New penalty form must be signed by foreign applicants

21 Jul 14

THAILAND

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Thailand has distributed a form, “Acknowledgment of Penalties for a Visa Overstay,” which visitors must sign when they obtain or extend visas.

What does the change mean? Thailand is cracking down on foreigners who overstay their visas.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate. The form is now required; specific penalties for overstays are expected to be announced by the end of the month.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas and permits.
  • Who is affected: All foreign nationals seeking Thai visas and permits, as well as current holders seeking extensions.
  • Impact on processing times: None.
  • Business impact: There is potential impact if employees are banned from re-entering Thailand due to overstaying.
  • Next steps: The Immigration Bureau has submitted its proposal, which lists specific recommended penalties, to the Ministry of Interior. Approval is anticipated by the end of the month.

Background: The Immigration Bureau has begun a campaign to strictly enforce the nation’s immigration rules. Foreigners who obtain visas, visa extensions (Board of Investment and non-Board of Investment visa-holders), or who are making 90-day reports are now required to sign the “Acknowledgment of Penalties for a Visa Overstay” form, which requires name, nationality, passport number and signature.

Foreigners who overstay their visas by up to 90 days face fines. The Immigration Bureau is proposing that overstays of more than 90 days be punishable by re-entry bans ranging from one year to life, depending on the length of the overstay.

BAL Analysis: The new acknowledgement form and proposed penalties are a compliance reminder to companies and foreign assignees.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Thailand. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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