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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawAre Strict Overstay Penalties Likely After Amnesty Ends in Thailand?

Are Strict Overstay Penalties Likely After Amnesty Ends in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing overstay here in the Kingdom of Thailand. 

We are discussing this in the Twilight of the Amnesty as we are looking at the Amnesty coming to an end and folks being sort of thrown out of status and possibly ending up in an overstay situation. 

In a recent article from the Bangkok Post print edition on Monday September 21, 2020, the article is titled: Tourists Face Arrest, Jail for Overstaying. Quoting directly: "More than 150,000 foreign nationals need to have their Tourist Visas renewed by September 26th or face a charge of overstay warned police Colonel Pakpong Sai-ubol, Deputy Spokesman of the Immigration Bureau." Quoting directly from him: "Overstaying the Tourist Visa is punishable by both a jail term and fine under the Immigration Act he said" adding the offenders would also be deported to their countries of origin." Quoting further here. There is one other thing I think I had to mention. Quoting further and they quote another source in here: “The source added some stranded tourists might also take up employment illegally as a means of gaining financial support and refrain from contacting their respective Embassies."

The point I am trying to make with respect to this and there is a lot more in that article; again I urge you to check that out: Tourists Face Arrest, Jail for Overstaying, there is a lot of information in there about this but I wanted to convey the urgency to folks. If you haven't gotten into lawful regular status here in Thailand before the Amnesty has ended, if you can do so please do so for your own sake. You are doing yourself a huge favor. Thai Immigration is serious about overstay. They have made that clear lo these past going on 5 years now and I have stated this in other videos. It is not so much considered an Administrative State function as it once was; more and more now it is being viewed much more in a law enforcement framework and as I have said before, there seems to have been a paradigm shift with respect to this inside of Immigration, even above Immigration at a policy level in Thailand when it comes to the attitude toward Immigration, especially Immigration violation. 

So the thing to take away from this video is overstay is going to happen presumably post Amnesty because folks that aren't in a Visa status are going to be in overstay at that point and this is critical I think. Immigration has just as many if not more officers on staff as they have always had and over the years they have actually added officers especially in the enforcement and the inspection apparatus in their organization. So they have the personnel, they have the resources and bear in mind especially in the short-term presumably after this Amnesty is lifted there is not a lot of people coming into Thailand so they don't need those resources that generally or routinely are at Immigration checkpoints checking people into the country because they are not letting anyone into the country, not in any great numbers as they normally do. This frees up resources in other areas and enforcement and inspection and investigation I suspect are probably going to be reinforced in terms of manpower for those activities so if you can keep from going into overstay please do so because I do not think Immigration is going to be anything like a pushover when it comes to inspection of possible overstayers and enforcement of the penalties associated with overstay in Thailand