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Arrival Departure card...what is it for?


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My friend just came back from immigration office and told me they refused to do the 90 day thing because he did not present the arrival card. As I always keep the arrival card in the passport this was news to me, I had no idea that card was so important. Anyway he had to go back the next day and bring the card which he by some random mistake had left at home. Luck it was not lost.

So that got me thinking of course and following questions arises as a result, I hope TV can give some answers.

1. Does anyone have any information what is the purpose of this card?

2. What do you do if it is lost?

3. Can they really refuse the 90 days renewal just because you don't have that card with you?

4. would it be enough with a picture of the card stored in your phone that you can show the officers?

5. If the card is so damned important, why the !#@!# is there no information to tourists about this at arrival? I mean if I was a rookie Russian tourist and never been outside My home town I would probably not even think twice before discarding the card in first rubbish bin available?

Thanks in advance for any answers.

Edited by AlQaholic
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1. It's a report of your arrival and departure info to immigration.

2. If you loose it you go to immigration and fill out a new one if asked for it, or just wait until you depart and fill a new one out.

3. They can refuse to do the 90 day if you haven't supplied the required documents, as you found out. Normally they would just have you fill out a new one. Your friend must not have been smiling, "No shirt, no shoes, no smile, no service"!

4. They want paper

5. It's a two part card. You fill it in and they take half at arrival. They normally staple the other half i your passport which you fill ouyt with departure info when you leave. They must have been out of staples or it came loose. Anything that they put in your passport should be kept,. I think that it's call "common sense".

If you loose the card and pi** them off at the same time they could make you go to the police station and fill out a police report before issuing a new one - the reason for the apology and smile! But I'm just a GCCOF that has only livrd heere for 17 years!

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I don't think Immigration knows what the card if for but they know you have to have one.

It's totally prehistoric in this day and age. I remember I lost my passport years ago and I had to go to Suan Plu to get a copy of my TM card and they had this huge room full of them. Totally amazing.

The only use I can think of is to keep the Chief or Director of TM cards in a job.

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And it's just not us farangs who are required to fill out this form either - my Thai wife had to fill out the departure bit and keep the arrival bit in her passport during our UK trip 5 years ago for completion upon our return to LOS.

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In this day and age, the Arrival/Departure card is an anachronism. If the immigration department actually do anything with it, I would be greatly surprised. But, of course, it is used like a knife to the throat whenever possible by Thai officialdom.

Seeing as how the good PM wants Thailand to shift to a digital economy, immigration (and the PM) may want to rethink how immigration works in Thailand, not to mention most every other government facility. Basically, I just do not see it happening, at least, not this century.

Edited by WhizBang
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They do enter the data. And any immigration office can readily call it up and obtain the date and card number from your last entry, if so inclined, removing the need to get a replacement card.

Immigration offices use the information to determine if you have made the required 90 day reporting, since leaving the country and re-entering starts the 90 day period all over again. I leave the country several times a year and as a result rarely have to do 90 day report. Each year when I do my extension they call up my record in the computer, complete with dates of 90 day reports and departure/entries from the country. Never had a problem with the fact that I did not do any 90 day reports, or did only 1 or 2, because they can see that I was not in the country for more than 90 days at a stretch.

It is also used by police when there is a need to investigate a foreigner. It can identify when the person last arrived in the Kingdom, whether or not they have overstayed, and what address they gave on arrival. Foreign law enforcement agencies also make use of that info when looking for someone suspected to be in Thailand.

Many countries have such cards, not just Thailand.

Appreciate what you say Sheryl but the info is meaningless because everyone is putting unverified info on the card.

How many times have you seen an IO actually study one?

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You will see the TM6 departure card on every list of required documents for about everything you do at immigration.

It is not the card itself that important it is the number on it. They can enter the number in the their system and pull your records up.

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They do enter the data. And any immigration office can readily call it up and obtain the date and card number from your last entry, if so inclined, removing the need to get a replacement card.

Immigration offices use the information to determine if you have made the required 90 day reporting, since leaving the country and re-entering starts the 90 day period all over again. I leave the country several times a year and as a result rarely have to do 90 day report. Each year when I do my extension they call up my record in the computer, complete with dates of 90 day reports and departure/entries from the country. Never had a problem with the fact that I did not do any 90 day reports, or did only 1 or 2, because they can see that I was not in the country for more than 90 days at a stretch.

