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Thailand Education Visa: Studying in Thailand

Find out more about the variety of different courses available to study in Thailand with an education visa.

What are the conditions for getting a Thai Education Visa?

If you want to apply for an education visa, you can do so either from your home country or from a Thai Embassy in a neighbouring country if you are already in Thailand on a tourist visa.

The process of obtaining a Thai ED visa is to go to a Thai Ministry of Education-approved school, choose a course and pay the school’s fees to begin. The visa can only be obtained from a Thai consulate located outside of Thailand usually in Laos or Cambodia and the school will know right away what are the needed documents to begin the process and assist you in obtaining your first 3 month non-immigrant ED visa.

Key Points:

  • If you understand and follow the rules, the entire application process will be simple.
  • Make certain that the school you select is certified by the Thai Ministry of Education.
  • Students must attend classes for at least 100 hours every 90 days of their visa to be considered enrolled in a full-time education program.

How to choose a suitable school for a Thai education visa?

Some language schools are not approved by the Ministry of Education, so you first need to check to see if your preferred school is accredited. Also, be wary of schools that offer extremely low study rates in exchange for an ED visa. You may be told by these schools that you are not required to attend class. This was much more popular a few years ago than it is now, but it was recently outlawed by the Ministry of Education.

To ensure that students reapplying or extending ED Visas were genuinely studying, immigration officials began performing spot checks on schools and the language proficiency of students reapplying or extending ED Visas. Remember that Thai isn’t the only language you can learn, you can also learn Chinese, Russian and even English.

Language Express in Bangkok provides ED Visa packages and the school is well-organized and particularly a popular option by many students.

The documents needed for a Thailand Education Visa can change from time-to-time, so check your local embassy’s website for the most up-to-date information.

Is it really necessary to learn Thai on an education visa?

Many people use the ED visa as a way to stay and work in Thailand without having to attend classes. This is illegal and it has resulted in crackdowns on people with education visas all over the world. Other languages such as Chinese, Russian and English can also be studied in Thailand. In certain cases, you may be required to complete a certain amount of study hours or classes each week or you may be required to attend 2 lessons a day, 4 or 5 days a week.

Keep in mind that the Ministry of education in Thailand takes proficiency test in your chosen course at any given time to make sure that you are really studying and attending your class here in Thailand, any violations of this rule can lead to deportation and banning you from the country.

If you don’t want to risk losing your visa to stay in Thailand, it’s best if you go to class and study.

How long is the duration of a Thai educational visa?

When you arrive in Thailand on your Non-Immigrant ED Visa for the first time, you will be given 90 days to stay. When you submit your first 90-day report, this will be extended to a year and you must first complete your course registration and pay your tuition fees in full providing the immigration with a school-issued letter verifying this. After that, you’ll have to keep sending 90-day reports.

What countries are the closest to Thailand where students can apply for a student visa?

You must be enrolled in a full-time educational program that meets the visa’s year-long requirements. You may not need to engage in 90-day reporting if you have a multiple entry visa but you must leave and return to Thailand every 90 days. Most foreigners apply for Non-Immigrant ED Visas in Cambodia (Phnom Penh), Laos (Vientiane), Myanmar (Yangoon) and Malaysia (Penang) which are all located on the border of Thailand.

The application process for a Non-Immigrant ED Visa in the above countries should take around 2-3 working days and you can re-enter Thailand and unlock your visa as soon as it is approved.