Immigration Bureau chief Lt Gen Nathathorn Prousoontorn arrived at Boat Lagoon in Koh Kaew where he presided over an immigration meeting to promote the stricter punishments rules applying to those who overstay their visas which will take effect from March 20.
Also in attendance at the meeting were Chief of Immigration Division 6 Maj Gen Nitipong Niemnoy, Phuket Immigration Chief Col Sunchai Chokkajaykij, hotel operators, tour guides, educational institution operators and others.
Lt Gen Nathathorn said that the main objective of today’s meeting was to make sure that everyone understand the new immigration overstay rules which were issued by the Prime Minister and Interior Ministry on November 27, 2015.
During the meeting Lt Gen Nathathorn said, “After we announced the new rules our records showed that the number of foreigners overstaying in Thailand significantly decreased.
“The stats show that in October 2015 we had 810,522 people overstaying their visas, but recent records from this month show that we had 486,947 overstayers.
“That’ a 323,575 decrease or 39.92 per cent which is proof that the new rules are effective and keep the number of overstayers in control.”
“ As a result, crimes involving foreigner criminals also decreased. We are able to separate good guys from bad guys this way and foreigners that come to the Kingdom will always be legal and have the right documents. The rules also promote safety to life and property,” he said.
“Officers will strictly enforce the rules and crack down on all overstayers in the Kingdom. However, i must reiterate that these rules do not apply to children under the age of 18.
“I encourage all to help us enforce these rules and let foreigners know the rules and regulations including the penalties for overstaying.
“I would like to add that the rules will not effect foreigners who reside in Thailand legally, and only focuses on those foreigners that come and stay in the country illegally. This is to prevent international criminals and crime in the country,” he concluded.