What happens when you overstay your Thai tourist visa


We spent many hours inside this place

At least the room was air conditioned, cause it was hot outside. But the seats weren’t that nice nor were the officers in front of us. To my right was an old hippie in his tie die pajamas’s with his skeleton sized hippie bride. For his choice of attire he should have been happy displaying some happy go lucky attitude, but instead he stormed around with a pissed off look on his face. His moon-lady looked concerned and was trying her best to calm him down, but seemed to be a bit worried herself. This sight made me glad they were holding plastic cards a different colour then ours, once that applied to an area that was 4 sections away from us.

I didn’t know what was taking so long. It was only supposed to take 15 minutes to extend our tourist visa’s for 30 days. We had gone through this before as a mistake and had to leave the country. What now? But soon, our number was called and we got up with smiles and handed over our numbered coloured card to the desk. They fingered some papers and then ushered us off to another section while giving us a new coloured numbered card and told us to sit down and wait again.

Wait we did… 124.. 133.. 137.. hours passed by. The numbers ticked slowly up towards 162. We had overstayed our visa by 3 days. We had been traveling with Dee’s parents having a great time and completely forgot about needing to extend our visas. Finally, we were called into an office and the officer pointed to two seats. She took our passports and asked us to sign a list of offenses. Apparently in Thailand when you overstay your visa it’s a pretty bad thing. They have to file a police report, get a statement, and all this other paperwork hassle. Also, it costs money of course! 1,000 baht a day (about $33). Pretty expensive when you consider that you originally got your 2 month tourist visa for free!

After some stamping and more waiting – and paying 6,000 bath in cold hard cash, plus the visa extension fee (500 baht each), we walked out with a 30 day extension on our visa. This was as close as I wanted to get to breaking the law in Thailand and was glad it was over. But, all this had taken over 5 hours of a wasted day and our taxi had been waiting there for us the whole time.

So if your going to overstay your visa in Thailand, be careful. It’s a pain in the ass. Make sure to get a Tourist Visa before you get into the country (it’s currently free too!), and show up the day before your visa expires to get your 30 day renewal with no hassles. Because if your late, you’ll sit around forever and get yourself one expensive police record in Thailand!

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