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.