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Education Visa clampdown


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Does anyone think the Thai Government is going to clampdown on Education Visas in August like they just recently did with land border crossings/returns into Thailand?  I talked to a few schools and they think not.  I don't want to come over on a 60 day tourist visa with the thought of Education Visa for up to three years, only to be turned around in a few months.  Thanks.

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There was one announced last year (see below). It is anyone's guess that there will be further tightening of policy. I think if you are a genuine student and comply with the visa requirements you will be OK.

 

New, Major Visa Requirements - Education “Ed” Visas Holders Must Attend Classes
By VISITH PINPAWONG

 

According to the Deputy Director, the Thailand Ministry of Education is warning all schools who offer Education Visas to foreigners to be legitimate and make sure students adhere to attendance and testing requirements.

 

At the Pattaya City Expats Club meeting on Sunday, Immigration Volunteer and former British Consul Barry Kenyan stated the problem with Education visas as he observed it first-hand in the local Immigration office on Jomtien Beach Road, Soi 5.

 

“A guy came in and wanted to renew his Education visa for a 7th straight year. He waited in the queue and when it was his turn he sat at the Immigration officer’s desk in charge of Education Visas. He had all of his documents from the school. His application was completed and he had the two photos now required for any visa. So the officer looked at him and said, ‘You have been learning Thai for six years already. Is that right?’ The answer was yes so the officer looked at a nearby fish tank and said in Thai, ‘The big fish eat the little fish.” The foreigner looked at him without a clue. The officer smiled and picked up a big red stamp and stamped “CANCELLED” on the remaining portion of the current visa and told the fellow he would not again receive an Education visa,” Barry reported.

 

The Deputy Director of the Thailand Ministry of Education recently summoned all language schools’ owners in Pattaya along with senior Chonburi Immigration Police Investigators to address this issue and notify the schools of the crackdown.

 

“Now any school found to be selling the Education visa simply to allow the foreigner to stay in Thailand and not attending the school will be closed down and lose their license. All of the school’s students, whether attending or not, will have their visas cancelled,” the representative of the Ministry of Education stated.

 

Going to school and learning Thai is one option for people to "long stay" in the Kingdom without having to constantly do "border runs." It is especially popular with those who can self-fund themselves living here and do not need to work but are not yet 50 years of age thus not being able to qualify for a Retirement Visa. A Pattaya Times undercover investigation has discovered that some schools are selling discounted "courses" where the "student" pays a reduced fee that gets them a visa but they have no intention of ever attending a class.

 

Every school in Pattaya has a maximum allocated student base dependent on classroom availability. One school in particular was named and shamed. The school in question has a maximum capacity of 160 students based on if the classrooms were full every minute of every day. Most schools have 40% of students sign up for second and third years, thus reducing the capacity of the school of new students in the second year by 40%. In the case of the capacity of the school above reducing the intake of new students to 96.

 

The education department in very strong language asked the particular school if they thought the education department was foolish and if they do not keep records. In the last three months this school had new sign ups of 80 students and was asked where they sit their students and where are the three extra classrooms they would require to cope with this over capacity. Even if the school opened all night they still would not be able to facilitate all the students.

 

It has also come to the notice of the Education Department that a lot of schools are using teachers to teach Thai who are not educated to Degree standard and they have warned this must stop.

Pol. Capt. Samruai Sa-Mann from Chonburi Immigration police then told all the schools that five foreign nationals are now working undercover on behalf of immigration trying to buy the visa from schools without attending classes.

 

He added, the schools will be prosecuted if the undercover investigators gather evidence of such practices.

 

They are also to investigate visa shops who are offering the Ed Visa and law firms who offer the Ed Visa as it is only registered schools who can offer these visas, Deputy Inspector Samruai said.

The Police Captain also added that it had also come to his attention that some schools were using foreign nationals teaching without work permits. Recently two Pattaya schools have been raided by his officers.

 

"If we catch teachers working in schools without a work permit, we will recommend to the Education Department that these offending schools should be closed. We will also be calling all people who advertise language lessons with a visa. We will book some lessons and on arrival we will be asking for work permits of people who we believe are working without work permits," said Pol. Capt. Samruai Sa-Mann from Chonburi Immigration.

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  • 3 weeks later...

These guys who use the long term education visa rout to stay, whilst "learning" Thai are pretty dumb. Why don't they just sign up to learn Russian or German, Maths, or something else that doesn't invite an immigration officer to question them ?

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I think as long as you go to class and make a minimal effort to be a real student you should be fine. It's 4 hours a week. How hard can that be really? I have been on an ED visa for about a year now, no one at immigration asks any questions of me, or anyone else while I was there. They check your papers and stamp them, take 1900 baht.

 

1900 baht every 3 months from every person on a student visa. That is a cash cow the PTB don't want to disrupt.

