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Proposals to get rid of 90 day reporting and ease investment rules in Thailand

Tim Newton

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In amongst a sea of bad new over the past week, a glimmer of hope for expats and long-stay travellers. You better sit down…

The Thai government are looking into changing the long standing 90 day reporting for people staying in Thailand longer than 90 days on a long-stay visa. But don’t get out the champagne just yet.

For the last few decades any foreigner staying in Thailand for more than 90 days had to report to Thai Immigration about their current whereabouts. Immigration officials added an online alternative a few years ago but its reliability has been patchy.

As far as The Thaiger can tell, the online reporting has been down for at least 3 months. (Comment below if you’ve had a different experience)

The Bangkok Post reports that the changes form part of a strategy “to boost investment and tourism revenue”.

For hotels that have had to report the arrival and location of any foreign arrivals, the equally unpopular TM30 form, the online posting of this information has also been equally patchy over the last few months (many hotels simply don’t bother – it’s up to YOU to insist they check you in with the Immigration system).

Though there has been no official announcement made at this stage, the desperation for visitors and tourist, that used to fuel up to 20% of Thailand’s annual GDP, is forcing all departments to look at relaxing earlier draconian or outdated paperwork in favour of encouraging more arrivals, during the Covid-era or or after.

Immigration officials have often cited the need to track transnational crime as the reason to maintain its strict, and often inconvenient, rules – 90 day reporting, TM30s and TM 28s.

But none of this has reached beyond proposal stage at the moment but, according to the head of a government taskforce investigating the proposals at the moment, there will never be a better time to bring Thailand’s immigration and investment rules into the 21st century.

Chayotid Kridakorn, a former head of JP Morgan Securities, in now leading a Thai government economic panel to recommend changes that will make it easier for investors and travellers to enter into, and stay, in Thailand, according to Bangkok Post.

Even on their most optimistic guesses, the Bank of Thailand says GDP is unlikely to return to pre-Civd levels until Q3, this year. Many pundits would say this is optimistic, indeed.

Other groups to fall between the immigration cracks, up to now, have included the digital nomads – people who want to work remotely, anywhere, anytime. Their creed is ‘have laptop and wifi – can work’. Most digital nomads have used various visas, and border hops, to keep living and working in Thailand. Under current rules, their work has been, strictly, illegal and a specific visa wold allow the Thai government to better control this huge resource and tax them more effectively.

Mr Chayotid says that Thailand doesn’t “want to be left behind and die with old technology”.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Avatar

    J West

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    Digital Nomads who pay income tax in….Digital Phonies who don’t pay income tax…out. Work permits for workers… Strict tourist visas for wanna be’s. Apples to Apples please.

    • Thaiger

      Thaiger

      Monday, April 12, 2021 at 2:09 pm

      A proper visa will allow the DMs to be better regulated and taxed.

  2. Avatar

    Denis

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    In my case, 90 days report online has not been working work for more than 1 year. I succeeded to do it online only once.
    So, i have the great pleasure to visit Immigration office every 90 days. But i must admit that this is not a problem for me : access is easy, no long queue and they are very nice.
    About this “news”, i don’ want to dream… I’ve heard so many projects of this kind last years. The last was about getting a resident permit if farang would invest in a condo. No news…
    So, i always keep close to me, some photos, a bunch of TM28 ready to use 😉
    Santa Claus is not thai. He is a just a farang

  3. Avatar

    Ken

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    I have done the 90-day report online for the past year and had no problems at all when reporting. The replies are pretty quick, just need to know the “window” which you need to follow in order to be able to report “online” I usually report 10 days before the expiry date (when online, needs to report between 7-14 days before the expiry date)
    But, extinguishing the whole 90 day report is a great thing, just don’t see the point of doing that anyway.

  4. Avatar

    David Jackson

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    Online 90 day was not working 73 days ago, but, ironically, it did work when entering via the Thai language version.
    It then jumped to English as normal, worked, and I have the confirmation that I am free until next month.
    I hope it works again then.

