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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawThe TM86 Form for Change of Thai Visa in 2021

The TM86 Form for Change of Thai Visa in 2021

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the TM86 form which is officially titled: Application for Change of Visa. I am going to go ahead and put that up on screen here so folks can go ahead and look at that whole form. 

The thing to understand about this is I am doing this from the context specifically of 2021; we are going to look back on 2020. Change of visa became very necessary especially as the Amnesty situation evolved in response to this COVID-19 thing. A lot of folks got stuck in Thailand. A lot of folks were in Thailand on temporary status and they needed to get into longer term status so they needed to go ahead and convert or change their Visa category in order to get into something that provided a great deal more certainty with respect to their status here in the Kingdom. The Change of Visa Form was in far wider use I would argue, than it might ever have been in use up to this point. Generally speaking, the prevailing attitude is those who are in Thailand in Tourist or Non-immigrant status, need to leave the country in order to change that status because all of that status is considered temporary under provisions of the Thai Immigration Act of '79. Basically “Non-Immigrant” is exactly what it is defined as. It is someone who is NOT living here regularly so those who need to change that status need to leave the country and come back in. Well the logistics of doing that became nearly impossible for some folks due to the COVID-19 response. Therefore Immigration, especially under the Amnesty, began utilizing their discretion to change folks' status in country. So in 2020 we saw this form used a lot more than we usually did. 

Now moving into 2021, it remains to be seen how this is going to play out. I would suspect, especially towards the end of the year, I would suspect we will be seeing this to lesser degrees of wide usage but I think we will be seeing it used at least under some circumstances, depending on the circumstances, more than usual but perhaps less than we saw last year moving forward.