Since the start of June, the mood among Thailand’s expat community has been a mix of panic, shock or downright confusion. An obscure and mostly forgotten regulation, the “TM.30 Notification”, is apparently back in “vogue” and being enforced by Thai Immigration Officials.
What is the Notification of Residence Regulation (TM.30 Form)?
Simply phrased, landlords or leaseholders of any property, are legally obligated to report the presence of any foreigner that stays overnight at their premises; within 24-hours of arrival. Offenders failing to process this report, are subject to a fine of 800 to 2,000 Baht.
Stories of “that expat friend” getting his visa renewal rejected, because of a missing TM30 are popping-up everywhere, like creepy urban legends!
Sadly, it would seem that the clamp down is real and expats planning for long-term stays in Thailand for business, retirement or leisure should buckle-up and get ready for a bumpy ride ahead.
Why the sudden enforcement by Immigration?
This question is on everyone’s lips and rumours abound as to the exact source of Immigration’s renewed enthusiasm for bureaucratic paperwork!
Some pundits point to the appointment of a new Government, looking to clamp down on overstayers and potential criminals. The toughening of Immigration’s catchy policy (No pun intended) of “Good guys in, bad guys out”, could be the source of this sudden zeal.
Others point to a crackdown on “Airbnb landlords” that host short-stay and vacation rentals in private condominiums; a practice that is cannibalising the revenues of registered hotels and licensed vacation accommodations.
Another interesting opinion by the cynics, point to an ambitious and more overarching policy of connecting Immigration records, with those of the Revenue Department. Potentially facilitating inter-office tip-offs and catching landlords who are not paying their taxes on rental income.
Whatever the reason, expats are advised to take the zen approach of “accept what you can’t change” to the whole affair, by simply complying and being legal!
How to successfully process the TM.30 Report?
After a bit of trial and error, Fresh’s Editorial is now able to offer practical first-hand explanations as to how to conduct a TM.30 Notification Report!
To successfully complete a TM.30, the following documents are required:
1. Completed TM.30 application form.
2. Copy of ID/ Passport of the landlord.
3. Copy of the household registration book (Tabien Baan) or title deed (Chanote).
4. Copy of rental agreement or land sale contract (In case of long lease).
1. Copy of passport of the foreign leaseholder.
– Photo and information page.
– Arrival stamp page.
2. Copy of departure card (TM.6).
*All documents need to be signed and dated by the relevant party.
These documents need to be provided to the local Immigration Office, there are 3 recommended ways to go about doing this:
1. Visiting the Immigration Office
(Timeline: Immediate Upon Application)
Probably the most effective way to get an immediate “approval stamp” upon submission of required documents, is to visit the Immigration Office. However, this option is obviously burdensome and time consuming.
2. By Post
(Timeline: 2-4 Weeks)
Another effective way is to post the documents listed above, directly to the Immigration Office with a prepaid return envelope.
Bangkok residents can mail their TM.30 Documents to:
Immigration Bureau (Sub-Div.2, Imm. Div.1) (Building B)
Chalermprakiat Government Complex, 120, Moo 3, Chaengwattana Road (Soi 7), Thungsonghong, Laksi Bangkok 10210
Provided all documents are correct and return envelope is provided, Immigration returns stamped TM.30 within 2-4 Weeks.
There is an option to register and upload all documents online. However, despite persistent efforts by Fresh’s Rentals Team, this method doesn’t seem to function. Users need to setup an account and get approved, before the e-system can accept applications and document uploads. However, the “approval process” never seems to get confirmed.
Readers can try their luck by visiting the Immigration Notification Page.