12 Month Student Visa No Longer Available (New Immigration Department Policy)
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Posted 2012-07-17 23:34:58
I am retired and living in Phuket. However, I am not old enough to qualify for a retirement visa.
To solve my visa problem, I am currently enrolled to study Thai at a language school in Patong. About 4 months ago I did a visa run down to Penang and then came back on a 3 month ED visa. A month or so ago, I went to immigration in Phuket Town (with the extension paperwork supplied by my school) and received a 9 month extension. Everything was good and I am also making steady progress with my Thai language skills. I planned to enroll again next year and apply for another 12 month extension. However, on Monday when I arrived at my language school to attend class, the Thai owner of the school advised me that she had just been telephoned by the head of immigration and advised that there is a pending change to policy to do away with 12 month ED visas.
Of course this was of great concern to the Thai owner of the school. It would probably mean bankruptcy (or business closure) for her school and most others.
However it is also of great concern to someone like myself who is relying upon the ED visa to maintain some normality in my life (free from 30 day visa runs) for a few years until I turn 50.
I just joined TV, so that I can share this information and maybe others can shed some light on the situation after speaking to the managers of their language schools.
Hopefully together, we can find out what is going to happen. If there is no further 12 months ED Visa available next year, I may need to sell up and move to Cambodia or another country. I imagine there will be many other "mature aged" students out there that will have to do the same.
Please let me know if you have any further information on this pending policy change and I will also provide any updates that I receive.
Posted 2012-07-18 00:35:25
"...there is a pending change to policy to do away with 12 month ED visas...."
Given the current wholesale abuse of these ED visas that is of no great surprise to me.
Posted 2012-07-18 01:50:51
I get similare information at my school yesterday and there is a meeting on this Friday with immigration,ministery of Education and the schools.There is a new team in Immigration in Phuket so they want to show there power and it sure in the end will be something that cost students more money to immigrations pocket We will know on Friday.
Posted 2012-07-18 01:54:24
Is this a Phuket thing or a national thing?
Either way, this sounds like potential big news.
Posted 2012-07-18 02:28:17
Does not surprise me. People on here and other forums openly talk about how they use this type of visa in Thailand to either study legitimately or to just have an extended stay in Thailand.
Immigration have long used websites and forums as research to close perceived “loop holes”
Posted 2012-07-18 02:40:31
For language and other studies at private schools, immigration offices generally grant extensions of stay for only 90 days at a time, unless it is a degree-earning course, usually at a government university. The Phuket immigration office appears to have made exceptions and it may have been instructed to follow the general immigration guidelines now.
Posted 2012-07-18 05:22:43
I certainly hope that your interpretation is true. In which case, it sounds like actually a trivial impact on ED visa users and schools. I think it's a fantastic program and option for foreigners to stay long term in Thailand while studying something, quite often the Thai language. Good for the foreigners and good for Thailand. It would be a shame to see a major "crackdown" that might gut this appealing program.
Posted 2012-07-18 05:50:05
Because of the mass abuse of this visa, they really should stop it altogether. Given up counting the amount of people that talk about having an ED Visa and never attending a college. Its a money spinner for the schools and its unfair to those of us that have gone through he correct channels to process our appropriate visas. Get rid of it!
Posted 2012-07-18 06:18:14
It's amazing the degree of mean-spiritedness coming mostly by foreigners against other foreigners on this forum. Happily, the wonderful Thai immigration authorities are in practice MUCH more reasonable. The ED visa used according the rules IS a totally proper, totally legitimate visa. It's very offensive to suggest otherwise.
Posted 2012-07-18 06:37:33
Totally agree with above comments, so many people abuse this option, so checks need to be put in place to weed out the ones who abuse this option.
Posted 2012-07-18 06:39:21
Actually, you clearly don't totally agree. The guy said he wants to TRASH the entire ED visa!Totally agree with above comments, so many people abuse this option, so checks need to be put in place to weed out the ones who abuse this option.
Posted 2012-07-18 07:28:54
I do not think it has anything to do with the Immigration departments
checking web forums and noticing that people are abusing this. If this
was the case, getting tourist visa would not be so easy in so many
IMO it is one of two things, they want to make more money from this
type of visa or they want to implement a way to ensure those on an
ED visa actually go to school and learn Thai
Posted 2012-07-18 07:39:23
just to be clear, is this for the ed visa, or in-country extensions? people often confuse the two. looks like op was referring to extensions, and only in phuket.
