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Expat group petitions Thai immigration to abolish TM30 form

The Thaiger

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Expat group petitions Thai immigration to abolish TM30 form | The Thaiger

A group of expats, representing foreigners living in Thailand for many years, has prepared a petition for affected expats to sign, before they present it to Thai Immigration and government officials. They are requesting changes to the enforcement of the controversial TM30 form.

There is a link to their website at the bottom of the page where you can sign the petition and become involved. Over to you…

To the Thai Government and Thai Immigration

We are a representative group of foreign and Thai people living in Thailand with Thai spouses or partners and Thai children. We work here, contribute to the community and the economy of the country. We love
Thailand and do our best to stay compliant with local laws. Recently, the new rules applied at
immigration are causing huge problems for the foreigner community and some of whom who have lived here and have caused no problems at all with the Thai authorities.

Under Article 37, any foreigner residing in Thailand who visits another province for more than 24 hours must report to immigration. There are 77 provinces in Thailand. This means if a foreign teacher lives in Buriram and decides to spend a weekend in Surin, on Monday morning, he can’t teach. He must report to immigration. Even if he stays with his wife and children, and the landlord (his wife) must also report to immigration with a form TM30. Immigration already has records of all foreigner’s addresses. Any foreigner must provide his/her address via the form TM47 if he stays in Thailand for 90 days.

We completely understand the reasoning behind the form TM47 and many have welcomed the online reporting. This is the case in most western countries. We must also apply for a one-year visa extension.

Up until 2018 the use of form TM30 has never been strictly enforced. But now foreigners and Thai people are being fined for not having filed the form TM30 on returning to their home address following a weekend in another province. This reporting also applies to tourists but it is the duty of the hotels to report these foreigners to immigration.

What happens to people residing in AirBNB accommodation? Or living in houses with Thai landlords or even their Thai family as landlords? Many tourists are becoming increasingly frustrated with the new TM30 rules being applied.

Collectively the group of people signing this petition would like to see a change in the law which would lead to the form TM30 being abolished altogether. This Immigration law has been in place since 1979. Laws can change and evolve to stay in line with today’s technology. We strongly believe that the form TM30 is outdated and causes far too many problems which would did not exist in the past.

Tourists and expats arriving in Thailand are also screened at airports or immigration points. Technology has become better and better, reporting addresses on paper, in person, is not efficient and counterproductive. The use of the Form TM 30 does nothing to help or minimize terrorism, and it presents an obligation to Thai landlords because it is them who must report their foreign guests. As the form TM28, it is also inefficient as most police station don’t even know what it is is and often won’t accept it even though it plainly says it can be submitted to a local police station (See clause 37 (4) of the Immigration Act). So there are many modifications that could be done to clauses 37 and 38 of the Immigration Act of Thailand.

Respectfully, we appeal to the Thai government to modify the Immigration Act, or as before 2018, do not enforce the form form TM30 so rigorously. We, as a group, believe that strict enforcement of the form TM30 will only serve to create more problems and ultimately show a massive downturn in tourism, foreign investment and the existence Thai families living with foreigners. We request this in the interests of Thailand.

This is our solemn plea on behalf of every foreigner residing in or travelling around our beloved Thailand. Please accept this letter as a suggestion and as a means to resolve one issue, which we believe could only serve to add more pressure upon and eventually become a negative influence on the Thai economy.

Yours respectfully,

Long live The King.

Link to their website HERE.

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Expats

Thai Department proceeds with crackdown on shameless price gouging on medications

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thai Department proceeds with crackdown on shameless price gouging on medications | The Thaiger

Despite a lot of resistance from the local Thai private hospital networks, The Department of Internal Trade says they will proceed with its crackdown to control prices of medicines now that it has received their price lists.

Once legislation is enacted, hospitals selling medicines above the median price set by the department will face fines and/or imprisonment. Since August 16, every hospital has been required to print out QR codes so patients can compare prices.

Many Thai private hospitals have been price gouging patients for medications sold through their in-house dispensaries for years, sometimes inflating prices for prescription medications up to 3,000% the price of a local pharmacy.

Prayoth Benyasut, the department’s deputy director-general, says private hospitals, manufacturers, importers and dealers provided the department with their price lists on July 31, and DIT has used this data to set a price for each item, which will be made accessible to customers.

“If hospitals are not able to explain why a medicine is overpriced, they will be fined 140,000 baht or be imprisoned for seven years, or face both a jail term and fine.”

The DIT says it will summon 20 private hospitals to testify after they failed to meet the July 31 deadline to provide their price lists.

“If they don’t show up, they will face three months in jail and/or fined 5,000 baht. Those who have failed to provide complete data will be fined 2,000 baht, while those that have failed to respond to the deadline will be fined 20,000 baht and/or imprisoned for a year.”

The DIT will release a list of pharmacies on its official website, www.dit.go.th, so people can have their prescriptions filled there, though this option is still being considered by the Pharmacy Council of Thailand.

The department has also sent its agents to check if private hospitals are displaying the QR codes. People can also check the price of drugs on the www.hospitals.dit.go.th website, according to The Nation.

