Foreign retirees in Thailand – New rules

90 day reporting

Foreigners who live in Thailand on a one year Retirement Visa are now faced with added restrictions on their movements.

The 90 day reporting procedure used to be a routine affair taking a few minutes at any Immigration centre. All you needed to do was complete form TM47, copy your passport and Bob’s your uncle. No fees and no hassle. But now form TM47 is no longer and if, at the time of your check in, you are not in the province of the residence on your Visa you have to get the owner of the premises you are temporarily staying at to fill out some forms. He or she must also provide a rental contract, a copy of his ID and Blue House book. I imagine this applies even if you are only there for one day.

I live in Chiang Mai but every year I holiday down South because the pollution in the North affects my health. This year I went as usual to Phuket Immigration with TM47 completed to report without knowing there were new rules. I was told politely to go away and get the required information from the owner of the property I was staying at. Nothing was provided by way of written notes so I had to ask carefully and write down what I understood was required so that I didn’t make a mistake.

Fortunately the owner of the apartments, who speaks no English, was available and able, with the assistance of a translator, to help and was most willing to do so.

Two days later I returned to Immigration and everything was fine.

Now, imagine you are a foreign retiree based in Chiang Mai like me, on a retirement visa, who likes to travel, staying one night here and maybe a few nights somewhere else. In your retirement years you want to see as much of Thailand as you can before you ‘drop off the perch’. During your travels you have to do your 90 day check in. Staying on the cheap in hostels or B&B’s how easy will it be to find the owner, let alone get him to give you a one night contract and will that be acceptable to the Immigration authorities?

I’m afraid I don’t know the answers but I can see some people having a few problems particularly if they are in outlying areas passing through.

Registration  at residential address

Whilst at Immigration I noticed a new and very difficult to read form (due to being copied so many times, I was told) which I enquired about. Apparently this form has to be completed by the owner of the retiree’s home, with accompanying documents, otherwise Immigration will not renew Retirement Visas unless the applicant is registered at their home address.

I was lucky to find this out as no information was volunteered and so I would not have known until I went to renew my Visa and would have been refused according to the officer I quizzed.

If any readers have more information than I have please comment.

0 thoughts on “Foreign retirees in Thailand – New rules

  1. Phuket Immigration used to be a quick and hassle free place to go to. about 6 months ago, all has changed. You would get the idea that they really dont want you here, rude, slow walking, everything to slow it down. Its so bad it must be planned. I have not gone to the immigration in patong, but understand lot better, I did read this week that on the 90 day check in will be able to go online to do it bit for now cant access it using google.

    1. It seems that way Jackie. Last time I went to Phuket Imm was June last year just after the Military took over and it was easy as usual. But the ambience has changed, I agree. I believe also that they are working on on-line check-ins which will be great if they sort it because the 90 days clog the offices up and they don’t make any money!!! It’s amusing though, because if you can do it online then they won’t know where the hell you are which contradicts the new rules of tracking you round the Country completely as re my post.

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