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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawWould the Thailand Plus Contact Tracing App Negate TM30?

Would the Thailand Plus Contact Tracing App Negate TM30?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests we are discussing the Thailand Plus Tracking App or Contact tracing app. We have discussed this app or proposed app I should say rather at length on this channel. Basically it is a contact tracing app that may or may not, it remains to be seen, may or may not be required of all foreign entrants to Thailand in order to trace them for purposes of contact tracing related to COVID-19, in response to COVID-19. 

Now whether or not this is ultimately going to end up being a requirement remains to be seen. My personal opinion is I think it is getting increasingly less likely it will be required as the horizon is dawning that a vaccination is going to be available. So I think the more the higher likelihood of mass vaccination means the resulting increased unlikelihood that they will require this contact tracing. However, that being said, all of that remains to be seen. It is kind of speculation. 

A good question that has come up based on one of the comments on this channel. It involves TM30 specifically and it involves the Thailand Plus app and folks have asked me "well if they have a contact tracing app on everybody's phone, are they going to keep requiring TM30?" For those who are unaware, TM 30 is a requirement you have to file with Thai Immigration that stipulates your address if you are on a non-immigrant visa here in Thailand. Strictly speaking, although the regs. have changed a lot on this, anytime you change addresses you also need to file a different TM30, a new TM30. So again it is a good question. As a practical matter a contact tracing app would negate the need to even file TM30 because presumably now there is a database with the contact and the location information on all these folks that are in Thailand. 

I would say that it is probably unlikely that Thai Immigration is going to completely allow the TM30 to fall into disuse and start using the Contact Tracing App because the requirement is set forth in the Act. It is actually set forth in the Immigration Act of 1979. 

An analogous scenario to this is the question I often get from folks regarding what are called yellow Tabian Baans or Yellow House books. Folks often think because they have a yellow Tabian Baan and they are actually in the house registration system that that should negate the need for a TM30 as well. I made a video on this topic and discuss that at length. 

Long story short, the Act that creates the yellow Tabian Baan has nothing to do with the Immigration Act and a contact tracing app it seems logical to presume, would not change in any way the provisions of the Immigration Act. So in my opinion at least as of the time of this video, if a Contact tracing app does in fact come online, I highly doubt it will negate the need to file a TM30 in Thailand.