On Tuesday evening (17 September) Dr. Kobsak Pootrakool, from the Prime Minister's office, expects the TM6 arrival and departure card to be phased out soon. He could not say an exact date. At the same time, he announced that after all the complaints about the TM30 notification process, the government decided to launch a new mobile app for TM30 reporting.
The TM6 arrival and departure card should be known to any tourist who has ever traveled to Thailand. This is the card that they are given on their way to Thailand on the plane and filled out. She is then on her entry by the immigration office (immigration) stapled in her passport.
In 2017 it was announced that Thai nationals will no longer need to complete the TM6 form and only foreigners will need to complete the TM6 arrival and departure card.
On Tuesday evening Dr. Kobsak, that now the TM6 form should be completely deleted. The immigration office no longer has enough space to keep all the papers, Khaosod English reported.
At present, all TM6 forms are still stored in two huge warehouses. However, according to the authorities, they are seldom used or checked. For this reason, the authorities have now decided that the TM6 card is redundant and should be abolished.
Khaosod English also reported that a new mobile app is being introduced to greatly simplify the process of long-debated TM30 reporting.
The news comes after Dr. Kobsak announced last week that he should hold a meeting to discuss the controversial TM30 coverage.
Dr. Kobsak said the two changes were designed to attract even more visitors and better accommodate those already living in the kingdom.
"We made the decision last Friday. Within two to three months, life will become much easier (for foreign tourists and expats), "said Drs. Kobsak.
He spoke at a gala dinner celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Elite Plus magazine at a hotel in Bangkok on Tuesday evening attended by ambassadors from around ten countries.
Dr. Kobsak justified the decision by the government that the tourist arrival and departure forms, the so-called TM6 forms, had meanwhile led to significant storage problems. The government expects a total of 20 million visitors this year, and accordingly, the same number of TM6 forms in Thailand.
"The immigration police must have a huge warehouse to keep all of these papers," Dr. Kobsak, adding that the police rarely look at the information in the forms, which are kept "just in case".
Dr. Kobsak also announced that foreigners will soon be able to create 90-day reports via an app.
He also said the government and the immigration police last Friday agreed to streamline other procedures as well. Foreigners can report their whereabouts with just four clicks on a smartphone to comply with the provisions requiring them to report to the immigration authorities every 90 days.
But the Cherry at the top seems to be the revelation that the police are developing a cell phone application for the infamous TM30 form whereby foreigners and their Thai landlords report to the police each time they spend a night outside their registered province have to submit.
Tourists are generally exempt from the rule as the forms are submitted by their hotels and hosts.
Nattapon Sawaengkit, Deputy Commander of Immigration Police, confirmed the planned changes on Wednesday (18 September) when he commented on the issue. However, he instructed another officer to explain the exact details of the subject.
However, the official, who refused to give his name, provided little information other than to indicate that QR codes are likely to be used for the new app.
"The apps are not ready yet. QR codes are likely to be used, but it's not concrete yet. The application will probably run on a smartphone, "the official said. Further information he could not or did not want to announce apparently.
Tighter enforcement of TM30 forms has recently prompted many expats in Thailand to voice their complaints on social media. They say that the regulation, which is now around 40 years old, is outdated and should be urgently changed or, if possible, completely canceled.
The European Economic and Trade Association, the European Representatives of Thai companies and companies in Thailand also urged a statement to Dr. Kobsak on a reform of the TM30 notification procedure.
On Tuesday evening Dr. Kobsak with reporters that the law will continue to be on the books and will not be deleted or repealed. He promised, however, to end the dissatisfaction of the foreigners with the form. He also acknowledged that the government should attract foreign investment and labor better.