The Consequences of Overstaying in Thailand
No matter how you plan your upcoming excursions and adventures in Thailand, don’t forget one thing: avoid overstaying your visa. One of the worst mistakes an alien could ever do is overstaying their visa with lieu to ignorance or just sheer lack of knowledge regarding thai visa rules and regulations. It’s much better to be denied entry, than be imprisoned and denied your freedom at a country you don’t really belong into.
What is overstaying?
Overstaying is the act of staying in Thailand exceeding the duration of your permit to stay as stated by the stamp or visa in particular. If, for example, you’re deemed to exit the country by 15th of March (as stamped in your passport) and you’re still in Thailand by the 16th, you are already overstaying. It is every alien’s obligation to exit Thailand on or before their permit of stay expires, so no matter what the reasons are it is necessary to report and present yourself to the immigration as required. Aliens and foreign citizens are the only ones liable to this offense.
It is illegal to overstay your visa as it is a violation of immigration rules. Needless to say, you are also breaking the thai law. Overstaying is sanctioned under thai immigration procedures. Even if you overstay for just one day, legal actions could be taken up against your person. Usually though when you overstay for one day, it doesn’t carry a fine with it. The fine of 500 baht per day of overstay only begins after the second day, so if your stay expired on the 15th of March and you only reported to the immigration by the 20th, your fine will only be 4days of overstay or 2,000 baht.
Violators can pay the fine at the immigration office, or at the airport. The process won’t take 10 minutes, and fines could be even paid in advance too. The fine for overstaying should not exceed 20,000 baht in the max. If you can’t avoid overstaying though, it’s a good thing to voluntarily clear your name by showing yourself up in the immigration. If you do this, you will avoid imprisonment and further implications.
However, just avoid getting yourself caught by the immigration police at all means. If by any reason they will stop you in a random check-up on your way to the airport, they will imprison you regardless of the length of time you overstayed, even if it’s just one day! You’ll be confined in a jail until you can secure your flight outside Thailand or you can provide the money in payment for the fine. It remains a question though about you fixing things up when you’re actually inside the jail, in that case just keep hoping that some friend or lawyer might assist you through the ordeal. Amnesty International observed that thai jails are “cruel and degrading”, so as much as you can do not attempt to overstay in the first place.
Repeated violations of overstaying can carry with it some serious consequences. If you had been on a series of overstays, your passport could be rendered with a stamp declaring you violated the immigration laws of Thailand. This won’t be a good thing especially if you’re considering traveling to other parts of the world. The bad stamp will label your person as an “undesirable alien”, and this could jeopardize your international trips to a great extent.
Even worse than the bad stamp is getting the status of “Persona Non Grata”. This literally means “an unwelcome person”. If so you are declared one, you could be barred from entering Thailand for the rest of your life. In more serious cases, one’s name could end up written and recorded in a secret list popularly known as the “Black List”. Having your name erased in the black list is quite difficult to achieve, if not impossible. As long as your name is written there, you won’t be entering Thailand for a very long time. Don’t expect for any reconsideration or mercy from the immigration officials. The bureaucratic system they adhere to simply won’t allow them to hear out whatever reasons you have in view to the violations you committed.