Soon you will face a ban if you overstay in Thailand

June 3, 2015
By

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About a year ago there was a lot of chatter on expat forums about new rules of what would happen if you overstayed your visa in Thailand. Everyone was talking about it as if it would signal the end of tourism. Jump forward twelve months and we have seen that tourism is picking up. In addition, there has been no sign of anyone being banned for overstaying their visa. Everyone just presumed that this was just another example of backtracking by the Thai government. But, that is not really true. If anything, it is another example of the Thai media printing something without checking their facts. It was just a proposal that hadn’t been passed into law yet. Much the same as the so-called ban on drones.

I was at my local Immigration office today. The subject of overstaying came up and I asked them what had happened about the bans. So, it turns out that it is not being enforced yet as the law hasn’t been passed. However, they are expecting this to be put forward sooner rather than later. If this is the case, then anyone who is caught overstaying in Thailand, even less than one year, could face a FIVE year ban from entering the country. Do you really want to risk that? My advice to you is to get legal now before this soon to be new law is enforced. At the moment, many people are saying that there has been no serious consequence of overstaying if they turn themselves in. That is, other than the 500 Baht fine per day (maximum fine is 20,000 Baht).

In the Case the Alien Surrenders Himself/Herself:

  • Overstay more than 90 days => Forbidden from re-entering the kingdom for 1 year
  • Overstay more than 1 year => Forbidden from re-entering the kingdom for 3 years
  • Overstay more than 3 years => Forbidden from re-entering the kingdom for 5 years
  • Overstay more than 5 years => Forbidden from re-entering the kingdom for 10 years

In the Case that the Alien is Apprehended:

  • Overstay for less than 1 year ==> Forbidden from re-entering the kingdom for 5 years
  • Overstay for more than 1 year ==> Forbidden from re-entering the kingdom for 10 years

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

37 Responses to Soon you will face a ban if you overstay in Thailand

  1. June 3, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Has this really not been passed into law yet? More generally I agree with you about the Thai media being poor at fact checking, and passing off proposals as concrete legislation, but each of the past two or three times I’ve applied for and/or extended visas/stay permits, I’ve had to sign a declaration acknowledging these very overstay punishments. The impression I got from those documents was that the primary legislation gave the government the authority to vary those punishments without the need for further legislation – but I could be wrong.

    • Richard Barrow
      June 3, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      Could be scare tactics. Plus, as your extension is a year and as the proposed law is expected soon, it makes sense that all foreigners should be aware that by the time permission for you to stay expires, they might be enforcing this law.

  2. June 3, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Judging by comments on various forums I think most expats are in complete denial about what may happen. I think some will be in for a very big shock unless they get legal soon. Even if the law changed never happens, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  3. John
    June 3, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Just a question on 90 reporting online: in your article of a couple of weeks back you talked about your time with immigration and how they were going to try and improve the online reportreporting system. Do you know if it is any better yet?

    • Richard Barrow
      June 4, 2015 at 6:29 am

      My contact is my local Immigration. Online reporting website is done by tech team at the Bangkok office. So, he cannot give updates other than to say they are working on the problems. But, I will ask again when I next visit.

  4. KC
    June 4, 2015 at 12:15 am

    I know for a fact that many foreigners arriving to the int. airports got turned around due to “repeated overstay” and there have even a few rare cases of “very recent single overstay” that got stamped as enough reason to refuse entry. However, as you mentioned, most of these cases where about a year ago and it lasted perhaps 2 months. In the end most of “banned” just went back home, applied for a tourist-, or even non-imm, visa there and were once again welcome to enter the country (and see their wife, kids and house here!), after a few strong words of warning from the immigration officers…

    • Richard Barrow
      June 4, 2015 at 6:41 am

      Thanks for your feedback. This could also be linked to people doing repeated border runs. Last year they were refusing entry to people who they thought were working illegally in Thailand. So, multiple visa exemption stamps and overstays would raise red flags to Immigration officers. It should also be noted, that Immigration can refuse anyone entry or cancel any visa if they are suspicious. Like you said, best to get the correct visa and I would advise not to overstay.

  5. Henry
    June 4, 2015 at 8:58 am

    So if one surrenders oneself with an overstay of under 90 days, there will be no penalty? Or am I misreading it?

