BANGKOK: — AUTHORITIES will bar visitors who overstay their visas from returning to Thailand for between one year and a whole decade. The longer the overstay period, the longer will be the re-entry ban.
Starting from August 29, the ban will be imposed on any foreigner found to have overstayed his or her visa or visa-exemption period.
The Immigration Bureau decided to mete out such tough punishment after the current penalty, a maximum fine of Bt20,000, had apparently failed to serve as a sufficient deterrent.
Last year, a total of 70,715 foreigners were charged with overstaying their visas. Between January and June this year, the number of visa overstayers reached 30,359.
“We have asked the Interior Ministry to approve harsher punishment,” Immigration Division spokesman Colonel Worawat Amornwiwat said.
He said foreigners who turn themselves in would be barred from re-entering Thailand for one year if their overstay time exceeds 90…