ThailandTravel Tips

What Happened When I Overstayed my Thailand Visa

I was daydreaming on the beach under a hot April sun when it dawned on me.
When did I have to leave this country?
Could it be….today?!
Could I have I overstayed my Thailand Visa?

Overstayed my Thai visa and relaxed on Koh Kam Island

First things first: Can you overstay your Thai visa (1 day) without serious consequences?
Yes.
Should you?
Wouldn’t recommend it.

Arriving in Thailand, I had initially thought the stamp in my passport said May 3rd.
I had been in Thailand before, and each time had a visa on arrival for 30 or 31 days
In my defense, this wasn’t farfetched… my arrival date into Thailand was April 3rd.
I had 30 days in Thailand, with a departure of either May 3rd or 4th.

Or so I thought.
The stamp said May 2nd.
A 29 day visa.

I angrily wondered what was wrong with the man who stamped my passport… 28 days is 4 weeks (1 month) but 30 days is usually the norm.. or so I thought…. so why 29 days?

I put my frustration into Google and started searching through forums.
“Overstayed my Thailand visa” was open in 1o Safari tabs.
The problem was that it was already May 2nd.

I read that overstaying a couple of days shouldn’t be too bad, so I figured I’d take the chance.
Not to mention my visa for Cambodia hadn’t even came in…. that’s another story.
Most accounts I read had people saying that they were charged 500 baht each day of overstay. Not too bad. About 15 US dollars.
Some people even mentioned that they hadn’t been charged just for the one day….hmm… so potentially I could get one free day.

I hadn’t planned to stay long, I just stubbornly wanted the extra 30th day I’d been configuring into my travels all along.
So I figured that $15 wasn’t that outlandish, and I might as well relax for one more day.

Just in case, I called the immigration office in the city of Trat, and asked them what would happen the longer I overstay.
The man pleasantly responded, “No problem ma’am… there is just 500 baht fine per day”.
In such a calm tone that you’d think he is perfectly okay with me staying, as long as the government benefits from my money.
Well, perhaps…

Fine for when I overstayed my Thailand Visa

When the day came, my first day of overstay, I made sure I had enough Thai currency on my way to the border. The 500 baht in hand.

I nervously approached the “exit” building, and gave a woman my passport.
She laughed saying “Overstayed Thailand visa 1 day”
I faked shock (Really? Who ME?!) and we were both laughing, knowing that I would have to fork over the money.
She called over another officer, who took me to the “entrance” building to Thailand, where a woman had prepared paperwork for me and had me sign in various places, admitting to my wrongdoing.
After she settled a few more things in order, she turned towards me again.
To my innocent “How much?” she responded
“1 day, 500 baht.”

I gave her the note of 500 I’d prepared, and a cheerful, “Sorry!”, as I headed back to the “exit” building to complete my exit from Thailand, and my entrance into Cambodia.

overstayed my Thailand Visa Cambodian Border

So that was it!
I don’t suggest this… but sometimes the days lying on the beach blur into one and the last thing on your mind is checking the visa in your passport.
I would say if it is in your best interest to overstay the visa, what happens is not that complicated… as long as you can pay the fee.
But of course there’s a big difference between overstaying 1 day and overstaying 1 month. I can’t give feedback about the latter, but going for a visa run is easier than getting arrested anyways 😉

I hope this article could give you a little insight if you ever need to google “overstayed my Thailand visa”.

Enjoy Thailand, no matter how long you stay!

Overstayed my Thai visa and relaxed on Koh Mak Island

Over to you! Have any tips or experiences to share about overstaying a visa? Comment them below!