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Thai Visa Runs and Embassy Holiday Closings

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we're going to briefly discuss Embassy Holiday Closing schedules. I know this seems a little bit boring and it's something most people don't bear in mind but it is kind of an important thing especially when one is doing regular visa runs or dealing with an embassy or consulate for a family immigration's set of circumstances or whatever.

Bearing in mind holidays with respect to an embassy is very important, or consulate for that matter, because you're essentially looking at two sets of holiday. So for example, the United States embassy here in Bangkok, Thailand is going to be taking off holidays for not only federally-recognized holidays in the United States but they're also going to taking the holidays for national holidays here in Thailand. So there are going to be times when the embassy is going to be closed when it's not expected.

Over the years throughout my practice in the immigration law, there have been varying times when I needed to go down the embassy for various things. There was a time when you can go to the American Services and you didn't need to have an appointment. Now these days, the fact of the matter is you do need an appointment for almost anything you'd be doing at the U.S. embassy so maybe this issue won't come up so much. 

But I found in my practice back then that I would sometimes show up at the embassy and they'd be close and I'd say "Why are you close?" "Well, it's Columbus Day or it's Veterans Day or it's Memorial Day." These are important federal holidays in the United States, that there is no doubt. However, they're simply not something in my day to day over here in Thailand I particularly think of so I found myself sort of, I'm down at the embassy empty handed and the embassy is close.

This is extremely important in the context of visa running. So if one needs to leave the Kingdom of Thailand to say pick up a business visa. One is currently in Thailand on something like a tourist visa, they're going to go ahead and get on a plane to go down to say Singapore, pick up a business visa because say they're opening a company, they got a job and they're going to get a 90-day business visa down in Singapore. Well, you're going to want to go ahead and check the national holidays down in Singapore up against the national holidays in Thailand because either one of those countries has a national holiday on the day that one is presumably going to apply for a visa, it could cause a problem because that embassy is going to be closed, or consulate for that matter.

So this is something to think about in the future with respect to visa runs. Embassy holiday closings are important. They're something not to forget and basically it's a fairly easy thing. There was a time before Google when this might not be the easiest thing in the world. But now, all one has to do is get on Google. Frankly, most embassies and consulates around the world post their holidays closing schedule for exactly this reason so it might not be a bad idea to get online, check out what the holiday closing schedules is going to be in the embassy in question and go ahead and figure out that information. And if there's no holiday, great. If there is, schedule accordingly.