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Phuket Airport to waive TM6 for Thais to reduce long queues

PHUKET: The move to reduce immigration queues at international airports by no longer having Thais fill out Arrivals Cards will be brought into effect at Phuket International Airport on October 1, the new Phuket Immigration Chief confirmed to The Phuket News today (Aug 10).

immigration, technology,

Tanyaluk Sakoot

Thursday 10 August 2017, 05:41PM

The new TM.6 immigration card to be introduced on October 1. Photo: Thai Immigration Bureau
The new TM.6 immigration card to be introduced on October 1. Photo: Thai Immigration Bureau

The news follows Thai Immigration Bureau Commissioner Nathathorn Prousoontorn announcing the policy shift in an notice issued yesterday (Aug 9).

However, that notice followed a command issued by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha last month ordering immigration officials at each international airport in the country to improve to their work practices to make them “more effective and faster to reduce passenger jams”.

That order, issued by Government House as the result of a Cabinet meeting, was signed off by PM Prayut and issued on July 18 – and marked “Urgent”.

“Regarding the notice issued by Lt Gen Nathathorn, Thai passengers will soon be exempt from filling in the time-consuming white cards with blue text, known as the TM.6,” Phuket Immigration Chief Col Kathathorn Kumthieng told The Phuket News this morning.

“This notice will be brought into effect at Phuket International Airport on October 1, 2017,” he added.

All foreigners will still be required to complete the TM.6 cards, though a new redesigned version of the card Arrival/Departure Card will be introduced, also on October 1, Col Kathathorn noted.

C and C Marine

Although redesigned, the new version of the TM.6 still requires foreigners to provide details such as name, age, home address and purpose of visit – and asks foreigners to state their income by selecting bracketed amounts.

The form must be completed by law, and in Thailand providing false information to a government official is punishable by criminal law.

“The purpose of the new TM.6 form is to solve the problem of long queues. It makes it easier and faster for immigration officials to check foreigners’ information,” Col Kathathorn explained.

“Meanwhile, we have already requested four automatic passport screening terminals to be installed at Phuket Airport. Once installed, these terminals will also help to speed up having Thais cleared through immigration, and speed up queues generally,” he added.

Of note, minutes of a Cabinet meeting held on January 17 this year noted that the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Ministry of Interior, among other “relevant offices”, were reviewing the prospect of having automatic terminals clear foreigners arriving in Thailand.

If the panel reviewing the concept supported it, the two key ministries were to propose the idea to Cabinet, said the minutes.



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Jor12 | 15 August 2017 - 20:25:21

Kurt...hard to tell with your spelling (dunno what a soucer is)....never saw candies either.

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Eagle | 15 August 2017 - 17:28:44

Pauly44,if they welcomed you with contempt,disdain or utter rudeness,then it may had something to do with your own appearance,as it never happened to me.

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Kurt | 15 August 2017 - 16:31:48

For that jor12: ... About 'never bother to read'...          I wrote about a soucer with candies ( sweets), not about candles!

That you did not got a lei in Hawai, mhh, I can imagine that.

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Jor12 | 15 August 2017 - 13:40:40

Kurt...Never got a lei when I was last in Hawaii. Have they got that many flowers to hand out? Never saw candles in Singapore - probably a fire hazard. You dreaming again? Immigration officials are there to work and process passengers. In all my travels throughout the world, it's always been the same...dour individuals doing a boring job. In event event, I just want to get to where I am going after sitting down all day in one place. And I "bump" back because you never bother to read or think about anything. 

Christy..."The problem is not enough competent English speakers." Next you'll be wanting everyone in Thailand to be competent in Chinese, Hungarian, Russian, German, Spanish et al. 

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Kurt | 15 August 2017 - 12:40:51

Eagle, a wai and a smile cost nothing, Right?
Afterall it is a part of the nice thai culture.
So, why not at arrival in Thailand, the land of Smile?

You are asking about floral wreath and cold towel.
Well, on Hawaii I got a flower string upon arrival, and the Singapore Immigration has a sourcer with candies for you.

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Pauly44 | 15 August 2017 - 12:38:40

Eagle, better than being welcomed with contempt, disdain & utter rudeness, tourists are welcomed with the same greeting as all citizens in my country, a grin & hello!

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Kurt | 15 August 2017 - 12:02:29

Discarding TM6 for thai nationals and revising TM6 for foreigners is not a solution to tackle the foreign queues at thai airports according the Chairman of the Airline Operators Committee (AOC).
Why not adopt the Singapore arrival procedure?
There are 2 good reasons. 
1: Get quickly rid of the present airport chaos, without loooong time no-result talks/doing.
2: A bit of AEC synchronizing in Immigration formalities.

And about the requested automatic passport screening terminals,  that are no 'Sesam open you' installations.
It is computerized high-tech, it needs almost daily check ups by high skilled technicians to make sure it functions as expected.
Successful operation stands or falls with continues check ups/maintenance. Are there people for such a job?

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Christy Sweet | 15 August 2017 - 11:40:11

Jor 12 English is the de facto language all across the globe. In most places that aren't 3rd world, immigration officials are fluent- it is considered a requisite skill for the job. Heck, even in 3rd world nations like Zambia and Zimbabwe, the immigration officers are fluent.
Go ahead and tell tourists they should learn Thai before traveling here. Not gonna fly.

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Eagle | 14 August 2017 - 22:18:22

Kurt,tourist should be welcomed with a "way"? and a smile!Anymore wishes? How about a floral wreath and a cold towel? Are tourists at the immigration in your country greeted by a bow and a smile? I don't think so.

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Kurt | 14 August 2017 - 20:10:59

That Jor12 always bump back with laws and acts,  he doesn't seem to understand that reality ( thai airport shame internationally exposed) does not meet understanding.
Tourisme is 1 of Thailand's main income source.
Tourist should be welcomed by ThaI Immigration with a way and a smile.
Often it looks like at immigration counters the incoming tourist should feel lucky to may enter Thailand.

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