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Thailand Will Ban Visitors Who Overstay Their Visas

Thai authorities are getting serious about its visa policies, as the country's Immigration Bureau announced this week that it will begin cracking down on foreign visitors who overstay their visas.

Starting in March of next year, Thai officials will begin blacklisting foreigners who have exceeded their permitted length of stay, reports Asian Correspondent. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha approved the Thai bureau's November 27 proposal to blacklist those who overstay visas.

Penalties will be doled out according to how long a visitor has overstayed his or her visa and whether or not foreign visitors turn themselves in for the offense, according to the Bangkok Post. For those who surrender after overstaying their visa for less than one year, Thai authorities will put a one-year ban on re-entering the country. If visitors have overstayed their visa more than one year  and turn themselves in, a three-year ban will go into effect. Overstaying a visa for more than three years can lead to a re-entry ban ranging from five to 10 years.

Those who are arrested face heavier penalties. Foreigners who have overstayed their visas by less than one year will receive a five-year re-entry ban, while those who have exceeded the one-year mark will be barred from entering Thailand for 10 years. Thanks to these regulations, it's expected that a large number of foreigners will turn themselves in, however only time will tell how foreign visitors to Thailand will handle the new policy.

Current Thai law permits visitors from Europe, North America and Asia traveling by air to stay up to 30 days in the country. The month-long on-arrival visa is then renewable for 30 more days. Foreigners with pre-arranged visas are able to stay up to 60 days with a 30-day extension after that.

[Photo via Asian Correspondent]


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