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ResourcesThailand Real Estate & Property LawThailand Condominium LawMust Foreigners in a Thai Yellow House Book File TM30?

Must Foreigners in a Thai Yellow House Book File TM30?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the TM30 yet again. A very popular topic lo these past few weeks; specifically in the context of the Yellow Book. The Thai House book. 

This question seems to have popped up quite a bit here recently in the Kingdom since the enforcement of the TM 30. This is a topic that if you were to talk to me five or six years ago and you would have gotten me just off the top of my head without doing my research, I would have told you "Oh, no problem at all. If you are in a Yellow House Book, you don't need to worry about things like TM30 or 90 day reporting." We have done another video specifically on 90 day reporting in the Yellow House Book but I wanted to go ahead and make this video because the staff and I went ahead and did some research and we have gotten some definitive answers with respect to Yellow Books and TM30 reporting. 

So the first thing that one has to recognize when watching this video and understanding this overall topic, is first of all utilizes a Civil Law System. It is unique. There is really no other legal system around the world that is like Thailand. It has certain aspects of the British Common Law system which is what the American system tends to use. It has many aspects from the European Civil Law tradition but it is all uniquely Thai. Thailand has a very unique legal system so presumptions that folks make from abroad, even folks that are legal professionals, oftentimes can land you in some problems because they may not be accurate from both a factual and a legal sense. So as I said, in the past I would have presumed that having a Yellow House Book meant that you no longer needed to deal with things like TM30.  Well I am wrong. I would have been wrong in the past.  

The Immigration Act was passed in 1979 here in the Kingdom of Thailand whereas the Civil Registration Act which governs exactly what the title sounds like, Civil Registration which is registration of houses, registration of residents, births etc. of people here in the Kingdom, that Act predates the Immigration Act but didn't speak to anything having to do with Yellow Books but the regulations regarding Yellow Books did not come around until 1991. So the two main dates that we need to be looking at here are 1979 and 1991 because in 91 the Civil Registrar Act changed and started allowing these. This is a Yellow Book as opposed to this which is a Blue Book. Those that have Blue Books are permanent residents in the Kingdom or Thai citizens and once you are in one of these, you definitely don't need to deal with things like TM30 because you are considered permanently resident, permanently domiciled, in the Kingdom. Those that have this, are considered temporary and I will get into that in more detail here shortly.  But what I want to do is go through the Act, provide translated content here from me Act so that you can understand where we are at with respect to this and thereby understand exactly where you stand with respect to the TM30 and the Yellow House Book.

Okay so the Immigration Act of 1979 which says this. Section 38: the householder, the owner or the possessor of a dwelling place; that should be noted, possessor of a dwelling place. A lot of folks have some questions about, does this apply to landlords? Does it apply to tenants?  Possessor of a dwelling place. Arguably renting something for a month makes you the possessor of that dwelling place for that month. Moving forward.  The householder, the owner, the possessor of a dwelling place or a hotel manager who takes in as a resident  an alien with permission to temporarily stay in the Kingdom shall notify the competent official at the Immigration Office located in the locality in which the house, dwelling place or hotel is located within 24 hours from the time the alien has taken residence. If there is no Immigration Office located in that locality, the Police Officer at a police station that locality shall be notified.  They go into some more about if it's in Bangkok it will be done at the Immigration Division.  But section 38, this is your TM30.  You have to file if you have taken up residence somewhere for a TM30

Now let's go back over here to the Civil Registration Act as amended in 1991. Section 38 of that act oddly enough. Yes they have sections that correspond to one another. "The district or local registrar shall issue a household registration for persons without Thai nationality having been permitted to say temporarily and those having been given leniency for temporary residence in the Thai Kingdom. Maybe leniency should more accurately be put as special dispensation for temporary residence in the Thai Kingdom, as a special case in accordance with Law and Immigration and the declaration of the cabinet and their children born within the Thai Kingdom. In a case of permission of temporary residence expiring, the registrar shall immediately redact search persons. So that is your yellow book. That is this. In 91 they created these per statute. They didn't get rid of Section 38 of the Immigration Act. They don't say that it amends it. It doesn't do anything. These two acts operate mutually exclusively of one another. They do not interfere, conflict, they don't even interact with each other. They are just two separate Acts that have two separate sets of laws, statutes, set forth in them. It is important to note that these are statutes, these are laws. These are not regulations, these are not ministerial regulations that can change as a result of changes to ministerial policy for example. These are laws so in order for them to change they would have to be changed presumably by an act of Parliament which would amend these laws and thereby change the requirements on foreigners in the Kingdom. 

So the thing to take away from this video. These two acts operate independently of one another. They operate mutually exclusively of one another, they don't conflict with each other they don't interact with each other. One creates yellow books, the other requires people to do TM30s. Therefore as a result of that and the fact that they don't interact, we can't find any law thus far. We have done our research. Those that have found something that seems to contradict the content of this video please feel free to put it in the comments below. That being said, we have looked for other laws or we have looked for amended laws which would change Section 38 of the Immigration Nationality Act or that would change the Civil Registration Act. We have not found it and for that reason, I think it is safe to presume that those with a Yellow House book still need to file TM30s when coming into the Kingdom, when changing residences in the Kingdom etc. 

We hope you found this video insightful. For those of you who are interested, we are trying to make videos to provide up-to-date information as soon as this information comes out and for that reason it may be a good idea to go ahead and click the bell icon below to go ahead and be updated as these videos come out as you can go ahead and be apprised of the legal situation as it evolves.