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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawThe Continuing Saga of TM30 in Thailand

The Continuing Saga of TM30 in Thailand

Transcript of the above video: 

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing yet again the TM30

The TM30 has really, really been a source of consternation. I don't mean to laugh but I made a lot of videos on this here recently and it is because it's having a major impact on foreign nationals here in the Kingdom and here the past couple of weeks we have definitely seen some substantial how do I put a activity with respect to the TM30. 

Recently the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand hosted some rather big names in the expat community and also hosted the Head of Bangkok Immigration in a forum to discuss the TM30. 

First off, let's give some credit where credit is due. Thai Immigration is trying to interface with the foreign population they're trying to have a dialogue on this issue I do think they do understand that this hasn't been enforced in a number of years in the rolling it out now and people are going to be a bit taken aback as a result of these enforcement mechanisms being promulgated and they are trying to provide some insight with respect to this 

That being stated the system of dealing with TM30 especially here in Bangkok it's relatively convoluted. There are problems in dealing with the online system; most notably the backlog in dealing with the online system which we will get to that in a little bit here. The thing to take away from this video is really this has truly been quite the kerfuffle. We have we have really been seeing a lot of consternation from this and quoting directly from a recent article in the Thaiger, that's the thaiger.com. The title of the article is Thai Immigration Bristles about TM30 Result Revolt as it Copes with PR disaster. Quoting directly: "The TM30 form as well as the associated TM28 form, have now become a huge public relations liability for the Thai Immigration Department. The more questions asked, the more confusing the whole matter becomes."  Quoting further, and they go on to note, this is a rather long article, I urge those were watching this video go read this article in detail  I'll get to some analysis here real quick. The person that wrote the article goes through and notes that there was a meeting at the FCCT, the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, this matter was hashed out it was sort of a town hall like meeting and you know it was kind of mixed results. So quoting further: "They (and by "they" they mean the Thai Immigration Officers who showed up to sit on this panel and answer questions), they were challenged repeatedly by other panel members and some of the audience a number of times clearly taken aback by the nature of the questioning and the litany of frustration being shared with them. They were saying that it was not only not easy but also confusing. At there at the end, was the audience and the foreigners in question discussing the TM30. Clearly people are pretty passionate how about this. It has an impact on folks' day-to-day lives. It is something that that is is going to have an impact. It is a big deal. It is something that has never really been dealt with them until the past couple of months even though it has been on the books for some forty years as the article goes on to note. Again I urge those viewers watching this to go ahead and check out that video. 

The thing I want viewers to take away from this is notwithstanding the passion on this the Thsid, and I should say specifically the Thai Immigration apparatus, the message that was given from their side and I am paraphrasing was that security is of  paramount importance. Monitoring foreign nationals in the Kingdom is of paramount importance, especially those in temporary status. And a thing that I have said in multiple other videos that people don't seem to understand is B visas, O Visas, all these visas fall under what are called Non-immigrant Visas. They fall under section 4 or I should say book 4 if you will of the Immigration Act of 1979; specifically they fall under Section 34 which are temporary visas. Things like the O visa and the B Visa are temporary in nature. Now they are long-stay temporary visas and they have one year extensions that can be applied for but at the end of the day they are treated by Immigration law as temporary and unlike for example permanent residents, permanent residents don't need to deal with TM30. They don't need to deal with 90 day reporting because they are considered permanently in the Kingdom and they have been vetted, they have had their application vetted and scrutinized substantially.  They also are in a house book permanently a blue Tabian Baan and their status is dealt with under a different section of the Act. The temporary stayers, the folks that are in non-immigrant status are in the temporary section of the Act and that section has these TM30 provisions in it or the provisions that give rise to the TM30 form.

So the thing to take away from this video is give some credit to the Thai Immigration Authorities for coming forward and trying to have a dialogue on this. Now did it cause more confusion? It seems to have and there still doesn't seem to be a clear and transparent way of efficiently dealing with the TM30. I suspect we are probably going to see something on that in the relatively near future and as evidence of that, a recent article from Khaosod English, that is khaosodenglish.com, this article is titled: Police Spokesman: Incompetent Immigration Cops Will be Punished. Quoting directly: "Some expats have taken to social media to complain they have to wait several weeks to receive user names for the immigration's online reporting system even though immigration officials continue to enforce a decades-old rule that foreign residents must make a report every time they leave their registered address for more than 24 hours. The point to take away from this and I think if you go ahead and read that article again, Police Spokesman: Incompetent Immigration Cops Will be Punished, it seems to me that the Immigration apparatus has taken heed of the issues of the temporary foreign nationals staying long-term in the Kingdom and I think we are going to see some changes or at least if not some changes to the apparatus, at least some changes to how efficiently one can deal with the apparatus in maintaining their status and maintaining their requirements under the TM30 here in the Kingdom of Thailand.