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New personal details form arrives at Phuket Immigration

PHUKET: A General at the Immigration Bureau has warned that failure to provide personal details on a new form handed out the Phuket Immigration Office this week will have consequences for foreigners submitting applications in Phuket.

immigration, tourism, police, Russian, Chinese,

Tanyaluk Sakoot

Saturday 21 May 2016, 09:00AM

The new form marks criminal liability for providing false information. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot
The new form marks criminal liability for providing false information. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

Maj Gen Chachaval Vachirapaneegul, Deputy Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau’s crime suppression unit, told The Phuket News on Wednesday (May 18) that new form, titled “Foreign National Information Form” is mandatory.

The form asks for foreigners to provide details of their social media accounts, Facebook, Line and email addresses, details of vehicles owned by the foreigner completing the application, and bank account details, among other information, including places frequented by the foreigner.

The top and the bottom of the three-page form features the warning: “Providing false information to an officer, shall be punished under the Penal Code.”

The form applies to nearly every type of application a foreigner can submit to Immigration. The header itself states (verbatim): “This form shall be used for making record of information of every alien entering and staying in the Kingdom of Thailand and shall be submit with Notification of residences for Aliens (section 37, 38 of Immigration Act, BE, 2522), or 90-days notification, or Extension of Stays (all purposes), or Re-entry Permits, or in all cases involving alien labors.”

Gen Chachaval made plain his position on the use of the new form: “If a foreigner doesn’t want to fill in their information by themselves, they will be questioned for our records anyway. If they don’t fill in the form, we will suspect their reason.

However, he did not clarify whether a foreigner declining to provide all the information asked for would constitute basis for rejecting the foreigner’s application.

Gen Chachaval did confirm that providing details of social media accounts was optional, as stated on the form, but said that all other sections on the form were “required”.

“We will not force people to provide their social media details,” he said.

The form started being handed out at Phuket Immigration on Monday, one day after the order for Phuket Immigration Superintendent Col Sunchai Chokkajaykij to be transferred was published in the Royal Gazette. Col Sunchai declined to reveal to The Phuket News where he has been transferred to.

Col Kantawat Pongsatanbordee, Chief of Immigration Bureau’s Information Technology Center in Bangkok, last Sunday was named as the incoming Phuket Immigration Chief, with the Royal Gazette stipulating he was to formally take office on Thursday (May 19).

On Tuesday, Col Kantawat declined to comment to The Phuket News on any issues. “I am not ready to give any opinion yet,” he said.

The claim that the form is mandatory is an about-face for Gen Chachaval, who as recently as April 19 told the press in Bangkok that the form was not mandatory when questioned about its introduction at Immigration offices there. (See story here.)

He also said that the new form in use in Phuket was official, even though the copies collected by The Phuket News on Monday (May 16) were photocopied on the back of other photocopies and did not carry the standard TM number in the top right corner indicating it is an official form used by the Immigration Bureau.

The reverse side of the copies collected by The Phuket News specifically provided PorNgorDor 1 tax payment details of three persons involved in a restaurant in Phuket, including the persons’ names, the company name and tax number.

Gen Chachaval assured he would soon rectify the Phuket Immigration Office publicly revealing such information.

He also assured that the details of the “Foreign National Information Form” would remain secure. “We will keep all details provided on a secure server and they will only be shared with other law-enforcement agencies when needed,” he said.

That assurance came less than four weeks after a website-development “error” saw personal details, including the names, addresses, professions and passport numbers, of thousands of foreigners living in Southern Thailand posted online on March 27. (See story here.)

Gen Chachaval said the new information form was “necessary”.

“In the past, immigration lacked information about foreign nationals living in Thailand when problems happened. This updated information will help is catch foreigners faster,” he said.

“The information will be linked our data system and will not be revealed or given to others (sic). The information collected will be kept private, but will be used for national security purposes,” he said.



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   => Forget password? | 07 June 2016 - 16:19:47

Just read this today.  Surly this does not also mean that all tourist will have to complete this form.  It states every foreigner arriving in Phuket?   Would the Phuket Immigration at the airport actually enforce this or are they simply targeting local farang again.

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Rorii | 23 May 2016 - 14:42:51

I understand what you mean Christy, a little know fact is that these local "gestapo" commanders can in fact have charges laid against them,as per Thailand’s Licensing Facilitation Act of 2015, but then, no one will stand up to them, as you well know the ramifications are not pleasant.

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Nasa12 | 23 May 2016 - 12:11:07

It`s April nr 1 to Day ? No

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Kurt | 23 May 2016 - 11:59:51

I agree about Christy Sweet's last comment.
One has to be very careful with/how to approach Immigration officers.
The well known general thai government policy:.. " It is up to to the Immigration officer".., gives room for 'letting you go'.
In fact it has nothing to do with thai immigration laws.
It is just up to the mood that day of that officer you meet.

Their not th...

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Christy Sweet | 23 May 2016 - 09:41:56

Rorii, Tell it to the new chief who states it is. Last time I stood up for myself (testicles non-withstanding) and the  rules- refusing to pay for a residency  certificate, the next visit  my application for one year renewal was refused  for "not enough profit.." in my Co., Ltd.. Just as an aside as to how this kind of arbitrary ruling effects others, how petty corruption  trickles down ...

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Rorii | 22 May 2016 - 16:30:42

This form, in fact, is not required, if anyone has the "balls" they can refuse to fill it out, it does NOT exist as an approved form, it is simply the local "gestapo" commander pushing his weight around, in fact ALL official forms MUST be available online AND in the manual.
This makes interesting reading

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Ed Sanders | 22 May 2016 - 15:18:48

Agree with Christy... as the Thai gov't has shown time and time again that they are not capable of doing anything efficiently or effectively, and I have no confidence that they would do anything other than mismanage my personal information.  The lowlife faction of foreigners that this is targeting will not have anything to do with these forms.  This also rings loudly of the worst of Big Brothe...

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Kurt | 22 May 2016 - 09:32:06

Swerve:  I can't wait for the day that the Immigration gives me a 'document' to fill out with on the back all information of you,.. photo, bank account, bankbook number, address , phone number, profession, email address, etc as they re-use the blanc back of forms for other foreigners.

(Clearly written in PN, and commented by Chas)

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Christy Sweet | 22 May 2016 - 07:49:48

Swerv, this form is about harassing resident foreigners and  is why I object to it, nothing to do with some hidden agenda. I'm sure terrorists will be putting down FB/ as their 'social network' address, bank robbers will reveal their stake out locations and those illegally here won't have to be bothered because, well they don't go to immigration. It's absurd, beyon...

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yvonne | 22 May 2016 - 01:52:57

to Swerv. neither have we,with valid retirement and MORE than enough funds,many  friends who ALL comply and have no problems.World has changed DRASTICALLY with TERRORIST ACTIVITIES. SAFETY of all THAI Citizens first and foremost 
and THEN and those of "permanent and semi permanent Guests"are more important for ALL in THAILAND.If YOU are not a bred/Born THAI,then comply or MOVE on back t...

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