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Thailand getting tough on overstays

  • DLuek

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    19th June, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 954
    Total reviews: 14

    In the past, people who overstayed their Thai visas paid 500 baht per day to a max of 20,000 baht. Even people who stayed in the country illegally for many years paid their 20K at the airport or border and left; many even came back into Thailand the same day. I feel this was overly lax. But it now appears that Thailand is going straight from overly lax to overly harsh. Here are the new rules, the subject of this Thai Visa thread:

    Overstay between 90 days and a year, offender is forbidden from re-entering Thailand for 1 year.
    Overstay more than 1 year and less than 3 years, forbidden 3 years.
    Overstay more than 3 years and less than 5 years, forbidden 5 years
    Overstay more than 5 years, forbidden 10 years

    I see no real problem with sending blatant, years-long overstayers packing, but the measures for people just past the 90 day mark are harsh, at least on paper. One would assume that immigration will look at these situations on a case-by-case basis, but it has the potential to cause big inconveniences for travelers. I've overstayed twice; once by a single day and once by 30 days. In the first case I missed the border closure; in the second I honestly (and stupidly) mixed up the "Enter By" date and the actual exit by date on the visa. In both cases I paid the 500 baht per day and returned to Thailand within a week or two without problems. Both happened when I was a regular backpacker, long before I started living/working in the country.

    Travelers -- I mean the foreigners who come to Thailand to relax, have fun, explore the culture, go on adventures and so on, and spend their money (i.e. the sorts of tourists that Thailand wants) -- do occasionally have issues that cause them to overstay... It's not sensible to ban non-abusers for 1 year just because they've overstayed a few days.

    #1 Posted: 22/7/2014 - 09:35

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  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2415
    Total reviews: 47
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    Big D,

    Perhaps I am misreading the overstay rules, but it seems that the two times you overstayed would not quality for any kind of re-entry ban period at all. It's between 90 days and a year that gets a one-year ban, right? Isn't the overstay for the number of days past your allowed time, not the total time you were allowed to stay? Am I making sense?

    If someone really does overstay their allowed visa or visa exemption by more than 90 days, is that really such a small thing that a one-year ban is too harsh? I don't know, but I'd want to know what the neighboring countries do under those same circumstances too. Regards.

    #2 Posted: 22/7/2014 - 10:16

  • DLuek

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    19th June, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 954
    Total reviews: 14

    exacto,

    Yes you're probably right. I was reading it as "beyond 90 days", as in any overstay time beyond the 90-day visa. Agree it's not too harsh for over 90 days of actual overstay time. Anyway, there are gonna be more than a few folks who've been in Thailand way passed their visas and can no longer fall back on the 20K baht fee for a clean slate. Not saying it's good or bad, but all of these new immigration regulations are certainly affecting a lot of peoples' lives.

    #3 Posted: 22/7/2014 - 11:02

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2415
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    I'd say that over the short term, it is bad, in that people make decisions based on current information and procedures, and when that information or procedure suddenly changes, people can get left holding the bag. Over the longer term, it is probably fine, and entirely reasonable for Thailand to enforce its immigration laws. Consistency would be nice too. Cheers.

    #4 Posted: 22/7/2014 - 11:13

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    I was late on my 90 day check in, but they didn't even fine me. Of course, that's not late on visa renewale, but they were very relaxed about everything.

    #5 Posted: 22/7/2014 - 11:14

  • Captain_Bob

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    Joined Travelfish
    27th May, 2006
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1655

    #6 Posted: 23/8/2014 - 04:09

  • ryszard

    Joined Travelfish
    6th February, 2014
    Posts: 6

    I wish that Thailand will get tough with backpackers paddling "winning scratches" . Don't accept anyone giving you a scratchie , (you will always win a big prize) .
    It's an old trick to get you to their office for a presentation of Time Share (Vacation Clubs) . They'll feed you with drinks , wonderful chats and after a few hours , you'd think that all this is believable . It's crap . They don't give you time to research their company and most of the time ask you for a deposit of half the purchase , which may be around $5-6 thousand dollars !!
    There is a 7 or 14 days cooling off period and they will not tell you about it .

    Best thing to do = have a few quite drinks and then tell them , you're not interested !!

    Cheers - Rich

    #7 Posted: 25/8/2014 - 03:03

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