90 day visa exemptions for Brits and others would reduce the queues at Thai immigration offices

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Queues at immigration are made worse by the TM30 address-reporting log jam.

A Thai Cabinet decision is now awaited on the Tourist Authority of Thailand’s proposal to offer 90 days visa-exempt travel to citizens of UK, US, Australia and most of mainland Europe. The prime minister Srettha Thavisin is known to favour the move, according to his aide Prommin Lertsuridej, as a way of maximizing income from overseas visitors whilst reducing bureaucracy.



Currently, these nationalities receive only 30 days without a prior visa, but can extend for a further month at local immigration for 1,900 baht. If they wish, they can then take a day trip to a land border (usually Cambodian) and repeat the procedure. However, this facility cannot be used more than twice in a calendar year. There is no formal restriction on the number of entries by air.

Tourists are required to report their address to Thai immigration each time they enter the country via the notorious address form TM30. If they fail to do this promptly and require any service at immigration – such as extending their visa or requesting a certificate of residency to buy or sell a car or open a bank account – they will be fined even though the technical responsibility rests with the hotel or condominium residence “housemaster”. Some establishments report all their guests online to immigration, but many do not or even fail to inform their guests.



Foreigners attending the busy immigration offices, such as Jomtien, frequently complain that the long queues on many days are caused by tourists following the TM30 bureaucracy which creates a log jam affecting the whole process. If the proposed change was introduced, these nationalities would need to register on the TM30 just once on arrival as extensions and day trips to Cambodia would no longer be necessary for most tourists. A Cabinet decision is expected within days.

Currently, only a handful of countries receive 90 days on arrival without a prior visa. They include Russia, South Korea and several South American countries. The extension to countries now envisaged would go a long way to reducing the numbers queuing at immigration for TM30 clearance more than once during their stay.