DON'T Overstay!

Let's be honest most Farang who have spent quite some time in Thailand have overstayed on a few occasions. Examples from the past include, while on holiday and the hassle of getting a visa for a stay of 35 days was too much, so a five day overstay was acceptable. Especially since the cost per day was only 200 Baht not so long ago, so five days overstay was far cheaper than paying for a visa. Another common historical example was getting the dates of re-entry wrong by a few days so a very short overstay occurs and the resulting fine needs to be paid.


We have all heard numerous bizarre overstay stories since we moved here. Some guy in a village somewhere who came on holiday and never left and has never seen the inside of an immigration office since arriving. These stories all come to the same conclusion - which were all based around the maximum fine for such actions being 20,000 Baht. So in theory, an individual could come to Thailand and stay here for 20 years without any visa, without leaving the country and then go to an airport, pay 20,000 Baht and get on a plane and leave. His costs for staying in Thailand equalling 1,000 Baht a year. And I'm sure many such cases have existed.

But things are changing as part of the general clamp down on people abusing Thailand's immigration systems. And the latest changes which are due to come into force very soon are a world away from the simply pay 20,000 Baht at an airport and leave days.

The proposed measures will see overstayers of more than 90 days blacklisted as follows:

In the case that the overstayer surrenders themselves:
 
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 overstayer is being 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


The new measures are meant to make sure long term overstayers sort themselves out and get proper visas.


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