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Phuket Immigration Warns Of Drive On Foreign Stay Reports

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Just a way so the immigration chief can substantiate his job, while riding around in a BMW..

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*scratches head*

so... if someone owns a house through the company route... does he, as the company director, have to report himself to immigration?

"House owners, heads of household, landlords or managers of hotels who accommodate foreign nationals on a temporary basis who stay in the kingdom legally, must notify the local immigration authorities within 24 hours from the time of arrival of the foreign national."

As head of household, yes.

Does this mean that everybody has to file the form. The house owners, heads of households, landlords or managers. Weather I stay in an appartment

or rent a room in a hotel I am head of the household but I would think the owner of the appartment/hotel manager would be responsible. The way it

is written everyone is responsible to report so possibly multiple reports per hotel/apartment/house. Unless there is a problem with the translation?

I think it is a tax issue in disguise. They want to make sure guests are registered properly so Mr. Tax man can do a proper tax audit.

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So if you rent a house and relatives come to stay with you what is the requirement there?

But, as someone mentioned earlier; why therefore are we requested to complete a TM card with details of where we will be staying? Is that not an official record?

Maybe they don't believe what's written! Before living here I can recall putting any old address on the TM card because I didn't have the faintest idea where I would be staying. So, perhaps they could remove this request from the TM card?coffee1.gif

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So if you rent a house and relatives come to stay with you what is the requirement there?

But, as someone mentioned earlier; why therefore are we requested to complete a TM card with details of where we will be staying? Is that not an official record?

Maybe they don't believe what's written! Before living here I can recall putting any old address on the TM card because I didn't have the faintest idea where I would be staying. So, perhaps they could remove this request from the TM card?coffee1.gif

You have to ask yourself how many 'tourists' come to Thailand every year and only stay at the address on the TM card. This may be your initial address, but if you are travelling around it is only the first of a string of addresses.

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My wife and I are supposed to go visit my in laws next week. We were supposed to stay for 10 days.. I told my father in law that he would have to report that I am staying there to immigration. He response was quick and simple. Don't come.

"Don't come - but still send money." smile.pngsmile.png

Edited by NamKangMan

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I remember all this in China. The thing there was that every place we stayed (guesthouse, hotel, etc) had a method to report this information through a website. For them to report our stay took about 20 seconds and, in some cases, was integrated into in-house billing solutions.

What chances are there of this happening in Thailand? More likely is that pockets will be filled and the newly fattened officers will switch off and sleep off their excesses and we can all rest easy again.....until next time.

In China it's the responsibility of the foreigner to report to the local police station within 24 hours in urban areas and 72 hours in rural areas if that foreigner is staying in private accommodation, otherwise if staying in a hotel, guesthouse etc. they will do it for you. At least in China you know about this law when you are on the plane because the authorities mention it on the incoming passenger card in English.

However, I don't really agree with this system in Thailand, which is a supposedly free country - for example, I am not aware of any requirement for foreigners to register their accommodation, especially if it's short term in Australia, for example. This whole system, unless implemented effectively is a bit of a hassle. However, what I am concerned about more is that as many things go in Thailand, they are neither effectively enforced nor do many people know about them. Your average backpacker type, who might stay in private accommodation would have no idea about this law. As well as I know Thailand I was also completely unaware of such a law being on the books until I read this post. I have known from day 1 of my first visit to Vietnam and China that they have such laws, but as communist countries this doesn't surprise me. But Thailand...

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This sounds like one of those rules where if everyone complied they would drown in paperwork. Our house is in my wife's name (please don't bombard me with how silly I am, our place in Oz is in my name) so technically every time we are in Thailand we should report that I am staying there. Which we don't do of course. This must be happening thousands of times every day.

Even the article says they are looking at hotels and guest houses, where it makes sense. If a (farang) mate comes round, has a drink and decides to stay in the spare room we are techincally required to report that? Madness.

Exactly...even in China, where I was living in a large apartment, I had both Chinese and foreign guests around regularly and never reported them. I had my Thai girlfriend over, my close Vietnamese friend, a Burmese friend, numerous Chinese friends and friends from Norway and other places. Even though I knew the system, like I was going to report them for a couple of night's stay when they have mostly already been registered elsewhere. I know that officially the law wasn't followed here, but in reality it's too much of a hassle to follow. However, at least in China I knew the system - in Thailand it's extremely vague. Where would you do your reporting? The local police station? Well, how about if I don't know where the local police station is? Is there a website to report this? Probably not...it's Thailand after all. I mean it took Thailand 20 years to apparently install some speed cameras on Bangkok expressways when China did it in just a couple of years and the ones in China actually work.