    • Richard Barrow
      June 4, 2015 at 9:03 am

      That is correct. You most likely won’t be banned. BUT, you still face the 500 Baht per day fine for overstay.

  6. rusty
    June 4, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    So if I were to leave to country (give myself up) in several months from now (under a year). I will pay the 20,000 fine and risk a ban.. that’s it? But if caught before you turn yourself over you are put in jail until ticket home is arranged?

    • Richard Barrow
      June 4, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      At this moment in time, if you are caught overstaying (anywhere other than Immigration at airport or land border) you are sent to Immigration Detention Center where you will stay while you wait to go to court to pay the fine. You will then stay there until you can arrange a flight to your HOME country. You will then be escorted to the airport and put on the plane. However, if you go to the airport to surrender, you just pay the fine (maximum is 20,000 Baht) and can fly out to any country of your choice. At this moment, it would seem most people don’t receive a ban for overstaying. But, if the Immigration officer sees you have multiple overstays and back to back visa exemption stamps, he could ban you from re-entering. That is up to him and I cannot second guess his decision.

      • Zac
        January 3, 2016 at 11:14 pm

        Hi Richard are you sure about the fact that if you surrender at the airport he will be able to choose which country he is going without valid proof E.g employment letter ect? I came across an post stating that Overstayer will only be allow to fly back to his Home country. And I have since giving this information to a few Overstayer that I came across.

        • January 6, 2016 at 8:51 am

          I personally know several people who overstayed and paid the fine at the airport before flying to a country other than that of their birth. However, if you are deported, you are sent back to your home country.

  7. bruce
    June 4, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    i have a friend who is over 10 years overstay, but has a current passport. if he turns himself in now he still get a 10 year ban?

    • Richard Barrow
      June 5, 2015 at 6:26 am

      At the moment it is not an automatic ban. The law hasn’t been passed yet. But, once it does, and they say that is soon, then the answer to your question is YES, he will face a 10 year ban. If he surrenders himself today at the airport, I am afraid I cannot second guess what the Immigration official will do. Most likely your friend will just have to pay the 20,000 Baht maximum fine. But, Immigration officers have the right to refuse anyone to return to Thailand if they have a valid suspicion. Having said that, I personally know people who overstayed by years, paid the fine at the airport and then came back a couple of days later with no problem. One thing is for sure, if you are caught overstaying, the consequences are more serious.

  8. CM
    June 8, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    A five year ban? No problem, I’ll spend my farang dollars in someone else’s country then.

  9. Rita vahora
    July 3, 2015 at 1:10 am

    My frnd enter in Thailand fen 2013..today he overstay 1 and half year.if he surrender in immigration. He banned from Thailand?

    • Richard Barrow
      July 3, 2015 at 6:39 am

      There are no guarantees in life when you have broken the law of the land. It’s up to the mercy of the government officials. At this moment in time, if you surrender yourself at the airport and pay the 20,000 Baht fine, you most likely won’t face any ban. However, if you don’t surrender, and are caught at a checkpoint, you will face detention, a date in court and then forced deportation.

  10. Vicky
    July 8, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    Hi i overstay in thailand for 35days i don’t know what i have to do but i have girlfriend thai.i m from india.i search a lot but still i don’t know what i have to do.and we are ready to marriage also.

    • Richard Barrow
      July 9, 2015 at 6:39 am

      You have to get it sorted if you plan to settle down in Thailand. You need to surrender yourself at the airport and pay the 500 Baht per day fine. Then fly out and return with a proper visa.

  11. ken
    July 19, 2015 at 4:26 am

    i had around 6 month overstay, i payed 20 000 baht, had to show the money at to get my ticket. Then i get my ticket and a half ass talk with officer that its illigal and why did i do it, took around 3 min to do all that to sign and leave. no discussion about i was goin to be Banned for 1 year. Is it possible to just re-new my passport to get rid of my stampes and go back or can my ambassy se if i have clearence to enter ?

    • Richard Barrow
      July 19, 2015 at 7:06 pm

      Best way to find out is to apply for a visa at your local Thai embassy and see if they will refuse or not. Though other people have said they overstayed several years and came back the next day to get 30 days at the airport. Just no guarantees.

  12. Ron
    July 29, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    If a student does not do the 90 days renewal and say the ed- visa expires after 10 months or so and then he/she overstays for a little over 90 days, is it possible that the student will get banned from re-entering Thailand? If yes, then that might affect the student’s education. Won’t that come under consideration especially if the student does not have any overstay stamps?

