Overstaying your visa in Thailand is a criminal offence however it is managed differently compared to other crimes. If you have overstayed, then you are best served contacting an attorney and then to surrender to Thai immigration. If you are caught the fine will be higher and the banning period from Thailand will also be longer.

If you are caught in Bangkok or in Pattaya then you will be arrested and taken to the IDC in Bangkok where you will then await to appear before a judge. Note that you should have your passport on you at all times as it is a criminal offence not to have your passport on you. Once you are at the IDC you will appear before court and you will be found guilty and given a fine. This is mainly going to depend on how long you have overstayed your visa and if you had been caught or if you had surrendered. Once you have been before the judge you will be returned to the IDC and you will need to arrange the payment of your fine as well as your airline ticket out of the country. You will remain there until this has been arranged. If you can arrange this in a week then that is how long you will need to wait until you get to leave. The Thai government does not pay for this and your Embassy might not pay for this either. The US Embassy however can make special arrangements for it nationals but you will not be able to travel again once back in the US until you have paid back the money. This is not uncommon. Note that failing to do your 90 day reporting in Thailand does not get your deported.

The current fine is 500THB a day to a maximum of 20,000THB. The Thai government has also now started to ban people depending on how long they had overstayed. This has been calculated 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

Note however that if you are caught by Thai immigration that the following will then be applicable:

  • Overstay less than       1 Year –   5-year ban from Thailand
  • Overstay more than   1 Year – 10-year ban from Thailand

As can be seen that it is much better to surrender than to be caught. Always speak to an immigration lawyer in Thailand for assistance if you have overstayed your visa while in Thailand. Once you are in the IDC you are allowed to receive clothing and other products such as soap and toothpaste from friends outside. Once you ticket has been booked you will then be taken to the airport on the day of your flight and will be cuffed until you are onboard the airplane.

Always seek legal advice when arrested in Thailand especially with a visa overstay and your banning order might be many years. This can be difficult if you have lived in Thailand and started a new life.

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