A Quick Guide to Renewing Your British Passport in Bangkok
I had to renew my British passport in Bangkok this week. As it was different from my last time, I thought I would share with you the steps that I took to do this. It was all very straightforward to do and I had my new passport back within three weeks. To renew your British passport, you need to first book an appointment by sending an email to [email protected]. In your email, include your first name and last name and three alternative dates and times from 8:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday except for public holidays. You will receive an email confirming your appointment.
In the same email, they will caution you about following advice in blogs about how to renew your passport! They suggest you check this link if applying from abroad for a new passport: https://www.gov.uk/government/
Not everyone will be the same but my checklist was as follows:
✅ Two recent passport photos. They are fussy about this and so make sure you follow their guidelines. There’s a shop on the ground floor of Trendy that does this for 200 Baht. More expensive than elsewhere but as they ask you for your nationality, you will know for sure it will be correct for a British passport. As it was a renewal, and my face hasn’t changed much, I didn’t get anyone to sign on the back of my photo.
✅ Your old passport.
✅ A color photocopy of every page in your passport. Yes, every page. Best to get this done locally as it will be more expensive at the Trendy building. Or you can get it done at work like I did for free on a color printer.
✅ Evidence of identity and address. For myself, I showed my passport as the photo identity and I gave them a color photocopy of my Non-B visa as proof of address. Yes, I know, weird. In the link above they list other ways but this was the easiest way for me. Whichever method you choose, the address has to be in English. My Thai driver’s license has my address in English on the reverse and so I could have used that.
You can download the passport application form in advance from their website (see here) or just fill one in when you get there. There is also a form for payment details. You have to decide how many pages you want in your new passport. The choice is a 32-page or 48-page passport. I don’t travel abroad much, but Thai Immigration is a bit stamp crazy and my 32-page passport filled up within eight years. For the payment, I used my Bangkok Bank credit card details rather than one issued in the UK.
The Trendy Office Building is a short walk down Sukhumwit Soi 13 on your right (see map). If going by Skytrain, you can either get off at BTS Nana (5-minute walk) or BTS Asok (7-minute walk). I prefer the latter. The VFS office is on the 8th floor. Go in, turn right and walk towards the back. If there’s a long queue for the express lift (like below), just take the lift on the right by the Dental Clinic. There’s usually no-one there but it stops at more floors.
At the VFS office, you will see many Thais here. As they are applying for visas for various countries, you can usually ignore any queues outside and inside. Go through security and turn left ignoring the main counter. There’s a small desk by a door for HM Passport Office. There will be a list of people with appointments. Sign your name and they will let you in. As a foreigner, they will know why you are there. So, don’t worry.
If you have all your documents in order, you will probably be in and out within ten minutes or so. About three weeks later, you will get an email to say that your passport is ready to collect. You don’t need to book an appointment for this but you have to go within 30 days and during office hours. This is Monday to Friday and from 9am to 3pm. If you cannot go in person, just sign a power of attorney form stating the name of the person who will be collecting the passport on your behalf. Take with you your old passport (which they will cancel by cutting the corner off) and your receipt. Make sure you check the details in your new passport before they cancel the old one. They will also give you a letter to give to Immigration. You must have this to transfer your visa stamps.
Once I had my new passport in hand, I next headed to Immigration to have my valid stamps transferred over. You don’t need to rush there as I did, but I wanted to finish everything within one day. The procedure here is very simple. You will need to photocopy and sign the photo page of both passports. Then photocopy every page in the old passport that has a stamp. These photocopies need to be signed too. You also need to fill out a form with details about your old and new passports. Then, present all of this and the letter that you got from the British embassy to the Immigration officer. I was finished within about 15 minutes. The best thing of all, it was free to transfer the stamps.
The only thing I need to do now is to register my new passport at my local bank. If you didn’t know already, when you get a new passport, you get a new passport number. So, basically, any place that you used your passport to register for something, you need to go back and tell them. Again, there isn’t a rush and in fact, I didn’t do it for a few years last time. It is only a problem when you need to do something and your passport numbers don’t match. You will then need to take your old and new passports with you.
If you have any tips of your own or something has changed since I wrote this on 8th June 2019, please post in the comments below. Thanks.
