Thailand Immigration – announced a crackdown on all foreign tourists who they see are classed as ‘visa runners’ these are foreign nationals who enter & exit the country regularly. Many ex-pats are drawn to Thailand to live & work some have work permits or are perhaps on retirement visas & live perfectly legally in Thailand. Then we have other x-pats who are working illegally without a Thai work permit or perhaps the foreigner is on an overstay we often hear of stories of x- pats on 10-year overstay. Previously if you overstayed a visa you simply exited the country & paid your 20.000 Thai Baht to overstay how this was worked out was very simple.
- 500 THB per day overstay
- A maximum fine of 20.000 THB
- You may have been imprisoned in some cases
Visa Runner – Maximum overstay was 500 baht a day!
Many farangs would think ‘Why to worry about a valid visa if that was the maximum overstay fine ‘ this was a quote from several x-pats they really didn’t care about getting caught without a visa. But since the recent Coup in Thailand things are now changing for the better in a lot of peoples minds things are improving in Thailand since May. The NCPO has seized power in Bangkok with many nations criticizing the coup however since the early days things have become more somber, General Prayuth Chan-Ocha is currently running the country for at least the next 12 months and many new rules are to be enforced including new visa and immigration rules to be enforced from August the 12 2014.
Visa Runner – Entering & Exiting Thailand Regularly!
From approx August 12, 2014, Thailand will enforce that if you are apprehended whilst on visa overstay in Thailand you may be banned for between 1-10 years in total if you present yourself the term will be more lenient. Anybody entering the country may be questioned & their passports and previous visas inspected. You are not guaranteed entry into Thailand, for example, they may wish to know what you are doing here.
- Back to backed visas where you cannot speak Thai may come under scrutiny!
- Back to back double entry visas may be another line of questioning!
- Back to back visa runs into Cambodia may also be seen as a matter of concern!
New Overstay Rules Thailand!
These rules apply to the Alien giving himself up at immigration and are as follows :
- Overstay more than 90 Days – 1 year ban from Thailand
- Overstay more than 1 Year – 3 year ban from Thailand
- Overstay more than 3 Years – 5 year ban from Thailand
- Overstay more than 5 Years – 10 year ban from Thailand
Arrested & Found To Be On Overstay- Apprehended!
- Overstay less than 1 Year – 5 year ban from Thailand
- Overstay more than 1 Year – 10-year ban from Thailand
Further information can be found if you click here . With stricter Thai visa enforcement expected everybody should ensure they have a valid visa for Thailand, they have also been told to carry passports at all times with them.
Who could this affect realistically – long-term stay tourists, early retirees, fly-in fly-out workers, English teachers, illegal workers and so-called “computer employees” who work for companies overseas but live in Thailand without a work permit. If you are spending too long in Thailand without any real explanation of why you could be denied entry.
Many forums such as Thai Visa have been inundated with people posing their concerns, the Thai government have issued a statement which states that ‘ foreign tourist must seek a proper visa in line with the purpose of their intended stay here ‘ if you are entering Thailand & you have the correct visa for the purpose of your stay you have little to worry about.