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  1. #1
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    Wally Dorian Raffles's Avatar
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    Long term student visas

    Hi everyone,

    I am pondering returning to Thailand , and have been reading a bit about student visas.

    I would like to stay in LOS for a few years, and not have to worry about visa complications.

    I saw a thread on the other channel that says long term student visas are no longer obtainable. Is this true?

    If I were to get a student visa can I renew it if I attend the necessary classes?

    Thanks for any info in advance.

    Wally

  2. #2
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    Albert Shagnastier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wally Dorian Raffles
    I saw a thread on the other channel that says long term student visas are no longer obtainable. Is this true?
    Nope it's a load of bollocks.

    What can happen is the government removes it's backing from an educational institution if it feels it's not up to scratch. That would mean that THAT particular school can offer long term study visas.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wally Dorian Raffles View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I am pondering returning to Thailand , and have been reading a bit about student visas.

    I would like to stay in LOS for a few years, and not have to worry about visa complications.

    I saw a thread on the other channel that says long term student visas are no longer obtainable. Is this true?

    If I were to get a student visa can I renew it if I attend the necessary classes?

    Thanks for any info in advance.

    Wally
    Yes, you can get long term student visas for courses. has to be a real course in a recognized institute. It is renewable.

    They ARE clamping down on people getting the visa to "learn Thai" and not going to classes, and particularly if they do not show improvement in language skills.

  4. #4
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    Wally Dorian Raffles's Avatar
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    Cheers guys. Yep, if I do make the move learning Thai would be something I would want to do anyway. I am in my forties so I don't know how easily I would pick it up though ....

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    So what are the choices for you?

    1: Study Thai language
    2: Study Muay Thai
    3: Study to be a Thai Chef

    Also you can study at one of those big international universitys but from what i've seen the courses are shitty and very expensive.

    If it's a means to an ends it will cost you 30-35k (upfront) per year and you'll have to show your face at your chosen course a few times a week as a minimum.

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    Is a student visa the same as an ED visa ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Shagnastier View Post
    So what are the choices for you?

    1: Study Thai language
    2: Study Muay Thai
    3: Study to be a Thai Chef

    Also you can study at one of those big international universitys but from what i've seen the courses are shitty and very expensive.

    If it's a means to an ends it will cost you 30-35k (upfront) per year and you'll have to show your face at your chosen course a few times a week as a minimum.
    Options 1,2 &3 all sound interesting. Being a Thal chef would be the most useful as far as learning a skill that could provide potential employment ...... Though most restaurants would prefer a 'real' Thai chef you would think...

    The money is no big deal, but it has been a long time since I studied anything, so I expect it to be challenging ....

    Thanks again for the tips.

  8. #8
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    very most universities teach in thai... so you must prove first your language skills...

    if they teach in english, they are even much more expensive...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fondles View Post
    Is a student visa the same as an ED visa ?
    yes...

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    You ned to have at least 30ndays left on your current Visa when applying for a educational Visa . 1 year educational Visa Thai language courses start at 18000 Baht for the course and the Visa is free,+ add in costs of going abraod to obtain the educational visa (they cant issue it in Thailand)

  11. #11
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    Fluke is a little off the mark, but I give 'em points for the answer.

    They are correct that you should have about a month left on your permission to stay stamp when you enroll in a school and they're gonna get you the paperwork for an ED visa. Some schools can get that paperwork in a week, some can take longer. As Fluke pointed out, most want you to have at least a month, in case the Ministry of Education doesn't cough up the paperwork all that fast.

    Real Universities, as opposed to just a language school recognized by the Ministry of Education, CAN issue paperwork to change a 30 day visa exempt stamp, a tourist visa (or any visa) into a Non-Immigrant Type-ED visa at your local immigrations inside the country.

    The paperwork real uni's issue is addressed to Thai Immigrations NOT a Thai Embassy/Consulate like a language school's paperwork is. Depending on the course load you take, ED visas issued by Immigrations from real uni's are usually for a year, not 90 days at a time like at a language school.

