Bangkok Immigration want expats to register their address every time they return from a holiday to another province

During a meeting at the India-Thai Chamber of Commerce on Thursday night, Immigration officials from Division 1 at Chaengwattana, made it very clear that a TM30 form has to be filed each and every time a foreigner (non-immigrant) goes away for more than twenty-four hours to another province in Thailand. This is in addition to when the foreigner returns home from abroad. The only exception are foreigners who hold permanent residence. Although this is an old law, not all Immigration offices around Thailand are enforcing it. But, this is the first time I have heard that Chaengwattana have an intention to enforce it now.

An example that they gave us was if you live in Bangkok but have a condo that you own in Pattaya. If you go away for the weekend, you must file a TM30 yourself as the owner to say that your new address is in Pattaya. When you return to Bangkok on Sunday night, your landlord then has to file TM30 again to inform immigration of your “new” address. In another example, if you go to another province for the weekend and stay at a hotel, they will file a TM30 for you. However, either you or your landlord have to file another TM30 when your return “home”.

We asked them multiple times about this and they said that yes, the movement of the foreigner has to be reported every time with no exceptions. However, in the past, Immigration officials have told me off the record that if you go and stay at your friend’s house for the weekend and then come back home there is no need to file a TM30. This is because no-one knows you left your home. Unless like me, the staff at your local Immigration office follow you on social media and they see you have been away! But, joking aside, it is a big pain if we travel a lot and our local Immigration office are enforcing this law. I’m lucky that so far Samut Prakan are only enforcing TM30 when you fly back to Thailand.

As you can see in the examples above, they don’t consider our “home” as a permanent residence because most of us are non-immigrants. In their eyes, every time we stay at a friend’s house or even a hotel, they consider that as our new “home”. So, when we go back to the place that we consider to be our home, a TM30 needs to be filed again. However, they did say that if we had a minimum contract of three years, they would then consider that as our permanent address and that we don’t need to file a TM30 again for the length of that contract. In this case, three years. But as this doesn’t seem to be mentioned in the law, it will be up to the consideration of Immigration officials at each office.

One of the most common questions from foreigners is that why are there so many forms to do with our address? After all, when we first arrive we fill in the TM6 form (arrival card) with our address. Then every 90-days we fill in the TM47 form with our address. On top of that, there is the TM28 form which is for when we change address and the TM30 form for the homeowner to report foreigners in their residence. A simple answer to this from Immigration is that not every foreigner fills in the TM6 thoroughly or even correctly. The same goes for the TM47 form. But now that they are being strict with landlords filing TM30, they can crosscheck with your TM 47 form to see if you are staying at the place that you stated. And don’t think they won’t come to your condo to check. They do and foreigners have been fined already for either living at the wrong address or for not filing a TM28/TM30.

Editorial cartoon by stephff

So, we next come to the question as to why they are doing this to us. Do they really hate all foreigners? The quick answer from them last night was that they are certain that everyone in the audience are the good guys. But, unfortunately, there are a small minority of foreigners who have the intent to cause harm to Thailand. So, in order to keep the city safe, they have to strictly enforce the law as it is written. “The law is written with the intention to control the bad guys,” said one of the Immigration officials last night. “If you are one of the good guys, then don’t worry. We are not that stupid. Trust me.” Unfortunately, this is not actually what is happening. Their methods have resulted in us good guys being collateral damage in this war against the bad guys. Some have commented that it is like Immigration swatting a mosquito with a sledgehammer. For some reason, they don’t seem to care what damage this is causing.

There has been a lot of talk that this TM30 saga will affect tourism. Yes and no. Most tourists don’t need to concern themselves with TM30 as the hotels that they stay at will file the TM30 online. The only time that they might face a problem is if they need to go to Immigration to do something like extend their stay. These days everything is online and when you visit Immigration they can see on screen your complete history including all the places that you have stayed around Thailand. Tourists might have a problem if they stayed at a friend’s house, at an AirBnB residence, or basically one of the many guesthouses and hotels that are operating illegally. None of those owners are likely to have filed a TM30. Mainly because they don’t want the tax man to know that they are making some money on the side. What this means is that Immigration will refuse to do anything until someone pays the fine. Nine times out of ten, this will probably be the foreigner. And the fine is between 800 Baht and 2,000 Baht.

According to Immigration, there are three “simple” methods for people to inform Immigration about foreigners in their residence. And to be clear here, homeowners include your Thai wives or husbands, your Thai friends, or even your foreign friends. The only exception is if you own your own condo and then you can file a report about yourself. So, back to the three methods:

(1) Report to the officials at your local Immigration Police office
(2) Send the form and supporting documents to your local Immigration office by registered mail
(3) Register and submit the documents online

The last method is what Immigration want landlords to do as they say it is quick and simple. But, in reality it is far from that. The first problem is that after you register, and that is presuming you can get it to work, it can take several weeks if not longer to get a username and password. Some people have told me that they have been waiting for eight weeks now. Immigration say that this is because they have to verify each and every application. But they are also having problems with the system. Obviously, they should have had all of this in place before they started enforcing the law. Not after.

Editorial cartoon by stephff

If you think all of this is causing a headache just for foreigners then think again. Thai landlords are also angry about the enforcing of the TM30 form. Many of them have multiple properties and they are not happy about having to keep filing the TM30 form. Yes, there is an online version, but as we all know, the system is very unreliable and most have to go to Immigration themselves. The problem is, many expats are businessmen who take frequent trips abroad. The landlord has to go to Immigration every time that foreigner returns to Thailand. The same goes for trips to other provinces in Thailand if their local Immigration office is enforcing this too. It has got to the point now that we are starting to see signs going up in apartment blocks saying “no foreigners” as it is just too much of a hassle for landlords to deal with.

