The New Immigration Office in Chaeng Wattana.

| June 1, 2010 | 15 Comments | 55,990 views

Every foreigner who spends any significant amount of time in Thailand eventually gets trapped in some type of immigration time waster. Its’ fashionable for ExPats to go on rants about how inefficient and mindless Thai Immigration regulations and procedures are but, frankly, the U.S. is waaaay worse. Just a short time ago, it routinely took the INS 3-5 years to process a simple citizenship application and, in Los Angeles, you had to sleep on the street overnight just to get an appointment to talk to someone.

Thailand recently moved the immigration office from Sathorn to a new complex in Chaeng Wattana. It’s a huge beautiful facility—worthy of a ruling class which has raped and pillaged tons of money from its’ people for generations and faces no public accountability or consequences for its actions and spending. Driving up to the building one has to wonder how many billions went into the pockets of corrupt contractors, relatives of politicians, and other members of the exalted elites or what some poor Red Shirt farmer thinks when he visits the building and then gets nicked by some corrupt policeman on the way home even when has done nothing wrong and violated no law.

Here is a picture of the building. This building houses a crew of offices and Immigration is on the first floor.

These are pics of the inner courtyard. This area is roofed over, air conditioned, and as big as a soccer field.

Anytime you see a building with a big open space like this, it means that cost was no object and the place wasn’t built by a for profit enterprise.


Because the constructors incurred the costs to create the space and it serves no useful purpose. In this building, it means the owners could have had twice as much usable office space without much additional cost by flooring over this open space and converting it to usable offices. Of course, that means that all the bureaucrats would loss their beautiful view of the inner courtyard. No commercial structure would be built this way.

Therefore, the place must be a government building, museum, etc.

Immigration is on the right just after  you walk in.

Here is the entrance to their offices.

It’s set up just like the Sathorn office was only in nicer digs.

First step is to go to the information desk and find out where you need to go.

Here is the inner office where everything is actually processed.

You get a number sit down and wait to be called.

Just like the Sathorn office, there are always some weird farang bopping around. Check out the bald dude in the orange pants. I didn’t know orange and turquoise blue were complementary colors.


I’m guessing he’s from Pattaya, has some visa issue that can only be straightened out in Bangkok, and made a trip up to take care of it.

The bad news is that the office is as congested as ever probably because the computer system, forms, processes, and number of workers is the same in Chang Wattana as it was in Sathorn.

The workers take a break from noon to 1PM so if your waiting in line and don’t get processed before noon, add an extra hour onto your visit.

Also, the office stays open as long as it takes to process everyone who has a number at closing time so you can be there until 7 or 8PM if the line is long that day.

Executive Summary: Nicer digs, everything else the same.


Comments (15)

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  1. “Also, the office stays open as long as it takes to process everyone who has a number at closing time so you can be there until 7 or 8PM if the line is long that day.”

    Sounds a bit like disadvantage in your sentence, but I think this is totally an advantage. Otherwise it could happen that you have to sleep overnights just like in your US example. In Germany no governmental office would work longer than needed (usually 5PM). So I consider the Thai immigration office a real service paradise 😉
    btw, the new building looks like an airport to me.

  2. Prufrock says:

    (The new Chang Wattana building) is  a huge beautiful facility—worthy of a ruling class which has raped and pillaged tons of money from its’ people for generations and faces no public accountability or consequences for its actions and spending.

    Just to underscore the  point that a sen yai is always a sen yai, I b’leive the new immigration building’s  land assembly and construction was a Taksin Shinawatra initiative.  😉

  3. aaaaaahhh nii totta :D.. happee sais ku ei ois tääl 😀

  4. BBK says:


    Where Taskin messed up is instead of the traditional raping and pillaging of the lower classes he started raping and pillaging from members of his own class.


  5. Davetherave says:

    Staying open till 7 or 8pm. Well thats just wonderful. Two years ago i was turned away from the Cardiff  Thai consul because i fronted for my visa 20 mins before they closed. I had to book into a hotel for the night ( three hours drive to home).
    Came back next day, it took the lady only 5 mins to process me .
    How’s that compared with Bangkok Immigration.

  6. aye says:

    Nice pictures.  would be nice to have the physical address, area map,  directions and info on public transportation to this nice new dig for those going to this nice new dig for the first time.  Nice pictures though.

  7. rami magdi says:

    hi i would like to ask who is the architect -architectural office that made the design for this building, i am an architectural student in u.a.e and this project is very similar to my project , its for my graduation thesis , it’ll be assigned as a case study for my building so please if any one has a replay please tell me .thank you very much.

  8. Ulrich Bernhardt says:

    I have visa , non immigrant o visa multi entry, i come from denmark and i wanna ask you. I can stay 3 month in thailand and then go to office immigration and then have stamp on my wisa and then stay 3 month more. I have mary with thai lady in thailand, i wanna make stamp on my visa, is it free or not free  (whats the price)  for me make stamp on my visa, so i can stay 3 month more in thailand.

    And if i stay in Chaiyaphum is there office immigration there where i can make stamp on my wisa?

    Hope you can  help me with my answer abouth wisa.

  9. You fucking Goat says:

    Nuff Said
    (if you no troll me go help, but you troll)
    with respect
    The Goatfather

  10. Prufrock says:


    Some sweet bedtime thoughts for y’all.
    Look into the abyss of the US government’s 9/11 conspiracy to contract an entire generationand their children and their children’s children into the perpetual slavery or corporate energy wars,look into the bankster’s thimble-rig theft of all your money and all your constitutional freedoms.
    It doesn’t have to be that way.
    “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
    Stand up and say something to somebody about  this. The stork did not bring you . . . . . . your parents definitely fucked and they definitely enjoyed it.
    It was weird tough when you found that out, wasn’t it?But you’re grown up now, right ? . . . .   You can take it. (I mean, after all  . . . . . you did get through that painful Santa Claus thing, didn’t you ;-?)

    Well here’s another one and it’s no less shocking:. . . . . . . 9/11 was an inside job and your “bought and paid-for” governments are all playing along.
    Grow up 


  11. Prufrock says:

    We have to get to the bottom of this one before we can clean up anything else.
    Are you getting this yet?

  12. SBDOTKU says:

    Nobody’s listening to you Prufrock.

    You’re irrelevant.


  13. Vijer says:

    Other than the fact that the big open space is cooled, I would not say air conditioned, the facility is nice.  Especially when compared to most other government buildings in the country.  I for one think it is worth it.
    The US has changed there procedure, at least at the BKK embassy, now you have to go online and pay for an appointment.  The last time I had to do it was 5 years ago and it was about $12 and I was given a specific time.  Still had to wait about an hour but substantially improved over the queue system in place 10 years ago or the one at Chaeng Wattana.
    On the whole tho my experience at Chaeng Wattana was fairly pleasant.  Separate queues depending on what type of visa you are applying for.  The first step in your explanation is wrong.  The first step is telling the Thai agent what type of visa you want to apply for and they give you the necessary forms.   You then fill them out before going to get a queue number.  The process of getting a queue number filters out individuals that have incomplete visa applications as the Thai agent reviews your visa application and lets you know if you are missing information on the form.  Missing information, no queue number.
    Other than the standard office worker mentality, that being, doing the same job and processing the same forms every workday for years and still being confused about what to do, I felt the process went smoothly.

  14. Cricket says:


  15. Cricket says:

    chiiiiiiirp, chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirp, chiiiiiirp!

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