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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawTM30 in Thailand: Does the Landlord or the Tenant Need to File?

TM30 in Thailand: Does the Landlord or the Tenant Need to File?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing TM30s yet again and a question on many expat lips has been 1.  Who needs to file this? It looks like it's for landlords.  I don't think I need to file because it is just for my landlord! 

A couple of things here. The form does not dictate the law. The law may result in the form being dictated but we have seen forms that will fall by the wayside. This happens under US law too; in the Immigration system in the US.  The law will lay out in principle, enshrined in writing, that the powers-that-be, the polity if you will, wants adhered to. That being stated, the form does not dictate the policy. The form is dictated by policy. So that is something one needs to understand because we have done some videos on here about TM28 and we haven't seen TM28; that just hasn't come up. That actually is the form that requires foreigners to self-file, similar to TM30. It doesn't have anything to do with landlords. It is basically the foreigner letting somebody know unilaterally that they are going somewhere else or staying somewhere else. TM30 is required of a landlord. My opinion at this point is it appears that the forms TM30 and TM28 are being rolled together and as a practical matter TM30 is now becoming The Form to use for making address reports and I will go into why.

There is specific language, it is the enabling language that in my opinion created TM28. It is section 37 of the Immigration Act, subsection 3. Quoting directly: "An alien who is permitted to stay in the Kingdom temporarily shall do the following: notify the police officer at the police station of the locality jurisdiction in which the alien resides within 24 hours from the time of moving in. In case of change of residence and the new residence is not in the same locale as the locale of the former police station, the alien shall notify the police officer of the police station at the new locale within 24 hours from the time of arrival. If travel to any province, and stay there any longer than 24 hours, an Alien shall notify the Police Officer of the Police Station of the jurisdiction within." So that is the language that in my opinion created TM28 and it should be noted, this is an English language translation of the Immigration Act. The main language is Thai and that is the controlling language so this should not be viewed as definitive. We are simply trying to put this out there to provide some nuance and perspective on the overall law. 

Meanwhile, Section 38, which I believe is the enabling language for the TM30 reads as follows:  "The householder, the owner or the possessor of a dwelling place," I think that is very important especially in the Airbnb era if you will, because one who is renting some premises, is the possessor of those premises during the time in which they are renting them. So I think that that language can capture in the spirit if you will.  In one form you could capture both what used to be used in the TM28 and is currently used in the TM30 and the broader aspects of using the TM30 can be captured by this language: "possessor of a dwelling place". So going back I am going to re-quote again.  Section 38: "The householder, the owner or the possessor of a dwelling place or 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. If there is no Immigration Office located in that locality, the Police Officer at the police station of that locality shall be notified. 

So that is the enabling act, that is the enabling statutory language for the creation of the TM30 as well as the TM28 and in my opinion, especially from that "possessor of a dwelling place" language, I think it is clear at least to my mind, that either a landlord or a tenant could be compelled or required to file a TM30 notwithstanding the fact that even on the form it would seem to indicate, “oh no this is a landlord filing”. No, I think a tenant can be requested to file under the notion of "possessor of a dwelling place."

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