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Thailand Education (ED) Visas

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we're going to discuss briefly the education visa or the Thai ED visa. In the past, this feature was rather more popular than it currently is mostly because in the past, the formality surrounding the education visa or I should say, the school that could request education visas for their students, the formalities in the enforcement as far as the immigration regulations were concerned it was a little more lax in the past than it is now.

So what you would see is a lot of, in fact there was a lot of virtually non-existent Thai language schools that were basically acting as sort of visa mills in a way. They weren't really teaching anyone. They didn't really have the facilities to teach anyone and they were getting people education visas. This was happening to one degree or another in the past here. Recently, the best the past five or six years Thai immigration enforcement has gone ahead and started really stringently not only adjudicating those visa applications but also basically not issuing education visas. In fact, I've heard it's my understanding that they de-certified certain institutions their ministry of education certification. They de-certified certain institutions so that they can no longer be a basis for an education visa.

The interesting thing about an education visas. it's somewhat similar to a retirement visa insofar as it's not specifically work authorized. There are limited circumstances in which one can get a work permit. Mostly if one is working in connection with their education or in connection with the institution that they are attending. So like if someone's attending a University in Thailand and they happen to be say working in the administration or something of that University, a work permit could in theory be issued to that individual. But by and large and then probably 95 to 99 percent of cases involving education visas in Thailand, a work permit is not going to be a possibility attached to an education visa. It's just just they're sort of mutually exclusive.

So education visas all in the past were quite a bit easier to obtain. They have raised the standards associated with adjudication of ED visa applications most notably now. There are a lot more requirements with respect to attendance and logging attendance and things like this, with respect to classes associated with an education visa. That used to not be so prevalent and basically, you know it's a possibility.

It's possible to use an education visa to remain in Thailand but unlike the past, it's not quite as easy as it once was to maintain one status with respect to the education visa. Another thing to note is in the past education visas were issued very similarly to say a business visa extension or a marriage visa extension. It would be extended and then one had to do a reporting every 90 days to just basically you know say “Hey, I'm still here in time and I'm still living where I was living etc.” Now it's actually more like it's re-adjudicated every 90 days. In a lot of the cases. I've seen involving education visas in the past two or three years, basically you do have to go in and check in especially if it's a Thai language course which is the basis for the issuance of the underlying ED visa. Basically every 90 days, they basically want to have a look at you have sort of re-adjudicate the entire situation and I have heard anecdotally through clients of ours who had to go down and renew their education visa that yeah, if you're taking a Thai language course they're going to want to talk to you and see that you can at least have some functionality with the Thai language. Now if you just started one is only spent like 90 days studying time yeah, your Thai is going to be pretty limited but if you've been in the Kingdom for five years in ED status based on attendance to a Thai language school and you can't speak a little Thai, you're going to have a serious problem with immigration and they're going to go ahead and you know adjudicate that perhaps you shouldn't remain in the Kingdom in that status.

So ED visas are possible but as with a lot of things with immigration these days in Thailand, they're not getting much easier.