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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsThai Immigration and Visa Documentation: The TM 6 Card

Thai Immigration and Visa Documentation: The TM 6 Card

Transcript of the above video:

We get oftentimes questions with respect to visa and immigration documentation pertaining to Thailand. I often, sort of, utilize the internal immigration jargon with a colloquial familiarity that basically has put some people off with respect to the fact that most people don't know what I'm talking about.

One of the most commonly used phrases with respect to Thai Immigration is the TM card. Strictly speaking, it's the TM 6 card. The TM 6 card looks a lot like this. Basically, this is the departure version of it so when I leave the country, there go ahead and take this from me. When you arrive in Thailand, there's actually another counterpart for arrivals if you're foreigner in Thailand.

This is something that's utilized by immigration to keep track of the comings and goings of foreign nationals into the Kingdom here in Thailand through the immigration apparatus. There's also a TM card for Thai nationals leaving and returning. So foreign nationals when they come into Thailand will get this card and it stays stapled in their passport for the duration of the time they're in the Kingdom. Thai nationals when they leave the country, go ahead and get this card stapled into their passport and they have to have it in their passport when they return to the country. It's kind of interesting sort of inversion there with respect to the way that it works for Thais versus foreigners.

Strictly speaking, this card is actually pretty important. It used to be just sort of what it was which was an intake-outtake form for purposes of Thai Immigration. Nowadays especially those looking to do business in Thailand, if they want to go ahead and incorporate a company or own shares of the company, act as a director in the company, not only do passport copies have to be provided but as explained in another video, certain identity documentation such as one passport number etc needs to be provided as well. And with respect to foreign nationals in Thailand looking to do business, things like the TM card, a copy of the TM card is now required as there is actually, if you look at the top here, there's like a bar code with a unique number. That's been added in recent years that provide sort of a unique identity. It's like one more unique identity document number in order to sort of keep tabs on what somebody's doing here in the Kingdom.

So that's what anybody's talking about. If they say TM card, usually that's what they mean. But specifically, it's the TM 6 card. As we explained in another video on this channel, TM 6 cards for Thai nationals, there's a proposal go ahead and drop that, basically drop that requirement on Thai national. This is especially the case as those with Thai passports can now go through automated lines at the airport with respect to immigration check-in. This is different from foreign nationals who A. can't use automated lines and B. although it was proposed that perhaps it might be a good idea for foreign nationals to no longer have a TM card. Immigration officials said no they're going to go ahead and keep it although there is some talk about redesigning it in the future.

But that being said, that's basically what you're talking about. This card here is what you're talking about with respect to the TM card. There's an arrival stamp that shows the date of arrival of the foreign national that's put on the TM card and again, it needs to be presented upon departure so that immigration can sort of consolidate that record in the individual state. If one loses the TM card, it can be something of a, I don't know how to say, something of a hassle to go ahead and get replaced. But one does need to get replaced. You can deal with this either at immigration at the airport which can sometimes be an inconvenience especially for those who are looking to travel quickly to the United States.

Concurrently, it's also possible to deal with replacing a TM card at an immigration office here in the Kingdom. So a lost TM card can be a problem for foreign national. A lost TM card abroad can be a problem for a Thai national but there are remedies that can be utilized in order to deal with this as an immigration office in the Kingdom of Thailand or upon departure arrival at an airport with the immigration authorities at that checkpoint.