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Soon, foreign visitors may not have to fill out “TM6” arrival and departure forms anymore! A senior government official announced this great news just this week.
In addition, the deputy sec-gen to the Prime Minister,Kobsak Pootrakool, spoke about the big possibility of a mobile phone application that will facilitate 24-hour reporting under the TM30 form system. “It’s in the works,” he says.
Both these changes are intended to accommodate people who are already living in the kingdom, as well as attract more visitors to come to the country. “We made the decision last Friday. Within two to three months, life will be much easier [for foreign tourists and expats],” Kobsak said.
The amount of TM6 forms that are accumulating have led to storage problems, hence why the government has decided to make changes. It expects 20 million new visitors this coming year which will only increase the need for even more storage. “[The immigration police] have to have a huge warehouse to store these papers,” Kobsak said, adding that the police rarely look at the information in the forms, which are only stored “just in case.”
As far as the app goes, foreigners will be able to report their whereabouts with just “four clicks” on a smartphone. It will be extremely easy for foreigners to fulfill their regulations that require them to report to immigration authorities every 90 days.
The mobile phone application will be for the infamous TM30 form, which “requires foreign residents and their Thai landlords to file a report to the police every time the former spends a night outside their registered province.” (Tourists are exempt from this because the hotels take care of this for them.)
“The apps are not finished yet. QR codes will likely be used but it’s not concrete yet. It will likely be on a smartphone,” said an officer. The law will remain the same, it's just the form causing so many people grief that will be scrapped.