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BANGKOK 13 December 2018 15:18

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Major new crackdown on visa overstay in Thailand starts today

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Major new crackdown on visa overstay in Thailand starts today
Thaivisa Reporters

  • “Good guys in, bad guys out”, says Thai Immigration chief
  • Unprecedented crackdown on foreigners who overstay starts March 20th
  • Overstayers face being banned from Thailand

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BANGKOK:-- New tough penalties for foreigners who overstay their visas come into effect today (March 20th).

Under the new rules anyone who is found to have overstayed their permission to remain in the country can expect to be blacklisted and barred from re-entering Thailand.

The new rules regarding overstay have been well publicised since the plans were first revealed by Thaivisa.com back in 2014.

Previously foreigners were charged a 500 baht penalty for each day they overstayed, up to a maximum of 20,000 baht. However, Immigration bureau chief Pol Maj Gen Natthorn Prosunthorn, had previously called the fines “weak”.

It was not uncommon for foreigners with several years overstay to pay a 20,000 baht fine to Immigration officers at Suvarnabhumi or Don Mueang airport before returning to Thailand just days, sometimes even hours later.

In case you are not aware of the new rules (where have you been?), from today, overstayers will be divided into two categories: those who hand themselves in and those who are arrested.

If you surrender yourself to police with more than 90 days overstay, you will be banned from re-entering Thailand for more than one year.

An overstay of more than one year will result in a 3 year ban, more than 3 years will be a 5 year ban and overstay of more than 5 years will result in a 10 year ban.

However, if you are arrested and found to be on overstay the penalties are more severe.

Any foreigner who is arrested and found to be on overstay of less than one year will face a 5 year ban from re-entering Thailand.

Those arrested with an overstay of more than one year will face a 10 year ban.

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Immigration has said previously that the crackdown on foreigners overstaying their visas is in the interest of national security.

Despite the new rules on overstay not officially coming into effect until today, recent news stories suggest that the crackdown may have already begun in earnest.

On February 19th, the Chiang Mai City News reported how 100 armed police, along with Immigration officers raided the Zoe in Yellow entertainment complex. As well as searching for evidence of substance abuse, City News also reported that officers were looking for evidence of foreigners overstaying their visas.

As part of the crackdown, Immigration has also told hotels, apartments and private landlords who rent accommodation to foreigners that they need to report that a foreigner is staying in their premises to their local immigration office.

Earlier this week, Immigration bosses briefed expats in Pattaya and Bangkok on the rules, while officials in Phuket attached a warning about the new overstay rules to water bottles that are due to be handed out at a meeting with Immigration Commissioner Natthorn Phrosunthorn next week.


On Friday evening, police setup two checkpoints in Bangkok and were inspecting the passports of foreigners ahead of the new overstay rules coming into effect.

A previous estimate from Immigration suggested there could be as many as 100,000 foreigners on overstay in Thailand.

Only time will tell if this new crackdown, which the Bangkok Post recently described as “unprecedented” will result in scores of foreigners in Thailand being deported and blacklisted.

The introduction of new rules regarding overstay follow previous crackdowns on people staying long term in Thailand on tourist visas, those completing multiple ‘Out/In’ border runs and those who were said to be abusing the ED-visa system.

If you have any questions regarding Thailand visas or overstay please visit our Visa Forum.

More information on the new overstay rules can be found on the Immigration Bureau website.

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-- 2016-03-20

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Immigration has said previously that the crackdown on foreigners overstaying their visas is in the interest of national security.

The age-old cry of the oppressor.

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Good to hear that from a "big-wig" that the fines are "weak".

Maybe this will spread to other departments of setting the fines.

No mention though of the fine for overstaying 1-89 days. Will this "weak" fine be raised ? I hope so.

Outrageous that foreigners abuse the system in such a manner.

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I'm waiting for the first reports of new "businesses" that can get these rules waived. For a fee of course.

Cheers.

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I think a reasonable interpretation in the Post #1 is that the previous regime of pay your 20K baht and do a 180 and return was 'weak' -- not the March 20 new regime.

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It will be interesting to see what happens to people who accidentally overstay by just a day or two ,

It would be quite severe if a person was heading to a border and didnt make it in time before the border closed and they left first thing the next morning and they then faced a ban from re entering Thailand .

I would imagine that there would be a certain amount of grace before bans were implemented , I would imagine that the grace period would be between 1-90 days, but, only time will tell

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About time. I hope this in enforced.

If you break the law you have to face the penalty.

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It will be interesting to see what happens to people who accidentally overstay by just a day or two ,

It would be quite severe if a person was heading to a border and didnt make it in time before the border closed and they left first thing the next morning and they then faced a ban from re entering Thailand .

I would imagine that there would be a certain amount of grace before bans were implemented , I would imagine that the grace period would be between 1-90 days, but, only time will tell

Accidentally? They have 30 days grace period on a stamp on entry or 60 days or 90 days on certain visa's. They have a lot of time to make it to the border.

From the dead centre of Thailand it only takes one day to get to the closest border.

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It will be interesting to see what happens to people who accidentally overstay by just a day or two ,

It would be quite severe if a person was heading to a border and didnt make it in time before the border closed and they left first thing the next morning and they then faced a ban from re entering Thailand .

I would imagine that there would be a certain amount of grace before bans were implemented , I would imagine that the grace period would be between 1-90 days, but, only time will tell

I think the infographics tell you all you need. Under 90 days and hand yourself in = no ban. Under 90 days and get arrested = ban

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It will be interesting to see what happens to people who accidentally overstay by just a day or two ,

It would be quite severe if a person was heading to a border and didnt make it in time before the border closed and they left first thing the next morning and they then faced a ban from re entering Thailand .

I would imagine that there would be a certain amount of grace before bans were implemented , I would imagine that the grace period would be between 1-90 days, but, only time will tell

Accidentally? They have 30 days grace period on a stamp on entry or 60 days or 90 days on certain visa's. They have a lot of time to make it to the border.

From the dead centre of Thailand it only takes one day to get to the closest border.

But sometimes buses are full, they crash or they break down .

Some borders close at 7 PM , so, you may be on the way to the border and you get delayed and miss the crossing time

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It will be interesting to see what happens to people who accidentally overstay by just a day or two ,

It would be quite severe if a person was heading to a border and didnt make it in time before the border closed and they left first thing the next morning and they then faced a ban from re entering Thailand .

I would imagine that there would be a certain amount of grace before bans were implemented , I would imagine that the grace period would be between 1-90 days, but, only time will tell

I think the infographics tell you all you need. Under 90 days and hand yourself in = no ban. Under 90 days and get arrested = ban

What would happen if you are on the way to a border with a one day over stay and there was a Police check, would they arrest you and just let you be on your way to the border?

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They're going to be out in force looking for people on overstays.

Get your papers ready, they will come asking.

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Immigration has said previously that the crackdown on foreigners overstaying their visas is in the interest of national security.

The age-old cry of the oppressor.

Do you know any Thais expressing pain and anguish due to a crackdown on over-stayers and illegal immigrants?

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looking forward to living in the crime free country once all these millions of wicked visa overstayers are banished .... absolute Bankers with a w bah.gif

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