Bangkok French Visa Application

French Visa Application

As my wife, daughter and I are going to France this April, my wife had to apply for a short stay Visa at the French Embassy. All French Visa application are received by TLS Contact a firm hired by the Embassy.

French Visa Application

Two years ago, I made the French Visa application for my wife and daughter a bit late and as March & April are very busy months for Visas, I decided to start early this time. I first registered and filled the application for my wife on Christmas, as my daughter already has her visa. It takes some time to get around the site and select the correct options that apply to you. I realize that this may be quite challenging for people who are not used to the Internet and this kind of registration process…

At this time, I could not complete the second step, which is the appointment, as I applied more than 90 days before the departure date. Grrrr…

When I came back to the site 3 to 4 weeks later my account and all application data were deleted. Gosh! This certainly could be extended to a longer period of time as the total data for each application is very minimal, really. I had to start all over again. Grrrr…

This time I was able to take the appointment and as they are located near my office in Sathorn Road, I went on behalf of my wife. When you arrive in their office, your passport and appointment time are checked before you are invited to sit and wait for your turn in the comfortable waiting area, which is by the way a very short wait.

Those who had applied at the Consulate before, will really appreciate how it is now. In the past, you had to wait in a long queue outside the building early in the morning and then in line, a long time, inside the building, waiting to talk to someone through a window… The staff at TLS Contact is very friendly and you have to sit in front of them while they are checking your documentation.

Unfortunately, my application couldn’t be received as my wife had signed all documents with another signature than the one shown in the passport. Grrrr…

All the other documents for the French Visa application were alright according to the sympathetic lady I had in front of me, and I was given a new appointment the following week.

French Visa application

On this second appointment, the person I saw immediately picked a problem with the validity of the passport that was not long enough. You can be issued a French Visa if the validity is only of 3 months, but the Thai immigration requires their citizens to have a passport with a minimum validity of 6 months at the date of return… The passport had only a couple of pages used and a validity of 5 months at the date of return. The person advised me to have a new passport made to avoid any trouble at the airport, and gave me a new appointment the following week. Grrrr…

So, in fact, passports have a validity of 5 years, they can’t be renewed even if most of the pages are empty, and can be used for only 4 and 1/2 years. What a waste!

The new passport was not ready in time and I missed the appointment. I had then to go through the online registration for the French Visa application all over again. Grrrr…

Half an hour later, the system generated an empty PDF file for the application. The file was obviously corrupted and as I tried several times at different times of the day, the problem was still the same. As I called their customer support, which is also very competent and friendly, I was only given the possibility to download a blank PDF application that I would have to fill again, by hand this time.Grrrr…

Hopefully the third appointment went well today, except that the person found that the 2 pictures were of low quality.  Something that the 3 previous persons haven’t said. The application went through anyway. Passport and Visa will be returned by EMS mail a week later.

It is strange, as you expect everything to go smoothly, how things can go wrong and delay everything. My piece of advice: Don’t wait the last minute for your French Visa application…

Michel Gerard

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