Expats, what should you do if you stay in Thailand longer than permitted?

One of the issues among expats who travel to Thailand is when they stay past the permitted period, which is considered illegal. If that situation ever happens, how should you fix it? What kinds of punishments will you receive if you don’t abide by the law? Today, let’s learn more about it so that you can sort things out properly. 

Understanding what Visa validity and the period of stay are. 

First and foremost, you must understand the differences between the two terms to avoid any confusions, and to be able to follow the specified requirements of the law

  • Visa validity means the period in  which the Visa holder is permitted to entering into Thailand. 
  • Period of Stay means the period in which the Visa holder can stay in Thailand per each entry. 

Simply said, Visa validity is how long you are allowed to enter into Thailand as a holder of a Visa; whereas period of stay means how long you can continually stay in Thailand after each arrival in Thailand. 

What to do if you stay in Thailand past your period of stay?

Each Visa has different conditions and requirements for the holder to follow. But as soon as you stay in Thailand for longer than the permitted period—even if it’s only for one day—that is considered illegal and you will be subject to fines, ban of entry, or other punitive measures as mandated by the Ministry of Interior.

That means that if the Visa holder stays in Thailand for longer than they are supposed to, they could face detention before being returned to their country of origin; or at worst, imprisonment in Thailand for more serious cases. 

However, in the case of this non-compliance being found upon departure from Thailand, the person will be subject to a fine of between 500 – 20,000 Thai Baht and a ban on future entry into the kingdom. 

For the regulations related to foreigners living in Thailand, if you stay past the 90-day period, you will need to go report yourself to the immigration office regardless the types of Visa (self-reporting can be done 15 days in advance, or no more than 7 days belated) to prove that you are still living in the country. As for the options for reporting, you can do self-reporting, delegating someone to report it for you, reporting by mail, and reporting through immigration office website. 

Therefore, expats who stay past the permitted period of stay should proceed with the required steps properly. Non-complaints might be facing only a temporary ban. All foreigners and expats also should extend their Visa as required before visiting Thailand the next time, and be mindful of all requirements of their visa validity and period of stay to prevent any hassles or punitive measures that could happen in the future. 

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