you emailed directly to the uk? im so annoyed why cant they tell everyone to do this i paid 3000 baht for flights to make the application and have to pay another 3000 to pick up.

        1. Cherrylea,

          It was not me it was Baht, I only found out from Baht’s post. I am 10 years away from renewing but can someone else try. It would only be fair if they excepted direct mail (Eliminating Trendy) as the likes of USA, Australia and Canada can mail direct and UK couriers back to their stated adress.

      2. Can you confirm that you actually did this passport renewal by post to the UK ? I live 12 hours away from Bangkok so this would be great. To which office did you post this to. Ta very much.

          1. trendy dont send passports just recieve and obviously they have a special deal with the uk passport office in uk to able to send to embassys overseas. but try posting a passport by dhl yourself they wont accept it

      1. I have, I did not know about the “Trendy ” Place. In fact I wanted to renew my 2nd British Passport. I applied direct to Liverpool, I just had to send a covering letter asking them to continue to allow me to have two current British Passports and why I needed 2. It took a while but when it was ready they emailed me. Then I had to send my passport -By DHL, no problem with that by the way I do it all the time for visas and stuff. Once it arrived in Liverpool they cut the corners off and sent me both new and old passports back to me by courier – Fed Ex I think it was. I got a 48 page passport and it cost GBP 172 all in.

    1. i know!! i was replying to a comment someone asked if they had sent their passport with the application (meaning send by theirselves) so i replied saying dhl dont allow it

  13. hello, can you please give us the email address trendy building and phone number if possible to arrange a appointment … cheers

  14. VERY frustrating for those of us living up north! We now have to pay to travel down and stay in Bkk to renew our passports so costs for us are UP! My sons need to renew their passports… how long does it now take on average? We have a very small window. Also is it easy to get an appointment at the ‘trendy offcies’. One more question… can you have your passport posted back to your home address?

    1. 7 weeks ago i applied for my new passport as i have lost my old one, i had to wait 3 weeks as that was the earliest appointment. i also decided to renew my daughters at the same time, i paid for the flight there and back and the passports, 3 days ago i was informed my daughters passport arrived as of yet mine hasn’t although, i only have 3 weeks to pick hers up even if mine still hasn’t arrived otherwise it gets sent back so if mine doesn’t come before then i will have to spend another 7000 baht on 2 return flights all in all the new system is ridiculous!it would be better if they sent it to home address but unfortunately they dont you have to pick up in person

      1. cherrylee
        I applied yesterday for my passport and told them that when they tell me its ready it might ba a week before i can get there. i was told this.
        We keep it for a month and if required you can send someone else to collect as long as they have your receipt from when you applied

    2. Mine took 8 weeks some people seem to be 10, although this will improve I am sure. No you cannot have the passport mailed back direct to you unless you live anywhere in the world except Thailand.
      I have done mine and strongly object to the procedure as in most Other countries you can mail direct to UK (I believe one Brit has done this from Thailand) and receive back to your home. I have written 2 letters now to Keith Vaz MP, passport complaints and requested a Freedom of Information of a number of points. The new procedure is discriminatory, open to fraud,inconvenient and costly, and possible fine from immigration (someone should work that out before immigration does). I suspect the highest proportion of Brits live in or near Bangkok, so little action seems to be taken

  15. Bangkok phoned to say my passport has arrived, since i live in Phuket and need to book flight, so how long will Bangkok office keep my passport till i can get there to pick it up

  16. Dancehall

    Can you confirm what date you sent off your application forms direct to UK? From the date on your post, it could be you sent the forms just before New rules came in. All seem to think they now stipulate you must apply in person at Embassy
    (I also heard you can go to certain sub-branches out of Bangkok?)

  17. Daveybkk. Sorry this name mistyped! Was for you

    Can you confirm what date you sent off your application forms direct to UK? From the date on your post, it could be you sent the forms just before New rules came in. All seem to think they now stipulate you must apply in person at Embassy
    (I also heard you can go to certain sub-branches out of Bangkok?)

