How Deportation Works in Thailand


Thailand welcomes foreigners into its midst, but it also reserves the right to deport someone back to their home country as long as there is enough legal grounds for the government to do so. The Kingdom’s authority to deport a foreigner is governed by the Deportation Act B.E. 2499 of 1957, which was published on July 7, 1964 in the Royal Thai Government Gazette.

What is Deportation?

Deportation is the act of seizing a foreigner and sending him or her back to their home country or another country depending on the circumstances. Grounds for deportation include the following:

  • The alien has engaged in behavior that is deemed a threat to national security, like travelling to Thailand with the sole purpose of engaging in protests against the government or organizing such activities with other locals.
  • The foreigner is identified as an internationally fugitive or an individual who is on the run from the law.
  • The foreigner has insufficient documentation or authorization for traveling to Thailand. This is the case when illegal immigrants are deported out of the country.
  • Overstaying the provisions of one’s visa can also lead to deportation. For instance, if a person is only holding a tourist visa and decides to overstay without making the necessary appearance before the authorities, then he or she is liable to be deported when the overstaying is reported to the government officials.

Who Gives the Deportation Order?

The Ministry of the Interior holds the authority to give a deportation order against an errant foreigner. The Minister, of course, is also empowered to withdraw the deportation order against an individual or a group of foreigners if they are able to prove within the circumstances that the grounds against them for deportation hold no merit. This can do by filing the appropriate appeals to the Ministry of the Interior during the investigation period.

Is Deportation Immediate?

No, but the authorities will need to conduct an investigation to determine whether there are indeed grounds for deporting the foreigner. The investigation period is typically conducted within 7 days after a foreigner is arrested by the government. If the investigation takes longer than 7 days, a foreigner can either be temporarily freed unless a Court approves the extended detention.

Can You Try to Return to Thailand After Deportation?

It’s tempting to attempt to go back to Thailand after a specific period of time, but if you return before the deportation order expires, then the Thai government has grounds to imprison you for at most one year. You will also be deported again from Thailand in this case, usually in the same terms as the original deportation order.

Can You Differentiate Deportation from Blacklisting?

In a nutshell, deportation is more or less temporary because its effective period is shorter than blacklisting. You can go back to Thailand after the deportation order expires or is withdrawn. However, blacklisting means that you are prohibited from going back to Thailand for a very long time.  Blacklists have an expiry period but they are longer than any individual’s lifetime so, if you are blacklisted, you effectively cannot visit Thailand again.

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