Overstaying in Thailand is not uncommon and unheard of. Many foreigners have overstayed in Thailand for various reasons. However, whatever reasons you have prepared for the Immigration Officer an overstay fine and file is inevitable. Foreigners who have overstayed have two options when it comes to overstaying in Thailand:
1. Voluntarily surrender to Thai authorities and pay the overstay fines/penalties.
2.Overstayers who were reported and caught overstaying are arrested/prosecuted.
Thailand is very considerate when it comes to its Immigration Rules and Regulations. However, Thai Immigration Control is also very strict when it comes to the implementation of these Immigration laws, and overstaying your visa is considered a serious offense with serious consequences. Thai immigration officials realize that accidental overstay often cannot be helped. However, so in this article, we will discuss what you should do or what information you need when you have overstayed your tourist visa in Thailand.
If a foreigner does not leave Thailand by the expiration date in their passport or their Thailand visa expiration date, they are considered to be in the country illegally and have "overstayed". Visa Overstay Clearance implies that the foreigner will be required to pay a fine/ overstay fee to the Thai Immigration Department when leaving Thailand.
If you have only a few hours overstay, or managed to accidentally overstay for 2 to 5 days, there is no need to worry too much. Just pay the overstay fines imposed at the airport's immigration checkpoint. However, if you have committed a much longer overstay, and you are caught by police crossing a land border, or on the way to/ in the international airport you can be taken straight to the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC).
Repatriation refers to foreigners who overstay in Thailand and are then asked to leave the country. Repatriations are usually a straightforward process. If caught overstaying your visa by the Police, you are detained at the IDC until you face the judge, receive a sentence and pay the penalties.
As stipulated under Section 54 and Section 55 of the Immigration Act, the foreigner shall pay the fine and the expenses for the repatriation such as the airfare for their international flights, and other fees or other methods.
Section 54. Any alien entering or staying in the Kingdom without permission, or with permission that is expired or revoked, may be repatriated from the Kingdom by the competent official.
Section 55. In order to repatriate aliens from the Kingdom under this Act, the competent official may choose to do so by any conveyance or at any port of entry, as deemed appropriate. The expenses for such repatriation of aliens shall be borne by the owner or the person in charge of the conveyance. If there appears to be no owner or person in charge of the conveyance, such expenses shall be borne by the offender under Sections 63 or 64. The competent official shall have the power to claim repatriation expenses from anyone offender in full or from all offenders jointly, as so wishes. The competent official may grant permission if such aliens choose to be repatriated by other conveyance or other ports of entry at their own expenses.
If you are NOT caught by Immigration officers or Police, overstay clearance fines amount to 500 Thai Baht per day of overstay, up to a maximum fine of 20,000 Baht. And as long as your overstay does not exceed 90 days, you can avoid being put on the dreaded Black List; an immigration database marking you as an offender. BUT if your overstay exceeds 90 days, you will be banned from re-entering Thailand and the length of the ban is related to the length of the overstay.
If you have overstayed for the prescribed days duration below the duration of the blacklist shall be:
More than 90 Days - 1 year ban
More than 1 Year - 3 year ban
More than 3 Years - 5 year ban
More than 5 Years - 10 year ban.
During this time you will be denied entry into Thailand.
In the case of repeated violations of immigration laws, the Thailand Immigration Department will add overstay stamps in your passport- each stamp declaring you an 'undesirable alien'. This means that traveling to and obtaining entry into other countries will be much harder for you, and you will be forbidden to enter Thailand until your ban is lifted.
In the case that you have a proper visa and you are applying for visa renewal or visa extension, the application for visa extensions must be made to the Thai embassy no later than the next working day before the expiration date of the visa in order to avoid an overstay fee/ fine from the immigration office.
If a foreigner is arrested and found to have an expired visa, and therefore, no valid visa entry to Thailand, the person is considered as being in the country illegally and faces not only a significant fine but maybe incarcerated in the Immigration Detention Center before being deported.
Attorneys at Juslaws & Consult are well-versed in providing legal advice, legal services, and offering support to clients- including cases that require overstay clearance or are experiencing overstay issues. Due to the potential consequences for foreigners who have overstayed their Thai visa for a long period, or who have overstayed numerous times, the assistance of an attorney can be vital.
Our attorneys can accompany the client to the airport or to the local Immigration Office to resolve the issue. Contact Juslaws & Consult for more information on this and other legal matters.