Advice on Thailand Visa Overstay Regulations
Overstaying your visa is illegal. If you overstay for a short period you will have to pay a fine. However, if you overstay for more than 90 days then it is a serious offence and the result will be you are deported from Thailand and banned from visiting again. The length of the ban depends on how long you have overstayed your visa.
If you are caught overstaying by an Immigration officer, then it can result in being taken to jail if you are not able to pay the fine or have a long overstay.
From 20th March 2016, if you are caught overstaying by even one day, you will face a ban from re-entering Thailand of five years. If you have overstayed by more than one year, you will face a ban of ten years.
If you have a very long overstay and turn yourself in to the authorities you will have to go before a judge in court. The overstay fine is usually waived and in it’s place a smaller fine imposed. You will then be held in the IDC ( Immigration Detention Center ) until you can arrange for a ticket on a direct flight back to your own country. You will then have to pay a small fee to the immigration officers to take you to the airport and accompany you through Immigration, where you will get the blacklist stamp in your passport, and to the gate. Your passport will be given to a steward on the flight and they will return it to you when you land in your home country.
How much is the fine for overstaying?
The fine depends on the number of days you have overstayed. The minimum charge is 500 Baht per day. This goes to a maximum of 20,000 Baht for overstays of 40 days or longer.
The good news is that if your overstay is under 90 days and you pay the fine then leave the country then you won’t have any problem returning to Thailand at a future date. There won’t be any black mark next to your name.
What is overstaying?
Overstaying is when someone resides in Thailand for a period exceeding the length of time they are permitted to do so by their visa or entry stamp.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you do not overstay.
However, the Thai Immigration officials realise that sometimes people make mistakes and book a flight a day too late or their plans change, a flight is cancelled and they have to leave a day late. In cases such as these, with a few hours overstay, the 500 Baht overstay fine is usually waived.
If you are in a situation like this, don’t panic. Just explain to the immigration officer when you are being stamped out of the county. Apologise and you will be treated fairly.
If you have a longer overstay, for example, 1 week, then you will be required to pay this ( 7 days x 500 Baht = 3,500 Baht ) before you can leave the country. It is easiest to pay when you fly out. Again, explain the reason to the immigration office at the airport, then you will be taken to a nearby counter when you can pay the overstay fine. Please ensure that you have enough funds to cover this. If not, then you may be taken to the holding cells until you can raise funds.
Children under the age of 15 are not charged a fine for overstaying but still get overstay stamps when they leave the country. Being exempt from the fine does not make them exempt from needing a valid visa entry or extension to stay in the country.
Consequences of overstaying your Thai visa
Please note that repeated violations of overstaying can hold serious consequences. In the event that you have had a few overstays, your passport could be stamped with a stamp declaring you in violation of the immigration laws and regulations of Thailand.
This stamp will label you as an “undesirable alien”, which could make travel and obtaining entry to other countries much harder than it should be.
Where is the Immigration Detention Centre?
The IDC is located in central Bangkok at the Immigration Office on Soi Suanplu, Bangkok. This is where anyone who has been arrested for overstaying will be held prior to attending court and then whilst waiting for their flight back home to be arranged.
You can call on: 02 213 2369 but it is better to go in person. Go to Building 5 at the IDC. You will need the overstayer’s details: Name, nationality, age, arrest date and location.