Are children exempt from visa runs?

I have a two-year-old child who entered Thailand on a 12-month multiple-entry “O” visa. I was told by Immigration that he doesn’t need to leave Thailand every 90 days as they don’t charge children under 14 with overstays.

However, a friend told me that she had asked Immigration and was told that her child would have to leave every 90 days. Which is correct?

Pete Aston, Rawai.

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Although children under 14 years old are not fined for overstaying their permits-to-stay, it is still not good to have an overstay recorded on the child’s passport. If possible, you should take your child out of the country with you when you next go on a visa run, as your visas should expire at the same time.

As your child entered Thailand with a non-immigrant “O” visa, which I guess is dependent on your non-immigrant “O” visa, I suggest that you request a one-year permit-to-stay from Immigration for yourself and for your child.

This will enable you to stay without having to leave the country every 90 days. Your child will, however, need to report at an Immigration office every 90 days.

If, however, your child is a student, you can apply for your child to be issued an “ED-visa”, with which he can be issued a permit-to-stay for the scholastic year.

Click here to check the requirements and how to qualify for a one year permit to stay.

Pol Capt Krissarat Nuesen of the Phuket Provincial Immigration Office.

Answered on February 6, 2008.
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