Overstays in Thailand and What It Could Mean For You
Over the last few weeks, the Thai media has been covering stories about a kind of ‘crackdown’ on foreigners and overstaying their visas. This is in preparation of what people are referring to as “D-Day” which will come on March 20, 2016. The day will mark the beginning of when foreigners could face a ban of re-entering Thailand if they overstay their visas.
One headline put it simply: “If a foreigner is caught overstaying by one day, they will be banned from re-entering for five years”.
The intense crackdown is due to the government’s new attempt to target foreign criminals who are operating in Thailand without the proper paperwork. The Order has cited that a number of aliens, or foreign visitors, who have temporary permission to stay in Thailand have overstayed beyond their permitted date, thus placing the safety of people and national security at risk.
Foreigners will be divided into two groups, those who overstay and turn themselves in, and those who are arrested for overstaying.
Those who turn themselves in will face the following bans for entering Thailand:
– Overstay for more than 90 days will receive a 1 year ban
– 3 years of overstay will be banned for five years
– 5 years of overstay will be banned for ten years
If you do find yourself overstaying your visa, do the right thing as soon as possible and make sure you are legal. The last thing you want to do is find yourself at an immigration checkpoint and face a fine or a ban from re-entering Thailand for five years.
When visiting any foreign country, it is advisable to carry some form of photo ID at all times whether this is your passport or a photocopy of your passport and latest visa.