May 21, 2024

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Think Phenomenal Law

Immigration Law – Visa Overstay in Thailand

According to Immigration Act B.E.2522 (A.D.1979), Section 54: Deportation of foreigners
“Any foreigner who enters or comes to stay in the Kingdom without permission or when such permission expires or is revoked, the competent official will deport such foreigners out of the kingdom;”

This visa regulation is for foreigners who overstay their visa or visa exempt permits; you have to depart Thailand prior to expiration of your permit or visa. If caught before making it to the airport or land border, there will be potential arrest and detention.

What is Overstay?
Staying in Thailand beyond the ‘admitted until’ date which is stamped in your passport when you pass through Thai Immigration on your inward journey to Thailand means you are overstaying. Overstay means you remain in Thailand beyond the date for which your visa gives you permission to stay. This is an offense under Thai law which is subject for arrest and detention.

Overstaying in Thailand could be intentional or unintentional. Either the person forgets the date when he is supposed to leave, misunderstand the visa stamp or something might have happened where the person can’t leave the country.

The only exemption for this regulation would be the foreign children below 7 years old. All foreigners are subject to fines for overstaying in Thailand beyond the age of seven years.

What to do when you overstay?
You cannot depart Thailand without paying the visa overstay fine. You may voluntarily show up yourself and report it, and clear up your overstay. The fines for overstaying a visa is 500 THB per day, and accrue for a maximum of 40 days, the maximum fine can be levied at 20,000 THB. The fine is payable to the Immigration Bureau, the Suvarnabhumi Airport, Immigration Office, other departure or border point.

Personna non grata in Thailand
If you are picked up in country anywhere, at any time, on an expired visa, you will be arrested and taken to jail- the Immigration department’s detention centre in Bangkok until you were able to pay your fine incurred for the days you have overstayed. You will be deported from Thailand. You will need to have a confirmed air ticket together with sufficient money for transportation to the airport. If you cannot meet those requirements, you will be detained in the Immigration Bureau jail until you are able to acquire a confirmed ticket and sufficient cash for the trip to the airport. There will be a case filed against you. On extreme cases especially for long term overstay, your name is recorded in a secret ‘Confidential List’, popularly known as the ‘blacklist’; and you will be banned from entering Thailand forever. It is extremely difficult to have your name removed from the ‘blacklist’.

Overstaying in Thailand can get difficult and complicated. It is advisable to avoid getting an overstay. If you do, stay away from the activities that may catch the attention of the police, try to avoid any kind of trouble, pay the fine as soon as you can and leave Thailand.