It is also used by police when there is a need to investigate a foreigner. It can identify when the person last arrived in the Kingdom, whether or not they have overstayed, and what address they gave on arrival. Foreign law enforcement agencies also make use of that info when looking for someone suspected to be in Thailand.

Many countries have such cards, not just Thailand.

Good post with correct info...Thank you.
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The majority of tines they staple it to the page. Malaysia does not have arrival/departure card. Do not really know why but you can bet they could not keep them and store them they would need huge warehouses, over 20yrs and 10-20 mil tourist a yr.

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As a side; I went a few weeks back for an extension, two photos required it got me thinking; is there a building somewhere like in Bangkok thatis just full of Farangs photos? if they require two pics for this and that, they must have millions of pics somewhere??? so why all the pics required?

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In this day and age, the Arrival/Departure card is an anachronism. If the immigration department actually do anything with it, I would be greatly surprised. But, of course, it is used like a knife to the throat whenever possible by Thai officialdom.

Seeing as how the good PM wants Thailand to shift to a digital economy, immigration (and the PM) may want to rethink how immigration works in Thailand, not to mention most every other government facility. Basically, I just do not see it happening, at least, not this century.

As someone else pointed out the UK has an Arrival Card, many other countries too, so it is not just Thailand

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" I would probably not even think twice before discarding the card in first rubbish bin available?"

It has been my experience that they staple it into a page of my passport....that would lead me to believe that it must be of some importance.

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In this day and age, the Arrival/Departure card is an anachronism. If the immigration department actually do anything with it, I would be greatly surprised. But, of course, it is used like a knife to the throat whenever possible by Thai officialdom.

Seeing as how the good PM wants Thailand to shift to a digital economy, immigration (and the PM) may want to rethink how immigration works in Thailand, not to mention most every other government facility. Basically, I just do not see it happening, at least, not this century.

As someone else pointed out the UK has an Arrival Card, many other countries too, so it is not just Thailand

And, as I pointed out in post #7, Thai nationals are required to complete this card as well (whereas I as a Brit am not required to complete the corresponding UK card). So the reasons can't be purely immigration-related.

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Also..When you fill in your arrival card it has always for years now asked you your annual earnings (& you've about 4-5 options..please tick one).

So then..coupla that info with the fact that farangs for quite a while now, when changing 'home currency' into Baht.. have had to submit their passport number (be it on your actual pazzy, or like myself..on my Thai driver's licence)..the powers-that-be in this LOS can quickly monitor when you change money, how much Thai Baht you obtain, & what currency you changed..put all that into the melting pot & just possibly..in the future..someone in immigration may decide if each individual is (in their books) a 'Quality Tourist' or not, based on his spending while here..??

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So then..coupla that info with the fact that farangs for quite a while now, when changing 'home currency' into Baht.. have had to submit their passport number

At some banks only. Exchange boots don't care mind you some have pretty good rates. If no booths in your area and you want privacy you can surely find an alternative. However nobody in Thai gov. tracks or care how much you exchange.

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/index.php?app=core&module=search&do=viewNewContent&search_app=forums

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Big trouble if u do not have it. I spent 5 miserable hours in old downtown immigration trying to get a new one. Lady not present most of day, no one else taking up her slack.

Keep it in your passport.

Please learn the difference between "loose" and "lose."

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They do enter the data. And any immigration office can readily call it up and obtain the date and card number from your last entry, if so inclined, removing the need to get a replacement card.

Immigration offices use the information to determine if you have made the required 90 day reporting, since leaving the country and re-entering starts the 90 day period all over again. I leave the country several times a year and as a result rarely have to do 90 day report. Each year when I do my extension they call up my record in the computer, complete with dates of 90 day reports and departure/entries from the country. Never had a problem with the fact that I did not do any 90 day reports, or did only 1 or 2, because they can see that I was not in the country for more than 90 days at a stretch.

It is also used by police when there is a need to investigate a foreigner. It can identify when the person last arrived in the Kingdom, whether or not they have overstayed, and what address they gave on arrival. Foreign law enforcement agencies also make use of that info when looking for someone suspected to be in Thailand.

