Forms of inconvenience

The government's decision to eventually scrap the TM.6 immigration form for Thais travelling abroad at some stage in the future is the right step to improve the immigration service at airports, but it is far from enough.

Complaints over long waits at immigration counters at Don Mueang airport made front-page news headlines from Saturday, prompting a scramble by the authorities to look into the problem which also plagues Suvarnabhumi airport. In double-quick time, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered the immigration agency and other bodies to team up and roll out a plan to tackle the problem.

They pointed the finger at the problematic TM.6 form that all travellers are required to complete before leaving or entering the country. The agencies involved came up with a solution where the white cards with blue text will be redesigned, and will be mandatory only for foreigners. (Under the original plan, the foreigner-only forms were to be available from Oct 1. But since an amendment to the law to exclude Thai travellers from filling in the forms will not be finished by then, this means Thais too will have to keep using them for an as yet undetermined period.)

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