In a significant stride towards modernization, the Department of Consular Affairs has embarked on a substantial transformation, embracing a fully electronic approach this year. This strategic shift incorporates cutting-edge technology and artificial intelligence (AI), introducing a suite of enhanced e-Consular services alongside an array of new icons designed to streamline processes.
The hallmark of this digital transformation is the introduction of the e-Visa system. This innovative online visa application platform has already expanded its reach to 38 offices across 23 countries in Europe, North America, and Asia. Excitingly, plans for early 2024 include an ambitious expansion to encompass 11 more offices across 9 countries, providing support for an additional 15 languages.
A pivotal component of this modernization effort is the implementation of the e-legalization system. This electronic document certification process allows users to monitor the status of their documents intended for international use. It includes the incorporation of hologram stickers to deter forgery effectively. Complementing this is the e-help system, a crucial online service designed to aid and evacuate Thai citizens during violent or disaster situations globally. The department has also unveiled the e-Complaint system, an online platform seamlessly connected to the government’s central complaint center, ensuring prompt and thorough resolutions to a variety of complaints.
Notably, the Department of Consular Affairs is actively developing the e-Passport system, aligning with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards. This system stores comprehensive biometric data, including facial images, fingerprints, and iris scans, enhancing security measures and aligning with global aviation standards.
To further enhance accessibility, the department has launched a dedicated Thai consular mobile application. This user-friendly platform offers a spectrum of consular information and services, including an emergency SOS system, internet calls, automated Q&A, and embassy location services—all accessible via fingerprint authentication.
Adding a layer of transparency and efficiency, the Consular index is introduced as a comprehensive compilation of statistical data on global consular activities. This index aids in effective budget allocation, ensuring resources are directed where they are most needed. The Overseas Voting Monitoring System (OVMS) is another innovative addition, guaranteeing embassies conduct elections in compliance with regulations. This system offers real-time tracking of election statuses and supports remote voting, fostering a democratic process for Thai citizens abroad.
Additionally, the department has rolled out an e-Consular manual—a comprehensive knowledge base designed for consular officers worldwide. This manual facilitates quick access to information, streamlining communication with the central office and ensuring consular officers are well-equipped with the latest guidelines and procedures. As the Department of Consular Affairs undergoes this digital revolution, it not only embraces efficiency but also underscores its commitment to providing seamless and secure consular services to Thai citizens globally.