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Thailand to issue new and tougher penalties for visa overstays

Thailand Interior Ministry has approved new and tougher penalties for visa overstays. The penalty for overstaying is thought to be so week that at a nationwide operation last week only from 9,265 foreigners 9,038 of them were charged with violating the Immigration Act by overstaying their visas, 18 were charged with committing criminal offences and 209 others had committed petty offences.

According to the news at Bangkok Post, Immigration chief Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn Prousoontorn said that Most of those found to have overstayed their permitted period were from African countries, India and Bangladesh.

An offender is currently fined 500 baht per day, up to a maximum of 20,000 baht before being deported but could still be allowed to return to Thailand as long as the person is not barred by immigration officials.

Under the tougher regulations now being considered by Gen Prayut, offenders who turn themselves in would be barred from re-entering Thailand for one year if their overstay period exceeds 90 days.

The ban extends to three years if the overstay is more than one year. Violators exceeding three years will be banned from re-entering for five years, while those who overstay more than five years will be prohibited from returning to the kingdom for 10 years, starting from the day they leave Thailand.

Offenders arrested for overstaying less than one year will be barred from re-entry for five years and those overstaying more than one year cannot come back for 10 years.

Now the new penalties will be considered by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

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