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ResourcesThailand Criminal LawCriminal Jurisprudence ThailandHow 1 Day of Overstay Can Lead to 5 Years on the Thailand Blacklist

How 1 Day of Overstay Can Lead to 5 Years on the Thailand Blacklist

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests we are going to be discussing the Blacklist in Thailand. In recent months, about the last 3 months, I have had not an insignificant number of inquiries and emails and various correspondences regarding what folks consider to be a relatively minor offense which resulted in a really long-term blacklisting; specifically a five-year blacklisting.

So let me explain. The Thai blacklisting rules as they currently sit stipulate that if one over stays by 90 days or more you're going to get put on the Blacklist. Less than 90 days is rather gray. I say gray because I know a fair number of people that were trying to stay 88 days overstay and then leave and then they try to do a border run back in and they get denied. And they say “well I only get blacklisted in 90 days!” Well they didn't read the Immigration Act which basically states, look the immigration officer can pretty well turn you away at their discretion notwithstanding what the rules stipulate. But that being said with respect to 5-year blacklisting, there is a set of circumstances where one could end up with a five-year blacklisting for some fairly innocuous stuff.

Basically as the rules state, if you depart willingly and you are say on 1 day of overstay, okay if  they  catch you at that at the airport and you pay your fine and you leave they view that as kind of a "no harm, no foul". Okay great. If you are arrested in Thailand or detained or essentially caught out in Thailand and it is found out you are in overstay, that is a 5-year bar under any circumstances where you are caught out in the Kingdom by a Law Enforcement or an Immigration Officer. So for example, you could be in over stay in Thailand by 1 day and you could be pulled over for a traffic violation. The Police Officer may want to see your passport, they may find out that you are in over stay and that will result in detention, deportation and under the current rules, a black listing of 5 years.  It is really rather, I won't go so far as to say Draconian, it is pretty tough, but people are on notice of it; overstay is not something to mess with. Again 99% of the time this is not going to be an issue but I have heard of people who have been, folks that were just on over stay for a little while, and they just got caught up in something sort of unforeseen. I actually had one gentleman contact me at one point who basically said "Look I was on overstay, I went down to the Immigration Office, they told me, you know "We may be able to figure out some way of fixing it", and then the next day they just came to the guy's house, detained him and deported him, probably because they were checking on the regulations themselves and they came around and deported him and he is now banned for 5 years.

This 5-year ban it really can be enacted pretty quickly and it can be enacted where one is simply found to be in overstay and caught out in the Kingdom. If you are found to be in overstay and you are departing when the finding is made, the normal rules apply. As long as it is less than 90 days you are not going to get automatically blacklisted but if you are caught even by 1 day in the Kingdom in overstay, it is going to result in not only deportation but a black listing; and a 5-year blacklisting at that.