So, what can we do to make our life easier. Immigration say that they are working on the problem and are producing apps for your smartphone that will make reporting quick and easy. The first one already out is “Section38” which is for reporting TM30. Search for it on the playstore or the apps store. I’m told that there will soon be apps for TM47 and even TM6. With the first app, Immigration suggests that you get your landlord to register online or by using this app. Then, once it is set up, they said ask the landlord for the username and password so that you can then report yourself each time by using this app. However, I am not sure if landlords would be happy about passing on passwords. At the moment, not many of them of them are being cooperative. Some don’t even live in the county, let alone the same province. But, it is a step in the right direction.

Immigration officials last night said that they are well aware of the problems it is causing and that they are working to make it better. One official even said several times “we are not stupid”. I really think that the efforts by the expat group in northeast Thailand to put together a petition, and the subsequent editorial and front page story in the Bangkok Post, the many letters to the editor in the Bangkok Post, and the editorial cartoons by Stephff, have all made a difference. They have sat up and they are listening. But, we shouldn’t stop here. We still need both clarity of the law and consistency of its enforcement. As we all know, provincial Immigration offices are not all interpreting the law in the same way as head office in Bangkok. Yes, we are willing to obey the laws of the Kingdom on Thailand. But please make it fair for everyone.

As usual, please post your comments and firsthand experiences in the comments below. I will be attending at least one more Chamber of Commerce meeting next week. This time with the Australians. And then I have been invited to talk at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand about TM30.

Related blog: Sign the petition to reform Thai Immigration and Article 37

104 thoughts on “Bangkok Immigration want expats to register their address every time they return from a holiday to another province

  • August 19, 2019 at 3:01 pm
    Permalink

    I attended the FCCT panel discussion on August 15, 2019, but don’t recall there being much mention at all about the TM28 form (though both it and the TM30 form were passed out, along with the text of Sections 37 and 38 of the 1979 Immigration Act). My recollection was that almost all of the talk that evening was about the TM30 form, which, on it’s face, clearly is intended for use by hotels and landlords. But which form should a condo owner file when (1) reentering the country to return “home,” and/or (2) staying temporarily in another province?

    On its face the TM28 form would seem the more appropriate, as it’s entitled “Form for Aliens to Notify their Change of Address or their Stay in the Province for Over 24 Hours” and the requested information is straightforward for that purpose. Indeed, the extensive Bangkok Post article of August 19, which reported on the FCCT meeting, mentions the TM28 form several times, but primarily in reference to “short-term travel” (rather than a return from overseas to one’s primary residence in Thailand, for which the TM30 form was repeatedly mentioned).

    Adding to the confusion, the August 11, 2019 post to this comment page by “Joes Simpson” emphatically states that the Immigration Department (at least at Chaengwattana) do NOT use the TM 28 form anymore! Is this true? If so, why was this form passed out at the FCCT–and mentioned in today’s Bangkok Post article? Or has the TM30 form now become THE reporting device for everyone to use, whether a landlord, the tenant who stays at a location that doesn’t report his or her occupancy, as well as a condo owner who returns home from overseas or travels upcountry to stay with a friend?

    Reply
    • August 19, 2019 at 3:53 pm
      Permalink

      I think the Bangkok Post mistakenly mentioned TM28 as we didn’t bring it up. Secondly, the photocopies were done as an initiative by one of the lawyers. Also to add, I specifically asked an Immigration official that morning what’s the difference. He said TM28 only for when you change permanent address. However, really, the law says we should do every time we move around but Immigration are choosing to ignore that. I wanted to ask that question again at the FCCT but we ran out of time.

      Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 8:02 pm
    Permalink

    this is crazy to criminalise ex-pats/long term tourists who spend a lot of money in Thailand. I don’t want to feel like I’m living in North Korea, probably one of the few regime in the world who punitively tracks tourists like this.

    If I have a 90 day TM30 then that is my address for 90days. As long as Immigration have a TM30 covering the 90day period, or 1 year period, why do they need more?
    If I have other random TM30 from my travels, so what?
    Where do Thai Immigration think I go after my 4 nights TM30 in Krabi? Back to my long term condo in Surat maybe? Or maybe I become an underground terrorist off the radar sleeping rough like Rambo? No I think I’ll go back to my long term condo in Surat.

    Of course the ‘face’ culture in Thailand leads to comical inefficiency and prevalence of ineptitude, that’s part of the charm generally, but when you apply your stupid authoritarian laws to visitors they will take their $ elsewhere.

    “we’re not stupid”, methinks thou doth protest too much

    Reply
  • August 14, 2019 at 8:29 am
    Permalink

    Can’t get the Section38 app to work. Impossible. Typical.

    Seems Thailand doesn’t want us here.

    Reply
  • August 14, 2019 at 1:05 am
    Permalink

    Any time they want to fuck with us they say it is because of national security issues. This is a bunch of crap. Immigrations wants you to leave and never come back so it makes their life easier. They only have to look for the bad guys who come here and are criminals and pedophiles who would never report there were about. This act has to be changed, Immigrations could never keep up with it. They are not smart enough to come up with a system that would really work and be easy to do without sitting in an immigration office all afternoon wasting my time and there’s.

    Reply
  • August 13, 2019 at 5:18 pm
    Permalink

    Am I correct in assuming that based on the 3 reporting options available, that the 2nd option of “Send the form and supporting documents to your local Immigration office by registered mail” is also applicable for the Chaeng Wattana Immigration office? If yes, then why not send them the paperwork they so cravenly desire if you can get your ‘landlord’ to sign it. For Bangkok, this would mean 1000’s of TM30’s being submitted by post weekly for them to process. Just an idea, so be gentle with me in the comments.

