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Non-immigrant ED visa to Thailand explained

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Joanna Horanin

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Last updated at 21/06/2024, 16:30

Hi, I'm Joanna, the author of The Blond Travels. In the worlds of Thailand and Portugal, I feel like a fish in water - and it's no coincidence! I've been exploring Thailand for over a decade, and I've settled in Portugal for 6 years now. My mission is to support Dreamers - just like you - in discovering these fascinating countries and helping those in love with them find their own place on Earth, preferably for good! Let's uncover these unique corners of the world together.

In this article you’ll find out how to get the education visa, also known as non-immigrant ED visa, to Thailand. If you would like to learn Thai and live in the Land of Smiles permanently, then this post is for you.

It’s not easy to move to Thailand and settle down there. You need to be smart about it and have some funds to do it. Learning Thai i Thailand is an option, which gives you the possibility to move to the Kingdom. Find out more how you can apply for non-immigrant ED visa.

Who is the non-immigrant ED visa for and who can apply?

Non-immigrant ED visa is for people who would like to live in Thailand, don’t want to work there, nor retire, or be a tourist. This visa allows you for a couple-month stay while learning Thai in one of the approved centres.

It is also an option if you would like to study at one of the universities in Thailand, learn massage or yoga.

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    Pros and cons of the non-immigrant ED visa to Thailand

    One of the biggest advantages of this visa is that you can stay in Thailand for a couple of months and not worry about the legal part. It gives you a longer stay than the tourist visa.

    There are some cons, though.
    In the recent years the Thai government has been changing the rules of this visa, making the permit shorter. Some immigration officers don’t look favourably at this visa. This is caused by some of the schools, which accept students, sort their visas out and then tell them they don’t need to come for lessons. So, their courses don’t exist. They take money and don’t teach at all.
    This might sound like not such a problem, but the immigration offices are aware of this practice. If you are unlucky you might be asked some questions in Thai when you extend your visa. Some officers like to check how your lessons are going.

    Another thing to remember about is that you can’t keep extending this visa. Just like with the multiple entry tourist visa to Thailand, you will be refused another extention at one point.

    Non-immigrant ED visa is good for the beginning, before you decided what to do next, or if you really want to learn the language.

    How long is the visa valid for?

    Your initial visa will be valid for three months. It is a single entry visa, which means it will not be valid if you leave the country before the 90-day period ends.

    You can then extend this visa for a year. If you would like to do so, you need to do in an immigration office.

    How to apply for the non-immigrant visa ED to Thailand?

    You need to apply for this visa at an embassy. It can be an embassy in your home country. Some people choose to leave Thailand and apply in Laos, Malysia or Burma.

    What documents do I need to provide?

    To obtain the education visa to Thailand you will need:

    • A letter of confirmation of enrolment from your school.
    • School’s registration certificate.
    • Approval letter from a concerned authority under the Ministry of Education.
    • Financial evidence of having funds on your account.
    • A residence certificate from your home country.

    If you’re interested in other options of visas, have a look at my post about long-term stay visas in Thailand.
    You might also be interested in reading about Thai Elite Visa.