Thailand’s 90-Day Report, Explained
After traveling to Thailand, you’ll discover one thing right away: the Thai government loves paperwork. The “90 Day Report” or “90 Day Notification”—officially called the “Notification of staying in the Kingdom over 90 days”—is a prime example of this.
In this article, we explain what the 90 day report is, the reasoning (or lack thereof) behind it, as well as the 4 different ways it can be submitted.
What Is a 90-Day Report?
The 90-day report is a notice sent to Thailand’s Immigration Department by foreigners who are staying in the country for more than 90 days, as you can presumably infer from the name.
No matter what type of visa you have—business, educational, retirement, or any other—you must submit this notification if your stay in Thailand exceeds 90 days.
You will grow fairly accustomed to 90-day reporting if you are an expat living in Thailand, since it’s not something you do just once. Instead, you must send the notification to Immigration for each 90-day period that you remain in the nation continuously.
You would have to report to Immigration three times, at around days 90, 180, and 270 of your stay, for instance, if you stayed in Thailand for slightly under a year.
You may formally submit your report up to 15 days before the due date and up to 7 days thereafter without incurring a fee.
The International Travel Exception
A special case is international travel: Since you must pass through Thai Immigration in the airport, this technically counts as a 90-day report. You would reset to zero when you return to Thailand, assuming you have a valid re-entry or multiple re-entry permit in your passport.
90 days following your return, the subsequent report would be required.
Repeating this process, it is possible to avoid doing 90 day reports altogether, provided you made 3 strategic international trips each year. If you already plan to travel abroad, why not kill two birds with one stone by letting Thai immigration passthroughs at the airport count as 90 day reports? Saigon, here I come.
Now that’s a win-win.
Penalties for Failing to Report
If for whatever reason you don’t tell Immigration about a stay that lasts longer than 90 days, you will be fined. If you freely accept your mistake, the customary fine is THB 500 per day.
However, the fine amount increases to THB 5,000 if you were arrested for whatever reason and afterwards determined to be in violation of failing to report. After that, there will be a THB 200 fee added on for every extra day you don’t follow the law.
The Purpose of the 90-Day Report
The more pessimistic among us would argue that 90-day reporting is an intentionally burdensome requirement established on foreign residents in order to ensure that they never truly feel at home in the Kingdom.
Even when an expat’s address doesn’t change for years, it does seem rather unnecessary to declare your present address to immigration every 90 days.
Of course, the government’s justification is that by allowing them to track the whereabouts of visitors who are staying in the nation, the 90-day reporting helps with law enforcement. After all, there are certain criminal elements from other nations who reside in Thailand or occasionally pass through the country.
In any event, foreign visitors to Thailand must accept the notification of staying longer than 90 days as a fact of life. You simply have to accept it in order to live here, barring any future changes to the legislation.
How to Submit a 90-Day Report
The 90-day report can be completed in 4 different ways:
- In person
- By Proxy (Giving Someone Else Permission to Notify Immigration on Your Behalf)
- Via Registered Mail
- Online (If the System Is Working)
Reporting in Person
Many expats in Thailand choose to report in person because it’s the most straight-forward option, though it’s not always the most pleasant experience.
Depending on the city you live in, your local Immigration Office can be a crowded and hectic place indeed. The Chiang Mai Immigration Department recently moved into a new building after years of overcrowded conditions, and the new facility still seems to be barely large enough to handle the daily flow of foreigners coming for 90-day reports, visa extensions, re-entry permits, and other matters.
Immigration Departments in some of the less populated provinces, however, can be quite sparse and efficient. Nevertheless, it still takes valuable time out of your schedule to visit the Immigration Office in person once every three months.
When reporting in person you will need the following:
- Notification form (TM47)
- Copy of passport info page (with photo, name, passport number, etc.)
- Copy of current visa
- Copy of latest entry stamp
- Copy of latest visa extension
- Copy of previous 90-day slip (if any)
Reporting by Proxy
Alternatively, expats may authorize another person or entity, for example their employer, agency or school, to complete the notification at Immigration on their behalf.
The process is essentially the same as reporting in person yourself, except that someone else does it. The upside it that you just need to sign the TM47 form and hand over your passport.
Reporting by proxy is by far the most convenient way to do the 90 day report, but not everyone has this option available. You need to be affiliated with a company or agency who has the right resources and connections at Thai Immigration.
For example, if you teach English at a Thai school (where you are one of dozens of foreign employees – each with different 90-day report dates), it is doubtful they will allocate the time and resources to report by proxy, instead of simply allowing foreign employees to take a half day off.
Reporting by Registered Mail
Next, the registered mail notification technique is preferred by some expats since it is more convenient than going in person. Signed photocopies of the following papers must be mailed in:
- Passport info page (with photo, name, passport number, etc.)
- Current visa
- Latest entry stamp
- Latest visa extension
- Previous 90-day slip (if any)
These must be delivered along with a filled-out Notification Form (TM47), an envelope with your home address on it, and a postal stamp worth 10 Baht. This is so that you may get the lower part of the TM47, which will include the deadline for your subsequent 90-day report.
The aforementioned paperwork must be delivered through registered mail at least 15 days before the deadline for your notification.
The most practical option would be to report to Immigration online, and recent reports indicate it can be a quick and easy process – for some. It should be remembered that, in the past, the system was infamously faulty (once only compatible with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser) and Thai government e-services do not have the best reputation for reliability.
You may visit the official website here to try your luck.
Let Shelter Handle it for You
At Shelter, we go above and beyond to make life as simple as possible for our clients in the Kingdom of Thailand. This includes taking care of 90-day reporting for them by proxy. As a Shelter customer, you are free from any worries and are not required to use any of your own valuable time to deal with Immigration’s 90-day reports. Simply show up once per year to renew your visa and work permit, and that’s that.
Our administrative staff will request digital copies of the necessary pages in your passport whenever you enter Thailand, whether it’s for the first time or you’re coming back from a vacation overseas. This allows us to maintain track of your 90-day status for you.
Then, about two weeks before your 90-day deadline, you’ll receive an email from an admin staff member verifying that you haven’t traveled outside the country and setting up a time to collect your passport and have you sign the relevant paperwork.
After that, the Shelter staff will represent you at Immigration and complete the 90-day reporting process on your behalf. Either that afternoon or the following day, you’ll receive your passport back, and you’re be good to go for the remaining 90 days.
To learn more about relocating to Thailand as a digital professional, download the free Shelter ebook!