What Happens When You Overstay in Thailand

Crystal clear: You will get fined. An experience we had in November 2016 and here’s how it happened…

For Some Nationals Thailand Issues 15 Days Visas on Its Land Borders

We were pretty much aware that Thailand was issuing 15 days visas for Turkish citizens on their land borders. (If you enter the country via Thai international airports, the visa is for 30 days) But this didnt stop us to cross into Thailand through its Hat Lek land border crossing with Cambodia.

The issue was, our exit flight from the country was 18 days later from Chiang Mai, so in theory it was pretty obvious that we were going to overstay. There was an entrance form that we were asked to fill, and on that form we clearly stated that we were going to leave the country 18 days later, and not in 15 days visa period. The border police didnt seem to care about this, they didnt mind to give a longer visa either.

How Did It Happen?

Actually we were pretyy happy in Cambodia and the reason why we entered Thailand 3 days early than we should, was due to a hotel booking we made on the Thai island of Koh Chang, not very far from the Hat Lek border. This was a booking made almost a month ago, when our trip schedule was not yet clear. When we decided to cancel the booking to adjust to our renewed plan, we realized that it was not possible to cancel it. It was already charged from our credit card. So, it was either going to be the 3 days hotel stay or 3 days worth of fine that we will going to burn. And we chose to pay for the fine.

Besides, as we were going to travel to Northern Thailand, crossing into Myanmar for a visa run could be a doable workaround. Well, in theory yes. However we couldnt do it either. We were all sick during most of our time in Northern Thailand, and we didnt have the chance for a border run. Enjoyed the sights of our hotel room instead!

Is There a Way To Extend Your Thailand Visa Without Making a Border Run?

Sure there is! You can easily go to an Immigration Office and extend your visa. It has a cost of course, but its advisable, and definitely better than a visa run. Besides, a recent legislation enforced by Thailand has outruled the visa runs mostly, and you may experience issues with especially same-day visa runs.

As we were going to overstay only for 3 days, extending the visa was also not cost effective for us. Paying the fine was cheaper, and applying for a visa entension also looked hard to do when we were laying in our hotel rooms struck by illness.

What Is The Fine Amount For an Overstay in Thailand?

The Thai Visa overstay fine is 500 Bahts per day per adult. So, we were going to pay 1500 baht as fine per each, and extending the visa costed 1900 bahts on the other hand.

Do I Pay Thai Visa Overstay Fine For My Children?

No! They do not issue fines for your underage children. They did not issue a fine for our 3 year old daughter.

Where Do You Pay The Fine For Your Thailand Overstay?

You will be asked to pay the fine by the passport police, while you are getting your exit stamp. This is actually very important. The police will take you to another section, will issue a physical fine paper, and will record your information on a book. This process takes some time. It is advisable to have enough Thai bahts with you and to make your check-in as early as possible, if you are experiencing an overstay problem.

Gokhan Toka
Traveler, snowboarder, horror movies geek, photographer, digital marketing freelancer... father for DD.
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