North EastVisa

Covid-19 prevention leads to 14 arrests of longterm overstays

PHOTO: Immigration arrested 14 people on severe overstays. (via Wikimedia)

While attempting to curb the spread of Covid-19 through migrant workers and illegal immigrants, Immigration Police have arrested 14 foreigners with “egregious overstays”. Today’s announcement of the bust of 14 foreign nationals took place mostly in northeastern provinces.

The Immigration Chief explained that officials at immigration have been proactive in seeking out people who entered Thailand illegally to prevent an influx and spread of foreign-based Covid infections. As part of their routine inspections, immigration officers are asking for passports and paperwork showing information of arrival into Thailand from all foreigners they meet.

They are looking for people who crossed the border illegally and therefore were not tested for Covid-19 and did not participate in the mandatory quarantine procedures that safeguard Thailand against a massive importation of Covid infections, and possibly various strains. The discovery of these long-term overstays was merely a side-effect of their goal of stopping illegal border crossings.

In Nakhon Ratchasima, Roi Et, Surin, and Yosothon, all Northeastern provinces, a total of 8 foreigners travelling on Indian passports were taken into custody. In Khon Kaen, 2 citizens of the African nation of Cameroon were uncovered on long overstays.

The 4 others arrested for overstaying their visas and staying in Thailand well over the allowed lengths were citizens of Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar. The list of names released in the announcement today listed included 6 people with the last name Yadev, suggesting a family living illegally for several years in Thailand.

One of the Cameroon citizens had the longest overstay with 2,779 days, approximately 7 and a half years. 2 more of the arrests were for overstays of more than 4 years. In total, 5 people had gone over the legal limit by more than 1,000 days or about 3 years.

Most of the other overstays were around 700 days, or two years, since before the Covid-19 pandemic border closures began. The least overstayed was the Vietnamese national, who was over by more than 200 days.

For more information on how to avoid a visa overstay in Thailand, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.


  1. What this clearly shows is that all those punitive immiogration rules do not work and should be scrapped for the ‘good guys’. Annual renewals and 90 day reports are just a waste of time – those in Thailand illegally just ignore doing it. 7 years living illegally in any country proves that the 90 day reporting especially is just a waste of time. Can someone please tell the Thai Govt what reality is please.

  2. Here in Phnom Penh I know of five who not only do not have visas, but also do not have passports.
    They are here for life, unless they can leave by sea at great expense.
    I suspect all over the world there are illegal immigrants unnoticed, living for years undetected until they have an overdue library book.

  3. One ex cowboy pub owner overstayed more than 20 years on a tourist visa on arrival.he simply payed the overstay fine maximum wich at the time was 10,000 baht at don mueang and departed never to be seen again.
    It was quite a few years ago and I’m pretty certain is true.

  4. @Mr cynic – Those were the days, my friend. But alas, those days are gone. I remember an old geezer from Washington Square who croaked at the Police Hospital and they found out his visa and passport were expired over 10 years! They tried to chisel the overstay fines out of the widow but she lawyered up and they backed down. Me, I had an ugly stamp in my old passport because I left the night the visa expired and my flight departed at 12:10 a.m. the following day. Yes, I overstayed 10 minutes. No fine though, just the ugly stamp!

  5. @AussieBob – Agreed. Looks like the real number of ultra long overstayers is bigger than I had imagined. Though they are still probably few and far between, more numerous than I had thought.

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