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I also think learning Thai would be very helpful if staying there long term. I have no sympathy for those trying to cheat the system.

 

I am under 50 and can't get a retirement visa so looking at this option.

 

Anyone have suggested schools, please PM me if you cant mention here.

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I'm at Progress Lang. School. Nice people, my teacher is good and class is fun.

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As long as you "pay your way" in Thailand and don't cause any problems (police) my opinion - you will be fine.

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There was one announced last year (see below). It is anyone's guess that there will be further tightening of policy. I think if you are a genuine student and comply with the visa requirements you will be OK.

 

New, Major Visa Requirements - Education “Ed” Visas Holders Must Attend Classes

By VISITH PINPAWONG

 

According to the Deputy Director, the Thailand Ministry of Education is warning all schools who offer Education Visas to foreigners to be legitimate and make sure students adhere to attendance and testing requirements.

 

At the Pattaya City Expats Club meeting on Sunday, Immigration Volunteer and former British Consul Barry Kenyan stated the problem with Education visas as he observed it first-hand in the local Immigration office on Jomtien Beach Road, Soi 5.

 

“A guy came in and wanted to renew his Education visa for a 7th straight year. He waited in the queue and when it was his turn he sat at the Immigration officer’s desk in charge of Education Visas. He had all of his documents from the school. His application was completed and he had the two photos now required for any visa. So the officer looked at him and said, ‘You have been learning Thai for six years already. Is that right?’ The answer was yes so the officer looked at a nearby fish tank and said in Thai, ‘The big fish eat the little fish.” The foreigner looked at him without a clue. The officer smiled and picked up a big red stamp and stamped “CANCELLED” on the remaining portion of the current visa and told the fellow he would not again receive an Education visa,” Barry reported.

 

The Deputy Director of the Thailand Ministry of Education recently summoned all language schools’ owners in Pattaya along with senior Chonburi Immigration Police Investigators to address this issue and notify the schools of the crackdown.

 

“Now any school found to be selling the Education visa simply to allow the foreigner to stay in Thailand and not attending the school will be closed down and lose their license. All of the school’s students, whether attending or not, will have their visas cancelled,” the representative of the Ministry of Education stated.

 

Going to school and learning Thai is one option for people to "long stay" in the Kingdom without having to constantly do "border runs." It is especially popular with those who can self-fund themselves living here and do not need to work but are not yet 50 years of age thus not being able to qualify for a Retirement Visa. A Pattaya Times undercover investigation has discovered that some schools are selling discounted "courses" where the "student" pays a reduced fee that gets them a visa but they have no intention of ever attending a class.

 

Every school in Pattaya has a maximum allocated student base dependent on classroom availability. One school in particular was named and shamed. The school in question has a maximum capacity of 160 students based on if the classrooms were full every minute of every day. Most schools have 40% of students sign up for second and third years, thus reducing the capacity of the school of new students in the second year by 40%. In the case of the capacity of the school above reducing the intake of new students to 96.

 

The education department in very strong language asked the particular school if they thought the education department was foolish and if they do not keep records. In the last three months this school had new sign ups of 80 students and was asked where they sit their students and where are the three extra classrooms they would require to cope with this over capacity. Even if the school opened all night they still would not be able to facilitate all the students.

 

It has also come to the notice of the Education Department that a lot of schools are using teachers to teach Thai who are not educated to Degree standard and they have warned this must stop.

Pol. Capt. Samruai Sa-Mann from Chonburi Immigration police then told all the schools that five foreign nationals are now working undercover on behalf of immigration trying to buy the visa from schools without attending classes.

 

He added, the schools will be prosecuted if the undercover investigators gather evidence of such practices.

 

They are also to investigate visa shops who are offering the Ed Visa and law firms who offer the Ed Visa as it is only registered schools who can offer these visas, Deputy Inspector Samruai said.

The Police Captain also added that it had also come to his attention that some schools were using foreign nationals teaching without work permits. Recently two Pattaya schools have been raided by his officers.

 

"If we catch teachers working in schools without a work permit, we will recommend to the Education Department that these offending schools should be closed. We will also be calling all people who advertise language lessons with a visa. We will book some lessons and on arrival we will be asking for work permits of people who we believe are working without work permits," said Pol. Capt. Samruai Sa-Mann from Chonburi Immigration.

 

There was one announced last year (see below). It is anyone's guess that there will be further tightening of policy. I think if you are a genuine student and comply with the visa requirements you will be OK.

 

New, Major Visa Requirements - Education “Ed” Visas Holders Must Attend Classes

By VISITH PINPAWONG

 

According to the Deputy Director, the Thailand Ministry of Education is warning all schools who offer Education Visas to foreigners to be legitimate and make sure students adhere to attendance and testing requirements.

