Even though we have been travelling around the world since 18, we can still make beginner’s mistakes.
The visa exemption in Thailand allowing us to stay for one month, we had planned to stay from January 3rd to February 3rd.
Either… 31 days.
While the visa exemption is only 30 days. #fail
Anh made a quick trip to Laos and back to see a friend, and she “reset the clock” and was again entitled to 30 days.
So I was the only one concerned by this problem.
Some warnings about the overstay
While some tourists may think they have everything they need when traveling in Southeast Asia, be aware that if youoverstay your visa, you simply become an illegal alien.
Remember how we speak and treat “illegal immigrants” in France. Be aware that you are one in Thailand.
In the event of an accident during your overstay, you may not be covered by your insurance.
If you are arrested by the police, you may serve a few days in jail before being deported and potentially banned from entering the country for a few years. This risk concerns long overruns of several months.
The motto of the Thai police is very clear:
What can you do to extend the duration of your visa?
The ideal being obviously not to find yourself in a situation of overstay, two options are available to you to extend your stay in Thailand:
- Leaving the territory and coming back: many low cost airlines allow you to spend a few days in Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia for a modest price. When you return to Thailand, you will again benefit from a 30-day visa exemption. There is no official limit to the number of visa exemptions that can be granted. Many foreigners live in Thailand on tourist visas which they extend and then leave the country thanks to the many travel agencies: on board buses that simply leave the country and return during the day.
- Extend your visa: you can apply for a 30-day extension in a few hours at an immigration office (the list & addresses are here). It will cost you 1900 baht.
- For this, you will have to (1) fill in the TM.7 form (2) give a copy of your passport (3) give a recent (< 6 months) 4x6cm passport photo (4) pay 1900bahts.
What is the fine in case of overstay?
In case of overstay, you will be subject to a fine of 500 baht per day of overstay to be paid to immigration when you leave the territory.
After 21 days of overtaking it can become more complicated so don’t hang around.
Having only a 24-hour overrun, I took the decision to pay the fine.
How is it going concretely?
At the airport, do the usual check-in and security checks.
When I went through immigration, the official, seeing my overstay, asked me to go to an officer at another counter.
He didn’t address me a word, stamped my passport with a special stamp full of Thai letters (I couldn’t do Google Translate, if it happens, I’ll be put in jail next time). And then he gave it back to me without fining me.
There seems to be a tolerance for overruns of 24 or 48 hours without it being systematic.