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Getting an ED Visa 2015

Clamp down on VISA's? Hardly. The government has added more paperwork but the end result is still the same. I've been on an ED visa for 6 years and just came through the immigration checkpoint at the airport without a word being said! I never got asked anything in Thai in fact the only time I was asked if I could speak Thai was at the Thai Consulate in Vientiane.

Ever since I started this blog I have said the best visa to get in Thailand is an education visa, not only can it be helpful if you can't yet speak English it was just so much simpler. Last year the shit hit the fan and the government introduced more red tape but they didn't stop the loophole at all!

So how does the ED Visa work now?

Like I said I've been on an ED Visa for now my 6th year. I go to Walen school which I recommend btw and so far I've never had an issue. I simply pay them the 24,000 baht for a yearly course.

Before you could get an ED visa and extend it in Thailand for up to 3 years. Those days are gone and now you can only stay for up to a year. You get 3months when you arrive and can extend it another 3 times, every time you extend you pay another 1900 baht. (The cost of living in Thailand).

Why would I do an ED visa when there are other options? Simply, it's just easier!

How to get an ED Visa

1. Go to Walen and sign up to the yearly course. Make sure you do this at least a month before you must leave the country.
2. Fly or bus to Vientianne.
3. Apply for the visa it's only 2000 baht and takes 15min to do but you have to stay the night to get your passport back.
4. Fly or bus back into Thailand.

If you've been on an ED visa for years it's advised that you can speak a bit of Thai, at the very least understand the following "Can you speak Thai?". That's the only question I was asked.

Including going to Vientienne it costs a total of 50,000 baht for the year (that includes flying to Vientiane. I lost about 5 days a year now doing this but if you thin about it it's only 4500 baht a month for the right to stay in Thailand, Bargain!

I don't know about the requirements of other offices however Chiang Mai have 3 month extentions, elsewhere like Bangkok you might only get 2. Make sure you check with the school you apply at.

In regards to schools, listen to my advice because so many people haven't and they have gone with schools that no longer give an ED visa because they can no longer satisfy the government requirements, there's a reason why some of these places are cheaper! Stick with Walen.

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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

13 Responses to Getting an ED Visa 2015

  1. ln87 March 3, 2015 at 8:59 am #

    Walen sent this email to me –

    As the regulation, for each language, the student only can get 18 months ED visa to study one language.

    If you already had 15 months with ED visa for Thai course, you only can get further 3 months ED visa to learn Thai.

    If you want to continue with ED visa, you can think of learning Russian with us.
    Please let us know what would you prefer so we can provide more information and instruction. Thaks.

    Best Regards,

    Trang Do
    Student Consultant

    Walen Education Co., Ltd (Head Office)

    246 Times Square Building, 3rd Floor,

    Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110

    • Chris March 4, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

      Bangkok and Chiang Mai are different. Do it in Chiang Mai it’s cheaper also. The visa is only extendable to one year. After one year you have to leave the country. I think you should ask someone else because this Trang Do person doesn’t even mention you have to leave the country. You have to leave every year and you can’t get 15 months in bkk or Chiang Mai so it’s obvious this person doesn’t know what they are talking about.

  2. cuddly March 3, 2015 at 9:36 pm #

    Chris, I still want to know how you were able to renew the student visa for a 7th year even though Walen has told me the new rule says you can only renew the student visa for a total of 3 years…. Year 1 – Book 1, Year 2 – Book 2, Year 3 – Book 3… and that’s it. So why did they let you renew for a 7th year?

    • Chris March 4, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

      Are you in Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai and elsewhere are different. I’m at walen Chiang Mai no probs. There will be a problem if you can’t speak Thai.

  3. cuddly March 4, 2015 at 9:36 pm #

    Yes, I’m at Walen Chiang Mai across from Kad Suan Kaew. Cindy told me that the *new* rule says you can only get the student visa to study Thai for 3 years (reduced from 10 years). One year per each book. But are you saying that as long as you can speak Thai very well you can keep renewing your Thai student visa beyond three years?

    • Chris March 5, 2015 at 12:04 am #

      I saw Cindy Tuesday, when she asked what year I was on she looked puzzled then asked me if I was tested I said no, puzzled look again, then I was outta there. Strange was she said to you. The old rule was you get visa extensions for 3 years and leave the country. Now it’s 9 months + the three months you first get when you land. There is a possibility that they change the rules this year that only allow you to have 1 extention before you leave and come back in. Which is another flight or bus to Loas which will be hugely inconvenient but if that’s what it is that’s what it is.

  4. cuddly March 5, 2015 at 12:51 am #

    I don’t mind going to Laos once a year as long as I can stay legally in Thailand until the retirement age (for me will be another 5 years).. and now I’m currently about to enter my 3rd year on the student visa… but one thing, how can Cindy NOT know what year you are on since *they* do all the visa preparations?

    • Chris March 5, 2015 at 11:27 am #

      I met her six years ago go figure, when dealing with Thai people throw logic out the window.

  5. ln87 March 5, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

    Ok. I just thought it was so funny, they suggested to study russian instead !

  6. pascals March 15, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

    chris i heard you can get an ED visa at chiang mai university

    you got any info on this?

    • Chris March 17, 2015 at 11:19 am #

      I don’t recommend CMU, lots of problems in the past, try Payap. I have a friend does Payap through a lawyer, he doesn’t go to class the lawyer takes care of it.

  7. Taven March 19, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    Hi Chris- I am in my 3rd year at Walen in BKK. I have also been told you can only study Thai for 3 years, then you need to change to a different language. Here, you do 3 months then extend for another 90 days. Immigration here is asking you questions in Thai to make sure you are actually going to class. Some of those questions include how are you funding your time in Thailand. After 6 months on a visa, you go to Ministry of Education for an interview (test again to make sure you are actually going to class). You do need to depart the country every year.

    The only thing I do not care for is only being able to study Thai for 3 years (do not want to study Russian, this was also suggested to me). I fly back to the States every year so that does not bother me. Also, the cost of a years worth of classes went up. In BKK, Chiang Rai, Chaam, and Phuket schools are restricted to 200 lessons for 6 months. So to do classes for a year, it costs 50k at these locations – Per Walen website.

    • cuddly March 23, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

      That’s why if you were lucky enough to begin your Thai classes in Walen Chiang Mai schools (like myself) you will still only pay 25,000 baht for a full year… but anyway, I just had a CRAZY idea that maybe… (just MAYBE).. might be a solution to this ED visa situation we are facing…. okay (bear with me)… now the law states that you can only study Thai on a student visa for 3 years… any additional years you will have to choose a different language. Now just hear me out on this idea…

      ***a) if you were business-minded person (like myself), this may be a good opportunity to learn the Mandarin/Chinese language because of that huge market you could target your services to…. *OR*…

      ***b) WHO SAYS that you can not get a student visa while studying the English language? .. I mean I have read all the rules on the Walen website and it does NOT say that you can’t be a native English speaker to begin studying English in Thailand.

      Please correct me if I am wrong, but if the goal is to stay in Thailand on a student visa for as long as possible… it seems studying English (for a natural English speaker) would be the easiest way to go if your primary goal is just to remain in the country! Why should the Ministry of Education care if you just want to “brush up” on your “formal English skills” for the next 3 years….. am I making sense?.. as I said correct me if I’m wrong!

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