    Reply
  • August 13, 2019 at 1:23 pm
    Permalink

    Get out, get out, get out

    Reply
  • August 11, 2019 at 12:23 am
    Permalink

    How prevalent is the whole “no foreigners” at apartments now? Has this extended to hotels too? The whole country is generating a very unwelcoming vibe.

    It’s like the government is the Thai version of Trump on steroids.

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 9:53 pm
    Permalink

    At these meetings, in contrast to the previous meeting with the Immigration Korat, this time the decisive weaknesses of this useless report madness were actually pointed out. A lose-lose situation for all involved.
    And the really bad guys probably won’t keep that out of the country either. What do those responsible want to do with all the inconsistently collected and largely redundant data? Also the Stasi with its collecting frenzy and super secured wall has failed grandiosly.
    Excellent report with sobering content.
    Thanks for all the effort!

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 9:47 pm
    Permalink

    Please before you down load app , read app permissions and what they have access to by having the app camera ,take picture and video. location GPS. Storage, contents of USB can modify delete the content of USB. other , ull network access.

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 6:31 pm
    Permalink

    The real question is:

    Will terrorists and criminals also register themselves with a TM30 ?

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 6:26 pm
    Permalink

    I think that IOs want to create more work because less work means less staff. Maybe they are worried that if everything is done online then many of them will be made redundant? Is this newly enforced insistance on reporting nothing more than just maintaining ‘Jobs for the boys’?

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 6:21 pm
    Permalink

    My concern is that now ‘the boat is being rocked’ on these matters; TM30s etc. and dont get me wrong; Im all for it and have signed the NE petition, my concern is that a directive will now be sent to every Immigration office in Thailand to strictly enforce TM30s for any out of province trips. The Immigration officials from Division 1 at Chaengwattana last night repeated “we are not stupid” 4 times! This is the bind that Expats are in. Any questioning is taken as criticism, and, as most of us know, criticism is not acceptable in Thai culture as it causes the dreaded ‘loss of face’! Good luck Richard with your speech but can we ever win?

    Reply
    • August 10, 2019 at 6:38 pm
      Permalink

      Perhaps an alternative is to beat them at their own game, i.e. if you have a Thai partner and intend on travelling domestically, then have your Thai partner book the hotel in their name, however you will have to join them later as their client in room 2469 so to speak and if any questions are asked, you are having a meeting with your client, as long as the room is booked for 2 adults, they cannot say a word or ask you for ID.

      Alternatively you might want to consider not contributing to the Thai economy by having overseas holidays in Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar or Vietnam or elsewhere, yes a TM30 will be required to be filled in when you return, but the blow to the Thai economy with your $’s spent elsewhere will not be recovered in Thailand.

      “Up to you” can be both ways, there really is no reason for the TM 30 domestically, they have us on 90 day reporting which must be done in our provinces, and annually, now to keep tabs on our movements between the 90 days is nothing short of an ankle bracelet and an invasion of ones privacy, shame on them !

      Reply
    • August 11, 2019 at 12:20 am
      Permalink

      Well if they don’t like criticism then they won’t have to wonder why all the expats and tourists have disappeared. Then they will desperately try and win tourists back by introducing longer stay visas and free visas.

      Only a child with serious self-esteem problems can’t handle criticism. I say that this stupid “face” thing, needs to go the way of the dodo. It just makes the whole country and culture look juvenile.

      Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 5:46 pm
    Permalink

    Dear Richard,
    Now that the Thai kingdom is sure of its place in the world and its financial income, it represses the relaxation of the past years. The good guys are paying the price for the bad guys. I hope the petition will listen attentively to the new Thai royal government. Why make the suggestion of an electronic residence permit for permanent foreign residents? Which would make the controls in the immigration services more flexible.
    Kind regards,
    Chris from France

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 4:58 pm
    Permalink

    I own a condo in Bangkok and only stay there (tourist visa) all my period when I come to Thailand. Really don’t travel around or staying another place.

    It comes to me 2 questions:

    A) Should I fill up this TM30 or TM6 will be enough on my arrival?

    B) If for some reason during my stay I travel to somewhere in Thailand and come back to my condo it will be necessary fill out TM30 as “new home”?

    Reply
    • August 10, 2019 at 6:28 pm
      Permalink

      I would advise you to do TM30. Apply for username and password now. It takes a while but then should be easy to report yourself each time.

      Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 4:00 pm
    Permalink

    Hi, maybe it has already answered in a comment before but I own a condo here in Bangkok on my name, must I also register?

    Reply
    • August 10, 2019 at 4:05 pm
      Permalink

      Yes, all foreigners must be registered with a TM30. In your case you can do it yourself using the new app or visiting Immigration.

      Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 1:18 pm
    Permalink

    ‎Klaus Aulbach‎

    an

    Reform Thai Immigration
    29. Juli um 18:19 ·

    When I go to another city for 3 nights and when I come back after the 3 nights to my home , my homeowner is in holiday for 1 week in Hongkong , who can make the TM30 about me inside 24 hours ?

    Reply
    • August 10, 2019 at 1:25 pm
      Permalink

      You can do on their behalf each time. I know plenty of condo owners who photocopy documents and sign a power of attorney in advance.

      Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 12:33 pm
    Permalink

    When Loa first opened its border in the mid 90’s to foreign tourists the law required that all locals and foreigners if they travelled between provinces they were to advise the police that they were leaving the province and on arrival at there destination to register there arrival .

