Immigration confirms tough overstay rules

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Chiang Mai Immigration officials confirmed the government’s tough new policies on visitors overstaying their visas in the Kingdom at a meeting at the Chiang Mai Grand View Hotel on March 11, 2016.

The Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, Pol. Lt. Gen. Nathathorn Prousoontorn met with members of the media, consular representatives, hotel and tourism businesspeople and businesses with foreign employees to inform that the new overstay rules will be stringently enforced in Chiang Mai starting March 20, 2016 in line with the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior’s order that will take effect on March 20 nationwide.

Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau Pol. Lt. Gen. Nathathorn Prousoontorn explains the new overstay measures to reporters at the meeting in Chiang Mai.

The Commissioner cited the Order Number 1/2558 from November 28, 2015 stating foreigners who overstay their visas will face arrest and blacklisting from the country.

Those foreigners who stay more than 90 days past their permitted date will be blacklisted from entering the country for one year. Those who overstay by a year will be barred for three years, those who overstay between three and five years will be barred from entering the country for five years and those who have overstayed more than five years will be blacklisted for ten years.

Additionally, if the foreigner’s arrested in a criminal case and having found to overstay less than a year will be banned from entering the country for five years and if they have stayed illegally for more than a year will be barred for ten years.

The Commissioner asked for cooperation from members of the meeting to explain to foreigners the new overstay measures. Additionally they were reminded of the reporting requirement for foreigners’ place of residence.

The audience was filled with consular representatives, tourism and hotel businesspeople and businesses with foreign employees listening to Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau Pol. Lt. Gen. Nathathorn Prousoontorn giving details on the new overstay measures from the Interior Ministry.

He said, “The Northern area has many tourist attractions, connects to neighboring countries, and is close to China, which is about 3 hours traveling via R3a route. According to statistics of the Immigration Bureau Region 5, there are a lot of foreigners living for a long term on a yearly basis. In the past, the law regarding overstay had a very low level of punishment with a fine of only 500 baht per day and a maximum fine of 20,000 baht.”

He continued, “The number of foreigners that have been breaking the law and living in Thailand over the permitted time have become more and more. This includes the arrest of foreign criminals across the country escaping from their original country and hiding in Thailand. Of these almost 100% have overstayed their visas. In an attempt to eliminate criminal factors the Immigration Bureau is cracking down overstaying foreigners, this should see a decrease in crime,” he concluded.