UK Screws Expats (Again)

I find it pretty outrageous that the cost of a new passport in Thailand is almost double the equivalent of the same passport in the UK.

32 page adult passport (UK) – £77.50
32 page adult passport (TH) – 6,656 Baht (£142.31 at current exchange rates)

It’s not as if I receive any special services from the British Embassy in Bangkok. Neither do they invite me to cocktail parties, nor provide informed information about the current political situation. (These are things that the Australian and US embassies have both done for me over the years.) They do nothing.

And now, to add insult to injury, passport renewals are now handled by Hong Kong, and the applicant is expected to fork out the fee for couriering the passports from Thailand to Hong Kong – a further 962 Baht, or £20.60.

So, in short, you can get a passport in the UK for £77.50, but if you choose to live in Thailand you have to pay £162.91.

And to make things worse, the process can take up to 4 weeks (providing that all the paperwork is in order and that your passport photograph meets their ludicrously exacting standards). Yet in Thailand it’s a legal requirement that you carry your passport at all times. There’s a stiff fine (or bribe) involved if you’re not carrying that precious booklet.

Such is the curse of being born British.

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