Thailand started an official but unannounced Outlaw Foreigner Campaign somewhere around June 2018. Since then you’ll be hunted, watched, photographed and put on video at anytime in any place. Not by CCTV as in any country, but by cops. That means you can sit with a beer in a bar and suddenly a group of (immigration) police shows up with cameras. Making videos and pics of all foreigners. You’ll be put in a computer system. Don’t take this lightly. They show up regularly.
Another place where they show up is the train. All foreigners are put on picture and video. Together with the officer who is trying to fool you with making it look like a friendly move through starting a conversation in your language or about your country/city. This while his colleague is shooting a video and making pics. When they do that with 3 out of 10 you could see it as a promotion video for themselves to use but when they take each and every foreigner it’s obviously for other purposes. You can see it as the foreigner unfriendly new Thailand.
The reason for the govt. to start this hunting on foreigners and making them as much uncomfortable as possible is about terrorist and criminal activities by foreigners. Let’s explain something first about terrorist activities. Thailand had in the past some of those activities but compared to other countries (f.i. France) much less. An important point to mention is that all but one of those activities were organized by Thai people, not by foreigners. The only one incident is the blast at Erawan Shrine along Sukhumvit. The person arrested for this was related to Chinese Uighur who did it out of revenge for the Thai govt handing over a lot of Uighur people to Chinese authorities.
That there are many illegal foreign workers is a fact. From teachers to office workers and what about night market stands with foreign salesman. Go look at Jomtien night market (Pattaya) and you’ll possibly see Indian sellers. The chance that they have work permits and visa for selling on night markets is small. Taking away business from Thai sellers is not easily accepted by Thai authorities. The most illegal workers though, can be found in the sex industry.
When they want to hunt foreigners for working illegally, they have some work to do with the sex workers. As ASEAN citizens it is easy to enter Thailand for at least a 2 weeks or 30 days visa period. Thanks to its reputation more and more visitors from other nationalities come to Thailand to sell so called services. Philippina’s, Vietnamese, Burmese, Cambodians, Laotians, Indonesians as regional Asian sex workers.
That’s not where it stops. Arabs and Africans. Men, women and transgenders. Young and old. It’s an unstoppable flow of ‘tourists’ who arrive to make money by selling sex. With plenty of apps to find them, they easily earn their plane tickets back and the accommodation they stay in. This of course hurt the local Thai sellers too, but at least the authorities might be able to say that it’s a foreigner thing that gives them the reputation and take measures as mentioned earlier.
Every genuine tourist is nowadays seen as a potential sex tourist or seller by authorities and there is no way they will ever be able to stop that.
A TM30 is a registration form. As per Aug/Sept there is still a lot going on about this TM30 measure but authorities have told legal expats and media that the rules won’t be loosened. The TM30 means that every foreigner who enters Thailand needs to be officially registered by the immigration offices within 24 hours. When you stay in a hotel, the hotel must register you online within that time limit. When you go for a visa extension make sure you have this communicated with the hotel you stay in. If hotels are cooperative when you booked only a few extra days of the 30 from extension can be questioned.
Long-term foreign residents are required to report their arrival every time they return in their Thai home. Also they need to report their whereabouts if they spend more than 24 hours at places other than their registered addresses. Travelling through the country becomes a burden because of the rules.
Rent or friend
When you stay in a rent place or with a friend things get even more complicated. You need to register at the nearest immigration office of where you stay within 24 hr of entering Thailand. This can be tricky with overland entries whereby you need to wait for the first bus or train and/or transits whereby a 12 hr bus or train ride is common. It’s gonna be hard to do within 24 hr. When you stay with a friend a few days who also rent his place, his place owner (landlord) needs to come join you to the nearest immigration office. With house ownership paperwork, ID, etc. Make sure that you have all copies too with you, plus passport size photo’s.
When you stay for example 4 days in a friend’s place in BKK followed by a few days in a friend’s place in Pattaya and that followed by a few days friend’s place in Phuket or Chang Mai. Then you’re in for 3 different immigration office visits and all within 24 hr of entering the accommodation together with the house owners. More about TM30 can be found here https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/special-reports/1732599/confusion-reigns-in-tm30-palaver#cxrecs_s
Thai polics visiting foreigners at home, asking for yet more personal info
Thaivisa.com has received three reports that foreigners living in Chiang Mai are being visited at home by police and asked to disclose personal information such as their monthly income, height, weight and even skin color. Read the whole article on the Samu Times website. This could mean that even when you have a long term visa but managed through some visa agency who did the paperwork and money deposit for you, that you’ll be caught this way and visa made invalid en deported at least.
Good guys in, bad guys out is the slogan. Counts for every country in the world. Why is it that Thai tourists in Asian countries don’t need to register within 24 hr in that particular country or why is it that Thai tourists on a Schengen visa for the EU only need one address registration by visa application and not by every move they make and every place they stay once they are there? Why is it that Thai tourists won’t be photographed or put on video in trains or bars in the EU, USA or Arab countries while on a holiday? Not because criminal and terrorist threat isn’t there. it’s a matter of attitude.
According to their own slogan they should pick the bad apples out and let the good apples stay in the basket but contradictory to that they decided it’s easier to throw the whole basket.
The once famous Thai hospitality and smile is broken down very fast at least by authorities. Big Brother is watching you.
In other articles on this site we talk about the recent wave of rejecting foreigners to enter Thailand.