THAILAND’S Immigration Bureau now requires foreigners nationwide to provide extensive personal information. In the widely criticized ‘Foreign National Information Form’, foreigners are asked to provide bank account details, social media accounts, frequently visited places, and other details.
The form, which up until now was only used in certain areas, “is being rolled out nationwide”, reported ThaiVisa News on Wednesday.
The requirement applies to longer-stay visitors, including those filling out their 90-day report, visa extensions, or re-entry permits. Tourists will not be required to fill out the form at point of entry.
Last month, the Immigration Bureau’s crime suppression unit Deputy Commissioner Maj Gen Chachaval Vachirapaneegul told The Phuket News that it was “mandatory” for foreigners to fill out the form.
“If a foreigner doesn’t want to fill in their information by themselves, they will be questioned for our records anyway. If they don’t fill in the form, we will suspect their reason,” he said.
However, not all details are required, apparently, as Chachaval added that people would not be forced to include their social media accounts.
The Immigration Bureau’s reasoning behind the necessity of the form, despite an outcry from foreigners in Thailand, is due to the fact that “in the past, immigration lacked information about foreign nationals living in Thailand when problems happened. This updated information will help us catch foreigners faster,” said Chachaval.
The form was first introduced back in April at the Immigration Division 1 office and the One-Stop Service Center at Chamchuri Square in Bangkok, followed by Phuket, and is now reportedly used in Samut Prakan and Jomtien.
Among the information the form asks “aliens” to submit are:
- Full name, date of birth, and passport number
- Full names of father and mother
- Full address and telephone numbers in home country
- Full address and telephone numbers of residence and workplace in Thailand
- Social media accounts and email address (optional)
- Make of car/motorcycle, as well as its model, color, and license plate number
- Frequently visited places such as clubs, restaurants, shops, hospital
- Emergency contact details (one of Thai nationality and one of foreign nationality)
- Bank account details such as bank, branch, account name and account number (only required for certain visas).
Understandably, many foreigners are reluctant to share their private information with Thai authorities, as they have their doubts regarding how securely their details will be kept – it was only in March when a couple of online data leaks revealed foreigners’ sensitive information.
But for those of you thinking of just winging it and putting in false information to stick it to the man, the form readily informs that those “providing false information to an officer shall be punished under [the] Penal Code”.
Source: Asian Correspondent