All visitors to Thailand are required to obtain a visa. Some nationalities are allowed to do this at the immigration check point on arrival. All others must acquire one from a Royal Thai Embassy/Consulate outside of Thailand. For a list of which countries qualify for visas on arrival please see:
Qualifying nationalities entering Thailand via an overland border will be granted only a 15 day visa; this can be renewed up to 4 times by re-crossing any land border at the end of the initial 15 day period. After 4 renewals you must visit a Royal Thai Embassy/Consulate outside of Thailand to acquire a 60 day Tourist Visa. To cross into Myanmar carries a surcharge of 10$ and into Cambodia 20$.
Qualifying nationalities arriving by air will be granted a 30 day visa, which can be renewed twice by leaving the country and then re-entering. After the 2 renewals you must visit a Royal Thai Embassy/Consulate outside of Thailand to acquire a 60 day Tourist Visa, (which at the time of writing in Sept 2009 is free of charge).
You can extend a 60-day tourist visa by 30 days, by going to an Immigration office and paying THB 1,900.
If you forget to check the expiry date of your visa and overstay your welcome, you will be fined for overstaying at the rate of THB 500 per day. If you overstay by one day and you are leaving the country via the airport, there is no charge. Land borders charge for even one day’s overstay. After that the fine is THB 500 per day.
The maximum overstay fine is capped at THB 20,000. You can pay your overstay fine at the airport or land border immigration post, but if you are caught by Immigration before you reach the border, you will be jailed until you can pay your fine and show a one way ticket back to your home country.
Paying the fine is simple. When going through Immigration, they will notice that the departure date has been exceeded and take you to a payment desk.
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