  5. Avatar

    Lee klein

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    Used online fir 90-day reporting 2 months ago and 5 months ago both without any problems

  6. Avatar

    7.62mm of darwin

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    Thailand, land of confusion. I will watch from Vietnam until you sort it out

  7. Avatar

    Dave

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    I have submitted my TM30 online the last few years and as recent the end of January but it’s now unavailable due to maintenance with no ETA of resolution.

  8. Avatar

    Gion

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    what is the purpose of the 90 day report? A foreigner married to a Thai partner lives here on a visa, has a Thai driver’s license, a Thai ID card for foreigners, may have an apartment or a house, has a yellow house book and a Thai bank account. Should he leave the country, he needs a return visa and is recorded in the computer when he leaves the country. Why does this foreigner have to go to the immigration office every 90 days and report? That is a waste of personnel that can be used in a meaningful way elsewhere, a waste of time and money and is completely superfluous.

  9. Avatar

    ynwaps

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    The fuckers also count non-working days and the online report isn’t working even though they’re making millions collecting fines. Yet they can’t fix their outdated systems. Amazing Thailand

  10. Avatar

    Maestro

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    It would be really great if the 90 days reporting, TM 30s and TM 28s get abolished because at the end of the day these outdated rules do not help stop crime. There are many other technological and less inconvenient ways to keep a record of who comes in and what they do whilst they are here or live here or live/work here.

    As a foreigner living here and working and paying a lot in taxes I find the 90 days reporting utterly unnecessary, and frankly, the powers to be should look at all these outdated regulations and take action as it makes them look like they are 50 years back in time.

    Digital nomads should be allowed to come and work in an organised manner, so they can for example pay in advance a pre-determined tax/fee amount for a pre-determined amount of time in the country. As we all know, there are many people working digitally here and earning good money but is all underground because of the outdated laws and the revenue department and the country is missing out. Thailand should become a hub/magnet for digital nomads and remote workers in a controlled and revenue-generating way.

    Back to the 90 days reporting, and to be fair, during the last half of 2019 and for all of 2020 I did mine online and never had an issue. In some instances, I got my 90 days report confirmation within 5 minutes which was brilliant. But for the last 2.5 months, the site is not working and there is no communication about when the site will be working again, and this is another great example of how difficult is for Thailand to become 4.0 when such a simple service fails to work.

    So for now and the near future, back to the Immigration office to do it all face-to-face, which is fine as most of the immigration staff are nice. The only issue is wasting so much time going there and being there and getting back to being productive.

    Good luck Khun Chayotid Kridakorn on making these changes finally happen.

  11. Avatar

    Dreqo

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    I’m confident it’ll stay the way it is, which is fine.

  12. Avatar

    Bazz

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    Doing a 90-day check-in for me is not a problem as my Immigration office is usually quiet. In & out in 5 mins or so. Friendly staff.

    What I would like changed though is the ability to do a check-in at any Immigration office. I have always been turned away when trying to do the check-in at other offices. “You must go home” is what I am always told. My wife and I travel around a lot but have to plan to be at home every 90 days.

    Of course, no check-in would be great but cannot see that happening.

    I tried to do online check-ins several times over the past 6 years but could never get it to work

  13. Avatar

    Brad

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    Yeah agree with this:
    – Digital Nomads who pay taxes = in
    – Digital Freeloaders who dont pay taxes = out

  14. Avatar

    Wayne Wright

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    In my case it worked great in 2020 1st lockdown. Every time after same message check local office. It was working fine? It wasn’t broken, why fix what worked. Not a major concern just a detour to shop past immigration, where I already did on computer and printed, often they jump que for me, as only punch a few keys, here sign, done, very nice people in Mukdahan. I wonder if they ever considered doing an SMS.