191 thoughts on “A Quick Guide to Renewing Your British Passport in Bangkok”
I will be applying for a British passport renewal for my daughter.
She currently has a child passport which expires 21st March 2023 so will need to change to an adult passport as she is now 16.
My questions are about her ID and address. I believe her current pp will be ok for ID however can you give me some options to confirm her address in English.
We live in Khon Kaen. My daughter attends KKVS a bi-lingual school here.
The shop on the ground floor that supplies the photos now charge 250 for 6photos.
Question: for proof of address, is either of these suffice: 1. Bank statement (with address in English), or 2. Thai driver’s license (with address in Thai and English on the card’s reverse)?
Also, do we need to make separate copy for each of proof of identity and address, in order to submit those to VFS?
Just about everywhere seems to be different. Got my new GB (BLUE) passport from Bangkok. Took accompanying letter to immigration in (Hua Hin) with necessary photocopies, (not a problem there they have a lady who operates this requirement in a seperate office). However when the transfer from old passport to the new passport, was complete I was charged 500Baht I notice previous posters said NO Charge
Has anyone renewed a child’s UK passport in Bangkok.
I assume it’s the same method but does the child need to be present??
To answer my own question.
1. Child does not need to be present.
2. Countersign required for children 11 years and under, preferably from another UK passport holder (non family).
3. They also need colour photocopy of your children’s Thai passport (if they have one). I don’t understand why that’s relevant.
4. Proof of address in your name is ok, (not the child).
My sons passport has expired (2 years) does the same procedure apply as for renewing an existing one?
Did my passport renewal today. Still floor 8, was first appointment of the day, staff no problem welcoming and efficient. My only problem, they did not like my colour copy of my passport. Said I either had to go outside and get another and go back in queue, or they could do it there and then. 30 Baht per page, so 17 pages 510B. Felt that was best option, so they did it immediately, and I was on my way. Thought about it later 510-B sounds a lot, but when you consider the price of a new colour ink cartridge for a printer, mine are about 1600B it is not so bad. From Hua Hin travelled up on bus from Petchkasem Road near old Bus Station 200B, bus goes to Ekkamai next to Sky Train station, stayed overnight in Ambassador Hotel soi 11 next soi 13 Trendy Building, and adjacent to Nana BTS
Hotel 1250B and on completion, checked out Hotel, Nana to Ekkamai BTS and bus back to Hua Hin. The bus takes between 3 1/2 and 4 hours depending on traffic, we did 31/2 both ways
It’s April 28th 2022 and I’ve just been through the application for a 10 yearly passport renewal using this blog entry as my primary guidance. Absolutely everything detailed in Richard’s narrative is current and really helped to clarify and de-stress the process. Thanks Richard!
Just two things that I’d add, and the first could become quite relevant if you have any travel plans:
1) Richard states that “about three weeks later you get an email saying your new passport is ready to collect”. Although I’m only at the applications stage, the admin staff politely advised that it could take up to 11 weeks (post-UK lockdown delays I think). Either case is fine, as we keep our expiring passport for ID verification purposes in the interim anyway, but I guess we have to be careful with travel plans in the 11 week, worst case, scenario. I don’t have any travel plans, but if you do, you’ll need to read up on what the UK passport office advises on travelling while the new passport is being processed. I seem to recall reading that it’s either a strict ‘don’t-do’ or isn’t advisable.
Point two is less significant, but sharing my own oversight might save you some hassle:
2) Double check that your photocopies include ALL pages of your existing passport including BLANKS. My bad; I didn’t check that when I got it copied in my hometown & the copy shop assumed I wouldn’t need copies of blank pages. DOH!, I didn’t check the copies. I had to nip back down to the ground floor where I got stung for 200 Baht for the 10 missing blank pages. You pay the “print” price (20 Baht each), not the “photocopy” price (6 Baht each) .
Thanks again Richard, for covering this process. It had changed radically since my last renewal almost 10 years ago, when you couriered it to Hong Kong! With this procedure, I get to enjoy a great lunch in Bangkok, and a visit to a blues bar tonight, which is going to be nice change of routine for me.
