There are a number of options when wanting to study in Thailand. You do however firstly need a Thai Education Visa once you have been accepted by a school or university in Thailand. Thailand has a number of international schools and colleges and with a lower cost, many have decided to study in Thailand. This is mainly the Thai language and Asia Studies at the university level. Always ensure that you have the correct Thai visa for your education.
When Thailand started expanding it attracted many expats who had children attending international schools in Bangkok. This catered to the education needs of resident expats children but also the more affluent Thais. In order to study in Thailand, you need to ensure that the following requirements are met or the visa will not be issued at the Thai embassy or extended when in Thailand.
Applying for the Thai education visa from the Thai embassy or the Thai consulate in your country entails having met the requirements listed below:
– Letter of Admission from a government accredited school or university
Once you have been accepted you will need to request for the approved school or university a letter of admission which is written on their letterhead. Normally this only occurs after paying the fees and having met their requirements.
Note that your passport should have at least a remaining validity of not less than 6 months when entering Thailand.
– Passport-sized photos
The photos need to be less than 6 months old.
Should you not have all the requirements as listed above or are still looking for a school or university then you can arrive in Thailand with a marriage visa if you are married to a Thai which gives you 90 days or a tourist visa which is the easiest to obtain and gives you 60 days to find what you need in Thailand.
If you are older than 50 and can meet the requirements of a retirement visa then this can also be applied for while looking around in Thailand. This visa will give you 90 days. Speak to an immigration lawyer about the visa options available if you can meet the requirements of a marriage visa or retirement visa.
The Initial visa is normally valid for 90 days. This time should give you enough time to work on the requirements for the student visa in time for the extension 21 days before the initial visa expires. The validity of your student visa usually depends on the duration of your course program that you will be attending.
The requirements for extension usually include:
A. Letter of Admission – It must contain the following info:
– Name, Age, Nationality, Passport Number of the student
– Level of Education
– Transcript of the applicant
– Total Academic Years
– Curriculum and Funding
B. Evidence of enrollment i.e. receipts of tuition fee payments
C. Course description and syllabi
D. School documents i.e. registration and the like
E. Passport size photos (2 pcs, recently taken)
The extension is done at the Thai Immigration Office on or 21 days before the expiration of the initial visa.
Maintaining your Thai Education Visa
The Thai education visa is a long term Thai visa that necessitates the holder to report their local address to Thai immigration every 90 days. This is called 90-day reporting and can be done in person or by registered mail in Thailand. If you stop your schooling you can still stay in the country under the Thai visa as long as it remains valid. You will not be able to renew the visa, however. Note that should you leave Thai before the expiration date of the visa will be null and void when you return unless you applied for a re-entry permit before you left.
Visa for Parents who want to join their Children studying in Thailand
There is a Guardian Visa (Non-Immigrant O) available for the student’s parents to be able to come and stay with the student in Thailand. See details Thai Guardian Visa.
Can I work in Thailand on a Student Visa?
Unfortunately, you cannot work in Thailand without a valid work permit.
What happens when my visa expires and I no longer continue my studies?
You will be given 7 days to leave the country upon the expiration of your visa.
Can I switch my visa into a “B” visa as a company offers employment?
No, you cannot. You can however travel to a neighboring country to apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa at the Thai embassy or consulate using the employing company’s documents.