The TM30 form is also called “Notification from House-Master, Owner or the Possessor of the Residence where Alien has Stayed”.
The so-called TM30 notification issue is the talk-of-the-town recently as the Thai Immigration just changed some practicalities that can affect a lot of foreigners staying in Thailand.
What is TM30 notification?
The TM30 notification and its underlying laws are about the obligation of a landlord (housemaster, possessor, or manager) to report the stay of a foreigner (non-Thai national) in his/her property. All foreigners staying in Thailand and their hosts should be very well aware of this. The laws with regard to the TM30 and the obligation to report a foreigner’s stay have been in place for some time since 1979, but the government has started to enforce it more strictly lately and added this as a requirement to the 90-day reporting and extension of visa.
Section 37 of the Immigration Act, B.E. 2522 (1979) also stipulates that a foreigner residing in Thailand should notify the police station if he/she visits another province for more than 24 hours from the time of arrival. This would mean that a short weekend trip from Bangkok to Phuket would cause more red tape, even when you have already done all the basic TM30 reporting.
What is the purpose of the notification?
Basically, with the TM30 form and notification, the government aims to know exactly where each foreigner is staying all the time. Every host, whether, Thai or foreigner, has the obligation to report the stay of a foreigner within 24 hours.
This may seem a scary idea to those appreciating their privacy, to those providing accommodation, and perhaps even crazy in the eyes of frequent travelers, but we’ve got to live with it because the law is in place and Immigration is enforcing it more and more. The TM30 measures are one of many of the current government that are all aimed at better monitoring and controlling what happens in this country. The government wants to make it difficult for foreigners to stay under the radar especially those who Immigration sees as ‘bad guys’ such as foreigners who overstay and terrorists.
Who should do the notification?
Officially and practically, the responsibility to report the stay of a foreigner rests with the host: the landlord of a property, the hotel or the service apartment. Delayed or late reporting of a foreigner can be penalized with 800 THB to 1,600 THB per person (normally the penalty does not exceed that amount, even if your landlord reports months too late).
However, if you are the guest or tenant, you can’t ignore TM30 either: many foreigners report that they need it when going to the Immigration office for a service, such as the 90-day reporting and sometimes even for visa extensions.
In some cases, Immigration enforces strictly and demands the return slip of the TM30 form, in other cases they allow foreigners just to tell them their address and when it’s in the system it is okay.
Some foreigners reported having problems at the hospital after treatment when they didn’t have a TM30 receipt, apparently, it’s needed for the insurance company, so even for this, it is better to get it done.
How to report the TM30?
As a foreigner staying in Thailand, you should prepare:
- a copy of your passport (photo page)
- a copy of the visa page in your passport and
- a copy of the departure card (or write down the number on the copy of your passport)
The landlord should prepare:
- a copy of the title deed of the property
- a copy of the rental contract
- a copy of ID card or passport
In case the landlord has outsourced this matter to a property manager, a letter is needed giving authority to the property manager to report the TM30 on behalf of the landlord with stamps from the tax office on this letter.
After the registration or notification, the landlord will get a stamped return slip (receipt of notification) that the tenant/guest should keep and use when going to the Thai Immigration for a visa extension or reporting.