Education visa in Thailand
An education visa in Thailand is issued to allow the foreigner the opportunity to mainly study the Thai language or take up other similar courses at an accredited language school in Thailand. You don’t necessarily have to study a language, people have been known to get an education visa to study other skills such as: Thai Boxing or Scuba Diving.
If you are going to obtain an education visa then you must be aware of the certain criteria and the new procedure put in to force by the Thai Immigration Bureau to stop foreigners taking advantage of the visa and residing in Thailand illegally.
Due to the shortage of long stay visas available for foreigners under the age of 50 years and not working legally or married legally to a Thai National the education visa is deemed as a potential way of learning a new language and also spending time in Thailand, but it has its rules!!
Rules for obtaining an Ed Visa
To start the process of obtaining an ED visa you must first visit a school that is registered by the Thai Ministry of education, you must choose the course you wish to attend and then pay the fees required by the school.
The school will or should know the correct documents you require to start the process and help you obtain your first 3 month Non Immigrant ED visa.
The visa can only be obtained from a Thai consulate outside of Thailand normally from a neighboring Country like Laos or Cambodia.
So making sure you have all the documents from the school you then travel to the Thai consulate outside of Thailand who will at their discretion issue you with a 3 month Non ED visa.
When you re enter Thailand through the airport or across a land border you will be issued a 90 day visa which will then legally allow you to continue your studies.
The new rules introduced by the Thai Immigration in 2013 state that every 90 days you must appear at your local Immigration office to be issued with a further 90 days and note this is not given to you automatically you will be tested by the Officer in Thai to make sure that you are definitely and seriously studying a language. You will also need to report your address to immigration every 90 days.
If you fail the small test then the Immigration officer has the power to presume you are not taking your studies seriously and cancel your visa placing a void stamp over the current visa issued.
So it is advisable to make sure that you study or risk losing your visa to stay in Thailand.
If all is well and you pass the small test after 90 days then the Thai Immigration officer will issue you with your next 90 day visa. This will happen 3 times making your visa in total a full year. As the extensions are given the testing gets more difficult as you should be learning at a higher level.
Renewing your Non Immigrant Ed Visa
When your 1 year has ended then the new rules are simple you must start the whole process again as the visa is given 1 year at a time. So a new course, new documents and a trip outside of Thailand to obtain a new Non Immigrant ED 3 month visa, you cannot continue extending the 1 year visa indefinitely it has to be done annually.
After 1 year when you leave Thailand to obtain a further 90 day Non Immigrant ED visa you will be asked by the Immigration officer to supply a letter from the school to confirm that your studies have been completed for the year with the school so please try not to forget to obtain the letter from the school.
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