  15. Avatar

    Mark

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    I respect the Thai Government’s need to have relevant information on my (and other foreigners) living in the Kingdom, and hope this review will come up with more “user friendly” ways to register continued presence, residence location, etc. The government collects a lot of this data during the overseas process of applying for visas, requesting CoE, T8 form at entry; then again in the TM7,TM8, TM30, TM47, etc, forms required by Immigration once In-Kingdom. Data management might reduce need for multiple forms requiring essentially the same information.
    Hopefully at least some of this data can be provided securely online with associated instructions, to reduce Covid exposure risk at the Immigration offices, and make it easier on Immigration staff, and landlords of facilities foreigners stay at, and the foreigners themselves.

  16. Avatar

    Scott

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    The online 90 day reporting was not working last monday i had to visit the immigration office, but it was working 90 days previously.

  17. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 7:24 pm

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Yes, the 90-day nonsense is a hassle, as well as having the wife file a TM-30 if I ever take a trip out of the country…

    But it’s not going to change.

    The government hates farang, just loves farang money. They are so institutionalized regarding their opinions and treatment of farang that they won’t be able to let go.

    Yellow books and pink cards be damned, they won’t change anything.

    If I wasn’t married to a Thai national I would have absolutely nothing to do with this country.

  18. Avatar

    Claus Pfleger

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 7:28 pm

    What is exactly the difference of 90 days vs. 3 months? Or did I missunderstand something?
    Regarding transnational crimes: yeah, for sure that will stop that. Not.

  19. Avatar

    John2

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 7:29 pm

    We never needed to do 90 reporting until Thaksin reintroduced it in the early 2000’s.

  20. Avatar

    Eri Lee

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 7:40 pm

    My O-A visa expired when I was out of country.
    I came back to Thailand with STV which will be expired soon.
    I own a condo, have bank accounts and insurance.
    Hope Thai immigration will consider solutions for this…

  21. Avatar

    James R

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    How can you trace a digital nomad?

    When in Thailand people can still write iPhone apps for example via their computer and cloud based storage systems, test the apps via their iPhone and computer and with any other person bases anywhere else in the world.

    The cloud based code can be accessed from anywhere in the world so why would anybody admit they are doing it in Thailand and then pay tax?

    The apps are then moved onto the Apple store via the internet and the money from app sales is paid into a bank account in the ‘nomads’ home country, Thailand will not know anytime about this.

    People will just say they are on long term holiday as their work can not be traced.

  22. Avatar

    Lookni

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    I came to Europe last February for a three month tour to see friends and family.
    In March, I was confined to barracks and have been stuck here ever since.
    I own my own place in Thailand, had a retirement visa, and the required amount of spondoolix.
    The best route back seems to be to get the double vaccine and a PCR and get Thaiger to supoort following the procedure.
    1. Apply for a COE online here: https://coethailand.mfa.go.th/
    2. When you’re approved, book your flight, your hotel and buy insurance
    3. Now, confirm your application by uploading the bookings to the same website page
    4. Then fly and you show all the doc.s at the airport.

  23. Avatar

    Ben

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 5:26 am

    I wonder how much transactional crime has been uncovered by all this bureaucracy over the past 20 years? Probably not much. If so this is a huge productivity pit that is an obstacle to staying in the country. A few days ago the government announced a plan to lure wealthy retirees to the kingdom. Wealthy retirees don’t want to be tracked, traced and taxed. So eliminating this 90 day reporting requirement would be a step in the right direction.

    When you apply for a retirement visa (and I assume most other long-term visas) you have to go through a criminal background check, a financial capability check and a medical check for certain diseases. Would a wealthy retiree who has passed all of these checks and lived a model life, all of a sudden, become a transactional criminal? Where’s the logic in that? Don’t hassle these people if you want them to come and spend their money. Same with investors. Digital Nomads by definition can go anywhere. Isn’t it enough to have them come and spend their money without hassle or threat of taxation?

  24. Avatar

    Gary

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 9:50 am

    I am trying to complete my TM47 right now but can confirm the on line system is still down both in English and in Thai. I can’t say I’m looking forward to the 180Km round trip drive to Sakon Nakhon Immigration Centre to hand in my form and then leave again minutes later.

    With the rapid rise in provincial Covid infections maybe someone should finish maintaining the website and switch it back onto prevent us all attending Immigration Centres in person just to hand in a piece of paper just to confirm we still live here.