15 weeks still waiting
I can see nothing here with regards to Birth Certificate. In my e mail confirming my appointment is says that I need my original birth certificate plus a photo copy they will keep the photocopy and return the original to me.
I took a stamped letter from my employer as proof of address, which included copies of the business license, etc etc – this was accepted as proof.
Passport photos on the bottom floor now cost 250 THB.
Overall process was smooth and staff were helpful.
Went to VFS last week to renew my passport. It was quick, 20 mins, efficient and pleasant.
A couple of things.
1. Apply for an appointment early. The slots fill up fast. I applied in December for a February appointment.
2. I was concerned about proof of address as most of our bills come to the house in Thai. A Bangkok Bank statement and a HSBC from the UK to here were fine.
Did you have to wait long for the new passport?
Was proof of just a UK address enough?
Hi,Edward i was reading your advice on changing a British. Passport in Bangkok .I am due to change mine around June or July, my only worry is how do I get the letter from the embassy to take to immigration in order for my retirement visa stamp to be transfered to my new passport..Many thanks in advance for any help you can give…Tony Johnson.
Just a heads up, I applied for my daughter’s passport renewal without taking a proof of address, the lady said a copy of my Thai driving license would do since the recent versions have your home address printed on the back in English. 6 weeks later we got a rejection saying we had not proved address/residency. We returned and submitted a statement in my name, and a school report instead (despite this not physically having ‘Thailand’ or any address on it) and this was accepted. So, I’d suggest not using the Thai driving license as proof of address, unless I was just unlucky and the UK staff got it wrong.
You probably know by now, but you applied for your daughters passport renewal, so your driving license is not proof of her address. So I think the Thai lady got it wrong.
Is a countersignature required or not? This is quite unclear. I see no guidance reference to this …
The opening hours as at 8 November are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 08.30 -10.45 hours and 13.00-13.45 hours. except public holidays. I was unable to find these hours are listed anywhere on the VFS website. As of today there are no appointments available before 1 December.
Although my passport is not up for renewal until next August and I was intending to visit England and renew my passport while there. With the present situation on travel uncertain I am now looking at renewing my passport at Bangkok. I was wondering if after picking up my new passport do I have to get my visa stamps transferred in Bangkok or can this be done at my local immigration office?
Has anybody ever used an official letter from their employer as proof of address?
I used a letter from my bank in UK, quite acceptable
Is there an email address to book appointment in Chiang Mai or simply walk in? Only open on Monday and Wednesday a.m. I do know.
Thank you so much Richard, a great help
The details are golden.
Just renewed my UK passport. It could not have been simpler. It’s pretty much as Richard and others have already stated.
1. Colour photocopy of every page of your “old” passport.
2. Completed UK passport application form.
3. Two passport photos as detailed on the UK government passport application webpage.
4. Proof of address in Thailand. I asked my local Thai bank to give me a statement with my address in English, cost me 200 baht. This is the same statement that you use for your retirement visa application. This was accepted by HMPO.
5. A completed payment (OS_Payment__Instruction_07.13) form. I got this from the UK government passport application webpage. This is to pay for the new passport and courier. It gives your credit/debit card details. I used my Thai bank debit card, no problem
Emailed VSF of an appointment, got one within a week of asking. The office is on the 28th Floor. You take the lift from the 1st floor, there was a Trendy Building security guard near the lift to guide you. I submitted my application of the 8th March and got an email on 22 March saying my new passport was ready for collection. So, very quick.
The office is only open Monday and Wednesday 08:30 – 12:30 for submitting your application. You can ask for a time when you email them for an appointment. Collection is from 13:00 -15:00 Monday or Wednesday, no need to make an appointment.
When you have submitted your application, VSF will give you a receipt and a form detailing what you submitted i.e passport copy, proof of address etc. This will also include the DHL tracking number. Make sure you take these with you when you go to collect your new passport.
