Visitors to Thailand won’t have to worry about filling in TM6 arrival cards according to a senior government official.
Foreigners have always been required to fill out a TM6 form upon their arrival in Thailand. The card requests information like your passport number, occupation, place of residence in Thailand, and a few other customs related details. If you plan on getting a visa extension while in the country, you must keep part of the card, usually stapled onto a page of your passport.
Kobsak Pootrakool, the deputy secretary general to Prime Minister Prayut, said that the TM6 forms have become a storage problem. Both tourists and immigration officials won’t have to worry about the TM6 for much longer.
Additionally, Kobsak announced plans for an easy to use TM30 app.
The TM30 is an infamous required document that has made international headlines within the past few months. The TM30 is a decades old requirement that states that foreigners must report their place of residence whenever they’re in a province for over 24 hours. Tourists typically don’t have to deal with the process of completing the TM30 as hotels take care of the paperwork for their guests. However, long term tourists or workers in Thailand have to deal with landlords, immigration queues, and outdated websites to fulfill the TM30 requirement. Some expats have reported that they’ve been given reduced visa extensions as well as fines for not having their condo properly registered.
A TM30 app could simplify the process of reporting your residence, but it’s unclear what the app would look like. Immigration officers suggest that QR codes could be involved. An app would be nice, but you might still have problems getting the right paperwork from a landlord who’s living abroad.
In addition to the TM30 app, immigration plans a simplified 90 day reporting system.
Long term visitors to Thailand are expected to report their permanent residence to immigration every 90 days. This can be done online (as long as you have Internet Explorer installed), mailed in (if you have faith in the mail service), or registered in person at your local immigration office. However you choose to complete the 90 day report, expect it to be a frustrating and tedious task.
Fortunately, foreigners can expect an easier way to complete a 90 day report. Immigration claims that it could be done in as few as four clicks.
As Thailand tries to simplify (not relax) their immigration requirements, it seems that the future relies on smartphone applications. How many new applications will you have to download to stay compliant in the Land of Smiles? How much access will you have to give when downloading apps from the immigration department? Time will tell.
Curious about how other countries handle immigration? Check out our article regarding reporting rules in other countries.