Yeah…I almost didn’t make it.
The quarantine hotel notified me on Wednesday at midnight that they didn’t receive my COE. I emailed back saying I sent my visa a week ago. They replied, “Wrong one. We need the COE.” I froze. I immediately contacted a lady I know at the Thai embassy and she said that I could fly to Thailand and be sent back if I did not have my COE. I couldn’t believe it. I was almost packed. I already quit my job. I’m flying out in less than 48 hrs and I could be sent back? And now one piece of paper was going to stop me?
I googled what a COE looked like and all that came up were pictures of visas and Thai visas applications. I realized that’s where I went wrong and misunderstood. So I did more research and realized that it takes 20 business days to receive this Certificate of Entry into Thailand after you have received your visa. There’s a step two now.
The only one thing I knew to do was postpone my flights. I contacted Expedia and it was already too late on their end and needed to go to American Airlines. I waited on hold till 4:00am, forcing myself to stay awake and listen to that dreadful phone line music only for them to tell me in 10 minutes that I had to call Japan Airway. Japan Airway didn’t open till 11:00am EST. So I just stayed awake all night, crying and praying about what I should do next.
At 9:00am the next morning, I just kept asking God what He wanted me to do. I felt the Lord say to call the Thai Embassy. I looked them up and they were only open from 10:00am-2:00pm. I called as soon as it was 10:00am until I was able to speak to somebody. I finally had a man named Sunyaah answer the phone and he was freaking out with me. (Haha) He couldn’t believe I didn’t have the COE but at the same time, the embassy approved me. They didn’t say there was a next step. It showed everything was complete online.
He sent me a link to a different website and it’s then I realized it was literally like another visa in itself. He kept reassuring me to stay with Sunyaah and he would help me! I asked if that meant I would get the COE and he said that was impossible but he would still help me. That wasn’t reassuring but at least there was hope. Being on the phone with him until 1:30pm, I got an email that I received my COE! Praise God!! Then another email followed saying that I needed a specific Covid test that included RT-PCR. The website said they didn’t care where it came from and now they changed it the day before my flight. I realized the place that it had to be done at closed at 3:00pm and took an hour to get there. So I made it just in time and received a negative result.
It was a rushed week and not at all how I had planned it but let’s be honest, nothing goes at all how I planned my life anyway. I finished up packing and spent my last night in America home with my family whom I love very much.
*Later, I was glad to find out that I am considered “normal” not knowing about my COE until the day before I fly. Seems to be 99.9% of everyone and it gives people panic attacks as it did to me. I was just very blessed though to receive mine for many are not that fortunate.