Thai immigration card: What is it and how to fill it properly

If you are reading this from inside Thailand, congratulations, you have already successfully filled the Thai immigration card, also known as TM.6, arrival card or departure card.  It is a rather simple form you need to hand in to the immigration officers when you arrive, so you just can’t get in without it.

There is always those who prefer to know everything in advance before their trip, so here you will find information about one of the first things you will need to do once you step on Thailand’s soil: fill the immigration card.

What is the TM.6 Card

The TM.6 card, or arrival card, is a small two-pages form you need to hand along with your passport for the immigration checkpoint at the airport or other border when you arrive to Thailand.

It consists in two pages, the arrival and the departure card, both identified by the same serial number.  The form includes basic personal information and some more nosy details about your visit and income.

Most airlines will hand you this card during or after your flight to Thailand, but beware, sometimes they will offer them at lightning speed, so if you blink you might miss the chance. It is ideal to get the card in time and fill it on the airplane, as otherwise you might lose some valuable queue position at the immigration check-in.

If you land without one in your possession, don’t panic: you can always get one at the airport and fill it on the spot. Just do it in one of the little tables for that purpose, before actually queuing.

The arrival card

TM.6. Arrival Card

The main page of the TM.6 is the two-sided Arrival card. There are no optional fields, so you are expected to fill everything in here, excluding the obvious box for official use.

In an ideal world, you will write a single letter in its little box, but sadly that is just impossible as some of the fields don’t have enough space. Try your best.

The fields on the first side are:

  • Family name: or surname
  • First name and Middle Name: both share this field
  • Nationality: as specified on your passport
  • Male or Female: cross the one that applies
  • Passport number: exactly that
  • Date of birth: use numbers and observe the order of day, month and year.
  • Visa number: if you have a visa, add its number / identification here
  • Address in Thailand: add the address of where you will be staying in Thailand, like your Hotel or so on. Good luck fitting it in the box.
  • Signature: add your signature in the little box
  • Flight or Other Vehicle Number: don’t forget this field on the corner and add the flight number you took

The other side of the page is way more nosy, probably for statistical purposes. If you are a Thai resident, you don’t need to fill this.

  • Type of flight: Charter or schedule, which will be the case most of the times
  • First trip to Thailand: yes or no
  • Traveling on group tour: yes or no
  • Accommodation: you can choose between hotel, youth hostel, guesthouse, friend’s home, apartment or others
  • Purpose of visit: is it holiday, business, education, employment, transit, meeting, incentive, conventions, exhibitions or others? You are only supposed to pick one
  • Yearly income: five yearly salary ranges in US dollars to choose. It shouldn’t affect your entry but I wouldn’t pick the No income one.
  • Occupation: do your best to fill your occupation on this box. If it’s too difficult or you don’t really care to explain, just an “employee” will do.
  • Country of residence: Your city and country of residence
  • From/Port of embarkation: Where you came from at the beginning of your trip, that is.
  • Next city / Port of disembarkation: If you are about to take another flight somewhere else, put it here. Otherwise this will be the place you just landed.

After you hand your TM.6 to the immigrant officer, you can say Goodbye to it, as you will never see it again. They will take that page, add its information to the system and give you back your passport with the departure card attached (or not).

The departure card

TM.6. Departure Card

I have the good habit of filling both cards on arrival, but you can always wait for the last minute to do it with the departure cards. Both have the same identification number so you will think you don’t need to add your name, nationality and passport again. Wrong.

Most of the fields are the same on the first page of the arrival card:

  • Family name: or surname
  • First name and Middle Name: all together
  • Date of birth: in numbers, please observe the order of day, month, year
  • Male or female: pick one
  • Nationality: as stated in your passport
  • Passport number: exactly that
  • Signature: sign on the little box on the bottom
  • Flight or other vehicle: the flight number you will take to leave the country

You are expected to keep this little card somewhere in your passport until you leave, being that two weeks later or 20 years later, so keep it well.

All the information on it should not be necessary to hand at all, as all but the leaving flight number was including on the arrival card, but here in Thailand they sure love some good old paper forms and the TM.6. is no exception.

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  • Stephanie Val B. Ecate

    Thank you!