Thanks, Patrick. Good information which I hope will still be useful for me in 2029 🙂
In a follow-up, today I went to Immigration in Bangkok (Laksi) to transfer the visa stamp from my old passport to my new passport. Most of the comments I have read about this said that this was easy, in and out in 15 minutes. Well not in my case. When you receive your new passport you also get a letter/form from the British Embassy, which requests that Thai Immigration transfer the visa stamp and details the old and new passports. Additionally, you collect the Transfer Stamp Form at the counter at Immigration and then join the queue. In addition to the the Embassy letter and Transfer form you will require the following:
1. Copy of photo page of old passport
2. Copy of photo page of new passport.
3. Copy of last visa stamp
4. Copy of last arrival stamp (stamped in your passport)
5. Copy of your last visa extension (the 90 day TM47 form)
6. Copy of your TM6 (arrival/departure) card
All of these are listed on the back of the Stamp Transfer Form you get from immigration. I presented all of these, as requested.
However, when I was served the immigration officer also wanted my bank book and a bank statement for the previous 12 months. I did try to explain that I didn’t want a new visa just a transfer as my current visa was not due to expire for another 2 months. And I showed the list of documents required as listed on the Immigration Stamp Transfer Form and that there was no mention of a bank book or a bank statement. But she was insistent. The end result was I didn’t get the stamp transferred to my new passport.
Anyone else experience this, or is it something new?
Wow! Thank you again for such invaluable information.
Whenever I do my Yearly Extension I produce the same documents as the previous year. If any more documents are required, I add them to the list. I photocopy everything before I go and keep a copy so that each year the pile grows a little.
Sometimes they want them all, sometimes they hand back a document or two.
Your experience is very useful for the next person doing the same procedure – take everything that they could possibly want, even if it’s not on any official list.
Thanks again for detailing what happened. I’ll copy it and add it to my files, so I can be ready for my next stamp transfer in 2029!
I didn’t receive any of this! I had to repeatedly call hmpo just to be told that it had been printed a few days ago!
I wonder why I’ve not received any information 😭
Can we use the TM 30 for the proof of address ? and also do we need to translate in English again ? if it already written both Thai and English?
Did you ever find out if this was acceptable proof?
Bump, is a TM30 acceptable proof?
UPDATED DAYS AND TIMES FOR APPOINTMENTS
I’ve just received my appointment to renew my passport and current days/times for applications.
NB. It is also possible to walk in without an appointment now but it will cost you! See below. I’ve also included their website address which I had not seen/found before – might be useful!
“Please kindly be informed that we will only be operating on Monday and Wednesday from 08.30-12.00 hours except public holiday (Bangkok time). You may use our walk in service with an additional cost for 1,560 bath per application. You can come anytime without appointment on Monday and Wednesday 08.30-12.00 hours. Please expect a little delay in processing your application, since we will be processing application more than our workforce.”
Information on our public holidays and closures : https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/th/en/vacs/bangkok/public-holidays-and-closures
For more information please visit website: https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/th/en/hmpo
In August 2019, my emails went to:
– which is the same as Richard gave.
Thanks for your reply – thought that’s what I used but it seems I left out the vsf bit! Dammit…
🙂 You are very honest!
(I was going to suggest you check your spelling, but thought better of it… )
HELP! I sent an email to make an appointment to the address Richard gave above and have just received an email (24 hours later) to say my email was not able to be delivered to that address. Can anyone confirm the email address for me? Thanks!
Could anyone provide a list of documents listed as proof of address? I’m still waiting for an appointment but want to get everything in order – the only thing I currently have is from a UK bank but it’s 2 years old. Thanks.
Do you mean your address in Thailand or your home country?
1. If Thailand, I provided an “Address Certificate” from my local Immigration Office. It is supposed to be free, but sometimes they charge 30 baht.
The certificate has my name, age, nationality, current passport number, date of entry into Thailand, permission of stay date, type of visa, and full Thai address.
Because I read somewhere that it must be in English (which my Immigration office don’t provide), I got it translated by First Choice Translation Co Ltd. That was 400 baht I think.
That was sufficient Proof of Address for VFS.
2. If your home country, someone else will have to reply.
Yes I mean my address here in Thailand – thanks for your reply – I was hoping for an easier option especially as my local immigration office is most likely Cheang Wattana…
At Trendy, now you have to take lift number 10 and go up to floor 28 to do the business.
Very few people about at 9:30 in the morning.
They say it now takes 4 to 6 weeks to process the new passport.
