Section 37(5) of the Immigration Act B.E is anorther disposition that gets a lot of foreign citizens in trouble. To sum it up it requires that any foreigner who is permitted to stay in Thailand temporarily is required to report to the Immigration Department to confirm his/her residential address upon completion of every 90 days period of stay.
To whom does it apply
Many foreigners believe that this obligation apply only to those who are working and have a work permit.
This is incorrect; in theory Section 37(5) of the Immigration Act applies to any foreign citizen staying temporarily in Thailand, whether he/she as a work permit or not, whether he/she is on a business visa or ED (education Visa), married visa, dependent visa, investor visa, retiree visa and so on…, that stayed in Thailand for an uninterrupted period of 90 days.
But, because the element that triggered the obligation to report is an uninterrupted period of stay of 90 day are exempted from the requirement foreign citizens that enter Thailand with a Visa Exemption, Tourist Visa, Multi Entries Non Immigrant Visa B or O and that enter and depart Thailand every 15 to 90 days.
Are mostly concerned foreign citizens living in Thailand and that have applied for and/or obtained a one year extension of their visa by the Immigration Department.
When does the 90 day period start?
The 90 days period starts from the date of your last entry in Thailand. In other words the counter is reset at 0 every time you exit and re-enter Thailand.
In the case of a family the 90 days period of each family member is calculated separately. What I mean by this is that if the husband travel in and out Thailand without his wife and children (or vice versa) then the starting and ending date of the 90 days period of the husband will not be the same anymore as the one applicable to his wife and children. Therefore family members may have to report at different dates.
The -7 |+ 7 window for reporting
You may either report in person or authorize a third party to handle this formality on your behalf.
Lastly you may chose to report by mail. Note however that if you chose to report by mail your reporting document must reach the Immigration Department before the end of the 90 days period. There is no +7 windows for those reporting by mail.
Consequence of the failure to report
Failure to report within the specified time of 90 days may result in a fine of up to 5,000 baht as well as an additional 200 baht per day until the reporting failure as been rectified pursuant to Section 76 of the Act.
Note that Immigration Officer at Thai boarders or airports have been instructed to check the reporting status of foreign citizens living Thailand therefore do not be surprised if you have failed to report to be requested to pay your fine on the spot.
Note: This post is an excerpt of Rene Philippe Dubout next book: “How to Invest Safely Into Thailand” to be published in January 2010
About the Author:
The author Rene-Philippe DUBOUT is a lawyer since 1990 when he was admitted to Geneva bar (Switzerland). He practiced as a litigator there for 10 years until he moved to Thailand in 1999. In 2002 he founded with a group of Thai lawyers Rene Philippe & Partners Ltd a local law firm that specialized in Cross Borders Investments and Real Estate. He has been lecturing in several Thai Universities and a speaker to numerous conferences and seminars. He is the author of a must read book:”How to Purchase Real Estate Offshore Safely: The Case of Thailand”.
Originally posted 2009-12-10 07:27:57.