Anger over immigration TM30 forms

Foreign nationals are rounded up in police raids in Bangkok last year. Many were charged with overstaying their visas. (File photo by Patipat Janthong)
Foreign nationals are rounded up in police raids in Bangkok last year. Many were charged with overstaying their visas. (File photo by Patipat Janthong)

Long-term foreign residents are upset at the strict implementation of the TM30 reporting rules.

They say that it will only penalise law-abiding foreigners and have little effect on criminals.

The TM30 is a form that landlords which provide accommodation to foreigners must submit to the authorities within 24 hours of the arrival of their tenants.

By law, landlords must submit the form to authorities every time their tenants return to the country.

Long-term foreign residents are also required to report their whereabouts if they spend more than 24 hours at places other than their registered addresses.

Landlords and tenants who fail to comply face fines of between 800 to 2,000 baht, although the sum seems to differ across different immigration offices.

A foreign NGO worker who asked not to be named said that he doesn't think that form is a problem, as it is his landlord's responsibility to submit the form to authorities.

A netizen who goes by "drsmith" said that his family decided to cancel their two-week trip to Thailand after learning about the entire TM30 ordeal.

"After reading that we have to report our every move, we decided to cancel our vacation to go somewhere more friendly," he wrote.

Another netizen, who goes by the username "borthong" wrote, "I don't know about others, but I am not travelling to a country where I've spent millions of baht to be treated like a criminal who has to be tracked."

The Bangkok Post spoke to several Thai landlords but none wanted to discuss the matter out of concern they might be fined by the Immigration Bureau (IB).

Meanwhile, IB chief Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang admitted there are problems that need to be addressed to improve understanding of the regulation among landlords.

Pol Lt Gen Sompong said many of those who provide accommodation to foreigners are unaware they are required to report their tenants' whereabouts to authorities. He also said that many private homeowners choose to ignore it, while hotel and guesthouse owners are more familiar with the process.

However, Pol Lt Gen Sompong stressed that the TM30 process will continue to be enforced in the future, despite the problems.

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  • abide: to follow a rule, law, decision, etc. - ทำตาม
  • comply (verb): to obey a rule, law, agreement, etc. or do what someone asks you to do - ปฏิบัติตาม (กฎหมาย, ข้อเสนอ, ข้อตกลง etc.)
  • criminal: someone who has committed a crime, i.e., someone who has carried out an illegal activity or action - ผู้ที่ทำผิดกฎหมาย
  • despite (prep): used to show that something happened or is true although something else might have happened to prevent it; used to show that somebody did not intend to do the thing mentioned - ถึงอย่างไรก็ตาม, ทั้ง ๆ ที่
  • enforce : to make sure laws are obeyed - บังคับให้ใช้, บังคับให้ทำ, ใช้กำลังบังคับให้ปฏิบัติตาม
  • ignore: to fail to pay attention to; to pretend that you have not noticed or do not know about something - เพิกเฉย
  • Immigration Bureau: the government agency dealing with people entering and leaving the country and those who want to live there - สำนักงานตรวจคนเข้าเมือง
  • landlord: a person or organisation that owns a building or an area of land and is paid by other people for the use of it - เจ้าของที่ดิน
  • ordeal: an extremely unpleasant experience, especially one that lasts for a long time - ประสบการณ์ที่แสนสาหัส
  • registered (adj): to be on an official list; to be on an official list of names of people who are allowed to do something, e.g., vote, study, sell something, stay in a hotel etc - ซึ่งลงทะเบียนไว้
  • responsibility: a duty; a duty to deal with or take care of somebody/something, so that you may be blamed if something goes wrong - ความรับผิดชอบ
  • submit: to formally give something to someone so that can make a decision about it - ยื่น (เอกสาร) เพื่อการพิจารณา
  • tenant: a person who pays rent for the use of a room, building, land, etc. to the person who owns it - ผู้เช่า
  • track: to follow the course of a moving object such as a ship, aircraft or animal using special equipment - ติดตาม, ตามรอย
  • unaware: not understanding or realising something - ซึ่งไม่รู้ตัวมาก่อน
  • whereabouts: where someone is - ที่อยู่,สถานที่,ตำแหน่งที่

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