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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawDoes TM30 Apply to Tourists in Thailand?

Does TM30 Apply to Tourists in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are yet again discussing the TM30. I have seen a lot of information throughout the internet bandied about with respect to tourists and whether or not tourists are going to be impacted by the TM30 here in the Kingdom.

To be clear, what is the TM30? Well there is a multitude of videos on this channel with respect to the TM30.  I suggest you just go over the search function in the channel and type in TM30 and you will probably get at least a half-a-dozen videos where we have talked about this issue pretty well at length but this is a specific aspect of the TM30 that we haven't really gone into and it has been cause of a bit of, for lack of better term a bit of confusion I have noticed on the internet. 

So a lot of folks have been asking ”Do tourists need to worry about the TM30?" My short answer to that is "Not really, but understand that staying in a hotel versus staying at someone's home, a guest house or an Airbnb are qualitatively different things as it pertains to the TM30". A couple of things that need to be kept in mind here. Under Chapter 4 of the Immigration Act of 1979. That chapter is titled Temporary Stay in the Kingdom, and it designates under Section 34 "Aliens entering the Kingdom for a temporary stay may enter for the following activities" and under subsection 3 of section 34 it notes "Tourism".  Further to that, when you go along through this Act, you will notice that in section 37 it notes "An alien who is permitted to stay in the Kingdom of temporarily shall do the following: notify the police officer at the police station of the locality or jurisdiction in which the alien resides within 24 hours from the time of moving in. In case of change of residence, if the new residence is not in the same locality jurisdiction as the locality of former police station, the alien shall notify the police officer of the police station of the new locality jurisdiction within 24 hours from the time of arrival. If travel to any province and stay there longer for more than 24 hours, an alien shall notify the police officer of the police station locality within."  That is TM28 arguably. But also section 38 TM30. "The householder, the owner of the possessor of a dwelling place or a hotel manager who takes in as a resident an alien with permission to temporarily stay in the Kingdom shall notify the competent official at the Immigration Office located in the locality in which the house, dwelling place or hotel is located within 24 hours from the time the alien has taken residence".

So TM28 could arguably apply to tourists.  TM30 I think does applied to tourists.  In fact I should retract that statement. I don't think it is arguable. I think it clearly does apply to tourists.  Now that being stated, it is my understanding that Thai Immigration is taking the position that those tourists who are staying in hotels where the hotel has filed their TM30, that is the end of it. That is considered enough notice provided to the Immigration Authorities in order to cover them pursuant to Thai law. They were admitted to the Kingdom temporarily and they were TM30d. Their notice was given via the hotel and so section 37 and section 38 would seem to be met pursuant to that filing. So the thing to take away from this video is while it does pertain to tourists, if you are a tourist and you are hearing "What is this TM30 thing?", do not fret. If you are coming to Thailand and simply wishing to stay at a hotel in Thailand on the beach or something, don't even worry about it. TM30 is not that big a deal; you probably won't even notice it.  That being stated, things like Airbnb or staying long term for example in a rented condo, that can lead to other issues. So long-staying tourists and I think that this applies specifically to multi-entry tourist visa applicants, because those folks tend to stay in shall we say less traditional forms of accommodation. Those folks may need to worry TM30 and notwithstanding the fact that a lot of people who said "tourist visas are not covered by this",  I think it is clear that they are covered by this. Those who are simply staying in a hotel need not worry. That hotel is going to go ahead and deal with your TM30 and that is going to deal with your reporting requirement. Those folks again who are staying in things like Airbnb or other non-traditional forms of accommodation, may need to worry about TM30 moving forward.