    You can also get ED visas for studying buddhism (some other religions too, I believe), becoming a dive master, learning muay thai, and a few other things. It's got to do with the school, as far as if they're registered with the Ministry of Education.

    For the O/P who said they're in their 40's and haven't studied in a good while. The current minimum requirements for studying Thai and qualifying for an ED visa is just FOUR hours a week. It ain't all that taxing or demanding of a schedule.

    Now if you'll actually learn any Thai studying 4 hours a week, well that's a whore from another bar, err sorry, I mean a horse of a different color...
    "Whoever said `Money can`t buy you love or joy` obviously was not making enough money." <- quote by Gene $immon$ of the rock group KISS

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddaniels View Post
    Fluke is a little off the mark, but I give 'em points for the answer.
    As Fluke pointed out, most want you to have at least a month, in case the Ministry of Education doesn't cough up the paperwork all that fast.

    .
    No, Thai law states that you must have at least 30 days left on your current Visa when applying for a one year educational visa .

  13. #13
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    Being that Wally is in Japan that is the least of his worries.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluke View Post
    No, Thai law states that you must have at least 30 days left on your current Visa when applying for a one year educational visa .
    If you say so. ..

    I've never met a foreigner who got an ED visa in country for a private school.

    However, I have met several foreigners who are in real university programs and who got an ED visa issued at Chaengwattana from the paperwork supplied by the university they were enrolled in.

    One was on a 15 day visa exempt stamp, another had just a week left on his 30 day visa exempt stamp. Both managed to get a Single Entry Non-Immigrant Type ED visa which was good for 90 days, and a couple months after that, they both got extensions of stay for the balance of the calender year.

    Hey, I'm only relating things I've seen happen, don't shoot the messenger!

    Thais don't always follow the rules the way they're written; then again, seeing as they're their rules, I guess they can bend 'em if they wanna...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddaniels View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fluke View Post
    No, Thai law states that you must have at least 30 days left on your current Visa when applying for a one year educational visa .
    If you say so. ..

    I've never met a foreigner who got an ED visa in country for a private school.

    However, I have met several foreigners who are in real university programs and who got an ED visa issued at Chaengwattana from the paperwork supplied by the university they were enrolled in.

    One was on a 15 day visa exempt stamp, another had just a week left on his 30 day visa exempt stamp. Both managed to get a Single Entry Non-Immigrant Type ED visa which was good for 90 days, and a couple months after that, they both got extensions of stay for the balance of the calender year.

    Hey, I'm only relating things I've seen happen, don't shoot the messenger!

    Thais don't always follow the rules the way they're written; then again, seeing as they're their rules, I guess they can bend 'em if they wanna...
    Was this recently though ?
    Thais have clamped down recently on giving out Visas
    I inquired last month about getting a 1 year educational Visa at fout different schools and was told by all of them that I cant get a 1 year ed Visa unless I have at least 30 days left on my current Visa, by law .

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    I stand corrected .
    I went to the same School to get an Ed Visa todayand was told that I need at least four weeks left on my current Visa........"but it doesnt matter if its just two or three weeks left"

  17. #17
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    If they're just your run-o-the-mill private language school they can't even get you an ED visa in country.

    As I said, the paperwork a private school (NOT a private "university") gets from the MOE is addressed to any Thai Embassy/Consulate. Seeing as there are NO Thai Embassies or Consulates inside Thailand, it entails a trip usually to a Thai Embassy in a neighboring S/E Asian country to secure only a Single Entry 90 day Non-Immigrant Type-ED visa. Those are extended every 90 days with paperwork from the school at your local Thai Immigrations..

