Thailand: Expats petition against enforcement of TM 30 form rule

Published on 2019-08-08 at 09:45 by Anne-Lise Mty
The petition has reached around 4000 signatures of expatriates living in Thailand. The latter are seeking the abolishment of the TM 30 rule. That is, the requirement for them to inform immigration should they spend more than 24 hours in another province.

The petition was launched on the 28th of July by a group of expats living in Thailand. And in just over a week, the petition has collected more than 4000 signatures. “A representative group of expats from across Thailand wishes to respectfully petition the Thai government on the question of immigration law and enforcement practices. (...) 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”, writes the group of expats in the petition.

Indeed, article 37 of the 1979 Law of immigration states that whenever an expatriate spends more than 24 hours in another province- they should report to immigration and their landlord should also report to immigration with a TM 30 form. While this law has been in force since 1979, the TM 30 rule had never really been enforced until recently. Indeed, expats suddenly started receiving heavy fines for not informing immigration when visiting another province for more than 24 hours.

Why are expats looking to overturn this? “It is time consuming”, they explain in the petition. Indeed, in a testimony attached to the petition, Roy, an expat living in Thailand explains that after another expat friend visited, his wife was forced to travel 180 km to submit a TM 30 form. He had not heard of the TM 30 form before Roy also explains that it has been impossible for him to fill the TM 30 form online. “Myself and some other expat friends who used to travel around Thailand for short holiday breaks are no longer doing this if we have to make another 180km trip to immigration every time we go away”, deplores Roy.

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