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Tourists face arrest, jail for overstaying

More than 150,000 foreign nationals need to have their tourist visas renewed by Sept 26, according to the Immigration Bureau.

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More than 150,000 foreigners need to have their tourist visas renewed by Sept 26 or face a charge of overstaying, warned the Immigration Bureau.

"Overstaying the tourist visa is punishable by both a jail term and fine under the Immigration Act,"  said Pol Col Pakpong Sai-ubol, deputy spokesman of the Immigration Bureau (IB), adding offenders would also be deported.

According to the law, anyone who has overstayed their visa for more than 90 days is barred from re-entering the kingdom for one year. The blacklist extends to a lifetime if the overstaying period exceeds 10 years.


Many foreign visitors were stranded in Thailand at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in late March when international flights were suspended and borders closed to slow transmission of the virus.

The visitors were given a reprieve where they were able to remain in the country even after their visas had expired.

But the grace period ends on Saturday which has also been set as a deadline for having their visas renewed.

A source in the IB said some stranded tourists fear they might be sent home to their Covid 19-ravaged countries.

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blacklist : a list of the names of people, companies, products or countries that an organization or a government considers unacceptable and that must be avoided - บัญชีดำ, รายชื่อผู้ที่รัฐบาลไม่ยอมรับหรือต้องถูกหลีกเลี่ยง

deport : to send someone out of a country, usually because they do not have a legal right to be there - เนรเทศออกจากประเทศ, ส่งตัวกลับประเทศ

grace period (noun): an extra period of time before something must be done; an extra period of time someone is given before they have to make a payment, and are penalized if they are not - ระยะผ่อนผัน

Immigration Bureau : the government agency dealing with people entering and leaving the country and those who want to live there - สำนักงานตรวจคนเข้าเมือง

overstay : stay in a country for longer than you are allowed to stay, not leaving when your visa to stay in the country ends -

ravaged : destroyed; damaged very badly - ถูกทำลาย, เสียหาย, ถูกล้างผลาญ

reprieve (noun): officially cancelling or delaying a punishment or regulation - การชะลอการลงโทษ, การรอการลงโทษ

stranded : left somewhere with no way of going anywhere else - ปล่อยเกาะ ถูกทิ้งไว้

suspend : to stop for a period of time - ยกเลิกชั่วคราว, ระงับชั่วคราว


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