Education Visa in Thailand

The Education Visa in Thailand: What Is It?

The Non-Immigrant ED Visa, commonly known as the education or student visa, is intended for foreign nationals who wish to enter Thailand for educational purposes. This encompasses:

  • Studying at Thai universities and schools;
  • Internships in corporations;
  • Participation in official projects and seminars;
  • Attendance at scientific conferences;
  • Participation in training and educational courses;
  • Studies as a Buddhist monk.

The education visa allows foreigners to study not only in traditional educational institutions such as schools and universities but also in language schools where Thai or other languages are taught. Furthermore, many choose courses in Thai boxing, diving, massage, and culinary master classes.


The primary requirement for obtaining a Thai ED visa is confirmation of enrollment in an accredited educational institution in Thailand, along with standard documents such as a passport, visa application form, and photographs.

It is recommended to verify the latest requirements from Thai embassies and consulates or directly contact the chosen educational institution. Many international schools or universities in Thailand provide visa support.

When applying for an ED visa at a Thai consulate abroad, the following are usually required:

  • Relevant documents from your educational institution;
  • Proof of sufficient financial means, such as a bank statement.

It should be noted that document requirements may vary depending on the type of educational institution: government, private, religious, or corporate. Additionally, citizens of certain countries must apply for a visa only at the Thai Embassy or Consulate-General in their home country or country of residence.

Language schools typically offer two methods for obtaining an ED visa. The first is obtaining the visa at a Thai embassy or consulate before arrival. The second, more popular method is entering on a tourist visa and converting it to an ED visa through the school. Procedure details can be clarified on the website of the specific language school, such as the Thai Language Center at Chulalongkorn University.

The initial ED visa is valid for 90 days. Extensions:

  • “Formal” education (e.g., studies in schools and universities) – up to 1 year.
  • “Informal” education (e.g., language courses) – up to 90 days.

Issues with the ED Visa

The education visa for studying Thai or other languages has become a popular option among foreigners who wish to stay in Thailand for an extended period, especially if they do not qualify for other visa types. However, recently, visas of this category have become subject to misuse: they are often used not for educational purposes but as a means for long-term residency in the country.

The purpose of the educational visa is for studying. This implies an obligation to strictly follow the curriculum and attend classes regularly. Non-compliance with these requirements, such as frequent class absences or regular trips abroad, can lead to serious consequences, such as visa cancellation or deportation.

In response to the increasing number of violations and the spread of “visa factories” instead of real schools, Thai authorities have tightened control and toughened the conditions for issuing and extending educational visas. Having educational visas in your visa history can complicate obtaining other visa categories, including the “Thailand Privilege” visa.

If your primary goal is not education and you want to stay in Thailand for a long time, consider other visa options.

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