An Issan based group of expats have launched a petition asking for the Thai Immigration Bureau to abolish the TM30 Form.
A representative group of expats from across Thailand wishes to respectfully petition the Thai government on the question of immigration law and enforcement practices. Together we constitute a very large foreign community, the great majority of whom live peacefully and in a law-abiding manner in the country that we love. Many of us have Thai spouses, Thai partners and Thai children. We contribute to Thailand’s future and its economy, either working, in retirement, or by supporting local and national voluntary organisations and other charitable causes.
We would like to open a dialogue with the authorities, to see whether it is possible for alternative, more practical and less time-consuming ways of applying the 1979 Law on immigration to be found. We hope to put forward suggestions that would benefit both those expats struggling to comply with the multiple and confusing regulations, and the country itself by cutting down on red tape, and improving understanding between Thailand and its foreign residents. We believe in this wonderful country, a thriving, positive association with all Thais and would like to contribute in any way that we can to achieve this goal.
Here is the standard letter
The Thai Government and Thai Immigration
We are a representative group of foreign and Thai people living in Thailand with Thai spouses or partners and Thai children. We work here, contribute to the community and the economy of the country. We love
Thailand and do our best to stay compliant with local laws. Recently, the new rules applied at
immigration are causing huge problems for the foreigner community and some of whom who have lived here and have caused no problems at all with the Thai authorities.
Under Article 37, any foreigner residing in Thailand who visits another province for more than 24 hours must report to immigration. There are 76 provinces in Thailand. This means if a foreign teacher lives in Buriram and decides to spend a weekend in Surin, on Monday morning, he can’t teach. He must report to immigration. Even if he stays with his wife and children, and the landlord (his wife) must also report to immigration with a form TM30. Immigration already has records of all foreigner’s addresses. Any foreigner must provide his/her address via the form TM47 if he stays in Thailand for 90 days.
We completely understand the reasoning behind the form TM47 and many have welcomed the online reporting. This is the case in most western countries. We must also apply for a one-year visa extension.
Up until 2018 the use of form TM30 has never been strictly enforced. But now foreigners and Thai people are being fined for not having filed the form TM30 on returning to their home address following a weekend in another province. This reporting also applies to tourists but it is the duty of the hotels to report these foreigners to immigration. What happens to people residing in AirBNB accommodation? Or living in houses with Thai landlords or even their Thai family as landlords? Many tourists are becoming increasingly frustrated with the new TM30 rules being applied.
Collectively the group of people signing this petition would like to see a change in the law which would lead to the form TM30 being abolished altogether. This Immigration law has been in place since 1979. Laws can change and evolve to stay in line with today’s technology. We strongly believe that the form TM30 is outdated and causes far too many problems which would did not exist in the past. Tourists and expats arriving in Thailand are also screened at airports or immigration points. Technology has become better and better, reporting addresses on paper, in person, is not efficient and counterproductive. The use of the Form TM 30 does nothing to help or minimize terrorism, and it presents an obligation to Thai landlords because it is them who must report their foreign guests. As the form TM28, it is also inefficient as most police station don’t even know what it is is and often won’t accept it even though it plainly says it can be submitted to a local police station (See clause 37 (4) of the Immigration Act). So there are many modifications that could be done to clauses 37 and 38 of the Immigration Act of Thailand.
Respectfully, we appeal to the Thai government to modify the Immigration Act, or as before 2018, do not enforce the form form TM30 so rigorously (maybe it was in Phuket but really not everywhere and not uniformly). We, as a group, believe that strict enforcement of the form TM30 will only serve to create more problems and ultimately show a massive downturn in tourism, foreign investment and the existence Thai families living with foreigners. We request this in the interests of Thailand.
This is our solemn plea on behalf of every foreigner residing in or travelling around our beloved Thailand. Please accept this letter as a suggestion and as a means to resolve one issue, which we believe could only serve to add more pressure upon and eventually become a negative influence on the Thai economy.
Long live the king.
The petition can be found at https://reform-thai-immigration.com/