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Thai Immigration Seems More Focused On TM.30 Enforcement

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are yet again discussing the TM 30. 

This particular topic seems to have been on the lips of many of my clients lo these past roughly two weeks, maybe 10 days. It seems like a lot of people are increasingly worried about the TM 30 mostly because there seems to be increased intensity or shall I say drive with respect to the Immigration apparatus in enforcing the rules with respect to the TM 30. For those who are unaware of what the TM 30 is, it is a document that has to be filled out by a landlord or someone who maintains tenants in their home or at a residential address. It is the same for hotels but hotels deal with it in a little bit different way, but basically it is for landlords to notify the Immigration apparatus that a foreigner is on their premises. 

Now in the past and for years, this just went along without a lot of enforcement. The laws were on the books, the form existed but depending on the province, there were varying levels of enforcement and voluntary compliance with this. 

It should also be noted there is another form.  It is a TM 28 which an individual utilizes to inform Immigration as to their movements and whereabouts. There is another video on this channel with respect to that topic specifically. It goes directly into the details of the TM 30 and the TM 28. I urge those watching this video to check that out. Go to the search function on our channel and just type in TM 30 and space TM 28 and you will find the video immediately and you can watch in detail about the difference between those two forms.

But something I noticed recently that was rather interesting. It was on Thai Visa Advice which is a Facebook group that discusses these things.  There was a recent posting I guess you can say that went this way:  Quoting directly, "Bangkok Only: TM 30 Update. Quoting directly, “Okay, I was out at Chaengwattana on Thursday morning like I am almost every Thursday and they have a completely new section devoted only to people filing TM 30 forms. Previously they were done in Section J but now they have a new area, Section B, with two desks pounding out TM 30 receipts. The fine for failure to report within 24 hours of taking up residence is 800 baht.  In order to self-file a TM 30, you need a blue house book listing the owner, the ID card of the owner your lease and a filled out TM 30 form. I would imagine, although I have no proof, but seeing as they just created a new section only for TM 30 reporting that Bangkok is going to be getting on the bandwagon as far as starting to enforce this policy." I think that is fairly safe to assume. Quoting further: "I would suggest that anyone who is on yearly extensions, just suck it up and pay the 800 baht fine and go self-file a TM 30. There is no telling if when it's going to be mandatory to have the receipt to do anything out there like it is at other Immigration offices. I am not posting this to scare anyone; I am posting this to share information only. You can file a TM 30 in person, you can mail it in and you can do it online if you can read Thai and join the online program." All of that to the best of my knowledge is pretty much correct. I haven't been out to Thai Immigration myself here recently, but my staff has told me that they have been out there and they have seen the same thing. They do have new facilities out there to deal with the TM 30 specifically. 

The other thing to keep in mind is as noted previously there is a TM 28 component for individual foreigners here on Non-immigrant status in the Kingdom. That is a different form than the TM 30. It's interesting, for lack of a better term, it is almost a paradox because strictly speaking a TM 30 is for landlords but clearly those who don't have one on file and therefore don't have the proper address in the system, and this goes back to more coordination within the Immigration apparatus which I have been talking about here recently and it is major news in so far as the efficiency of that coordination will result in them being able to ascertain this where they once couldn't. So in the past because the databases were not interlinked and the information might have all been in hard copy format it would be very difficult for them to ascertain whether or not one had a TM 30 on file with respect to a specific address. It seems to me as though it is pretty logical to assume that the coordination internally with respect to the digitization of this documentation will result in them being able to ascertain information with respect to the TM 30 more efficiently in the future. 

So the thing to keep in mind, I think it is safe to assume that those who aren't staying on top of their TM 30s and their TM 28s could have a serious problem. If nothing else they are going to face fines but it could also delay processing time for visas etc. and as those who have to process visa extensions know, you never want any more obstacles than you already have to deal with. There are already adjudicatory responsibilities that you need to maintain with respect to documentation so why create more of a hassle by having a TM 30 problem on top of it all. It is probably a good idea to stay well abreast of this overall issue as things move forward.