    This procedure be it affectionately or cynically was referred Toby the backpackers as the “ chop chop “

    I recall on one occasion in jest on arrival we fronted the police to register . They were flabbergasted . . So the next morning leaving early we decided not to bother taking the Mickey out of the cops and not visit the police station

    It was common knowledge at the time that the next year was to be the ASEAN Loa tourist promotion year and in anticipation of that the chop cop was to be abolished by the National Government and so it was

    2 or 3 years later a Loa policeman had the gall to show me a official directive issued by the provincial governor that the chop chop was still a legal requirement and requested tea money . I laughed and walked away with no repercussions

    This sorted of skizoid behaviour in the legal regulation governing foreigners in every aspect of living in a country were they are not nationals is widespread . India being another e.g

    Be it Thailand, India , Indonesia and so it goes the designers of the legal framework for whatever reason end up with unintended consequences for the visitor / tourist and the local community

    This problem is not unique . Whatever the country or jurisdiction, even Australia the result is the same when drafting laws and regulations , unintended consequences

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 11:37 am
    Permalink

    Is it one night away from home in a different province or 24 hours? I can easily leave my home late in the afternoon and be back early in the morning, not exceeding 24 hours. Do the Thai landlord and myself still do the reporting?

    Reply
    • August 10, 2019 at 1:26 pm
      Permalink

      If you stayed at a hotel and they filed a TM30 then that became your new address.

      Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 11:12 am
    Permalink

    I currently rent a condo in Pattaya through a real estate agent. The owner of my condo is located in Australia.
    So from what I can tell, the building management are responsible for reporting my presence to Immigration however they have put a sign up at reception informing all residents that they will not do this and it is the tenants responsibility.
    Is this correct ??

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 11:02 am
    Permalink

    Not sure if here laws are discussed and then implemented. The answers could not be properly answered and only it came out as for “National security”. But there should be some devised method with proper identification worked out for the long term resident foreigners and not force everyone into so much of daily hassels. We can pay the THB 800 for all the persons in the family for a Identification card to prove we are not terrorists and good law abiding foreigners who are staying in the country for better operation of our business. It can store all our biometric data easily and that database could have also been done which is spent on making the so easy to use app which have to everyday morning update my chk in and chk out considering my present continous travel which is now very common I feel for many foreigners as business in Thailand alone is not enough.

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 10:31 am
    Permalink

    This TM 30 thing has peeeed me off as it has the majority of expats. What I would suggest to expats is that if the Thai Immigration Department cannot see what irreparable damage it is doing to the expat community, then I strongly suggest to ALL expats that holiday in other provinces to look for alternative holiday destinations in neighbouring countries, like Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia etc etc as I am sure this holiday exudes will show an even stronger decline to their already struggling tourism numbers, add to that, telling your friends who usually visit you here to meet you in your new holiday destination whether it be in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia or other, and for the price of 1,900 baht for a re-entry permit, that is cheap enough to fire back a counter punch, but if everyone keeps their head in the sand, well, they deserve what they get, TM 30’s for Xmas every year 🙂

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 8:19 am
    Permalink

    You would think that if a person applied for an extension based on retirement or marriage to a Thai, the once a year renewal would suffice. If the holder of that extension changes address, they must notify immigration within 7 days or face a fine. If the holder of that extension goes overseas and is the holder of a re-entry permit then that re-entry permit with the TM6 entry form is enough. All of this 90 day reporting TM47 is a waste of time, i.e. immigration know where we live and we should have the right to travel around the country without needing to have ankle bracelets on us, do they do this to their own people, no, why, because it’s as ridiculous as it is for farangs. Yearly extensions should be just that, yearly extensions, re-entry permits should be just that, re-entry permits completed with the TM6 form. Do away with the 90 day reporting, as for the TM 28 change of address, naturally it’s the right thing to do. What this all boils down to is keeping tabs on all the good guys. who they do not trust. In 99% of the modernised world you have to report your change of address within 7 days or face a fine, so be it, why cannot Thailand be the same, no it has to still be a dictatorship, 90 day reporting, TM30 reporting if you go to another province, just provide us with ankle bracelets and be done with all of the paperwork excluding the annual extensions for “F” sake. I do a 3 hour return trip for 90 day reporting, which takes 5 minutes, yes yes you can do it on line now, but their system is not secure.

    Reply
    • August 10, 2019 at 6:10 pm
      Permalink

      the online system works,
      but as usual in LOS, it takes time and …….
      not without problems,
      my wife went personal to CW to manage the account,

      I go usual to my rural weekend hut in another province,
      no blue book, no house number –
      just put in monkey hut;

      Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 7:31 am
    Permalink

    Frankly, I have had enough of these draconian fascist laws. There are many other countries that don’t require any of these compliances and don’t ask for unreasonable amounts of money to be locked up in a Thai bank account. I have had a retirement visa for 5 years but will not be renewing it again. I will not subject myself to these rules and regulations any longer. Leaving soon and if I come back it will be as a tourist to visit my friends.

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 5:42 am
    Permalink

    Take example from developed countries Thailand. My Thai wife has all the rights I have in my country plus she can receive a pension here. Why should I be treated like a tagged dog in Thailand when I have invested so much money there? Don’t forget that many foreigners living in Thailand are contributing to your economy as they receive pensions from abroad to spend in your country. As a nation, you should be more supportive rather than pushing us out. It is bad enough that foreigners are charged more than Thai nationals for almost everything such as visiting a temple- don’t you see how racist that is? Blanket laws such as this stupid TM30 form will do very little to catch the “bad guys”, but it will certainly hurt the so-called good guys and ultimately push us all away.