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The last 3 houses I have rented the Thai owners did not have a contract or ask for a copy of my passport. I don't think my current landlord even knows my name. Just shows up once a month to collect rent.

they don't want to know you nor to report that you are staying at their house to the immigration for fear that information may leak to the revenue department and that they will end up having to pay tax on their rental income...wink.png

You mean that they want to avoid taxes? Evil folks for sure!rolleyes.gif

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I think that an immigration policeman should be assigned to all foreigners and should stay with them 24/7, just in case...

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so if my mum visit me and stay at my house I have to contact the immigration for that ? For hotel its normal I guess that is why we fill up this form on arrival .... Reminds me when you travel to Moscow , they keep your passport one hour for registration ...

If you own the house apparently.

It raises a litany of questions that suggest this may not have been thought out so thoroughly.

The random-check team, led by Pol Col Sanchai Chokkayaikij, Superintendent of Phuket Immigration, will start checking accommodation from the end of next month. If they find owners or managers breaking the law, “they will prosecute strictly”, Capt Angkhan said.

Duhhh, sorry for the obvious question but how will the random check team know there are unreported foreigners staying there if the owner/manager/clerk answers no when asked?

Will this apply to expats working in Phuket?

Does this apply to ASEAN neighbors like Laos, Cambodia, etc., or is it just discriminating against western foreigners?

What if the foreigner is the owner of the property?

Does the owner/manager of a hotel or house report the arrival only or departure also?

Does this look like an effort to drive foreigners out of unregistered hotels or guesthouses to higher priced "authorized" places to stay? Not saying this is bad, just asking. It may drive some out of Phuket.

Does this create significant new tea money opportunities for the beat cop?

Is it not possible that the criminal element referenced in the OP will still fly under the radar with fake docs?

If a foreigner is a missing person, would it really be that much help to know where they were staying? Isn't that more easily traceable and more immediate via credit card activity upon a missing person report being received instead of gathering data on people who aren't missing just in case?

Is it not true that many foreigners staying one night will be gone by the time the data reaches the IO?

What happens when a foreigner rents a room and brings home another foreigner for a few days?

What about the rights of the the individual that simply wants privacy and perhaps is being sought by a jealous spouse, crazed fan, angry offspring, or whatever, who submits a missing person report?

Why is there no explanation as to the disbursement of fines collected?

Since it is the law that owners/managers must report in 24 hours, does it mean that when the IO is closed for weekends/holidays the owner/manager owes 8K per day until the office reopens? That would qualify as strictly enforced. Something very similar to this has actually happened.

Why no mention of the identity theft implications of having foreigner data circulating? Any precautions in place?

Full stop.

There you go trying to make sense of Thai laws and their implementation. Silly...

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Can i still pick up a pretty girl in RCA and stay in her High floor Condo, lets say for 3 days/nights?smile.png

Must she report me then? cheesy.gif

Theoretically, she must report your arrival within 24 hours.

Even if you do not come there?

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I know we had the Ministry of Silly Walks in the UK ( thanks to the Monty Python team ), but where do they find these crackdowns ? Absolutely laughable having to report a friend staying overnight in your own home -- maybe they popped round and we all had a few beers. Now I have to go the main police station whilst intoxicated to report this immediately because by tomorrow morning ( within 24 hours ) they've already gone home. What a load of sphericals.....

No you don't have to go intoxicated. You have 24 hours after they "check in"

So you still have to check them in after they have already left then ? Definately a load of sphericals

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so if my mum visit me and stay at my house I have to contact the immigration for that ? For hotel its normal I guess that is why we fill up this form on arrival .... Reminds me when you travel to Moscow , they keep your passport one hour for registration ...

If you own the house apparently.

It raises a litany of questions that suggest this may not have been thought out so thoroughly.

The random-check team, led by Pol Col Sanchai Chokkayaikij, Superintendent of Phuket Immigration, will start checking accommodation from the end of next month. If they find owners or managers breaking the law, “they will prosecute strictly”, Capt Angkhan said.

Duhhh, sorry for the obvious question but how will the random check team know there are unreported foreigners staying there if the owner/manager/clerk answers no when asked?

Will this apply to expats working in Phuket?

Does this apply to ASEAN neighbors like Laos, Cambodia, etc., or is it just discriminating against western foreigners?

What if the foreigner is the owner of the property?

Does the owner/manager of a hotel or house report the arrival only or departure also?

