I overstayed my Thai visa! What’s going to happen to me?

I got my visa on arrival when I landed at Suvarnabhumi Airport back in February.

Somehow, I thought that my visa was valid until 23 March, so I booked my flight out of the country for the 23rd.

But when I arrived at the airport, I checked my passport, and it turns out my visa expired on 22 March!

What’s going to happen when I get to passport control? Will this prevent me from entering Thailand and/or acquiring visas in the future?

I’m a US citizen, if that is important.

Answer

Thailand enforces a 500 Baht/day fine for overstaying a visa. Although this is technically due for each day that you overstay including the first, it is often waived for overstaying only a single day. If you were to overstay by 2 days you can guarantee that you’d be hit with a 1000 baht fine, and so on up to a maximum fine of 20,000 baht.

They also stamp your passport with an “overstay” stamp to record the fact that you overstayed. Whilst this will not block you from entering the country in the future, if you are found to overstay a second time you can expect additional action to be taken. Again it’s likely that they will not stamp your passport for a 1 day overstay.

Even though this fine seems relatively low (for a few days at least), it is NEVER a good idea to overstay a visa. The fine applies if you are “caught” at the airport when departing the country. If you are caught elsewhere in Thailand you can expect to be jailed for at least a day or two, and then deported from the country. Again this is not likely to be an issue for a single day overstay, but for a longer overstay it could be!

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