Immigration cracks down on hotels

Immigration police on Tuesday promised tougher action on operators of hotels who fail to notify them of foreign guests who come to stay at their place.

  • Published: 26/02/2013 at 10:00 PM
  • Newspaper section: news

Pol Maj Gen Kritsada Surachetpong, commander of Immigration Division 1, based in Bangkok, said many operators of both guesthouses and hotels of all sizes and prices fail to comply with Section 38 of the 1979 Immigration Act, often by ignoring it.

The regulation says home owners, landlords or managers of hotels must notify the local immigration authorities within 24 hours of the arrival of foreign nationals who are in the country legally, but for a limited time - the target being tourists. Failure to report can result in a fine of up to 20,000 baht per case. 

 “We have to admit that officers may have not publicised the law enough, as many operators still do not know about it,” Pol Maj Gen Kritsada said. 

“We are doing both now at the same time, publicising it and enforcing it with fines. But we will focus on publishing the law first.”

He said the notification of residence of foreign nationals within 24 hours  will allow officers to know the movement of possible culprits disguised as legitimate tourists, or those who had committed crimes in the country and trying to escape.

Notification can be made in person during office hours at Immigration Division 1, Chaeng Wattana Government Centre, or through an authorised person, by registered mail or via internet. The form can be downloaded at immigration.go.th.

Intensive enforcement will be introduced in Bangkok and then extended to other provinces, said the officer.

Pol Maj Gen Kritsada pledged to enforce fairly and inclusively whether violators were operators of small-scale hotels or owners of five-star hotels in downtown Bangkok.

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Writer: Wassayos Ngamkham
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