 

At the Pattaya City Expats Club meeting on Sunday, Immigration Volunteer and former British Consul Barry Kenyan stated the problem with Education visas as he observed it first-hand in the local Immigration office on Jomtien Beach Road, Soi 5.

 

“A guy came in and wanted to renew his Education visa for a 7th straight year. He waited in the queue and when it was his turn he sat at the Immigration officer’s desk in charge of Education Visas. He had all of his documents from the school. His application was completed and he had the two photos now required for any visa. So the officer looked at him and said, ‘You have been learning Thai for six years already. Is that right?’ The answer was yes so the officer looked at a nearby fish tank and said in Thai, ‘The big fish eat the little fish.” The foreigner looked at him without a clue. The officer smiled and picked up a big red stamp and stamped “CANCELLED” on the remaining portion of the current visa and told the fellow he would not again receive an Education visa,” Barry reported.

 

The Deputy Director of the Thailand Ministry of Education recently summoned all language schools’ owners in Pattaya along with senior Chonburi Immigration Police Investigators to address this issue and notify the schools of the crackdown.

 

“Now any school found to be selling the Education visa simply to allow the foreigner to stay in Thailand and not attending the school will be closed down and lose their license. All of the school’s students, whether attending or not, will have their visas cancelled,” the representative of the Ministry of Education stated.

 

Going to school and learning Thai is one option for people to "long stay" in the Kingdom without having to constantly do "border runs." It is especially popular with those who can self-fund themselves living here and do not need to work but are not yet 50 years of age thus not being able to qualify for a Retirement Visa. A Pattaya Times undercover investigation has discovered that some schools are selling discounted "courses" where the "student" pays a reduced fee that gets them a visa but they have no intention of ever attending a class.

 

Every school in Pattaya has a maximum allocated student base dependent on classroom availability. One school in particular was named and shamed. The school in question has a maximum capacity of 160 students based on if the classrooms were full every minute of every day. Most schools have 40% of students sign up for second and third years, thus reducing the capacity of the school of new students in the second year by 40%. In the case of the capacity of the school above reducing the intake of new students to 96.

 

The education department in very strong language asked the particular school if they thought the education department was foolish and if they do not keep records. In the last three months this school had new sign ups of 80 students and was asked where they sit their students and where are the three extra classrooms they would require to cope with this over capacity. Even if the school opened all night they still would not be able to facilitate all the students.

 

It has also come to the notice of the Education Department that a lot of schools are using teachers to teach Thai who are not educated to Degree standard and they have warned this must stop.

Pol. Capt. Samruai Sa-Mann from Chonburi Immigration police then told all the schools that five foreign nationals are now working undercover on behalf of immigration trying to buy the visa from schools without attending classes.

 

He added, the schools will be prosecuted if the undercover investigators gather evidence of such practices.

 

They are also to investigate visa shops who are offering the Ed Visa and law firms who offer the Ed Visa as it is only registered schools who can offer these visas, Deputy Inspector Samruai said.

The Police Captain also added that it had also come to his attention that some schools were using foreign nationals teaching without work permits. Recently two Pattaya schools have been raided by his officers.

 

"If we catch teachers working in schools without a work permit, we will recommend to the Education Department that these offending schools should be closed. We will also be calling all people who advertise language lessons with a visa. We will book some lessons and on arrival we will be asking for work permits of people who we believe are working without work permits," said Pol. Capt. Samruai Sa-Mann from Chonburi Immigration.

 

There was one announced last year (see below). It is anyone's guess that there will be further tightening of policy. I think if you are a genuine student and comply with the visa requirements you will be OK.

 

New, Major Visa Requirements - Education “Ed” Visas Holders Must Attend Classes

By VISITH PINPAWONG

 

According to the Deputy Director, the Thailand Ministry of Education is warning all schools who offer Education Visas to foreigners to be legitimate and make sure students adhere to attendance and testing requirements.

 

At the Pattaya City Expats Club meeting on Sunday, Immigration Volunteer and former British Consul Barry Kenyan stated the problem with Education visas as he observed it first-hand in the local Immigration office on Jomtien Beach Road, Soi 5.

 

“A guy came in and wanted to renew his Education visa for a 7th straight year. He waited in the queue and when it was his turn he sat at the Immigration officer’s desk in charge of Education Visas. He had all of his documents from the school. His application was completed and he had the two photos now required for any visa. So the officer looked at him and said, ‘You have been learning Thai for six years already. Is that right?’ The answer was yes so the officer looked at a nearby fish tank and said in Thai, ‘The big fish eat the little fish.” The foreigner looked at him without a clue. The officer smiled and picked up a big red stamp and stamped “CANCELLED” on the remaining portion of the current visa and told the fellow he would not again receive an Education visa,” Barry reported.

