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Thai 90 Day Reporting: What if I Have a Yellow House Book?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Yellow House Books. Those are also called Tabien Baans; that is a house registration book. It looks like this. It is a Yellow Book as opposed to this, the Blue Book. This is for permanent residents and citizens in the Kingdom. This is for certain types of foreigners who have been granted at discretion, granted the ability to be put into a Yellow House Book. Generally speaking, those folks in a Yellow House Book are going to be non-immigrants here in the Kingdom holders of visas like the O Visa, the B Visa, the Retirement Visa, maybe an ED Visa or an M Visa could be put in one of these yellow books but they are not given every foreigner. Not every foreigner is going to have them. Generally speaking, we see these issued in connections with foreigners that own a freehold condo here in the Kingdom. Those foreigners who own a condo with freehold title; we will oftentimes see those folks with this kind of Yellow Book. Again different from the Blue Book. 

Now a recent question that has come up and one that I would have answered incorrectly some years ago just based on my own presumptions is, "do I have to file a 90-day report if I have a yellow book?" And the presumption being that once you are in a yellow book, similar to a blue book people with permanent residents are put into a Blue Book and that results in those folks no longer needing to do things like TM30, do things like 90 day reporting and that is because the Immigration Act specifically stipulates the type of reporting folks in a blue book need to do if they are not a Thai National and it is a different type of address reporting. It is just a different regime for permanent residents.

Temporary folks, folks that are in non-immigrant status, therefore in a yellow book, those folks oftentimes have the conundrum of, "seemingly I am relatively permanent here."  Well first of all "No!" the Yellow Book was specifically created for temporary stayers in the Kingdom so the notion that it is permanent is not legally accurate. Secondly, and I think more importantly, it should be noted what we are going to get into the following here. Thailand utilizes a very different legal system to really anywhere else in the world. It is very, very unique. It adopted many aspects of things like the Civil Law System from the European continent. It also incorporated many aspects of the British Common Law System which is what we also use in the United States and throughout the Anglo sphere, the former empire; the so-called commonwealth now.  At the same time, Thailand incorporated many things that would be analogous to other Asian legal traditions and it also just has its own Thai twist on it. The Thai legal system is truly unique and there really are not a lot of parallels, under certain circumstances there are not a lot of parallels to other jurisdictions worldwide. That being stated, the thing that I need to get across here is we have got two Acts that are relevant here. One of them is the Immigration Act; that was passed in 1979. The other one was the amended Civil Registration Act of 1991. There was a Civil Registration Act which existed prior to '91.  It was amended and the amendment is as follows: "Section 38: the district or local registrar shall issue a household registration for persons without Thai nationality having been permitted to stay temporarily and those having been given special dispensation for temporary residence in the Kingdom as a special case in accordance with law and immigration and the declaration of the Cabinet and their children born within the Kingdom of Thailand. In a case of permission of temporary residence expiring, the registrar shall immediately redact such person." So that is the Act that created Yellow Books. That occurred in 1991.  Now let's move over to the Immigration Act which was created in 1979.  Quoting directly from sub-section 5 of section 37 and I quote: "Staying in the Kingdom longer than 90 days, an alien shall notify the competent official at the Immigration Division of his or her residence in writing without delay upon the completion of a 90-day period. This shall be repeated at every 90 day interval. If there is an Immigration Office in the locality  the notification may be made to the competent official at that immigration office." and it goes further to explain if there is no Immigration Office the local police will do.  So that is the piece of the law that creates 90 day reporting; again under the Immigration Act of 1979. Yellow Books were created under the Civil Registration Act of 1991 and never the twain shall meet. These are two mutually exclusive pieces of law. From our research we have not been able to find anything on the books that has amended the 1979 Act notwithstanding the amendments to the Civil Registration Act. So the way to look at this again, they are mutually exclusive. One piece of law creates the requirement on a temporarily staying foreigner to lodge 90-day reports. The other piece of law creates the privilege, under certain circumstances, for a foreigner presumably a foreigner who has got freehold title to a condominium being issued a Yellow Book and the law that created the Yellow Books, from our research, did not amend or change the previously existing requirements that those folks need to file 90-day reports or for that matter TM30s. We did another video on TM30 with respect to Yellow Books specifically as well. 

So the thing to take away from this video is, Yes, those who have a Yellow Book here in the Kingdom of Thailand, you are still going to need to go ahead and file 90-day reports. It just is what it is and I can't see anything in the Law, nor could my Thai staff including Thai attorneys who are very well-versed in Immigration Law nor could any of us find anything that would seem to have modified the previous existing requirements in the Immigration Act of 1979