As if to remind visitors that Thailand is a military dictatorship, Thai immigration has been starting to
enforce a law that requires visitors to report their address to the police or immigration within 24 hours of arrival and at each subsequent change.
The law seems to have 3 relevant parts
visitors are required to provide their first address on immigration cards filled in when entering the country.
a) visitors are then required to inform immigration or the police of their first night address.
b) house owners or hotels are also required to report visitors staying at their property
a) visitors are then required to report subsequent changes of address to police or immigration
b) house owners or hotels are as per 1b are required to report arrivals (and departures?) to immigration.
Up until recently the authorities have relied on the house owners/hotels to keep them informed of visitors' whereabouts, but now it seems that immigration is now requiring the reports from visitors also .
And as usual, the level of enforcement is dependent on which department/officer is dealing with issues. Now it would be totally unpleasant for visitors to have to report to police stations, so on the whole, you would have thought that filling in the
address on the landing card and relying on hotels for the reporting should be adequate for your typical short visit tourist.
However Thai Visa forum members have been carefully translating the law, but haven't really concluded that the entry card is quite adequate to report your address without the visit to the police station as required in step 2.
People are being fined about 2-4000 baht for transgressions when found out, particularly when visiting immigration for other reasons, such as visa extensions. But its not just the fine, its the thought of getting into trouble in foreign police
stations/immigration departments, especially for people who wouldn't ever dream of knowingly breaking the law.
Update: And the Pattaya take on the new requirement
15th February 2017. See article from thaivisa.com
A forum member fro Thai Visa has posted a very badly worded immigration poster from Jomtien (above) basically saying that you have to report to the police/immigration every time you change address, although maybe you are covered for the address
stated on your entry card. And f you get caught out the fine seems to be about 80,000 Baht for a year.