Private hospitals will also be required to follow the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking’s notification on regulations on drugs, medical supplies and medical services, which insists that patients be provided with estimated costs before they are admitted to hospital. Hospitals are also required to provide patients with prescriptions that have clear information and instruction.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Crime

British man repays street vendor’s kindness by scamming him

May Taylor

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British man repays street vendor’s kindness by scamming him | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Thai Residents and Sanook

Surichat, a 50 year old BBQ food vendor in Khon Kaen province, north-eastern Thailand, became the victim of a shameless petty con-artist when he tried to help the man out of financial difficulty. The man introduced himself as ‘Stuart’ and claimed to be from England. He told Surichat he had a wife and child in Bangkok but was living in a Khon Kaen hostel since his wife kicked him out.

Stuart became a regular visitor to Surichat’s shop, stopping every day for drinks and some food. Surichat would call a motorbike taxi for him and when Stuart claimed to have lost his wallet one day, the driver didn’t charge him.

The following day, Stuart told Surichat he was going to Bangkok to meet a friend who was bringing a credit card from Stuart’s mother in England. But on the day he was meant to travel, he claimed his friend had been in a fight with an Australian man and was in police custody. Stuart claimed he would be unable to get his mother’s credit card and had nowhere to stay.

Surichat, feeling sorry for the man, gave him 1,000 baht. Stuart returned the money two days later, but the following day sent an email asking to borrow some more. In total, over the next couple of days, Surichat gave him 4,000 baht, after which Stuart left for Bangkok, claiming to be getting some money.

When he didn’t return, Surichat texted him, asking for his whereabouts and saying people were worried about him. Stuart’s reaction was to text him back, calling him stupid, and then proceeding to text inappropriate images to Surichat’s wife.

Surichat later found out that he was not Stuart’s first victim, with another man having lost 10,000 baht to the conman. He plans to file a police report.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Bangkok

Thai Immigration bristles about TM30 revolt as it copes with PR disaster

The Thaiger

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Thai Immigration bristles about TM30 revolt as it copes with PR disaster | The Thaiger

The TM30 form, as well as the associated TM28 form, have now become a huge public relations liability for the Thai Immigration Department.

The more questions asked, and the more explanations by well-intentioned Immigration officials, the more confusing the whole matter becomes.

If the policy is intended to make Thailand safer and make foreigners feel more secure, the opposite is happening. And now the story is catching on in foreign media, the situation is becoming a minor PR disaster for Thailand where tourism authorities would much prefer to be showing off the beaches and temples.

Over the weekend foreigners scratched their head after another week of contradictory forums, panel discussions, thousands of comments on social media and confusing responses from Immigration officials. Last Thursday’s forum at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand included senior Thai immigration officials and was meant to ‘clear the air’ on many of the issues.

Whilst mostly flying beneath the radar, quietly legally working, living their lives on a pension or spending months of a year in the Kingdom, foreign expats say they now feel targeted in a well-intentioned, but poorly executed, security initiative.

Officials hammered home the importance of ‘national security’ whilst failing to understand the concerns of long-term, legal and ‘nice’ foreigners who simply wished to live in the Kingdom without too much fuss.

The Immigration staff gave no clear indication if they took the suggestions and general discussion seriously or how they could address some of the more cumbersome and onerous conditions applied by the TM30 and TM28 forms. But they did say there was no timeline to examine any of these issues.

On the books for 40 years, but not rigorously enforced until March this year, the TM30 form requires Thai landlords providing accommodation to foreigners to report their arrival and departure to immigration within 24 hours.

Long-termers, foreign retirees, foreigners married to Thais, and foreigners travelling a lot for work, etc must also report their whereabouts within 24 hours with the TM28 form when they stay overnight at locations other than their registered primary residence. That would include visiting an hour away, in another province or arriving back from overseas.

According to the Immigration officials attending the panel discussion, they kept saying the process is ‘easy’. They were challenged repeatedly by other panel members and some of the audience, a number of times clearly taken aback by the nature of the questioning and the litany of frustration being shared with them. They were saying that it was not only ‘not easy’ but also confusing.

Some of the people in the audience threw up example after example of unworkable situations with the current enforcement and sought clarification that was not forthcoming.

Richard Barrow, a popular blogger and long-termer offered his reflection on Thai immigration enforcing the TM30 and TM28 sections of the 1979 Immigration Act.

“The landlord has to register foreigners within 24 hours. The problem is the landlord might have 10-15 units. It is a lot of work for them to keep registering foreigners every time they come back from a trip. Sometimes, the landlord is not even in the same city or country.”

“Now some apartment blocks are putting up signs saying ‘no foreigners’ because they don’t want the hassle.”

For foreigner staying in Thailand, you should prepare…

  • A copy of foreigner’s passport photo page
  • A copy of the visa page
  • A copy of latest entry page and
  • A copy of the immigration departure card

The landlord should prepare…

  • A copy of the title deed of the property
  • A copy of the rental contract
  • A copy of ID card and hose registration of owner
  • Power of attorney (POA) appoint authorised person Thai/Foreigner to report TM30
  • The completed TM30 form

There are three ways the owner or lessor of the residence can file the TM30…

  1. Filing directly at the Immigration Bureau or related Immigration Office located in the area of residence.
  2. File by registered post mail (at the Post Office).
  3. File by internet. Note: the notifier must first register at https://immigration.go.th/index and obtain a username and password before being able to do this online. If the owner or lessor of the residence is current obligate to pay an outstanding fine, this online process will not be available.

Thai Immigration bristles about TM30 revolt as it copes with PR disaster | News by The Thaiger

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