New tougher rules on foreigners overstaying their permits to stay in Phuket are probably on the way, the ThaiVisa.com website reports yesterday (July 7).
Overstayers will be put on a blacklist and barred from the country for a period after they leave.
Thaivisa.com reported that it had seen the proposal detailing the tough new measures for foreigners who overstay in Thailand.
The Phuket News received confirmation today from a source in Immigration Headquarters, who asked not to be named, that a proposal along these lines has been made to the Ministry of Interior, which is expected to approve it “soon”.
ThaiVisa reported that the proposed measures, which will see overstayers of more than 90 days blacklisted, are as follows:
If foreigners “surrender” (usually by presenting themselves at Immigration when leaving the country) they will be barred from returning for a period that will depend on how long they have overstayed. The periods proposed are:
- Overstay of more than 90 days: Barred from re-entering the kingdom for one year.
- Overstay of more than one year: Barred from re-entering for three years.
- Overstay more than three years: Barred from re-entering for five years.
- Overstay more than five years: Barred from re-entering for 10 years.
- Overstay more than 10 years: Barred for life.
In cases where the foreigner is caught staying in the country illegally:
- Overstay of less than a year: Barred for five years.
- Overstay of more than a year: Barred for 10 years
Currently those who overstay are fined B500 a day, up to a maximum of B20,000. Some foreigners who are arrested, detained, or deported are also blacklisted, but this is done on a case-by-case basis.
Immigration has recently taken a number of measures to stop foreign nationals abusing the tourist visa system by doing regular ‘Out/In border runs’ in order to stay in Thailand long-term.
It is thought that many of these work in the country illegally.
News first broke of the crackdown on border runners in Thailand in May, with further confirmation the crackdown would be effective from August 12, 2014.
The Phuket News called Lt Gen Pharnu Kerdlarpphon, who on May 13 confirmed the crackdown, to ask him about the new proposals, but he said that he had been transferred to another post in the Royal Thai Police and could therefore not comment.
He added that no permanent successor at Immigration had yet been appointed.
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