Thai Immigration scraps TM28 requirement for foreigners to report when away from their residence for 24 hours

Thai immigration have all but scrapped the controversial TM28 change of address reporting requirement for foreigners.

According to the new requirement, while TM28 is still listed, a long list of exceptions have been added, which for all intents and purposes means that almost no one is now required to submit a TM28 form. 

The list of exceptions, covered in sections 2.2 and 2.3 includes just about every foreigner in Thailand, from diplomats and those performing official duties through to students, those working in Thailand, foreigners married to a Thai or who are a parent to a Thai child and those staying in Thailand for retirement. 

According to the immigration website, the regulation regarding TM28 is dated February 14 but came into effect on January 28.

However, foreigners need to be aware that they are still required to inform immigration if they change address permanently.

The previous requirement stated that foreigners who had stayed in another province for more than 24 hours were required to inform their local immigration office when they returned.

The reality was TM28, which is listed under section 37 of the Immigration Act and has been a requirement since 1979, was seldom enforced by Thai immigration and hardly ever completed by foreigners after returning from an overnight stay elsewhere in Thailand. 

Many foreigners, including those who have lived in Thailand for a number of years, didn’t even know the requirement existed. 

At least that was the case until last year when TM28 briefly started being more strictly enforced by some immigration offices. 

This coincided with immigration also strictly enforcing TM30 – the requirement for hotels, guesthouses and property owners to report foreigners staying at their address. 

(TM30 often gets confused with TM28, with TM30 sometimes used as a kind of catch-all term to describe both but they are actually two separate requirements – and TM30 is still required.).

The sudden enforcement of both TM28 and TM30 resulted in Thai immigration being on the receiving end of fierce criticism from the expat community and foreign business leaders in Thailand, who said TM28 was not just inconvenient but archaic, draconian and not fit for purpose today.

The updated regulation regarding TM28 can be found on the Immigration website:

https://www.immigration.go.th/read?content_id=5e468147cf638702b11f9cb9

Read more here at the source, Thaivisa:

https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1149328-tm28-thai-immigration-scraps-requirement-for-foreigners-to-report-when-they-stay-away-from-home-for-24-hours/

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