Tourist visas and their respective extensions are a matter of hot discussion among travelers in Southeast Asia. Many countries only issues visas for 30, 60 or 90 days, but the long term traveler often has reason to stay beyond. As a result, many simply cross the border into another country, stay for a bit and turn right around, earning another tourist visa on the inbound journey. Some even riskier folks choose to stay past their visa date and simply face any punishment that the state issues forth. Usually, that penalty is minor.
That is unless you’re Kamari Charlton, a US citizen who recently overstayed his visa in Singapore and who has now been sentenced to three lashings with a cane. Mr. Charlton, who stayed nearly six months longer than his visa allowed, was in the small Asian city state while his wife was on a medical visa. On departure he was detained pending investigation of assorted fiscal adventures — when it was then revealed that his visa was past due.
The plot further thickens with Mr. Charlton’s claim that he was discriminated against in the ruling — a similar case with an Asian relative was dismissed with a fine.
Needless to say, this serves as a pretty extreme reminder to mind your visa’s due date when entering a country. The consequences could be stronger than you think.
[flickr image via Peti_Morgan]