Foreigners to get visa text alerts
To make sure that foreigners do not overstay their visas, immigration police will send out text reminders to foreigners before their visa is due to expire.
Immigration police chief Surachate "Big Joke" Hakparn said Thursday the texting service will be first rolled out in Chon Buri, and he had assigned the provincial immigration police chief Songprode Sirisukha to implement the measure.
"This will prevent foreigners from forgetting their visa expiry dates, so if they continue to overstay, we will take harsh measures," he said.
"They will be deported and banned from entering the country for five or 10 years, depending on the case," he said.
He said Chon Buri was chosen because it has a lot of tourists and expats.
Pol Col Songprode said alerts will only be sent to those who have registered their phone numbers with Chon Buri immigration police when they applied for a visa or an extension.
They include tourists and expats who have work permits. The length of their permitted stay varies, he said.
The immigration police chief also said this measure will help save the police's budget as it will replace letters, which cost more than text alerts.
Pol Lt Gen Surachate said earlier this month the number of foreigners overstaying their visas has come down to zero, following a series of raids on aliens and criminal suspects over the past year.