Kobsak Pootrakool said on Wednesday that foreigners can use the app for all immigration reporting. Simply keying in data and uploading a selfie will be the same as visiting the local immigration office and filing forms and paperwork there.

The government point man for resolving the TM30 controversy promised this Wednesday that the new app for immigration reporting for foreigners will soon be online and that it will make expats and foreigners coming to live and work in Thailand feel more welcome.

There was good news this week from the Secretary-General at the Office of the Prime Minister Dr Kobsak Pootrakool who revealed that the app for immigration reporting to be used by foreigners will be available soon. It is to be called OSS Foreigner and the senior official promised it will help make foreigners feel more welcome in Thailand. It is one part of a complete Thai government digitalisation move ordered by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak (inset bottom left) to be complete by 2022.

The app is being developed as part of a wider programme by the Thai government being championed by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak to make Thai public services more efficient with a focus on delivering a better experience to the Thai public.

The Deputy Secretary-General at the Office of the Prime Minister Kobsak Pootrakool has revealed this week that the new app for immigration reporting is nearing completion. It will be called ‘OSS Foreigner’ and will work on mobile applications.

Can be used for 90-day reporting

The new app will allow expats to also fulfil the 90-day reporting requirement by simply loading it, inputting information and taking a selfie which will be uploaded to the site as well as the required data fields. This will be treated and confirmed by immigration bureau officers the same as a visit to the local office.

The app will work just as well for other reporting requirements and will be simple as well as easy to use.

Plans to digitise all Thai public services by 2022

Dr Kobsak made the announcement as an aside when outlining exciting plans by the Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Economics coordinator to have all Thai government departments digitised by as early as 2022.

Thailand 4.0 still in the government’s sights

Dr Kobsak used the benefits of the new app for expats and foreigners living in Thailand to highlight that the new government approach to IT systems and digitalisation is designed to put Thai people or the end-user at the centre of outcomes delivering smarter and easier to use government services. In this way, new technology empowers the public instead of taking away control.

This has always been a core part of the Thailand 4.0 agenda which despite the government’s economic problems is now more important than ever as Thailand seeks to progress to a higher income economy.

PM backs digital startups

There was also an announcement by the Prime Minister this week of government backing and support for digital startups involving younger Thai people and graduates.

Government departments to have a chief IT officers

On Wednesday, the Deputy Prime Minister Somkid gave instructions to the Digital Government Development Agency to begin work in integrating all government department IT resources.

Each department will be required to produce a digital plan and to outline its goals to adapt its service to digital technology with the end-user at the heart of the plans.

The emphasis is to be on improving service to the public as well as increased efficiency and accuracy using digital technology.

This will also be connected with a gigantic central state database which will in time become the nerve centre of the country. The Economics boss says he wants to see a digital IT chief officer in each government department to oversee what will be a public service digital revolution in two years.

Further reading:

Exemptions on T28 reporting for visas linked to foreigners working in Thailand in effect now

TM6 arrivals and departure forms scrapped by the government in move to ease red tape for visitors

Changes to TM30, an easier visa and work permit system approved by Thai cabinet yesterday for foreign workers

Thailand issues innovative digital driving license but awaits key legal amendments for police use on roads

Thailand faces an economic threat from a fast paced shift to a digital economy – 3 million jobs in peril

Foreigners in Thailand should find out more about Thailand 4.0 and be part of the change that is coming