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  • Living in Thailand: Thai Visas: The Education Visa

    April 15 2014

    What is the Education Visa?

    The education visa is the visa granted to foreign citizens who want to pursue studies in Thailand.

    This type of visa covers the cases of enrollment in a government educational institution or in a private educational institution (High School or University) and is also available to foreign citizen that whishes to conduct training or research into a university or research institute.

    Note: It is also possible to obtain an education visa after enrolling with a language school, a Muay Thai school or a diving school. However the benefits  granted to foreign citizen that pursue this kind of studies are lesser than when pursuing an education in an ordinary school or university.

    What are the benefits and conditions of the education visa?

    Any foreigner that has enrolled himself into one of those three kinds of institution will be able to obtain an extension of his/her visa up to a period of one year providing that the following requirements are fulfilled.

    Lawyer-in-Thailand

    Enrollment into a government educational institution:

    The permission shall be granted for the period as certified in the support letter issued by the educational institution, which shall not exceed one year.

    The foreign student:

    (1) Must have been granted a non-immigrant visa (NON-IM).

    (2) Must have been confirmed and requested by that particular educational institution.

    Enrollment into a private educational institution:

    The educational institution must be permitted to operate by a relevant government agency

    The permission shall be granted for the period as certified in the support letter issued by the educational institution, which shall not exceed one year.

    The foreign student:

    (1) Must have been granted a non-immigrant visa (NON-IM).

    (2) Must have been confirmed and requested by that particular educational institution.

    (3) Must have been confirmed by the relevant government agency (except in the case of enrollment in an international school and higher education).

    Conducting training or research in a university or research institute:

    Foreign researchers will receive up to one year visa extension providing that the foreign researcher:

    (1) Must have been granted a non-immigrant visa (NON-IM).

    (2) Must have been confirmed and requested by the dean of that university or by the head of that research institution.

    (3) If conducting training or research in a private university or research institute, must have been confirmed and requested by the relevant government agency.

    Enrolling into a language or muay Thai or diving school

    Because of the successive visas restrictions implemented by Thai authorities during the past 3 years the education visa has become somewhat a business on its own.  It is to the point where some language, muay Thai or diving schools advertise more on the “one year visa” than on the teaching offer.

    Basically those schools will invite foreign citizens to purchase a course and in exchange will issue the supporting documents that will permit there “students” to stay in Thailand for a certain period. The “students” are then welcome to actually follow or not the program of the school (note that legally they should have to follow the course). The fact is that for the time being it works.

    However and contrarly to their adds, those schools are not entitled to support  “one year visa” application for their students. A student that enroll himself in a language, diving or muay Thai school will only be allowed to stay in Thailand for period of 3 months at a time. Of course if the enrollment is for a duration superior to 3 months said student will be able to renew his visa for another period of 3 months with the immigration.

     

    What is the additional benefit of the Education Visa?

    The one year education visa may be used as a tool to overcome some of the restrictions brought by the new immigration regulations. For example it is not anymore possible for the owner of a start up company (less than one year of activity, no balance sheet) to obtain a one year extension of his visa B during the first year. This restriction is a bother when you are single but become a real issue for investors that are coming into Thailand with the whole familly.

    Imagine for example the case of a family coming into Thailand to start a new business venture. Before the enforcement of the new regulations we would set up the company, apply for the father work permit and once the company had 4 Thai employees we would apply for the father one year visa. The father having been granted a work permit and qualifying for a one year visa based on its investment in a new company then it was a simple matter to apply for one year visas for his wife and kids.

    Now as explained above and because of the new requirements startup companies may not anymore support one year visa extensions. This is where the education visa come in handy.

    It is a valid alternative in the case of a familly to use the child registration into a local or international school to obtain a one year education visa for the child.

    The child visa education will allow the father and/or mother to apply for a visa O and then a one year extention to support the child in Thailand (providing or course than the father or mother fulfill the legal requirements for this type of visa)  which will then permit them to obtain a one year visa extension and avoid them to have to leave Thailand every 3 months during the first year of operation of the business.

    Note: This post is an excerpt of Rene Philippe Dubout next book: “How to Invest Safely Into Thailand” to be published in January 2010

    About the Author:

    The author Rene-Philippe DUBOUT is a lawyer since 1990 when he was admitted to Geneva bar (Switzerland). He practiced as a litigator there for 10 years until he moved to Thailand in 1999. In 2002 he founded with a group of Thai lawyers Rene Philippe & Partners Ltd a local law firm that specialized in Cross Borders Investments and Real Estate. He has been lecturing in several Thai Universities and a speaker to numerous conferences and seminars. He is the author of a must read book:”How to Purchase Real Estate Offshore Safely: The Case of Thailand”.

    http//:www.renephilippe.com

    © Copyrights 2009 – Rene Philippe Dubout – This article may be reprinted if information about the author, the websites, and the URLs remain intact

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