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  1. #1
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    Phuket Immigration denies crackdown on ED visas

    Phuket Immigration denies crackdown on ED visas
    Tanyaluk Sakoot
    Thursday 10 October 2013

    PHUKET: The Superintendent of Phuket Immigration, Pol Col Sanchai Chokkayaikij, has denied rumours that there is to be a crackdown on the abuse of Non-Immigrant ED visas, or that the visas will soon no longer be available.


    A sample of an Education visa.


    ED visas are required by foreigners who want to come into Thailand to study. Subjects that can be studied in Phuket range from teaching of English as a foreign language (TEFL) through to Thai boxing and mixed martial arts.

    The rumour was floated yesterday evening in a post on the ThaiVisa web forum, with the poster, “Phronesis”, informing everyone, “There are 42 language schools in Phuket. They are being called to a meeting with immigration on October 17.

    “Immigration want to do away with the student visa because of its abuse by Russians and other foreigners working illegally on the island. So … if you are like me … and are currently staying in Phuket on a ED visa … don’t get too comfortable.”

    Col Sanchai agreed that a meeting has been set for October 17 – next Thursday – but denied any intention by Immigration to launch a drive to find people misusing ED visas, or to stop issuing them.

    He told The Phuket News, “Phuket Immigration will hold the meeting about ED visas. All concerned (including foreigners) are invited to this meeting so that they can understand the rules and follow them in the same way. All details will be explained at the meeting.”

    There has been concern that foreigners come to Thailand on ED visas but do not study. Instead, they work illegally. The visa, with a one-year validity, allows them to enter Thailand at any time during that period for 90 days at a time. In effect, it allows them to stay almost 15 months before they must get a new visa.

    Trying to work for any length of time while on a tourist visa is much more difficult; the maximum stay is 60 days, and those found entering many times on tourist visas may come under scrutiny from Immigration. They may even be refused a renewal at the border, leaving them stranded in a neighbouring country.

    A source who works at a Phuket training school where people can study for TEFL certificates, told The Phuket News this morning on condition of anonymity that he was aware of people coming to Phuket, getting a ED visa, but then taking on a full-time job illegally.

    “I wouldn’t say it’s quite common, no, but it certainly happens. Technically, I think, you can work up to 20 hours a month on an education visa. But you still have to get a work permit. Work permits are completely separate from visa issues in Thailand.”

    When asked if there was abuse of the education visa in Phuket, he said,
    “The short answer is yes.”

    He said a former student at the school got “duped” into doing that.
    “The owner of a language school was quite forthright, telling her, ‘You’ll never get a job without a degree. You’d better work for me under an ED visa and I’ll protect you.

    “She had to put down a B10,000 deposit. She said to me, ‘This sounds a little bit dodgy,’ and I told her not to do it. She was able to get B5,000 returned.

    “It certainly happens but there are bigger issues out there that need attention – such as all the teachers on the island who are working for school but who don’t have degrees.” (In Thailand, teachers in the mainstream education system require a degree to teach.)

    Schools offering TEFL or Thai language courses usually charge between B25,000 and B35,000 to organise a one-year ED visa for students.

    thephuketnews.com

  2. #2
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    Phuket Immigration: new detailed form to monitor education visa holders
    Tanyaluk Sakoot
    Friday 18 October 2013

    PHUKET: Language schools will be required to fill out a more in-depth form for visitors applying for education visas from November 1, as part of attempts by Immigration to control the number of people working illegally in Phuket.

    Education visas are required by foreigners who want to stay in Thailand to study.

    Subjects that can be studied in Phuket range from teaching of English as a foreign language (TEFL) through to Thai boxing and mixed martial arts. However, some people use this visa as simply a way to stay in the country, do not attend language classes and often find work instead.

    At a meeting at Phuket Immigration yesterday (October 17), it was announced that from November 1 staff at language schools will have to fill out a new form for every student enrolling who requires an education visa.

    The form is more specific than previously, and now requires details of how many language classes the student will attend per week (including days and times) and what exactly they will be learning on every given day.

    Authorities plan that this new form will make it easier to monitor students who are in Thailand on the education visa but who skip classes and/or work illegally.

    Last week a post was made on ThaiVisa’s web forum, with the poster, “Phronesis” (a Greek word for wisdom or intelligence), informing forum readers: “There are 42 language schools in Phuket. They are being called to a meeting with immigration on October 17.

    “Immigration want to do away with the student visa because of its abuse by Russians and other foreigners working illegally on the island. So … if you are like me … and are currently staying in Phuket on a ED visa … don’t get too comfortable.”

    Last week, after questions by The Phuket News, the Superintendent of Phuket Immigration, Pol Col Sanchai Chokkayaikij denied any intention by Immigration to launch a drive to find people misusing ED visas, or to stop issuing them.

    At yesterday’s meeting, Col Sanchai asked for “more active cooperation” from schools when it came to the education visas.

    He said the students had to attend classes, and if the students were absent more than 10 times, the schools had to inform Immigration and the visas could be cancelled. He also raised the point that people could not work legally while they were on an education visa.

    He explained to the 20 or so language school representatives how to fill in the new form correctly.

    Col Sanchai said he encouraged students on the education visa not to leave their extensions to the last minute. Extensions could be obtained up to 45 days before the visa expires, and the student would not lose any days of the visa.

    “Immigration police have found some problem cases, where foreigners have been registered as having an education visa but are doing something else, like working. This is not correct,” he said.

    Col Sanchai gave an example after the meeting about a Russian man who arrived in Thailand on January this year on an education visa.

    He was later arrested in Chalong on drugs charges, and his education visa was cancelled – though the exact details of why the visa was cancelled are not known.

    “This is the reason that schools should be careful about foreigners who come to study in Thailand. The school or place where they study should observe which students do not study in class, because they might be working or doing other illegal things.

    “I hope this meeting will allow for more understanding about this issue for the owners of schools or places of study.”

    thephuketnews.com

  3. #3
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    Surely Phuket Immigration don't issue Non-Ed Visas.

    They issue Extensions of Temporary Stay for the basis of study to holders of Non-Imm Ed visas.

    Which they want to crack down on.

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