Does this look like an effort to drive foreigners out of unregistered hotels or guesthouses to higher priced "authorized" places to stay? Not saying this is bad, just asking. It may drive some out of Phuket.

Does this create significant new tea money opportunities for the beat cop?

Is it not possible that the criminal element referenced in the OP will still fly under the radar with fake docs?

If a foreigner is a missing person, would it really be that much help to know where they were staying? Isn't that more easily traceable and more immediate via credit card activity upon a missing person report being received instead of gathering data on people who aren't missing just in case?

Is it not true that many foreigners staying one night will be gone by the time the data reaches the IO?

What happens when a foreigner rents a room and brings home another foreigner for a few days?

What about the rights of the the individual that simply wants privacy and perhaps is being sought by a jealous spouse, crazed fan, angry offspring, or whatever, who submits a missing person report?

Why is there no explanation as to the disbursement of fines collected?

Since it is the law that owners/managers must report in 24 hours, does it mean that when the IO is closed for weekends/holidays the owner/manager owes 8K per day until the office reopens? That would qualify as strictly enforced. Something very similar to this has actually happened.

Why no mention of the identity theft implications of having foreigner data circulating? Any precautions in place?

Full stop.

There you go trying to make sense of Thai laws and their implementation. Silly...
Some good questions asked there - to answer your question regarding who is required to register, I'd say, technically all foreigners not just western ones, but also ASEAN ones. The reality however is that it will depend more on where the foreigner is staying. If Phuket, Pattaya and central Bangkok, likely all guests will be registered (assuming the authorities actually stay on this and don't "forget" about it after like 2 weeks). However, a foreigner staying at a guesthouse in Sangkhlaburi, couch surfing in some suburban Chiang Mai moo baan, a homestay in Mae Sam Laeb (Mae Hong Son province), the wife's farm outside Srichiang Mai, Nong Khai etc. probably won't be affected because no one knows that there are people staying at these places in the first place!

I have just spent a few night's at an expat friend's place in Chiang Mai and there were other foreigners who stayed too, as well as 1 Thai. Only my expat friend actually lives in that house. She is renting from her landlord. All the other foreigners apart from me are tourists, travelling around Asia and my friend runs couch surfing, so she literally has new arrivals every other day, all of whom stay between 1 night and as many nights as they like (or she allows!) which is usually anything up to about a week since after that most people would have had enough of Chiang Mai and would then move on to somewhere else such as Pai, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar etc. Right now she does not register anyone nor is she aware of this law (all she knows is the 3 month reporting, but that only applies to foreigners on long-term visas). As far as her landlord is concerned, she is the only resident and so she only reports my friend.

As far as missing person etc. is concerned, bad things tend to happen outside a persons (temporary or permanent) residence and thus all that reporting would do is narrow down the area the foreigner may be but tracking recent credit card activity would be more useful.

I have never heard of foreigners being restricted to "registered" accommodation such as better guesthouses/hotels etc. nor is there any campaign going on to force that to happen. In some countries like Vietnam, only locals can stay at the Nha Nghi's (local guesthouses) but that's a blessing in disguise as those places are dumps. However, this is not a big concern as probably 95%+ of all available accommodation in Vietnam can accept foreigners.

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Glad my gf doesn't live in Phuket! This would be an incredible hassle every time I go up to spend time with her for a few days. Typically don't stay in a single place either. Sometimes at her parents house, some time in her room at her shop, some time at her grandparents house, some times at her friends' house... some times even on the farm! Would have to register all of these places? Insane...

But you can register by mail! So everytime you go someplace just drop a registration form in the mail. I'm sure some immigration office somewhere is staffed to handle all the extra mail! clap2.gif

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Section 38: The house – master, the owner or the possessor of the residence, or the hotel manager where the alien, receiving permission to stay temporary in the Kingdom has stayed, must notify the competent official of the Immigration Office located in the same area with that hours, dwelling place or hotel, within 24 hours from the time of arrival of the alien concerned. If there is no Immigration Office located in that area, the local police official for that area must be notified.

In case the house, dwelling place, or hotel where the alien has stayed under provision of Para.1 is located within the Bangkok area, such notification must be reported to the competent official at the Immigration Division.


Making notification, in reference to the Para 1 and 2 of this Section, must comply with regulations prescribed by the Director General.


Section 77: Whoever fails to comply with the provision of Section 38 shall be punished with a fine not exceeding 2,000 Baht. If said person is a hotel manager, he shall be punished with a fine from 2,000 Baht to 10,000 Baht.


This link below covers all you want to know.


http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/post-a84562-Immigration-Act-EN.pdf.html



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