Dreaded Thai immigration 24-hour reporting simplified


The highly-unpopular TM30 form has not been abolished but massively simplified. The reporting requirement dates back to 1979 but began to be enforced fiercely in 2018 after the government announced security concerns must outweigh convenience.

Effective June 30, holders of one year visas, the Elite visa, non-immigrant visas of all types and 60 day tourist visas have to be registered on the immigration data base only once.  They do not any more need to re-register if they make a domestic trip or leave the country and return on a multi-entry basis or with a re-entry permit.  But if they change their permanent address in Thailand, they must report that to the immigration bureau locally, or risk heavy fines.

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Those entering Thailand with a visa-on-arrival for 15 days (such as Chinese or Indian nationals) or as visa-exempt travellers for 30 days (including most European nationals, the US and Australia) must report their address promptly but need not do so again during the actual period allowed with any extensions, unless they move to another address in Thailand.  But they need to repeat the process if they make a second trip from their home country.

In theory, the traveller does nothing.  The 24-hours reporting requirement is supposed to be completed at immigration by the hotel or condo manager, the owner of the property or the head of the household in a private residence. In practice, tourists in particular sometimes found the regulatory person had done nothing or claimed to know nothing of the TM30 or was abroad.  Thus, in some instances, the luckless visitor was fined 2,000 baht plus because he or she could not prove compliance.

The immigration bureau is believed to have simplified the requirements after ongoing negative local and international publicity.  Officials told Pattaya Mail that the important thing was to be initially registered on the data base in the area of residence.  It should then not be necessary to repeat the process for the period of the visa including any continuous extensions of stay – always assuming there is no permanent address move.

But they stressed that the separate 90 days reporting for long stay visitors and expats remains in force, apart from the temporary amnesty granted until July 31 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.