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Residence notification in Chiang Mai

There's a decades old law in Thailand that says foreigners must have their locations registered within 24 hours of arrival. It has rarely been enforced, until now.

A hotel owner should online register all guests but a house or condo owner is unlikely to have done it. They should fill in a TM30 form within 24 hours of someone arriving, and the foreigner should fill in a TM28.

This is how I did neither, and surprisingly I am free to move with no further registration...

Asking for a visa extension without this could cause a large fine for how many days the notification is late, although it seems to be the house owner mainly targetted. There is word on thaivisa.com of people being fined at the Airport immigration office but from my experience at Promenada I doubt anyone has been yet at that location, as we were the only people at the time there for this and also I'm over a month late.

In Chiang Mai don't bother to print them out, just go to the Promenada Mall and fill in the papers they give you. Nothing to pay apart from a few baht for passport photocopying.

Our landlady is a busy bank manager and not likely to get this done so we found a shortcut. A Thai person can vouch for a foreigner but it will be on their record if it turns out to go wrong, so they need to be trusting like a long term partner. So we got this done with no address required just passport copies and the ID card of the Thai person. No chance of a fine now and able to move at will with no further registration! A good shortcut in the system. I recommend sorting this out now to avoid possibility of fines later.

In Asia laws are enforced in a different way to the West. In westen style this would have been enforced a long time ago. Just as with the issue of what one can do with a tourist visa, see What Thailand really says about digital nomads and tourist visas, everything depends on the situation at hand, and enforcement varies while the law stays the same. The situation now is the Bangkok bomb and rumour of a few IS people arriving here recently. They need to be confident they can track us, and given how communicative Thai culture is (the internet has nothing on Thai gossip) this way tracks me, and I have a receipt that will be good on exit or extensions even though it does not list my actual address directly.

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