One of my friends on Wednesday messaged me over on Facebook inquiring about the TM30 reporting or Section 38 of the Immigration Act 2522. He said he visited Bangkok and stayed there for three days. Now that he’s back here in Phitsanulok, his question was: “I didn’t make any report as I’m confused, but which immigration office should I report to?”.
TM30 reporting has been on paper since 1979 but was not enforced until this year. Personally, it confused me, and I believe many, if not all, expats in Thailand consider it bothersome.
To be fair, though, other offices have been implementing this law for quite some time. I have friends in Uttaradit who told me they’ve been doing it for years. After coming back to Thailand from abroad, they call their landlady to inform the immigration that they have arrived. But this wasn’t the case in Phitsanulok — not until this year.
To shed more light regarding the confusion, I’ve personally visited the local office here in Phitsanulok on Wednesday to hear what they have to say. I wanted to clarify some issues myself, and I wanted to hear them as to how they are going to implement the law straight from their mouth. I’m sure you got the picture (mahirap na at baka iba ang galawan dito samin).
Below are the exchanges I had with the immigration office in Phitsanulok two days ago, which were triggered by my friend’s question and those who are in a similar situation who have no idea what to do.
Khon Philippine: If I want to stay in Bangkok for a few days before returning to Phitsanulok after a trip abroad, how is the process? Which office to report and who is going to make the report? Me or the landlady?
Phitsanulok Immigration: If you stay in a hotel in Bangkok, the hotel will file the TM30 for you. But if you stay at your friend’s house for more than 24 hours, your friend (assuming she’s the homeowner) will file the report that you’re staying at her property. If your friend (assuming she’s only a tenant) has to inform the owner and the owner has to file the TM30. When you return to Phitsanulok after your stay in Bangkok, your landlady should file the report within 24 hours of your arrival. If your landlady is not available, you can file the report yourself at our office.
Khon Philippine: How about visiting another province? Is it true that I have to make a report to the local police or immigration of the place I want to visit and another report again when I come back to Phitsanulok? Is that how it goes?
Phitsanulok Immigration: When you want to visit another province and you want to stay at your friend for more than 24 hours, your friend should file the report 48 hours from the time of arrival. There is nothing to report here in Phitsanulok when you come back. You will only need to report here if you came from abroad.
Khon Philippines: Who pays the fine in case I or my landlady failed to report? How much is the fine?
Phitsanulok Immigration: The fine is the homeowner’s responsibility and not you, the foreigner. The fee is 1,600 baht.
Watch the video of my immigration visit below.