90 day visa
Regardless of what you hear from online forums or random strangers on Facebook, do not panic if your passport is stamped with a 90 day visa.
For the record, there is no such thing as a 6 month, 9 month, or 1 year ED visa to study Thai at a Thai language school.
The ED visa for students enrolled in a Thai course from a language school is a 90 day visa which can be extended up to 12 months.
Do not confuse the ED visa for language schools with the ED visa for universities. They are not the same.
Continue reading for more information about visa extensions.
Visit our school
Once you receive your 90 day Single Entry Non-Immigrant ED Visa from a Thai embassy/consulate and enter Thailand, you must visit our school with your passport within 7 days.
We are required to submit copies of your passport and ED visa to the Ministry of Education to prepare for your extension.
Do not forget to bring your TM6 Departure Card.
Losing the TM6 Departure Card is a lot of trouble and will require you to make a police report. It is advisable to clip or staple it to your passport to ensure you don’t lose it.
ED visa extensions
Once it’s close to the end of your first 90 days, you will be required to extend your ED visa at Immigration on a regular basis.
The cost per extension is 1,900 baht. Be prepared to get quizzed in Thai by the Immigration officer, but do not sweat as the questions are usually simple, like “what is your name”, “where are you from”, “what do you like to eat”, and etc. If you’ve been coming to school on a regular basis and doing your homework, these questions are a walk in the park.
In most cases, you’ll get a 60 day extension if you’re able to convince the Immigration officer that you’ve been studying Thai. Failure to do so may result in a 30 day extension or worst case scenario, 7 days to pack up and leave.
One of your extensions will have to be 30 days by default. Continue reading to find out why.
90 days reporting
Apart from extending your visa, you are required to report your address to Immigration every 90 days in Thailand.
This has nothing to do with your visa extension, so do not get confused.
If you haven’t left the country during your first 90 days, your first visa extension and 90 days reporting will coincide. You will then have the convenience of settling both matters at Immigration on the same day.
Subsequently, your 90 days reporting will no longer coincide with your visa extensions. However, the good news is, you do not need to do the 90 days report in person. You can pay an agent to do it for you, or do it online if the website works (use Internet Explorer).
The window for reporting online is from 15 days before down until 7 days before your actual report date. The window for reporting at an immigration office is from 15 days before down until 7 days after your actual report date. IF you file a 90 day report more than 7 days after the report date, you will be fined 2000 baht.
Test at Ministry of Education
You are required to pass a test at the Ministry of Education in order to continue staying in Thailand after your 7th month.
Again, if you’ve been coming to school and doing your homework, passing the test is easy. But bear in mind you’ll be required to read, write, speak, and understand Thai, so don’t assume you can pass the test without coming to school unless you’ve learned Thai before applying for the ED visa.
The MOE test is the reason your 3rd extension will only be 30 days (assuming you were given 60 days for your 1st and 2nd extensions).
If you pass the test and continue to convince the Immigration officer that you’ve been studying Thai, your 4th and 5th extensions will be 60 days each, which adds up to 12 months in total. Here’s a brief timeline:
Remember to apply for a re-entry permit if you plan to leave Thailand while on the ED visa. Failure to do so will result in the cancellation of your ED visa upon re-entering Thailand.
The cost is 1,000 baht for single use, or 3,800 baht for a multiple re-entry permit.
The re-entry permit can be obtained either at Immigration or at the airport (both Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang).
Having a re-entry permit DOES NOT exempt you from your visa extensions. You must come back to Thailand in time for your extension or your ED visa will be revoked once past the extension date.
A re-entry permit is ONLY valid as long as your current “extension of stay” stamp is valid for.
Leaving thailand with a re-entry permit will keep your current extension of stay “alive”. When you re-enter thailand you will be stamped in for the same “admitted until date” as your extension of stay.
The countdown for filing your 90 day report resets every time you re-enter Thailand. Your next 90 day report will be due 89 days from the date you enter thailand because they count the day you enter as day 1.
DO NOT throw out your old receipt of filing a 90 day report (even though the due date of your next report is wrong). Keep it and turn it in along with the TM.47 90 days reporting form when you file your next 90 day report.