For many Americans, either living or traveling in Bangkok, Thailand, they suddenly find themselves needing to get a new US passport when their passport expires. I got my new US passport in Bangkok recently and, let me tell you, getting a new passport at the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand is easy. So, if you suddenly find yourself in dire need of a new US passport, don’t worry. Just follow these quick directions, and you’ll have a new US passport in just a couple of weeks.
How Much Does It Cost? – Currently, to get a new US passport in Bangkok, Thailand, you will have to pay $75 for a renewal and $100 for a new passport, if you haven’t had one before. You can pay in either US dollars or Thai baht (or with a credit card), so it doesn’t matter which currency you take with you.
How To Get to the US Embassy in Bangkok – It’s easy to get to the US Embassy in Bangkok. Just take the sky train (BTS) to the Ploenchit Station, get off, walk through the turnstiles and follow the signs to Wireless Road. Once on Wireless Road, stay on the left hand side of the road and walk for around 10 minutes. You’ll pass several embassies on both sides of the road, as this is the embassy area of Bangkok, but the US embassy is further up at 95 Wireless Road. Once you get there, go through the gates and pass through the security check, making sure you pick up the security card they give you for your visit.
What Times to Go to the US Embassy in Bangkok – While the US Embassy is open from 7:30am to 4pm, Monday through Friday, they only deal with passport applications from 7:30am to 11am and then again from 1pm to 2pm, so make sure you don’t arrive at lunch time or after 2pm as you’ll have to come back again on another day.
What to Take With You to the US Embassy in Bangkok – First of all, you must have proof of citizenship in the US with you. If you just need a passport renewal and have your old passport with you, that’s all you need. If, however, you’ve never had a US passport before, you will need other documentation to prove you’re a US citizen. These include a birth certificate, naturalization certificate, certificate of citizenship or a consular report of your birth abroad, if you were not born in the US.
You’ll also need proof of identity and, while your old passport may suffice, take another ID like a US drivers license if possible as, sometimes, they do ask for two forms of identification.
Don’t forget two photographs, which must be 2×2 inches, on a plain white background and facing forward. Photos though can be taken at any photo booth in Bangkok for around 100 baht ($3), so this shouldn’t be a problem. Also, make sure you put your name on the back of the photos. US government offices seem to have a habit of losing photos (mine have been lost three times at various US government agencies), but if your name is on the back, they seem to find them easier.
How To Apply for an American Passport in Bangkok – Once you arrive at the embassy, fill in the correct Passport Application form (ie: don’t complete the form for those who have lost their passports, as this is a completely different application process). Once you’ve completed the form take a number and, when your number is called, hand it in at one of the booths along with all your supporting documentation. At this time, they’ll give you a receipt and tell you when to come back to pick it up. It usually takes up to two weeks so, if you’re planning on traveling you need to apply for a new US passport at least two weeks before you’re planned trip.
You can get an Emergency Passport, if your trip is coming up quickly, but if it’s just a case of bad planning the embassy may not issue you one. Also note, an Emergency Passport is only valid for a year, so it’s a lot of money to spend just for a year’s use. Plan ahead and allow plenty of time to get your new passport so, if any problem does arise, you have time to deal with it.
Go back to the US Embassy in Bangkok on the day and time the official told you to come back, with the receipt they gave you, and you should find your passport waiting for you. Dropping off my passport and paperwork for my application took less than 20 minutes and picking it up was less than 15 minutes. So, all told, other than the processing period, getting a new US passport in Bangkok is fast and easy.