The suspension of the TM6 arrival/departure card to speed up arrival procedures and avoid congestion at the international airports in Thailand seem to work. I just arrived and was positively surprised that there was no long waiting time at Suvarnabhumi Airport to get through immigration.
At first, I was not convinced
I was on this very comfortable flight an Airbus 350 -900 with Finnair to Thailand but during the flight, I was a bit surprised that they never handed out the arrival cards that I have been filling in for at least 24 years. So when there were just 50 minutes left of the flight I asked a stewardess if they were not to hand out the arrival cards. She simply said, “we don’t have them anymore”. Thai immigration doesn’t ask for them anymore.
I found it difficult to believe, so I asked one of Finnairs Thai staff. Same answer.
So, on arrival, I was still not convinced but when I saw the speed of the staff handling the passports of other people in the queue, then I realised that there were no more TM6 cards.
Through immigration and customs in less than an hour
I got through immigration and customs in about 30 minutes. At the airport when I checked in for the flight there was only a check of my vaccine documentation. So with TM arrival cards suspended temporarily(we will have to wait and see if there will be a replacement for them), travelling to Thailand was very smooth and seamless. Easier than before covid with less paperwork.
What is/was the TM6 form?
TM 6 immigration all foreigners were required fill in when entering Thailand to be submitted to the Thai immigration checkpoint.
The TM 6 form could normally only be received inside the plane during the flight. Sometimes it was given directly after boarding but often just the last hour before arrival. There were a lot of questions. On the plane, you would always see people struggling to find a pen at the last minute.
If you didn’t aquire the TM 6 form on the plane, there was a table with forms located before the Thai immigration checkpoint at the airport.
The immigration officer would then keep the arrival card and the departure card would be placed in your passport. So again some questions to answer when leaving Thailand. At the departure there was constantly people sent back in the queue because they forgot to fill in this form.
According to the Bangkok Post, you still need to fill in the TM6 if you arrive by land or sea. People with Thai nationality have not been required to fill in the form since 2017.
The purpose of the form was to be able to trace foreign travellers in the country. In hotels, you were required to fill in a special form with the TM6 number on it.
Less paperwork for now
The temporary suspension of the TM6 arrival/departure card started in June 2022. Let’s see what happens, but for now, entering Thailand is less paperwork.