It was great news for the British citizens living in Pattaya when H.E. Asif Ahmad, the British ambassador to Thailand visited our town on February 20 to announce the reopening of the consulate here and to introduce the new team that will provide consular assistance and services in Pattaya and the surrounds.
Leela Bennett, the vice consul in Pattaya stated that the consulate acts as a coordinating center between British nationals and the police, the embassy, the immigration, the hospitals, and their families back home.
A handful of British ex-pats domiciled in Pattaya meet with H.E. Asif Ahmad, the British ambassador to Thailand and British Consul Michael Hancock.
The assistance includes giving advice on passports, travel in Thailand, security, local laws, health and safety, and other issues that may arise, while more detailed paper procedures are referred back to the Bangkok office.
This is done in close co-operation with the British Embassy in Bangkok.
Please note that the consulate does not provide visa services but is happy to give advice and guide the applicants to proper channels.
H.E. Asif expressed his full support for the staff at the Pattaya office and is open for any suggestions and pleas from the British nationals to report back to the concerned departments, be it Thai or British authorities in order to improve and promote quality of life, business, human and universal rights.
Later in the day, the British Embassy invited some of the more noteworthy British ex-pats domiciled in Pattaya to a meeting with the British Ambassador and British Consul Michael Hancock.
At the outset, HE Asif proclaimed that he wanted to talk “with” the dozen or so ex-pats, and not “at” them. As an opener, it became apparent that there was more than one destitute UK passport holder living rough on the streets of Pattaya.
Discussion ensued as to what could be done for these people and HE promised that if an ‘association’ of some type could be brought together to assist distressed Brits, then the embassy would assist where they could.
The ongoing inequality in British pensions was brought up (as usual) with mention being made that British pensions in Thailand are frozen, whilst British pensions in the Philippines are not. HE Asif said that he would pass this upwards, but reminded the ex-pats that whilst he could hand it on, the ambassador was not in the position where he could change government policy.
A groundswell of discontent was brought up, comparing the poor British pensions with the very generous allowances to illegal immigrants, for example. HE Asif promised he would pass this upwards as well.
After that HE Asif mentioned that he would be talking to the Pattaya police, the Pattaya immigration police and the Pattaya mayor’s office where he would mention the traffic lights, beach erosion and jet-ski’s. Everyone wished him well.
Details of embassy and consular assistance are available at http://ukinthailand.fco.gov.uk/
British Consulate in Pattaya is located at: Unit 3, 489/3 Moo 12, Jomtien Beach Road Soi 5 (next to Pattaya Immigration Office), Nong Prue, Banglamung, Chonburi 20150.
Contact during office hours: +66 (0) 38 267 113 (Phone / Fax) email: [email protected] – out of office hours, the public should call the embassy at 02 305 8333 and follow the instructions.
Consular Opening Hours are Monday – Friday, 9 -11:30 a.m.