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 2:19 am
    Permalink

    I was just kidding when I said that Thai immigration should just hand out electronic tethers when we come through customs. I guess a GPS app for your phone is the same thing. There you go then, the Thai government can track you 24/7 just like the criminal that you are.
    Nice to be welcomed by the locals isn’t it.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 10:53 pm
    Permalink

    I’ve rented the same condo in Bangkok for 11 years. My landlord, a Thai national, lives outside of Thailand. He was able to register an online account and has received a username and password, which he gave to me, and asked me to do the online notification because every time he entered the data pertaining to my most recent TM6 arrival, it was rejected. I spent three hours trying to enter the simple data, only to have it rejected every time. I then left it and decided to hire someone (don’t ask me whom) to do it for me. However, when I took it up again, for some reason, the notification magically went through. I have no idea whether I will be able to do it again, but I don’t plan to spend another day trying. I renew my visa next year, right after I return to Thailand. If Chaeng Wattana accepts the notification easily, then it will be done. If not, I will leave Thailand. This is not the way I choose to spend my retirement.

    Reply
    • August 11, 2019 at 12:25 am
      Permalink

      Didn’t know that many Thai landlords lived outside of Thailand. Surely there’s someone on site who can do it for you?

      Reply
      • August 11, 2019 at 5:48 am
        Permalink

        You need a signed copy of his ID card and house registration book. You can do for him but he also needs to sign a power of attorney.

        Reply
        • August 11, 2019 at 10:09 am
          Permalink

          Not true – In Changwattana the renter or lessee can do a TM 30 with only a copy of the lease, the TM.30 for, and copies of passport face page, TM6, visa entry stamp, and visa extension stamp. I have done it twice in the last month or so – once after coming back into the country and another when I moved to a new condo. They do not use the tm.28 ANYMORE. They also told me they would give a few days leeway for reporting to waive the 800 baht fine. I reported next day and was not fined. Anyway, I did not need any power of attorney.

          Reply
          • August 11, 2019 at 10:12 am
            Permalink

            That may be true in your case, but I need to say that officially it’s a required document at all government offices, not just Immigration, if you go on behalf of someone else. Thanks for your comment.

  • August 9, 2019 at 9:32 pm
    Permalink

    I have been trying to get my landlady to file the TM30 through my condo agent and they don’t seem to understand there is an urgency and a timeframe that must be met. I will have to extend my visa visa soon and I’m dreading how it will proceed.

    Reply
    • August 11, 2019 at 12:10 am
      Permalink

      Same at my Condi, the owner has been sent emails and 3cnessages via the letting agent but is still ignoring my request. I do not look forward to my visa renewal but the TM 30 is for the owner to fill in all we can do is a TM 28 which UP seem to ignore and still left the fine as if we deliberately ignored the process we have little choice but to pay up or pack up it seems

      Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 9:14 pm
    Permalink

    General confusion included immigration
    Please, read the law Act B.E 2522 ( 1979) in the details
    (4) It is 48H and not 24H !!!!! and reporting shall be done to local police station himself not by Owner

    Section 37 : An alien having received a temporary entry permit into the Kingdom must comply with the following :
    1. Shall not engage in the occupation or temporary or employment unless authorized by the
    Director General. or competent official deputized by the Director General . If , in any case , there is a law concerning alien employment provided hereafter , the granting of work privileges must comply with the law concerned.
    2. Shall stay at the place as indicated to the competent official. Where there is proper reason
    that he cannot stay at the place as indicated to the competent official, he shall notify the competent official of the change in residence , within 24 hours from the time of removing to said place.
    3. Shall notify the police official of the local police station where such alien resides, within twenty
    – four hours from the time of arrival. In the case of change in residence in which new residence is not
    located the same area with the former police stations , such alien must notify the police official of the
    police station for that area within twenty – four hours from the time of arrival.
    4. If the alien travels to any province and will stay there longer than twenty – four hours , such
    alien must notify the police official of the ”police station” for that area within ”forty eight” hours from the time of arrival.
    5. If the alien stays in the Kingdom longer than ninety days, such alien must notify the
    competent official at the Immigration Division , in writing , concerning his place of stay , as soon as
    possible upon expiration of ninety days. The alien is required to do so every ninety days. Where there is
    an Immigration Office , the alien may notify a competent Immigration Official of that office.
    The provision of ( 3 ) and ( 4 ) shall not apply to any cases under Section 34 by any conditions as
    prescribed by the Director General.
    In making notification under this Section , the alien may make notification in person or send a
    letter of notification to the competent official , in accordance with the regulations prescribed by the
    Director General .

    Section 38 : The house – master , the owner or the possessor of the residence , or the hotel manager
    where the alien , receiving permission to stay temporary in the Kingdom has stayed , must notify the
    competent official of the ”Immigration Office” located in the same area with that hours , dwelling place or hotel, within 24 hours from the time of arrival of the alien concerned.
    If there is no Immigration Office located in that area , the local police official for that area must be notified.
    In case the house , dwelling place , or hotel where the alien has stayed under provision of Para.1
    is located within the Bangkok area , such notification must be reported to the competent official at the
    Immigration Division.
    Making notification , in reference to the Para 1 and 2 of this Section , must comply with
    regulations prescribed by the Director General.

    Reply
    • August 18, 2019 at 4:37 am
      Permalink

      That is my observation too – the “competent official” in Section 37-2 refers to the Immigration Police (not the regular police) while Sections 37-3 and 37-4 refer specifically to reporting to the local police.

      Now, the interesting thing is that midway down Section 37, it states that “(3) and (4) shall not apply to any cases under Section 34”, and if you go to Section 34 of the act, the types of visa holders there include the following Non-Immigrant Visa Categories :- F (official duties), B (business and sports), IM (investing), IB (also investing), ED (education), M (mass media), R (missionary work), RS (scientific research), EX (skilled workers and professionals), and O (“Other Activities”). The other activities in the Non-Immigrant O visas here refers to staying with the family, to perform duties for the state enterprise or social welfare organizations, to stay after retirement for the elderly, to receive medical treatment, to be a sport coach as required by Thai Government, to be a contestant or witness for the judicial process.

