I missed my plane after staying just a couple weeks in Thailand and stayed with my girlfriend. I ended up out of money and no ticket home. I keep hearing about staying a day over here, but nothing about a few months over. I have stayed here for 6 months, so overstayed by about 5 months now.

I never had a visa, because I was only going to stay for a couple of weeks. Now I finally was able to get a ticket home and I'm not sure how to go about it.

I barely got enough money for a ticket and can't pay the fine, which I am sure is 20,000 baht by now.

What is there for me to do?

  • 62
    Let us know when you got out of Thailand. Else we can place a banner around your user profile [DETAINED]. Good luck. Jun 13, 2016 at 12:33
  • 79
    Although it's a minor issue, I'm struggling to understand how a missed plane turned into multi-month over stay. You might reconsider using that as your excuse.
    – NotMe
    Jun 13, 2016 at 19:44
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    @NotMe It may have started with a non-refundable non-changeable ticket and insufficient funds to buy a replacement. At that point belak should have immediately contacted their country's consulate or embassy to ask for help and advice. Jun 13, 2016 at 21:50
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    Also note that you are not allowed to work in Thailand, like most countries, on a tourist visa. You would need some sort of Thai work permit for that. Working illegally could greatly compound your problems, plus you'd be working for the kind of people who hire illegal workers, which could leave you with little recourse if things go south. Jun 14, 2016 at 5:26
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    So I got to the airport and paid the fine and signed some papers and that was it... booted for a year, but that was it... last minute I got a loan for the fine... I'm sure it would've been different had I not had the fine money... thanks for all the info people
    – belak
    Aug 5, 2016 at 3:35

4 Answers 4


This question has been asked many times, so I guess you've already found some nice resources (one, two) on this topic.

  1. You will pay the 20,000 THB fine. Possibly, more. Possibly, after imprisonment.
  2. You will receive the "overstay" stamp in your passport.
  3. Possibly, you'll get banned from entering the Kingdom, temporarily or permanently; The biggest issue is that you may not be informed about this right in place and get an unpleasant surprise on your next visit.
  4. Your goal is to try to avoid imprisonment.

If failed to pay the overstay fine, you'll most certainly get detained and imprisoned.

So, your actions are:

  1. Call your Embassy and ask for instructions as they know the thing better than strangers at StackExchange;
  2. Ask for a money transfer from your family or friends;
  3. Avoid exposing yourself to random police checks, even on your way to the airport. Don't drive the car/bike, don't visit places where random checks can occur (beer bars, disco, etc);
  4. Get safely to the airport; you will need several hours to get through all the process, so come early;
  5. Walk up to the Immigration counter, hand your return ticket, pay the fine.
  6. Expect for a shame of being handcuffs-escorted to the plane.
  7. Never ever overstay anymore.

P.S. Jail in Thailand usually means a small crowded room with no furniture or even fan, lots of mosquitoes, sleeping on a concrete floor, and foreigners even need to pay for their meals.
Don't expose yourself for that.

  • 2
    Indeed, the old 'pay the fine or do the time' applies here as in so many situations.
    – jwenting
    Jun 13, 2016 at 13:15
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    "strangers at StackExchange" man, the combined first hand experiences here are much better than some embassy employees. Jun 13, 2016 at 13:58
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    "Ask for a money transfer from your family or friends" you'll need to find a way to make that request sound real because on first glance it will sound like a scam.
    – Brad
    Jun 13, 2016 at 15:51
  • 5
    @Brad Google Hangouts (or the like), if you can. Jun 13, 2016 at 18:07
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    @KlaymenDK I doubt total strangers on the internet will be running to provide funds for this situation.
    – gerrit
    Jun 14, 2016 at 10:12

If you voluntarily exit, you will be fined 500 baht per day of overstay (maximum amount of 20,000 baht), you will not go to jail.

If you are caught by police overstaying, you will face criminal charges and higher fines. Jail time tends to alloted primarily for really long overstays (as in years), not for minor overstays.

If your overstay is less than 90 days, your passport will be marked as an overstay and any future visits will be subjected to proving your tourist intentions (departing tickets, funding, hotel bookings).

If your overstay is more than 90 days you will be banned from the country for 1 year in situation one (voluntary) or 5 years in situation two (arrested). Overstaying by one year would be 3 and 10 year bans respectively.


If you can't pay the fine, you will be at the mercy of the immigration officer handling your case. He could simply clean out your wallet and send you packing home, he could press legal charges against you, he could choose to deport you which could have ramifications on future visas or visits anywhere, etc. You really need to secure funds before going to the airport, contact friends family back home, ask your buddies in Thailand, contact your embassy about loans, etc.

  • 3
    Yeah and most importantly, the immigration officer can detain you. Indefinitely if you cannot pay your ticket back. Jun 14, 2016 at 18:40
  • @dan-klasson OP has commented on the question that they do have a ticket home now.
    – user
    Jun 15, 2016 at 10:58
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    @MichaelKjörling: Yes, but maybe he loses this ticket, if arrested, and have to buy a new one. Jun 15, 2016 at 12:47
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    @QuoraFeans - one could argue a million whatifs, but that doesn't address the OP's specific questions.
    – user13044
    Jun 15, 2016 at 15:24
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    @Tom: getting delayed by immigration and missing a flight at an airline company that does not allow re-schedule implies losing a ticket. I don't mean just a casual possibility, but something pretty probable. Jun 15, 2016 at 17:18

Here's what actually happened to the OP (as indicated in a comment):

So I got to the airport and paid the fine and signed some papers and that was it... booted for a year, but that was it... last minute I got a loan for the fine... I'm sure it would've been different had I not had the fine money... thanks for all the info people.

Someone suggested to the OP that this information is so valuable that it shouldn't be a mere comment, but edited into OP itself. I think OP should actually make this an answer himself, but until he does, I'm putting it here as a Community Wiki answer.

  • 8
    I never saw the update, so thanks for highlighting it here. Glad the OP got out. Sep 18, 2016 at 7:44
  • 2
    OP, if you see this answer, please consider making your own answer where you provide even more details. You can then comment on this answer and I will delete it.
    – Fiksdal
    Sep 18, 2016 at 7:56

Let the US consulate know, when you plan to fly back.

Also ask them for advice. I am pretty sure this happens to other people.

This is the official Thai gov advice: http://overstay.immigration.go.th/advice.html

Do everything possible to gather the money. 20,000 bht is $600. Whatever you can sell to get these $600 will be worthwhile.

Report the situation to the nearest immigration office by yourself and come clean. If they catch you, things will be different. Do this with enough time before the flight, not just 2-3 hours before the flight. Otherwise, you could miss your flight.

This is the official Thai gov advice: http://overstay.immigration.go.th/advice.html They draw a line between surrendering and being caught.

Do not approach immigration before you gathered the money.

  • 2
    Why the US consulate? Will they help the OP if he is not American?
    – AndyBrown
    Jun 15, 2016 at 13:55
  • 2
    @AndyBrown: the OP is American. Jun 15, 2016 at 13:56
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    $600 is not much. Get it. Even dirt poor and broke as hell in the USA $600 is much better then jail time in a foreign prison. Borrow it, use a credit card or three, sell everything you own. Sell your car, your cloths, your house, your dog, everything if that's what it takes. If you end up in prison, it's just gonna make it so much worse.
    – coteyr
    Jun 15, 2016 at 14:35
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    @coteyr: yes, and he will still need to pay to get out of prison. So, to pay or not to pay is not an option. Jun 15, 2016 at 17:20
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    @VladimirGamalian: was he the punching bag? Jun 22, 2016 at 17:49

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