New, tougher overstay rules will come into effect on 20 March 2016, a Ministerial Regulation has announced.
Here’s a screenshot of the announcement:
Punishments for ‘aliens’ overstaying their visa has thus far been remarkably lenient in Thailand so this new regulation marks the beginning of a tougher approach towards overstayers from the government.
A ThaiVisa thread on the issue has seen users debate as to whether this means that an accidental one day visa overstay will result in a full five year ban if the foreigner happens to be arrested.
These new regulations reflect the Thai government’s intentions to attract a better breed of tourist to the Kingdom, as they sense a link between visa overstayers and those involved in other crime, such as drugs and mafia violence, which bring disrepute and suffering to the country.
“We would like to screen out and intercept bad guys first as disrespecting the law shows intention,” explains Pol Lt General Natthatorn Praosunthorn, head of the immigration police.
Other steps Thailand are taking to cut down the level of foreign criminals entering the country includes the adoption of an advanced immigration screening system at the end of 2015, reports The Nation.
This system works with immigration offices and airline carriers to screen air passengers before they arrive into Thailand to see whether they are already on any blacklists. Any matches will alert immigration officials.
These new measures are being introduced now thanks to the supposition that Thailand will be shortly facing an influx of regional tourists thanks to the opening of the Asean Economic Community.
What do you think of the new overstay rules?
Featured image is via ThaiCallTaxi