 

The Deputy Director of the Thailand Ministry of Education recently summoned all language schools’ owners in Pattaya along with senior Chonburi Immigration Police Investigators to address this issue and notify the schools of the crackdown.

 

“Now any school found to be selling the Education visa simply to allow the foreigner to stay in Thailand and not attending the school will be closed down and lose their license. All of the school’s students, whether attending or not, will have their visas cancelled,” the representative of the Ministry of Education stated.

 

Going to school and learning Thai is one option for people to "long stay" in the Kingdom without having to constantly do "border runs." It is especially popular with those who can self-fund themselves living here and do not need to work but are not yet 50 years of age thus not being able to qualify for a Retirement Visa. A Pattaya Times undercover investigation has discovered that some schools are selling discounted "courses" where the "student" pays a reduced fee that gets them a visa but they have no intention of ever attending a class.

 

Every school in Pattaya has a maximum allocated student base dependent on classroom availability. One school in particular was named and shamed. The school in question has a maximum capacity of 160 students based on if the classrooms were full every minute of every day. Most schools have 40% of students sign up for second and third years, thus reducing the capacity of the school of new students in the second year by 40%. In the case of the capacity of the school above reducing the intake of new students to 96.

 

The education department in very strong language asked the particular school if they thought the education department was foolish and if they do not keep records. In the last three months this school had new sign ups of 80 students and was asked where they sit their students and where are the three extra classrooms they would require to cope with this over capacity. Even if the school opened all night they still would not be able to facilitate all the students.

 

It has also come to the notice of the Education Department that a lot of schools are using teachers to teach Thai who are not educated to Degree standard and they have warned this must stop.

Pol. Capt. Samruai Sa-Mann from Chonburi Immigration police then told all the schools that five foreign nationals are now working undercover on behalf of immigration trying to buy the visa from schools without attending classes.

 

He added, the schools will be prosecuted if the undercover investigators gather evidence of such practices.

 

They are also to investigate visa shops who are offering the Ed Visa and law firms who offer the Ed Visa as it is only registered schools who can offer these visas, Deputy Inspector Samruai said.

The Police Captain also added that it had also come to his attention that some schools were using foreign nationals teaching without work permits. Recently two Pattaya schools have been raided by his officers.

 

"If we catch teachers working in schools without a work permit, we will recommend to the Education Department that these offending schools should be closed. We will also be calling all people who advertise language lessons with a visa. We will book some lessons and on arrival we will be asking for work permits of people who we believe are working without work permits," said Pol. Capt. Samruai Sa-Mann from Chonburi Immigration.

 

 

Not a lot more can be said IMO.

 

Get your shit in order.

 

JDM

if you are Looking to rent an apartment in a condo take a look at my website.

 

http://www.condopattaya-rent.com

 

 

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Just made a new ed visa this week at Vientiane. Very easy. School is CLS about 25k if you want to attend classes.

 

 

am going to apply for mine this week.... what was your total first year cost including everything? visa, school, paperwork, etc

"I drink a great deal. I sleep a little, and I smoke cigar after cigar. That is why I am in two-hundred-percent form." -Winston Churchill

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I am curious as to total cost also.

 

My understanding is:

 

Tuition of 20-30K depending on the school.

Overnight trip to Laos to get the visa with paperwork from the school at about 6k (visa run company).

1900 Baht every 90 days for the extensions.

 

Am I missing anything guys? Also, if I leave Thailand for a holiday someplace else, do I need a reentry permit?

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Yes, you need a re-entry permit to not kill your visa when you leave the country.

 

The trip to Vientiane is gonna be more of a 2 or 3 nighter. I cheaped out and took the bus, which is fine as long as you get vip seats. About a 12 hour overnight bus ride straight through from Pattaya to the border at Nong Kai, you can get off right at the bridge, and just walk up to passport control. The consulate only takes in applications from 8am until noon, then you can pick up your passport with the new visa after 1pm the next day. 

 

Bussing it adds some adventure and some sitting around at the bus station time compared to having a minibus take you. The minibus guys will take care of you too, do the Lao visa papers for you get a hotel room etc. Price I saw for that was usually closer to 8000b. I have also heard there are visa run places that can fly you up to Udon Thani and bus you from Pattaya and to Vientiane, but I have no idea on those prices.

 

Sounds like you are coming on a tourist visa and then shopping around for a school. Make sure to get the triple entry TV and try to get the visa as close to your departure time as you can. If you work it right, you can squeeze almost 9 mos out of a triple entry TV.

 

oh yeah and that big fish eats the little fish story, I cannot tell you how many times I have seen that story referenced, but details are always different. Sometimes the guy is getting a visa after 5 years, sometimes 7. I have heard it was in Pattaya, Bangkok and down near Phuket. It is always the big fish eats the little fish idiom though FWIW.

 

I would not be worried so long as your school is actually teaching classes, and you go in and put in your time at least. 

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