Many countries have such cards, not just Thailand.

Appreciate what you say Sheryl but the info is meaningless because everyone is putting unverified info on the card.

How many times have you seen an IO actually study one?

---------------------

They no longer need to.

These days the card is bar-coded.

That's what the little code squiggles area at the top is for.

Look carefully, and there is a number underneath that bar code area.

It is for an optical scan device.

Immigration can scan that bar-code (if they want to and have the authority), and your arrival time and the name you used on the card appears on their computer.

And that little camera they have at the immigration takes a picture of you, and it is also linked to the name you used on that card and the card I.D. number.

And all the immigration does is copy your name from what you wrote and enter that name on his computer keyboard ..... the rest is automatic.

That's why now losing a departure card is not a big thing, it's all keyed to your name and the card number.

All they need is your name, and all the data is on file from your arrival.

Yes but if someone was a criminal they would put misinformation on the card anyway. The only verifiable information is what is in your passport.

Therefore it's an honor system and completely unverifiable. So what is the point of it?

Besides that you can throw away the departure half of the card and fill in a new one when you leave.

In Australia for example you have to declare you are not bringing in prohibited items and they treat the information much more seriously.

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Yes but if someone was a criminal they would put misinformation on the card anyway. The only verifiable information is what is in your passport.

Therefore it's an honor system and completely unverifiable. So what is the point of it?

Honor or not, many countries still want the information. Not only criminals come to country, also people that has been located in a emergency with that information. Or do you think it would be better to spell your domicile at the immigration desk.

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Yes but if someone was a criminal they would put misinformation on the card anyway. The only verifiable information is what is in your passport.

Therefore it's an honor system and completely unverifiable. So what is the point of it?

Honor or not, many countries still want the information. Not only criminals come to country, also people that has been located in a emergency with that information. Or do you think it would be better to spell your domicile at the immigration desk.

Why would spelling your address at the Immigration desk change anything? If Immigration or the Police really wanted to contact you in an emergency then I believe they should move to something like the US ESTA system instead of an outdated piece of cardboard.

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Big trouble if u do not have it. I spent 5 miserable hours in old downtown immigration trying to get a new one. Lady not present most of day, no one else taking up her slack.

Keep it in your passport.

Please learn the difference between "loose" and "lose."

Thanks, I think I have been loosing myself in the lost spelling for years know I think, did not even notice the error:)))

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Why would spelling your address at the Immigration desk change anything? If Immigration or the Police really wanted to contact you in an emergency then I believe they should move to something like the US ESTA system instead of an outdated piece of cardboard.

Agreed but I don't see that happening neither now or later. A paper card is still simpler and cheaper.

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Good point to raise about card.

In addition to that, why should we put two duplicate family names, duplicate first names, duplicate DOBs, duplicate gender, etc even these data is identical what the passport already shows. The purpose of visit should be based on visa detail. I do not mean for being rude but I cant help saying these cards seem to be irrelevant. Why more burdens are necessary for both Immigration officers and passport holders? blink.png

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Now I am a bit worried... When I arrived in October after the 25+ hour flight, I didn't notice my departure card was not put in my passport. Before, in the past, they would staple it to the page where they stamp you into the Kingdom. I'm a pack-rat for paper and sure it wasn't given back... I have my ticket stubs, hotel receipt, etc... but no departure card... No staple or holes on the page where they stamped me into the Kingdom...

I am going to Immigration in a couple days, could/would this pose a serious problem? Any advice because I guess they are number coded...

Edited by ThailandRick
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Now I am a bit worried... When I arrived in October after the 25+ hour flight, I didn't notice my departure card was not put in my passport. Before, in the past, they would staple it to the page where they stamp you into the Kingdom. I'm a pack-rat for paper and sure it wasn't given back... I have my ticket stubs, hotel receipt, etc... but no departure card... No staple or holes on the page where they stamped me into the Kingdom...

I am going to Immigration in a couple days, could/would this pose a serious problem? Any advice because I guess they are number coded...

I had mine stolen and yet it will cause a problem. Go to immigration before you need to and ask them to issue another as it was lost. I had no trouble in Cheangwattana but not sure if provincial immigration can do it or not

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