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Phuket hotels given one month to start reporting foreign guests

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PHUKET: Hotels and other guest accommodation establishments across the island have until May 1 to start filing daily reports identifying their guests to Phuket Immigration before officers start raiding – and charging – the hotel operators.

The news follows Phuket Immigration Superintendent Sunchai Chokkajaykij on Thursday laying down the law to his officers, ordering them to launch a campaign to get hotels, resorts and apartment residence operators to report the names of their foreign guests to the immigration office each day.

“According to the Immigration Act B.E. 2522, hotel, apartment and resort owners and staff must report the identity of each foreign guest to the immigration office within 24 hours of the guest checking in,” Col Sunchai said.

“If they do not start filing the daily reports to us, they will be fined up to 2,000 baht. If they know the foreigner is illegally in the country and still allow that foreigner to stay, they will be charged with harboring an illegal immigrant and face up to 10 years imprisonment,” he warned.

Immigration officer Capt Angkarn Yasanop explained that hoteliers and staff can file the reports online at phuketimmigration.go.th.

“On our home page, click the link ‘Notification of residence for foreigners’ written in Thai on the left [click here],” he explained.

“After you register online, you will receive your user name and password,” Capt Angkarn said.

“Each day, just visit our web page, log in and submit the names of your foreign guests,” he added.

Capt Angkarn said that although the online system was launched two years ago (story here), only about 1,000 hotels, resorts and apartment residences had registered and were filing daily reports through the website.

To boost the number of hotels using the system, Capt Angkarn and fellow officers have started visiting venues across the island in person to explain the system – and the need to use it – to hotel management and staff.

“Two days ago, seven officers and I went to Patong and Karon to meet hotel owners and staff and explain this to them,” Capt Angkarn told the Phuket Gazette.

“We will also post signs in tourist areas and in the popular beach areas around the island, and we will check which hotels and apartments have not registered with us, and send them a letter telling them to register their guests’ names with us,” he added.

Hotel operators have until May 1 to start filing their daily reports.

“After that date, we will start conducting raids and fining hotel operators for not filing their reports,” Capt Angkarn said.

— Orawin Narabal

 

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