  18. I am currently trying to make an appointment to renew my passport. As requested I emailed the Centre 3 weeks ago and sent polite chasers a week later and again last Thursday. So far I have had no reply. In the meantime a friend who also needed to renew, emailed them, got a reply within the hour and an appointment two days later! His theory is that all emails are processed by a computer which can only read and respond to specific dates and times (I had merely put three dates and merely stated am/pm). Anyone have any views? Meanwhile I am still waiting…

    1. If it was me I would just mail EMS all the relevant documents direct to the Liverpool office in the UK, screw Global. I believe from what I am involved in mailing direct will come. If you are not happy with this try a different email address. Yours may be treated like junk or blocked

  19. May I ask those with dual nationalities (British-Thai) to help me by confirming whether I need to send a copy of my Thai passport as one of the documents for the renewal of my British passport too?

    Appreciate your help. Thank you.


      This does not answer Marks question but the whole procedure is wrong. I have posted links to my Freedom of Information Requests and there you will see the discriminatory procedure using Global and what are lies in the passport office replies. Contained in my request awaiting internal review is a letter of complaint on this procedure. We can change this and enjoy the same privileges as for example in the Commonwealth, mail documentation direct to uk and receive renewed passport courier to your home. No agent

      All I ask at the moment is for Brits to read the links. Unfortunately those who could help change this are not based outside Bangkok and do not suffer the extra costs and considerable inconvience

  20. simple i dont have a credit card i dont want a credit card can you pay cash at trendy to renew a uk passport

  21. I am a Thai citizen ive got a Thai passport and citizen card can I change my passport to U.K. Passport How?

  22. I am currently having this problem. No idea why. They will not stamp my new passport until I have a letter from the British Embassy in Bangkok. It looks real, and I have a letter from the home office to prove it in the UK.I have been asked by Thai Immigration to get a verification letter to prove that my passport is legitimate.
    I am not sure why this is the case. When I went to Thai Immigration before to extend my visa for 30 days, they asked me for a letter from the British Embassy or just to go out at Cambodia and they would stamp my new passport. When I tried to do that they refused to do it. They told me again I need a letter from the British Embassy. I went to Immigration yesterday with the envelope I received with the passport along with a verification letter from the home office in the UK and they still refused.
    I received my new passport in December or January at Trendy office Building and still have the envelope it came in. I am currently on a tourist visa which expires next week.
    Why does Immigration make so many unnecessary problems? I would love to know.

  23. Hi I sent an email to book an appointment to go and renew my visa this was about 2 weeks ago. does anybody know how long it takes for them to reply back to an email. I got the automated response one but that was it. has anyone got a contact number for them. many thanks

    1. It’s all starting to sound like a nightmare! Thanks, UK Government, for not allowing me (the bearer of a passport) to pass “freely” and without “Let or hindrance”

  24. My passport is now today being renewed in UK. How long will it take before I receive in hand in Thailand. Also I was informed by Passport Office in Liverpool that the new passport will be sent to Bangkok Local Services office first. How long will it remain there? Also my 3 months visa is in my old passport, can I just show this to Thai immigration when departing?

  25. So much information but no where can I find the link to make an application to submit the paperwork to re-new my passport.

    Can anyone help ?

  26. I received my passport quickly but find it very odd and inconvenient to have to collect it in person rather than having it delivered to my home. I would like to ring the office located on the 28th floor to speak to a human being in person to make inquiries about the collection procedure and my dilemma of being able to come in the short time span before the passport is sent back to the UK. I find peculiar that I am unable to locate a number having tried desperately to no avail. The Gov website is packed with information but avoids the necessary essential old fashioned touch of such simplicity that we no longer seem to have the luxury of in this day and age. When did we lose the Great from Britain?

    1. Hi John,
      Your post was interesting & alarming for me as I have just started recovery from an accident and my passport is back in HMPO Thailand.
      How long do they keep it before sending it back?
      Did anyone come up with numbers?

  27. I have to renew one child’s passport (half Thai, half me) and also get a new passport for my new 7 month old daughter (same mix, same Mum).
    Am I right in thinking that the new application gets sent to Hong Kong and the renewal has to go to the UK? If so…..crazy.
    Anyone know of a reliable service that takes care of all this stuff for you? I am on a limited stay with my family due to pressing business back in Africa and I’d rather not spend too much time kow-towing to the gin-soaked idiots in the UK Government!



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