The 2 photos (mug shots) have to be on photographic paper – not regular printing paper.
Just received my email from VFS. Quote:
“We will keep the passport for 60 days, after that we must return the passport back to the U K . If you made more than one applications, you can wait and collect them together at the same time. An appointment is not required for passport collection. We are opening from Monday and Wednesday (except public holiday) from 13.00-14.00 hours. If you are authorized someone for collection, please kindly provide their full name.
The Gov.uk website says you can now do this online; sounds much easier than visiting vfs. Has anyone used this method?
there are docs stapled in my passport for immigration should
i remove them?
This is for drivers who go to (to the Trendy Building) to renew their passport: If you are driving into Sukhumvit road from Asok road, turn right when you get to the large Sukhumvit junction and then do a U-turn (almost straight away) at Soi 11 and you will soon come to Soi 13 on your left. Go down Soi 13 about 100 yards and the Trendy Building is on your right. Drive past it and look for the (right-hand) turn – at the end of the building – leading up to its multi-story car park. Drive up to the 5th floor, turn left, drive straight to the end and find a parking space. Once you leave your car, walk to the glass double-doors and there is a girl the other side with a temperature gun and a hand sanitizer. Walk past her to the (down escalator) and go all the way down to the ground floor. Take the far-left elevator up to the 28th floor. (The rest of the procedure is already covered).
When you are finished, take the elevator down to the 8th floor; then take the (fire escape) stairs down to the 5th floor – and head back towards the girl with the temperature gun and then back through the glass doors.
I’d appreciate if someone can clear this up for me – my Non-Imm B visa in my current passport doesn’t have my address anywhere (I don’t know if that’s normal or not?). Does it still count as proof of residency?
How do you from and back to Bangkok? I thought airlines want your passport at check in?
Now I’ve a headache – no mobile bills or anything else in the post with my address…
Below was my experience of the process.
30 Sep – Submitted passport application. Note the only Thailand address in English I had was my monthly mobile bill, this was acceptable and a photocopy of this was also required. There is no address on the back of my Thai driving license.
2 Oct – Informed by DHL that the application arrived in Liverpool UK.
21 Oct – Email informing that the passport was ready for collection.
My wife collected the passport with an authorization letter from me.
You also get a template letter from the UK Embassy to request the transfer of the visa which you need to fill in the details yourself.
Visa Transfer was straightforward
1. Letter from UK Embassy
2. Transfer-stamp-to-new-passport-sub-division-2 form – which you can get from the Government Complex.
3. Photocopies of the photo page for both new & old passport.
4. Photocopy of latest Entry Stamp
5. Photocopy of latest TM6 card
6. Photocopy of latest Visa from old passport.
Photocopies of every page of the old passport was not required for me.
Note the new Visa will take 2 pages of your shiny new passport, and there’s another stamp in your old passport to confirm the transfer!
Did you have to ask permission from VFS to use your mobile phone bill as your proof of local address? I am also in similar situation as you.
Interesting – my mobile bills can only be delivered via SMS or email. I’m at a loss how to get something useful for this purpose!!!
Going to apply this week.
Just spotted an email saying the following:
Greetings from VFS UK HMPO in Bangkok!
Due to the ongoing situation in Bangkok, the UK Visa Application Centre in Trendy Building will operate until 2pm. from 19th October until further notice. If you have an appointment from 1pm. onwards or are collecting passport, kindly come and submit your application between 8:30am- 1pm, and collect your passport between 11am- 1pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays.
Proof of address does not list your driving licence, this is only listed as proof of identity.
Filed my application at VFS on 2 September and received email on 18th confirming the new passport was ready to collect. The email makes clear that current collection times are Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, 1-3 pm only and that no appointment is necessary. They will hold the passport for 30 days. Interestingly, and as a poster above has noted, the new (Blue!) passport has two photograph pages: you also need to sign the passport manually (which I don’t think has been the case for some years) and I was surprised that VFS did not mention this at the time of collection. On both visits to VFS the place was near empty.
Hope this helps.
It is now Mondays and Wednesdays 1-2pm only!! The window is getting smaller.
I was under the impression that your passport number stayed the same. As in my last 5 passports.. But who knows.