Foreign visitors who overstay their visas or visa exemption period will be barred from reentering Thailand for up to two years, said the Thai authorities.

Beginning on August 29, foreigners who fail to renew their visas will be fined up to 20,000 THB and barred from returning to Thailand for up to two years.

Colonel Worawat Amornwiwat, the Immigration Bureau spokesman, disclosed that 70,715 foreigners were charged with overstaying their visas last year. The number of visitors charged between January and June this year already topped 30,000.

According to the spokesperson, the Immigration Bureau decided to come with such harsh penalties after the current ones have failed to deter visitors from overstaying.-VNA