Can UK passport holders extend their 30-day visa-exempt stay in Thailand and what are the potential consequences of overstaying?

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Original Case

A pair of UK-based parents have planned a visit to Thailand for a duration of 31 days, from September 4th to October 4th. Being familiar with the fact that UK passport holders receive a 30-day visa-exempt stamp upon arrival, their child is concerned about the potential implications of their 31-day stay. They want to know if their parents can extend their visa for an additional week at the local immigration office during their visit. They're also curious about a possible 45-day visa-exempt stay, which they heard was implemented to bolster tourism following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thai Kru Answer

UK passport holders indeed receive a 30-day visa-exempt stamp when they arrive in Thailand. While there is an option to apply for a 30-day tourism extension at the local immigration office for a fee of 1900 Thai Baht, there is no provision for a 1-week extension. This fee remains consistent regardless of the extension period, be it a week, a month, or a year.

Considering their parents' situation, it might be more cost-effective and less time-consuming to apply for a Single Entry Tourist Visa for each parent before they travel. This approach would prevent the need for them to spend time at the immigration office during their visit. It would also eliminate potential issues with airlines regarding check-in without a proper visa or return ticket within the 30-day visa-exempt period.

The 45-day visa-exempt program ended in March. If the parents are comfortable navigating online platforms, they could apply for a tourist e-visa before traveling. This would alleviate any concerns about needing an extension during their visit.

While there is usually no penalty for overstaying by one day if leaving Thailand by air, it does result in an overstay stamp on the passport. It's critical to note that if they encounter law enforcement before reaching the airport, they could face legal issues. This overstay stamp could also hinder future applications for TR in some Southeast Asian consulates or Elite programs.

Given these potential issues, Thai Kru strongly advises against planning to overstay intentionally. However, it ultimately remains the decision of the passport holder. They should carefully consider whether they are willing to risk an overstay stamp on their passports or strive to avoid it.

How Thai Kru Can Help

Thai Kru, as a specialized travel, retirement and relocation company for Thailand, can assist UK passport holders in navigating these complexities. From applying and procuring visas to arranging travel and accommodations, Thai Kru provides comprehensive services to ensure a hassle-free stay in Thailand. With our expertise and guidance, visitors can focus on enjoying their time in Thailand rather than worrying about visa intricacies and potential overstay implications.

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