What is a Thai education visa?
A Non-Immigrant ED Visa is the official name for a Thai Education Visa. This visa is for foreign nationals aged 12 or more who wish to remain in Thailand to follow a full-time educational program. For those who want to stay in Thailand but aren’t eligible for other Thailand visas, the education visa for learning Thai is a common choice. However, because Thai authorities are coming down hard on the problem, this strategy is no longer effective. If you sign up for classes only to get a visa, you risk yourself being banned from Thailand unless you really want to learn Thai and actively attend classes.
An education visa is granted in Thailand to enable a foreigner to learn the Thai language or take other related courses at approved schools in Thailand. People have been known to get an education visa to learn other skills such as Thai boxing, scuba diving and many more instead of just studying the language.
- You must attend class if you apply for an education visa to study Thai or you will be in violation of the law.
- To be eligible for an ED Visa, you must have a genuine desire to study or perform in training.
- This is an excellent option for someone who wants to get serious about learning Thai or learn another subject or form of art.
What are the basic requirements for obtaining an educational visa?
The first thing to keep in mind is that in order to apply for a Non-Immigrant ED Visa, you must have been accepted into a full-time educational course, training programme, or internship in Thailand.
When applying for a Non-Immigrant ED Visa, you will need to provide a copy of your passport or travel document valid for at least 6 months from the scheduled arrival date in Thailand, a finalized visa application form, 2 passport-sized photographs (4 x 6 cm) and a completed TM 87 Thai Visa Application form.
The following documents must be sent by the school or institute where you will be studying as proof of enrolment (receipts of tuition fee payments), course summary and school registration papers.
You must also have an official letter from Thailand’s Ministry of Education or other relevant sub-authorities approving of foreign student enrollment as well as a copy of the academic foundation’s registration certificate when applying to a private educational institution. If you are already enrolled in a class, you must have a copy of your college record as well as your Student ID.
How to apply for a Thai education visa?
You must apply for a Non-Immigrant ED Visa at a Thai Embassy or Consulate located outside of Thailand. Applicants from Bangladesh, China, India, Iran, Sri Lanka and Middle Eastern countries will need to apply for an ED Visa at a Thai Embassy or Consulate in their home/residence country or at a specified Thai Embassy.
To submit your application, you must first be enrolled in a recognised full-time education course that meets all of the visa’s requirements and has paid at least half of the total course costs, or the full enrolment fee.
Once you’ve enrolled in a full-time course, the school or institution will need to prepare and provide you with all of the paperwork you’ll need to submit your application. In some cases, the school may be able to send or fax the paperwork directly to the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate where you wish to apply. Your ED Visa applications typically take 4 business days to process.
The Thai Immigration Bureau’s most recent protocol aims to prevent foreigners from abusing their visas and living illegally in Thailand.
What educational learning options are available to expats?
1. Language: Most Thai language schools will require you to enrol before your visa can be processed and after you’ve paid for your course fees, they’ll send a letter of approval or a letter of introduction to the Ministry of Education on your behalf. This could take up to 3 weeks to complete. Guidelines for the duration of stay on an education visa will depend on an applicant’s study program which can vary from 3 months to 1 year in three-month intervals. The following criteria can be used to assess a language school’s legitimacy: teacher qualifications, learning facilities/technique and curriculum.
2. Martial Arts: You can get an education visa to learn Muay Thai. Many schools in Thailand offer this course, and you can choose the location you want, whether it is in Bangkok or Phuket. Studying Muay Thai in Thailand which offers a one-year education visa, is another great choice for those searching for a more physically demanding visa. With the increase in popularity of Muay Thai in Thailand, several more Muay Thai gyms are offering similar visas options.
3. Cooking: Another option for obtaining an education visa is to enrol in a culinary school. Thai culinary schools provide guidance for education visa applications, whether it’s an international school like Le Cordon Bleu or a smaller cooking business like Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy.
4. Other courses: Studying Thai massage or scuba diving are two other less popular options for obtaining an education visa. However, at the Chiang Mai clinic, you can learn Thai Traditional Yoga Massage and get a visa application guide as well.
The Immigration officer has the authority to administer an examination, and if you fail, they may conclude that you are not dedicated to your studies and terminate your visa.
What are the requirements for obtaining an ED Visa?
You must meet certain requirements set forth by the Thai government in order to be qualified. Please keep in mind that the following requirements apply to both long-term and short-term students but might vary in some situations:
1. Studying for 3 Months or Longer: All nationalities can apply to study in Thailand in neighbouring countries like Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia while students from Bangladesh, China, India, the Middle East, Nigeria and Sri Lanka will need to apply at the Thai embassy in their home country for an education (“ED”) visa.
2. Studying for less than 3 months.
– The most common option is a 60-day tourist visa, which costs 1,900 baht but varies depending on your embassy. For a total of 90 days, this tourist visa can be extended for another 30 days.
– Six-month multiple-entry tourist visa: Similar to the 60-day tourist visa mentioned above, this is a new visa form in Thailand. The package will set you back around 5,000 baht and is valid for six months.
– Immigration Exemption: You will be given a 30-day visa exemption for most countries when you arrive at the airport. For a total of 60 days, this visa exemption can be extended for another 30 days.
– Other non-immigrant visas include: If you are coming to Thailand to work, retire, marry, or perform a variety of research and academic duties, your visa will allow you to study in Thailand
Non-Immigrant education visa renewal
You must begin the application process all over again when your visa expires since the visa is only valid for one year. You’ll need a new course, new paperwork and a trip outside of Thailand to get a new Non-Immigrant ED 3 month visa. You can’t keep extending the 1-year visa indefinitely and it has to be done every year.
When you leave Thailand to receive a new 90-day Non-Immigrant ED visa after a year, the Immigration officer will ask you to have a letter from the school confirming that your studies for the year with the school have been completed, so remember to obtain the letter from the school. Interested in an educational visa in Thailand? Check our link for more information.