I had myself a bit of a scare recently. No, I didn’t lose my passport. Midway through August, I realized I was down to a final page/page and a half. I had planned to meet my brother and parents in Vietnam, then travel with them to Cambodia. Of course, each of these countries requires a full page for their respective visas, so I wasn’t sure if I would be allowed to leave the country.
Thankfully I was able to get in and out of Vietnam without any trouble. Much like passports have the 6 month expiration validity rule to enter a country, I was concerned there might be a certain number of remaining needed to enter Vietnam.
Before my trip back to Surat, I stopped off at the US Embassy. Things went much more smoothly than expected. I felt tense in the Embassy, because–well who doesn’t feel a bit tense in these situations? I made an appointment a few weeks back online and found a hotel right off the BTS, which was walkable to the Embassy. A little more than I wanted to spend, but I didn’t want to mess around with cabs and traffic.
The paperwork wasn’t too bad–a quick application form to fill in and print out, a prepaid envelope to they can send me the new document, and a passport photo (I bought what seems like my 1,000 photo there). In total, I was probably at the Embassy an hour. Not bad at all.
Some quick tips if anybody finds themselves needing a new passport: First, remember your passport pic and proper application! Will save valuable time. Proceed directly to the US citizen check in area first, as they will explain the necessary steps and where to go. Don’t bring many valuables, as I had to check my phone in at the front desk–travel lightly and allow plenty of extra time, as it gets boggled up quite quickly.
I should receive my new passport in about 3 weeks. Luckily, the Embassy officials will email me when it arrives back in Thailand. The other option is to pick it up in person, but unrealistic getting up there during normal school hours!