      So if you are holder of a Non-Immigrant visa, like an O-A visa (retirement) then 37-3 and 37-4 do not apply to you. Now if you look at which type of visa is missing from the above exemption list, it is the Non-Immigrant L-A visa for migrant workers from Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia.

      Finally, Section 37-2 is the enabling language for Form TM28 (change of address) while Section 38 is the enabling language for TM30 and they apply to all aliens.

      What is your interpretation of the law?

      Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 7:41 pm
    Permalink

    I wonder how this became such a big thing as, apparently, the law has been there since 1979 or something like that? Why is that such a big thing right now? I would have assumed it was like so many other laws that are written, but not really enforced? Did something happen to make that more prominent now?

    Also I wonder if it is smart to ‘poke the bear’, knowing that Thai culture and criticism don’t always get together that well – especially when coming from foreigners. Those ‘we are not stupid’ comments might indicate some kind of annoyance by the government officials already? Wouldn’t it be smarter to offer some support and consultation rather than pointing at the ‘failures’ – keeping face and all? Serious questions btw, not meaning to be sarcastic or anything. Really wondering what the best approach here would be.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 6:51 pm
    Permalink

    Concerns TM30
    to all interested

    first let me thank Mr.Barrow, for been so brave, to make the first pitch .
    However this is just one of many other issues which need to be tested
    and adjusted to the requirements of today. It is the great chance for Thailand
    and us foreign people to make it happen.
    Maybe we could, with all in the boat , create a
    “Central Council of foreigners of Thailand”,or whatever You like to call it, It gives the Government of Thailand someone to talk to, and we have a voice to speak for us.

    The greatest assets we already have, has not spoken up, and was not spoken about .
    The ones with legal rights to stand up and ask the right people the right questions.
    Let’s get them , our wife our depends, in the boat , they have the rights for answer.
    Maybe my 2 cents gets some of us rolling .

    Thank You

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 6:37 pm
    Permalink

    To David:

    I am sorry. You misunderstand my comment. I do not say how it is. I say how it could be or should be:

    ** Let the demand for TM30 apply only to short time tourists.

    ** Allow long term residents with a one year visa to be exempt from this rule

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 4:51 pm
    Permalink

    I have been living permanently for 26 years in this country and I have been married to my Thai wife ( Government official ) for more than 23 years and I live in our same house under the same address ever since. End of September, my wife will retire and now we sell everything in Thailand and move abroad. It is enough. If officials in my country would do the same to my wife under the same circumstances, my wife would probably commit suicide. She would not stay a month in my country, which is understandable. But no worry, this will never ever happen in my developed country. Thais , which are married to foreigners and live in their husbands homeland, will have the same rights than their husbands and can live there forever. No reporting or anything like this. But full social security for her including health insurance. Good Bye Thailand after 26 years. And good luck.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2019 at 5:12 pm
      Permalink

      One bad boy out already!

      Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 4:00 pm
    Permalink

    Why not just ignore all this stupidity ? have never filled any ridiculous form and will never report myself anywhere. maybe I will pay a fine if I go to immigration, but why should I go there anyway ?!

    Reply
    • August 9, 2019 at 4:33 pm
      Permalink

      My wife got fined 800 Baht 2 years ago when I did my renewal for a marriage extensions so they do check this was before they even started all this TM30 crap

      Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 3:53 pm
    Permalink

    I have a thai wife & child who I like to take on holiday when he stop school at the end of terms in March & October around Thailand, we have a house which is in my wife’s name so she will need to go to IO to report that I am back at the same address I have been staying the last 4 years which is the same address on my arrival card,TM 47 & any other forms I have filled in even have a receipt in my passport for this to confirm I have done the TM30, I have already told my wife I will not be paying any fines & she will have to find the money for this as this is a Thai law & her problem as she is the house owner we are in the process of selling our house & will be taking our son back to the uk. & will not be returning to Thailand again as I am not willing to do all this when I get old & don’t need the stress there are other countries around the world which I god to spend my money in & get treated like they value me for staying in there country.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2019 at 5:22 pm
      Permalink

      @Jason o, Here, here. Well said.

      Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 3:52 pm
    Permalink

    The foreign press and media ought to be made aware about all this.
    Long term foreign residents are being hassled with unreasonable reporting procedures /paperwork and then having to pay illegal fines which landlords should be paying. The foreign media love a story about the downtrodden. Then perhaps someone in authority with common sense will hopefully eventually step in to temporarily delay the introduction of the measures pending further clarification and consultation.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 3:23 pm
    Permalink

    I also tried to search for Section38 in the App Store. “Nothing found”

    Reply
    • August 9, 2019 at 9:56 pm
      Permalink

      You have to change your play/app store account location to Thailand to download, then you can change it back.

      Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 2:59 pm
    Permalink

    This is another example of a policy that has good intentions but because it was not thought out well, including all contingencies, with a face-saving refusal to admit that it is a mistake, then it will be immensely laborious and time-consuming, hurting tens of thousands of law-abiding residents. It is so Thailand!

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 2:48 pm
    Permalink

    Wonder if anybody can fill in the address in the arrival card – its just enough space to give a hotel name, but no way to give full postal address. To me all this paperwork just feels like making foreigner feel unwanted, and giving the bureaucracy something to work so the officials don’t need to sit idle in their offices.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2019 at 2:59 pm
      Permalink

      Many forms all over the world have this problem.

      They will give you a large field to fill in your phone number or your date of birth (for which you do not need much space) and then they will give you a very small field for your postal address plus your email, even though there should of course be two separate and large fields for this kind of information.

      Why is it like this? I suspect the people who designed the form never actually tried to fill it in!

      Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 2:39 pm
    Permalink

    Hi All…

    I attended this meeting and repeated sentence used was ” As per Law.. we should follow law”.

