Are changes afoot to the strict reporting rules that have been bedeviling immigrants and expats for months?
Answer: A definite maybe. The Immigration Bureau’s media office briefly circulated a notice Thursday night declaring that most visa holders would no longer need to report changes in their residence — at all. It later recalled the notice.
“During the visit to Thailand, for purposes of tourism, sports, business, investments, education, practicing of skilled craftsmen or specialists, aliens are not required to notify the competent official of changes of their residence,” it read, emphasis theirs.
Immigration representatives could not immediately be reached for comment. The notice could be construed to mean that it isn’t the aliens’ responsibility to report themselves, but rather the hotels and property owners where they take up residence. Retirees are not mentioned.
Immigration officials were reportedly meeting this week to discuss improving the requirements.
Last month, top immigration officials took the hot seat at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand to argue that complying with the newly strict enforcement of long-overlooked rules was “not that hard,” which went over like a sack of bricks.
“It’s not that hard, and we try to make things easy,” said Col. Thatchapong Sarawannangkul, the superintendent of an immigration police subdivision covering metro Bangkok. “Trust me, it’s not that hard.”