    • Richard Barrow
      July 30, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      Immigration doesn’t care about things like that. They just concentrate on whether you’ve broken the law or not.

  13. Ace
    August 8, 2015 at 4:42 am

    I just left Thailand on July 27th after a 15 month overstay. I payed my 20000 baht fine and was on my way. No bans or questions as to why I even overstayed. I actually was meant to fly on the 26th but was 2000 baht short and ATM’s were down. They sent me home and hard me reschedule my flight and said come pay when I fly again. I ended up taking the same flight the next day.

    So I consider myself lucky but wouldn’t risk it again.

  14. harry
    August 22, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    i was overstay in Thailand for 721 days. so i pay 20,000 bhat at airport and came back. but now im confused that am i eligible to come back or not. i love Thailand so dying to come back.

  15. David
    January 16, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Dear guys
    One question

    Just in case, if you have a overstay of 1 day and get caught, you will get banned for 5 years, as it is written on this text on this site, right?

    For example
    If you was very ill in a house during the last day of your visa and you live alone and had no money on your cell phone to conctact anyone.
    Then you will go to the immigration at the 1 day where you are overstaying but get caught on the way to the immigration, will you be banned for 5 years?

    Thank you in advance

    • January 16, 2016 at 10:46 pm

      Technically yes, but highly unlikely you will get caught on the way out. I’ve been here 22 years and I haven’t been stopped and asked for my passport. It happens of course, but unlikely.

      • vicky
        January 17, 2016 at 10:10 am

        I have a question about my overstay. I already paid my overstay stay on airport. Now I want to come again in Thailand. So it is possible without problems I can come. And there is no banned stamp on passport. I hope you will reply as soon as possible.

  16. kans
    January 28, 2016 at 1:17 am

    (this is my 2nd time ovterstay in Thailand)
    first overtsay in Thailand for 102 days which I had already paid fine 20000 baht at airport (no banned stamp no questioning) and I went back home. last year on December I came back in thailand now again I am overstaying in Thailand. I don’t know what to do? I love Thailand and want to live here forever..I have thai girlfriend and we are ready to marry also.
    I just want to know, this time will I face some bad consequences?
    Please reply me as soon as possible.
    Thanks

    • January 28, 2016 at 6:28 am

      If you love Thailand then you should surely do the right thing and make sure you are legal. Starting in March 2016, they will start banning people for overstaying. Do the right thing, get legal now!

      • Jean
        March 1, 2016 at 9:45 am

        A 4 years old child overstayed for 3 years already. Is he gonna be ban in the future?

  17. sheilah shakti
    February 4, 2016 at 6:40 am

    i just called Thai Immigration / Consulate in LA who states if you have been deported from another country like Burma or Indonesia no worries … tho i was over on reporting i paid my 20,000 baht and left hoping to rectify matters on a Bali visa run where i have travelled to for many years .
    i was beaten , robbed, left unconscious on the side of the road, had my ATM card stolen and an asundry of ridiculous non-HINDU realities to include being dropped off at a Gov’t Hospital that i couldn’t get out of for over 6 months coz they didn’t take ATM cards or cheques and the US Consulate had those sent to me tho the fon he had arrived with didn’t have minutes and the whole matter was way drawn out …. seeing me overstay and deported back to the USA where even Balinese immigration didn’t wish to see this happen or so it seemed … and where i have NOT resided for over 10 years … NOT much fun in the dead of winter …
    Question is after Thai floods getting out to chaengwattana immigration was NOT easily accomplished and my retirement visa is a couple of years over becoz i was directed by immigration ( who knows me on a good basis) to just do so when you are ready to leave … and that was that …. what are my chances of applying for a tourist visa ( or two tourist visa’s they seem to b offering now in LA) ? and having it be accepted ? i am independently solvent and hence retired …. Blessedly 3~*

  18. Rose
    May 14, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Hello, i just want to ask. If you happen to have a non-b visa and work permit and haven’t applied for visa extension for almost 30days already. Is that considered overstaying? And what would be the best thing to do? Thank you.

  19. Rose
    May 14, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Does he Need to pay the number of days of overstay and be sent back to his country or he can apply for extension of stay according to the validity of the work permit? thank you

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