    There was a question ” Why Tennants has to pay penalty, if my landlord does not report” which explanation was not satisfactory…

    and in the three methods of reporting…. They say any Police station… Pls note that it is ” Report to the officials at your local Immigration Police office” (which means In Bangkok, It is Chaeng wattana only – Not any police station of your area).

    Lots of question unanswered and Law abiding residents are feeling the pain in the name of national security.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 2:02 pm
    Permalink

    First time in my 25 years living here I can see myself packing up and going somewhere else. Unfortunately means selling my 2 condos at probably a huge discounted rate. I expect this will tank the condo real-estate market.

    Reply
      • August 10, 2019 at 10:23 am
        Permalink

        and then the hassle of tracking and reporting my tenants? No thanks.

        Reply
    • August 10, 2019 at 3:44 pm
      Permalink

      It’s already tanking

      Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 1:59 pm
    Permalink

    I agree that long stay Expats should only have to report their home address 1 time.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 1:59 pm
    Permalink

    What they don’t realize is that they won’t catch “the bad guys” with this and someone should point that out to them. People that have been overstaying for ages or come to Thailand illegally are completely under the radar and they are only caught by accident or when reported. Overstayers and illegals don’t go ti the immigration, they don’t do their 90 day check-in, they don’t even hold a valid visa. This TM30 BS is only a hassle for “the goog guys” that want to be here legally and respect the law.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2019 at 2:34 pm
      Permalink

      The only sane reason for this rule to be in place would be to catch people who rent condos/hotels illegally in Thailand, but even then why would the guy renting out the place be the one to foot out the bill?

      Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 1:52 pm
    Permalink

    Funny, I’ve noticed something about the only people who need to keep saying “we’re not stupid”.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 1:34 pm
    Permalink

    I’ll seriously be considering of selling my condo if this law is still around a few years from now and there’s no way at the very least to do in in a few clicks online

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 1:30 pm
    Permalink

    The problem i have heard from our group of Scandinavians on Phuket is that many landlords dont want the tenants to make the registration because if they fail or forget it the landlord get the fines not the tenant!

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 1:22 pm
    Permalink

    An easy solution would be to say that the demand for the TM30 (address) only applies to short term tourists.

    If you have a visa for one year (business visa or retirement visa), you only need to report your home address one time.

    If you move around inside Thailand, you do not have to report this anywhere.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2019 at 2:20 pm
      Permalink

      Simply put, it is a ludicrous, clumsy and inoperable system that will crash and burn because of the unmaneable demands, inconsistent application and failing implementation

      Reply
      • August 9, 2019 at 2:38 pm
        Permalink

        I agree. But if we ask Thai immigration to scrap the whole reporting system completely, what do you think they will say? They will be offended. And they will refuse to do something drastic like this.

        Right now it seems they are ready to talk about it. They admit there is a problem. They admit a better solution must be found. If indeed they are prepared to modify the system, I think we should be happy about that.

        Do not demand the impossible. Ask for what is possible and you might be lucky enough to get it.

        Reply
      • August 10, 2019 at 8:14 am
        Permalink

        It strikes me the TM 30 is aimed at the Thai house owners, not foreigners. If you are not reported by them, they are fined not foreigners (though, by all accounts it ends up in the foreigners lap). It becomes an issue for foreigners if you go for visa renewal and don’t have the form. *Surely then, you report the landlord to the police and they set out to catch this heinous criminal and fine them.*
        What if you have a yellow book which actually cites you having an address in Thailand, does this negate the need for a landlord to register me?

        Reply
        • August 11, 2019 at 8:01 pm
          Permalink

          Noo they are just calling owner.Owner doesnt care immigration.Then your visa is last 2 days.And what you should do??Of course pay 1600 baht and extend visa.I am talking about tourist extension.I myself faced this situation one time.And house owner didnt care me and immigration.And after i paid fine 1600 baht extended visa and went back to home.She said if u want u can leave my room without penalty of contract😡😡😡Shitt

          Reply
    • August 9, 2019 at 4:29 pm
      Permalink

      @Torben … that is not true according to the law. And it is not true in practice.

      The same applies to all “aliens” irrespective of their visa.

      Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 1:21 pm
    Permalink

    Name me any other country on the planet (except North Korea) that has anything like this TM.30/TM47 reporting regime? I cannot think of one. Ever since this Military takeover in 2014, everything to do with Immigration has just gotten worse and worse. Clueless and incompetent!!

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 1:15 pm
    Permalink

    It is of course Thailand’s choice to make the rules and laws but if there is no consistency in its enforcement it simply will not work and visitors will go elsewhere as a consequence as in fact I have.
    I have travelled extensively around the world and can remember only one country where it was necessary to report to the immigration/police on a regular basis and that was Sudan. I just wonder where Thailand is heading with all this.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2019 at 2:42 pm
      Permalink

      My Thai husband and I ( married for 28 years) have decided it’s too dangerous to invest in a property in Thailand for our retirement. There is no need for him to file anything here in Europe but in Thailand I am being picked at as if I were a criminal- it starts with arrival in Suvarnabumi where my husband and kids (dual nationality kids) can use a different immigration line. It gives me the creeps and the thought of Nazi Germany comes to mind. I know of 2 different friends who are leaving Thailand soon. I have been coming and staying for longer periods since 1986 usually at my husbands family house. I’ll be thinking twice now

      Reply
    • August 11, 2019 at 4:08 am
      Permalink

      Well, yes I have been in Belarus twice, and there I had to contact the local policestation in the (very small) city, where I stayed at a family privately.
      They checked me, and I signed a piece of paper, they copied my ticket and they kept my Passport – until I had to leave again.
      But …. I could freely travel around to Minsk and other places and stay without any risk and didn’t need to make any reports – like Thailand.