  25. Avatar

    Anthony

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    I did the 90 day reporting online, only to be hit with a big fine when I renewed my visa , as the confirmation of my submission was not conformation of its iacceptance. This is Thailand!

  26. Avatar

    ken chao

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 7:39 am

    it seems 90 day reporting is a very strange arrangement as one has to report repeatedly even without changing residence for years. (report in 90 days means not urgent any way)
    If keeping the system, suggested to change to reporting asap but only required if changing residence and proof of new residence required

  27. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    Probably too late this time, @Gary, because of the holidays but you can do your 90 day report with most Immigration Offices by post.

    Just EMS the TM47, passport photocopies, old 90 day report slip and a pre-stamped EMS return envelope to the provincial immigration office and you get your new report slip back within a week.

    I just spend half an hour a year doing the forms and photocopying, andcaddressing the envelopes, so then all it takes is a trip to the local post office every three months.

    I’ve done it like that for years and never had a problem. I always enclose 100 baht to cover their expenses walking from their office to the post office, which is about fifty metres away.

    Probably best to check with them first, but it’s pretty simple – the hardest part was explaining to the post office why I needed stamps on the return envelope.

  28. Avatar

    B Group

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    First Let To Greet Every Single Citizen

    In Kingdom For Songkran …
    ((SUK SAN WAN SONGKRAN))

    Special Regards For Seniors Citizens
    Help Forigner Too Much In Hard Time
    For Both Thai And Forigner

    Our Group Received Information About
    Extend Automatically To 31 December 2021
    Gift In Songkran Festival From Kingdom

    Amnesty With Out Visit Any Office or apply Anything Very Hard Time Pandemic
    Gathering not Good For Both Forigner Guest And Thai …

    Kingdom Fomous As Warm Nation

    Dealer Buy Goods From Thai Factory
    Healthy Situation Permanent Visa
    Five Or Ten Years …

    Visa two year Healthy To Be Easy
    Without Condition special This Year

    For Thai Wife set up small business
    Healthy Situation To Be Easy
    Healthy Situation if everyone pay Minimum tax To Leave Thai Working
    Normally
    Both wife Kids Feed
    The Government Feed General Budget

    Healthy Situation If Avoid Using
    Lawyer Not Value For Kingdom
    Not Value For Forigner Unless Special Situation ….
    Lack Transparency…

    Some Cases But Not Much
    Thai Company Not Doing Well Make Hidden
    The Forigner Buyers Goods To Escape
    Tax ….
    Majority Okay

    B Group Send Warm Wish For every Single
    Member In GOVT …

  29. Avatar

    Richard J Smith

    Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    Please delete the 90 day reporting requirement. Thailand is a wonderful country with great people, culture, food…one of the best countries I’ve every visited or lived in.

    The 90 day report doesn’t make sense. If it’s a matter of more revenue…please just charge more for the visa.

    I love Thailand.

    But the 90 day reporting doesn’t make sense to me.

  30. Avatar

    James Pate

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 8:04 am

    Please do away with the 90-day reports! I’ve had the same damn address since 2006! I’ll gladly fill out some form or another if I move. Immigration never enforced 90-day reports until the Thaksin era because he had a hard-on for foreigners. Before, they usually only tacked on lack of 90-day report offense if one was detained for another offense. Shouldn’t my 1-year extensions be enough to tell you where to find me?

  31. Avatar

    Pete

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    Anyone know how long before the 90 day expiry you can do the report by post?

    I have been using the mobile app for the past couple of years, so never needed to print out the new date as it stated on the app when it was up… Now I can’t enter the app so I have no clue when my 90 days are up.

    I have found the confirmation email however and just added 90 days onto that date which makes my expiry 29th April.

    Can I still do the report by post, and if so what do I need to send?

    Thanks in advance.

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 41 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented over 10,000 radio news bulletins, 3,900 in Thailand alone, hosted 650 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. As founder of The Thaiger, Tim now acts as the Content Manager and head-writer, whilst supervising the growth of the YouTube channel. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

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