    It's the real universities which have the paperwork addressed to Thai Immigrations. Of the people I mentioned in the earlier post; one person enrolled at (I think) Srinakharinwirot and another at (I think) Dhurakij Pundit University. Both of them got their ED visas in country. Then again they were both enrolled in Masters degree programs

    I could be wrong but I think what the schools are saying to you is; the school NEEDS you to have at least 30 days left on your permission to stay stamp. The paperwork they get from the MOE can take up to 4 weeks to come thru. They don't want you to run up an overstay waiting for them to get the paperwork back from the MOE. After that you leave the country and go get your visa at a Thai Embassy. Now why they say it's Thai law is anyone's guess, but it sure takes any responsibility off of the school to pawn it off like that to you.. There's NOTHING I've ever read or heard of on the books which states that. The the latest copy of the Royal Police Order which is the visa "rules" (not laws) being followed now is Police Order 777/2551.

    I think I'm pretty close to the mark on the last paragraph about the school wanting you to have 30 days left.

    Honestly, if you know of any private Thai language school which can get an ED visa in country for a person who enrolls in their year long program, lemme know, I'd like to call 'em and see what's what.

    Of the 20+ private thai language schools here in Bangkok I've toured, sat in on observational classes at, questioned about their visa support, written reviews about, etc; NOT a single one could get an ED visa for a student inside the country from Thai Immigrations..

    I don't mean to beat a dead whore, errr, beat a dead horse on this topic. Sorry. .

    One of my "hobbies" is reviewing Thai language schools, and I like to stay as current as I can about all things relating to them..

  18. #18
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    I went to the Schools in Chiang Mai and the documents need to be posted , thats why they probably more concerned about have four weeks left on your current Visa, moreso than in BKK .
    Also, every School that I went to stated that you did indeed have to go abroad to apply for the Educational Visa .
    My yearly School fees are 19 000 Baht , I expect the proper University courses will be more expensive .

  19. #19
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    Actually "Fluke"; the price you quote isn't too outta line with yearly tuition rates for private Thai language schools here in Bangkok. The programs are usually sold by number of "lessons", which are more like "hours" of study (but in reality last just 50 minutes)..

    In Bangkok schools range from 180 lessons up to 210 lessons per year. Doing the math; studying 4 lessons (hours) a week on a program which offers 180 per year shows you get only 45 weeks of study out of it. This leaves you "short" 7 weeks. However I've never known this to cause a problem for anyone renewing their extension of stay the final time.

    It is of interest to note, that the MOE came up with an "online tracking" feature for schools registered with them a little more than a year ago.

    Once an application is accepted by the MOE a school can log in and check the progress of where the app is in the process of approval. Few schools will tell you that IF they sent in an application with just your name on it; they'd have it back in their hands within about 5 days.

    Unfortunately, most schools "lump" all the new enrollees together on a "blanket application", and just high-lite your name when they get the paperwork back. I saw one approval letter from the MOE for a student (at a very well known but "nameless" school here in Bangkok) which had 30 names on it!

    Good Luck w/your language learning...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluke View Post
    You ned to have at least 30ndays left on your current Visa when applying for a educational Visa . 1 year educational Visa Thai language courses start at 18000 Baht for the course and the Visa is free,+ add in costs of going abraod to obtain the educational visa (they cant issue it in Thailand)
    Thanks Fluke and others for providing information.

    I have looked at a few websites and 18,000 per year seems to be about right - but some schools are asking this for a 3 month semester !

    I will more than likely take a short trip over firstly, if I decide to make the move to check out things in person.

    Some of the sites recommend paying for the course, so the paperwork can be done , which would mean that I could obtain the visa through the Thai consulate ( here in Japan ) before arriving.

    Any information on schools in the thonglor area that are reasonably priced would be very much appreciated.

    Cheers.

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    It seems that it may be hard to find a school for the right price. This place THONG-LOR THAI LANGUAGE SCHOOL is asking 16,800baht for every 3 months!

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    WALLY, get a triple entry tourist visa, and then build from there. A reputable job or school can convert any visa. But think twice about working on an educational visa. Jealousy could end up in someone making a problem. I know you had a damn good gig going in the Thong Lo area. You can do it again. I will pm my skype details. Yes I am finally using it. Cheers mate.

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    ^ Just PM'd you AO.

    Yes, restarting my old gig in thonglor is what i have in mind - you know the score, but I really don't know the best way to go about it....

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