      One day before I had to travel I get my Passport back – that’s all. Easy and simple.

      Belarus is rather worse than Thailand and they have a Dictator, police and spies everywhere, specially in Minsk and is a country very difficult to get permission to visit. A lot of paperwork before really and a serious check out of my passport stamps. It took more than 3 months to get a Visa.

      What about Thailand – now and in the future?

      Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 1:03 pm
    Permalink

    Would n’t it be so much easier if we could register for the TM30 ourselves instead of involving the landlords ? They can match up our names, passport numbers and date of birth for the online 90 day reports but they cannot do it for the TM30 apparently.
    Or how about giving everybody on a long term visa an ID card and then just using that number for everything ? That would be no harder than issuing a drivers license and even the DLT can manage that ! Thailand 4.0 ?…No, Thailand is stuck at version 0.4

    Reply
    • August 9, 2019 at 1:53 pm
      Permalink

      Doubt they even match up anything on the 90 reports. It goes into a giant paper pile. The whole purpose of any of this is to get more money out of foreigners via fines or other arrangements.

      Reply
    • August 9, 2019 at 2:43 pm
      Permalink

      I like the idea of a plastic card for long term residents. I have said this before:

      The one year visa should not be a stamp in the passport. It should be a Thai ID card for foreigners. Eventually valid for more than one year.

      A magnetic stripe can store all relevant data. No more paperwork. No more forms to fill out. This solution will not only benefit the expat but also lessen the work of Thai immigration.

      A win-win solution!

      Reply
      • August 10, 2019 at 8:46 am
        Permalink

        A magnetic or smart ID card can definitely reduce the amount of work for the landlord if he/she has a corresponding card reader system. Not a problem for a hotel but may be a problem if the landlord is an individual. Note also that the TM 30 uses your arrival card (TM60) number as a reference, so that number still has to be entered manually, unless TM6 itself is also digitized (bar code or QR code).

        Reply
        • August 10, 2019 at 11:05 am
          Permalink

          Regarding arrival card and departure card: fir many years all travellers had to use them. Not only foreigners but also Thais.

          Last year (2018) they were cancelled for Thais. Foreigners still have to use them. But who wants them? Not Thai immigration. TAT (Thai Tourism Authority)!

          These cards are useless. They should be cancelled complete. Thai immigration does not want them.

          Reply
        • August 10, 2019 at 1:50 pm
          Permalink

          The TM6 does have a bar code.

          Reply
      • August 10, 2019 at 11:42 am
        Permalink

        I’ve long thought the same.

        Reply
    • August 9, 2019 at 4:54 pm
      Permalink

      1. They do match up the names. That’s how they’ve been confirming that people stayed at hotels in other provinces. TM30 is meant as a control on landlords and hotels, as part of ensuring that their revenue based on their property is tracked and tax. So the information does need to be registered under the landlord, owner, property management, or “house master” (my girlfriend loves that title of power).

      2. You already can get a Thai ID. Like a Driver’s License, it takes diligence and satisfying a certain set of requirements.

      Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 12:59 pm
    Permalink

    Funny, I can’t get section38 app. It’s not available in my location. Which is Chiang Mai. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • August 9, 2019 at 1:07 pm
      Permalink

      Is your Playstore or Apple account registered here in Thailand ? The app is not available outside those stores.

      Reply
      • August 9, 2019 at 3:00 pm
        Permalink

        Maybe not. Thanks- I’ll check!!

        Reply
      • August 10, 2019 at 7:07 pm
        Permalink

        Downloaded app but cannot register. This is becoming big brother. Have brought too much money in this country and paid taxes to gov for them to do this.

        Reply
    • August 10, 2019 at 11:32 am
      Permalink

      They asked for a photo of me standing by my front door we the house number and one photo of me sitting on the toilet to prove I was there. Ha!

      Reply
    • August 10, 2019 at 2:40 pm
      Permalink

      I have the same issue.. Apparently in the settings your location is shown as xxxx, in my case Australia.. Not GPS but profile location.. If you change this country location setting to Thailand, problem is solved.. I have similar issue with Shopee app.. I’m not in correct location to download this app..

      Now for the downside.. You can only change this location setting one time over 12 mths.. So if on changing your location to Thailand, these local apps will be seen and available, but there is a possibility of losing some of your home country apps eg. banking, tax, local apps etc.

      So if you later regret making the location change, you would need to reset your phone back to factory default and reinstall all your apps and settings again.. The only other way around this is if you have another phone or tablet that you can set up solely for Thailand..

      Reply
      • August 10, 2019 at 4:05 pm
        Permalink

        Thank you. This was very helpful.

        Reply
      • August 10, 2019 at 8:20 pm
        Permalink

        If you are using android, just create another gmail account and set Thailand as the country of residence. Android allows multiple gmail accounts on the same phone. Before you download the apps, select the new Thailand-based gmail account first and you can then see the app in the store. Thats how I did it.

        Reply
    • August 11, 2019 at 10:03 am
      Permalink

      Don’t bother I have the app and it doesn’t work. Most of the time you cannot get it to open and if you do all I get is a message that my Registration is under process. Also once you upload a document there is no way to check what has been uploaded successfully.
      The app is slightly less useless on a pc vs phone.

      Reply
      • August 11, 2019 at 11:02 am
        Permalink

        The reviews of the app posted on Google Play say the same thing: the app does not work!

        Reply
      • August 11, 2019 at 7:39 pm
        Permalink

        If we stay in tent what we should do?

        Reply
    • August 12, 2019 at 3:17 pm
      Permalink

      Your Google account is not located in Thailand, so you can’t donwload if the app is only available in Thailand… The app works fine.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.