A Thai Education Visa is officially known as a Non-Immigrant ED Visa. This visa is for any foreign national aged 12 or over who intends to stay in Thailand for the purpose of attending a recognized full-time educational course.
To be considered a full time education course, students must attend classes for at least 100 hours per every 90-day of their visa.
To apply for a Non-Immigrant ED Visa you will need to have been accepted on a full-time educational course, training program, or internship in Thailand. The school and course must be recognized by the Thai Government and the course must require students to attend classes for at least 100 hours for every 90-days; this roughly amounts to 8-10 hours per week.
You will need to supply the following documents when making your Non-Immigrant ED Visa application:
- A passport or travel document with at least 6-month validity from the planned date of arrival in Thailand.
- A completed visa application form.
- 2 passport-sized photos (4 x 6 cm) taken within the last 6 months.
- A completed TM 87 Thai Visa Application form.
The school or institute at which you will be studying need to supply you (or supply directly to the embassy or consulate at which you are applying) with the following:
- A letter of acceptance to the school or academic institute/organization.
- Evidence of enrolment (receipts of tuition fee payments).
- Course description.
- School registration documents.
When applying to a private educational institute you must supply an official letter from the Ministry of Education of Thailand, or other sub-authorities concerned, approving the enrolment of foreign students and a copy of registration certificate of the concerned academic institute are required.
If you are already studying you must supply a copy of your academic record and the Student ID.
If you want a Non-Immigrant ED Visa for the purpose of attending seminar, training session, or internship, you will need to supply a recommendation letter from the organisation addressed to the Consulate at which you will apply.
You may be asked for additional proof of study and finances. In some cases you will be asked to prove that you have a minimum bank balance of $500.00 for every 90 days of your visa application.
How to Apply
To apply for a Non-Immigrant ED Visa you must make your application at a Thai Embassy or Consulate outside of Thailand. Applicants from the following nations will be required to apply for an ED Visa at a Thai Embassy or Consulate in their home/residential country or at a designated Thai Embassy: Bangladesh, China, India, Iran, Sri-Lanka and Middle Eastern countries.
In order to make your application you will first need to be enrolled in a recognized full time education course which meets all the requirements of the visa and you must have paid at least 50% of the total course costs, or the enrolment fee in full.
Once you have enrolled on the full time course the school or institution will need to prepare and supply you with all the necessary paper work in order for you to make your application. In some cases it may be possible for the school to mail or fax the paperwork directly to the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate at which you are applying.
Applications for a Non-Immigrant ED Visa usually take around 4 business days.
When you enter on your Non-Immigrant ED Visa for the first time you will be granted 90-days to stay in Thailand. This will be extended to 1-year when you make your first 90-day report, and you must first complete your course registration and pay your tuition fees in full, presenting immigration with a school/institute issued letter confirming you have done so. You will then have to continue to make 90-day reports thereafter.
Holders of a Non-Immigrant ED Visa must report their current address to a Thai immigration office every 90 days. This can be done three ways:
- In person at a Thai immigration office
- By mail
- Through an agent who has the Power of Attorney to report you status,
If you are not in Thailand on the date your 90-day reporting is due, you do not need to report your status. Your 90-day reporting will begin again from day 1 on the day you re-enter Thailand.
With the exception of those on a multiple entry visa, if you plan on leaving and re-entering Thailand whilst on Non-Immigrant ED Visa, you will first need to get a re-entry permit in order to not lose your visa when you leave.
A re-entry permit can be secured from a Thai Immigration Office or International Airport. The fees are 1,000 Baht for a single re-entry, and 3,800 Baht for a multiple re-entry permit.
When re-entering Thailand, make sure to note the number of your re-entry permit on your immigration arrival form in order for your visa to be re-activated.
Bangkok Immigration Tips
In some countries, such as the UK, it is possible to apply for a multiple entry Non-Immigrant ED visa. You will need to be enrolled on a full time educational course which meets the year long requirements of this visa. With a multiple entry visa you do not need to take part in 90-day reporting, but you will need to leave and re-enter Thailand within every 90 days (you will not need a re-entry permit to do so).
If you are in Thailand and you need to leave the country to apply for an ED visa, it may be possible for you to apply at one of the neighbouring countries. Most foreign nationals can apply for Non-Immigrant ED Visas at the following nearby countries:
- Cambodia (Phnom Penh)
- Laos (Vientiane)
- Myanmar (Yangoon)
- Malaysia ( Penang )
The procedure of applying for a Non-Immigrant ED Visa at the above countries should take 2-3 working days, and you can re-enter Thailand and activate your visa as soon as it has been granted.