Photo credit: David McKelvey
There has been confusion and debate among foreigners living in Thailand regarding the TM 30 Form. To clarify this, Christopher F. Bruton of Dataconsult Ltd with advice from Khun Aim-on- Larpisal and Paul Brailsford of Dej Udom & Associates Ltd together with comments from Mr. Bob Fox, Chairman of Digital Economy/ICT group at the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce of Thailand, wrote an article in the Bangkok Post on the issue.
Thailand’s TM30 Revisited: Clarifying the Confusion?
by Christopher F. Bruton, Thailand Regional Forum
For our regular Human Resource Watch series, we published on 25 June 2019 details of the TM30 Immigration reporting requirements as then understood. In response to many requests, we now update from currently available information.
What is the TM30 reporting procedure?
This has been in force for forty years since the Immigration Act of 1979. Under section 38 of this Act, a householder, premises owner or hotel manager who receives a temporary non-immigrant resident to stay on the premises under their control is required to report the presence of that person. Reporting is to be made to the immigration office having jurisdiction over that location. This reporting must be undertaken within 24 hours of arrival. This is not a new regulation. The announcement of 28 March 2019 was an announcement of enforcement of an existing regulation under the immigration Act. This requirement has been observed by registered hotels for many years but is now being required for all forms of accommodation used by non-immigrant foreigners.
Who must report?
The requirement to report is the duty of the person in control of the premises where the non-immigrant foreigners are staying, not the foreigners themselves. Those reporting may be:
- The manager of a hotel, hostel or other similar premises;
- The owner, whether a natural or juristic person, of an apartment, condominium or house;
- A person leasing premises used for habitation;
- The head of household as designated in a house registration book (tabien bahn) for occupants of their premises;
- A foreigner may be the person reporting, if that person is the owner of a condominium or of a house located on leased land.
Who must be reported under TM30?
All non-immigrants must be reported under TM30 regulations:
- Immigrants who are permanent residents (holders of TM17 Resident Books) do not have to be reported;
- Holders of visas linked to work permits, including those with Board of Investment privileges, Smart Visas, Elite Cards, must be reported;
- Holders of retirement visas, spouse visas, student visas, and research-related visas are to be reported.
When must reports be filed?
The responsible person must file a report within 24 hours of the arrival of the reported person in the premises.
- If a non-immigrant arrives on Friday, reporting is permitted on a Monday;
- If there is a public holiday when the immigration office is closed, reporting can be made on the next working day;
- If a person is traveling, such as from a land border, reporting can be within 24 hours of arrival at the accommodation, although this may exceed 24 hours from the time of border entry.
How and where is reporting to be conducted?
Reporting is to be undertaken within 24 hours of arrival at accommodation in the following manner.
- For Bangkok and surrounding provinces, reporting is at the Immigration Department of Chaeng Wattana Road;
- For other provinces, reporting must be undertaken at the Immigration Office responsible for that location, or at the police station at the locality where a non-immigrant is residing;
- Reporting may be made on-line, but on first reporting, a report must normally be made in person to check the validity of submitted documents;
- Reporting may be made by registered post, with evidence of posting within the required time limit;
- If reporting is beyond 24 hours after arrival, a fine is payable and must be made in person to assess and pay the fine.
What documents are required when reporting?
The following documents may be required:
- Application form (TM30)
- Title deed of premises (chanot) where the non-immigrant is staying;
- Purchase/ sale contract used to acquire the premises may be required;
- House registration certificate of the premises where the non-immigrant is staying;
- Identity Card of the person in control of the premises where the non-immigrant is staying;
- If a corporate owner, affidavit of the company indicating authorized signatories;
- If a corporate owner or representative of the owner, power of attorney authorizing that person to represent the corporate or natural person owner;
- Identity documents of authorized signatories and receivers of power of attorney;
- Copy of passport identity details, current visa, most updated Thailand arrival stamp and immigration departure card (TM 6) of the non-immigrant to be registered.
Upon registration, a receipt will be issued in evidence of reporting performance.
What happens if there is delayed reporting or failure to report?
A report must be submitted within 24 hours of each entry of a non-immigrant into Thailand.
- In case of delay or failure to report;
- If reporting is beyond 24 hours of arrival at the accommodation, a fine of Baht 800 may be imposed. According to the present regulations, these fines may be from Baht 800 to Baht 2,000 per occasion. For hotel managers, the fine would increase from Baht 2,000 to Baht 10,000.
- If a non-immigrant fails to be reported and subsequently seeks extension or renewal of visa, including renewal visa for work, retirement, spouse or other reason, the Immigrant Department may reject such extension;
- It is reported that the Chamchuree Service Centre, which processes visas and work permits for Board of Investment applicants, Smart Visas, Elite Cards and holders of work permit for companies of registered capital of Baht 30 million upwards, does not require, evidence of TM30 registration. However, this does not exempt those required to report non-immigrants from their reporting obligations;
- Non-immigrants who travel out of Thailand, whether on a single journey, multiple entry or re-entry permit are required to re-register on each occasion that they enter Thailand.
How to deal with “problem cases”?
“Problem cases” have arisen, including the following:
- A person having the responsibility to report the presence of a non-immigrant foreigner sometimes refuses to report. In this case, a non-immigrant has no alternative but to re-locate to another accommodation. The non-immigrant may offer to pay the Baht 800 fine himself on behalf of the owner, and undertake representation for registration;
- A reporting party may be overseas or lack necessary documents. Relocation may be necessary, alternatively, it may be possible to obtain copies of documents, and a fine may be payable because of reporting delay;
- An original report may have been filed, but reports for repeated overseas trips may not have been made. A number of fines may then be payable. If the non-immigrant covers the cost, the necessary reporting can be brought up to date, enabling visa renewal to be completed.
What additional requirements may exist under Article 37 of the Immigration Act?
The Immigration Act 1979 also provides for reporting of domestic travel of non-immigrants when already in Thailand.
These requirements are as follows:
- If a non-immigrant relocates from one location already notified to immigration, to another location, the Immigration Department must be notified by the non-immigrant of that relocation within 24 hours;
- If a non-immigrant move from a location in one province to another province for a period of longer than 24 hours, the non-immigrant is required to inform the police station in the location of arrival within 48 hours of arrival.
- Non-immigrants are required to report in person or in writing to the Immigration Department every 90 days.
The above details are provided as guidelines, but no responsibility can be taken for any inaccuracy or misinformation, however, caused. For action advice, guidance should be sought from the Immigration Department.
Acknowledgment is accorded for advice from Khun Aim-on Larpisal and Paul Brailsford of Dej Udom & Associates Ltd. together with comments from Mr. Bob Fox, Chairman of Digital Economy/ ICT group at the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce of Thailand.
Christopher F. Bruton, Executive Director, Dataconsult Ltd, [email protected]. Dataconsult’s Thailand Regional Forum provides seminars and extensive documentation to update business on future trends in Thailand and in the Mekong Region.