“No, we don’t hold foreigners responsible for filing the TM30. Foreigners just need to make sure that they fill in a TM28. The TM30 is the landlord’s job,” Phuket Immigration Deputy Chief Col Nareuwat Putthawiro said plainly on Wednesday (Aug 28).
The TM30 is the form for landlords to report to Immigration within 24 hours of the arrival of any foreign tenants, as required under Section 38 of the Thailand Immigration Act of 1979.
The TM28 form is for foreigners to report themselves to Immigration after staying away from their registered address for more than 24 hours, as required under Section 37 (c) of the same act.
“The TM30 is the house owner’s responsibility, whether the home owner is a Thai or a foreigner,” Col Nareuwat said.
If a landlord refuses to – or is unable to – comply by filing a TM30 to report the foreigner as staying, or returning to stay, at the foreigner’s registered address, that is not the foreigner’s responsibliity, Col Nareuwat explained.
“All the foreigner has to do is submit a TM28. That’s all the foreigner is responsible for. If the foreigner is applying for an extension to stay, they need not worry about whether or not their landlord has reported them through a TM30 – it will not affect the foreigner’s application,” he added.
“They will not be told to leave the Kingdom if their landlord has not filed a TM30 reporting them,” he assured.
However, the requirement for foreigners to re-report themselves as staying at – or returning to – their registered address within 24 hours of their arrival by filing a TM28 remains in effect, Col Nareuwat told The Phuket News.
Asked whether foreigners must submit a completed TM28 every time they return to their registered address, Col Nareuwat said, “Yes, they must do.”
Col Nareuwat added that filing a TM28 remains separate from the 90-day reporting requirement, as completed by filing a TM47.
“Yes, please also file a TM47 every 90 days as normal,” he said.
Landlords who fail to report foreigners staying on their property will be fined, Col Nareuwat said.
“If the landlord ignores this (filing the TM30), they will be fined up to B2,000,” he assured.
“The fine under Section 77 of the act is actually up to B10,000, but the higher fines are used only for hotels or guesthouses that willfully ignore the requirement.
“A foreigner who has filed a TM28 will not be fined for the landlord failing to uphold their responsibility because the foreigner has informed us,” he repeated.
“But if a landlord is intentionally slow or delays in filing a TM30, they will be charged by Immigration police,” he said.
In defining “slow”, Col Nareuwat explained that officers will allow for “reasonable” delays, such as the Section 38 app launched by the Immigration Bureau expressly for filing TM30 reports online failing to work or if the foreigner returns to the registered address during a period when the Immigration office is closed.
“The law is very clear in that it says the reporting must be done within 24 hours, but as long as the landlord – Thai or foreign – has made an attempt to file the report and is not intentionally ignoring their responsibility, we will consider their explanation,” he said.
Col Nareuwat urged any landlords (for TM30) or foreigners (for TM28) who find themselves unable to file the report within the time frame permitted to take steps to prove the attempt to file the report.
“If the Section 38 app is not working, then take a screenshot so we can see it. But please make an effort after that to file your report as soon as possible after that,” he said.
“As long as the person is making a genuine effort to file the report, they won’t be fined. We just want them to do their part.
“If there is a genuine reason why the report could not be filed in the appropriate time, and the person can show us, then they can come to the Immigration Office at the next available opportunity. That’s fine,” he added.
Christy Sweet | 03 September 2019 - 18:55:06