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90 Day Over Stay


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Recently I was faced with an overstay problem.   Initially I entered the country on a tourist visa as I did not even plan on working, I was weighing my options between work and school.  I was offered a pretty good position at what I thought was a respectable Thai employer, to protect the innocent i'll leave the name out.  I was told to bring my passport to their Admin department and they would handle my visa and such.  I have been coming to Bangkok for years but never to work, I used to work entirely online and live in various countries in Asia but that's a different story for a different time.  I brought my passport down and they filled out all sorts of paperwork for immigration and they even sent me to get a health check.  About a week later my passport was returned to me but I was so busy with work I never actually checked it, that was my own fault I own up to that.


 After about 3 months on the job I was called down to the office with about 12 other employees, all of us expats, and told that they could no longer employ so many foreign workers due to new visa laws.  They told us they would pay for everything to send us home but it would take a few weeks to process it all.  I went on with my life and enjoyed spending time with the GF and just relaxing.  Periodically I would receive an email from said company updating me on the status of everything.   Around the middle of November I received an email stating that I would be leaving on Monday of that week and would receive an email with all my flight details.  Monday came and went with nothing, many calls later and I was told a slight delay but would be leaving on Thai Airways on Wednesday and would get flight details Tuesday afternoon.  Tuesday afternoon came with no details, at which point I called Thai Airways and they had no record of me.  


It was at this point I started to become very suspicious with all lies they were telling me.  I got out my passport and looked through it and what I saw shocked me.  They processed my TR for a 30 day extension and nothing else.  After quickly calculating my days I realized I was at 87 days over my original TR.  Staying over 90 would have been a 1 year band.  I realized no flight was coming from them so I booked my own and headed home for the holidays.  Upon arriving to the airport I went through security, paid the 20,000 baht fee without a hitch and was on my way.  I was told by a friendly immigration officer that if i was to return a new passport would be in my best interest.  He told me overstays under 90 days aren't recorded in any computer just in the passport itself.  


I don't blame the company as much as I blame myself.  I have never been trusting in the business world but for some reason I let my guard down and trusted this company.  I also did not do my due diligence and check my passport or the immigration laws.  I write this for two reason, one hopefully just one person will learn from my stupidity and always double and triple check everything.  The second reason is the overstay itself.  I was worried sick about what would happen and the majority of forums give you worst case scenarios and little actual advice.  If you are facing a long overstay the best thing is to go to the airport and take care of it.  I later found out one of my coworkers booked a flight a few days later didn't know he was an overstay and was detained in the airport.  He was sent to IDC (not a fun place to be) and had to stay there for 5 days until his family could wire the money and a plane ticket.  

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