THE IMMIGRATION Police Bureau will start blacklisting foreigners who stay beyond their visa period with effect from March 2016.
The Royal Decree on the blacklisting should be promulgated in late March, bureau chief Pol Maj-General Natthorn Prosunthorn said.
He added that foreigners would be divided into two groups: those who overstay but turn themselves in, and those who are arrested for overstaying. In the first group, those who have overstayed for a year will be subjected to a three-year entry ban; those with over three years of overstay will be banned for five years; while those with five years overstay will not be allowed entry for 10 years.
Those in the second group will be banned from five to 10 years depending on the length of overstay. He expected a large number of foreigners to contact the authorities before the law is implemented. Natthorn added that this new law would help the authorities monitor foreigners and ensure quality visitors.
“The existing law is weak, with a maximum fine of just Bt20,000,” he said.
Separately, Thongchai Chasa-wath, chief of the Foreign Ministry’s Department of Consular Affairs, revealed yesterday that his office had now set up an online channel (www.passport.in.th), for people to get an advance queue ticket for obtaining a Thai passport. Users will just need to key in their details as guided by the website – a process that only takes seven minutes – and a QR code would be sent to the applicant’s phone to present to officials on the day of the appointment.
The department is also developing a smartphone application called “Apps Thai consular” to provide information about available services. This should be ready by the end of December and could be considered a gift to the public from the Foreign Ministry, he added.
Thongchai said this during the opening ceremony of a temporary passport office at PS Plaza Building within Bangkok’s new Southern Bus Terminal on Borommaratchachon-nani Road. This office is expected to produce 1,200 passports daily.