A Guide for Foreigners
Living in Thailand for foreigners comes with certain legal obligations, one of which is the 90-day notification of address, as stipulated in Clause 37 (5) of the Thai Immigration Act. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of this requirement, its legal context, and the associated penalties for non-compliance.
Immigration will place this white document into your passport
The Legal Requirement: Clause 37 (5)
Under Clause 37 (5) of the Thai Immigration Act, all foreigners staying in Thailand for more than 90 days are required to notify the Immigration Bureau of their current address every 90 days. This notification is a mandatory process to ensure that the immigration authorities have up-to-date information on the whereabouts of foreign nationals residing in the country.
The Notification Process
Foreigners can complete the 90-day notification in several ways. By mail, online, in person at the nearest immigration office, or through a representative with a power of attorney. The process is free of charge and relatively straightforward, but it requires attention to detail to ensure compliance with the legal requirements. You must fill the form TM47 and you can see an example here.
Be aware that some immigration office can ask also your TM30.
The Timeline and Penalties
The notification must be done within 14 days before or 7 days after the 90-day period. Failure to comply with this timeline can result in a fine. As per Clause 76 of the Immigration Act, the penalty for late notification is 2,000 baht. However, if a foreigner is arrested for failing to notify, the fine can increase to a maximum of 5,000 baht.
Exemptions and Resetting the Clock
It’s important to note that foreigners with permanent residency in Thailand are exempt from the 90-day notification requirement. Additionally, for those who travel abroad and return to Thailand, the 90-day clock resets to zero from the date of re-entry into the country.
It is crucial to understand the 90-day notification for foreigners planning to stay in Thailand for more than 90 days. This process may seem bureaucratic. But it is a standard procedure for ensuring that the immigratio can maintain accurate records of foreign nationals in the country.
The 90-day notification of address is a legal requirement for foreigners in Thailand. It is aimed at keeping immigration records up to date. By following the stipulated process and adhering to the timelines, foreigners can ensure they stay compliant with Thai law. They avoid any unnecessary penalties. Remember, staying informed and adherent to local laws is part of the responsibility that comes with the privilege of residing in the beautiful and welcoming country of Thailand. Just like TM30, I believe this system should be changed to something better and easier. The immigration act is an old law of 1979 and the world has changed a lot since then.