"The second best time to plant a tree is today" sent from TV android app (Galaxy Cooper).
Posted 2012-07-18 07:46:58
As said Phuket was 'odd man out' by providing one year extensions for part time study - they now seem to be conforming to standard immigration policy of 3 months for this type of extension. As language, and other schools, are operating nationwide under that policy do not see any major effect on them (but perhaps more attention by students who may be subject to more frequent checks on attendance and learning).
Posted 2012-07-18 08:00:00
Totally agree. Seems posters do some crazy thing to avoid legality and then talk and sometimes brag about it on TV about how they got away with it. If you don't think someone in Immigration or Thai Government is not reading these open forems from time to time, I have some resort property to sell you in the Louisiana swamps. A few spoil it for the ones trying to do the right thing. Could care less if you agree or not.
Posted 2012-07-18 13:16:13
A number of off-topic posts removed - this appears to be Phuket observing national immigration policy of 3 month extensions for part time study.
Posted 2012-07-18 13:28:27
Its not mean, thousands of people abuse the system, many working ilegally in boiler rooms. Education visas are abused in many countries, the UK for example, again there it is a sham and money spinner. The time effort etc involved for me and thousands others to keep within immigration/labour laws, this just makes a mockery of us.It's amazing the degree of mean-spiritedness coming mostly by foreigners against other foreigners on this forum. Happily, the wonderful Thai immigration authorities are in practice MUCH more reasonable. The ED visa used according the rules IS a totally proper, totally legitimate visa. It's very offensive to suggest otherwise.
Posted 2012-07-18 13:47:03
Perhaps they have found out that many ''students ladies'' own bars eh. Perhaps trying to teach Ruskies Thai is getting nowhere.
Posted 2012-07-18 13:47:30
I, like the OP am under 50 so what you are saying is that you are entitled to some form of long stay visa but we shouldn't be? A rather ignorant case of "I'm all right Jack"Its not mean, thousands of people abuse the system, many working ilegally in boiler rooms. Education visas are abused in many countries, the UK for example, again there it is a sham and money spinner. The time effort etc involved for me and thousands others to keep within immigration/labour laws, this just makes a mockery of us.
Posted 2012-07-18 13:59:37
Are you saying you should be able to ''fiddle'' stuff so you can reside here ?I, like the OP am under 50 so what you are saying is that you are entitled to some form of long stay visa but we shouldn't be? A rather ignorant case of "I'm all right Jack"
Posted 2012-07-18 14:06:49
I am not saying I should be able to fiddle things but if followed correctly why shouldn't I be allowed an Education Visa? Please don't tell me that all retirement and marriage visas are legit, falsified financial statements, scam marriages.............Are you saying you should be able to ''fiddle'' stuff so you can reside here ?
Posted 2012-07-18 14:10:20
Why would you care about other peoples VISA or how they got it?
dam_n! you just made me 'like' a post by JT.
Mean-spirited describes it exactly.
Edited by TommoPhysicist, 2012-07-18 14:11:52.
Posted 2012-07-18 14:16:27
Of course there are loop holes in anything, BUT it is plainly obvious to me and l think immigration that farangs are using the visa for their own ends. Read here in the past that farangs pay the school dosh, get the visa and don't attend. It's a farang scam. BUT, very easy for immigration to control it by telling the schools they must have attendance registers, and if the school falsifies the register they will be prosecuted. I say this cos l don't understand how farangs are running farang girly bars and getting away with it, perhaps this loop hole is one reason how. For sure l don't know but something is making immigration look at the ED visa.
Posted 2012-07-18 21:16:41
Oh dear...my very first post on TV, and it has been met with a barrage of poisonous replies that add nothing to clarify the issue raised.
Good Lord, some people have dreadful little lives. If you have nothing more to contribute than hateful piffle, turn off your computer and go for a walk in the night air.
For the handful of members that sought add something positive to the discussion, here is my update as promised:
At present the ED visa is good for 3 years. The current curriculum approved by the MOE is comprised of a beginner, intermediate and advanced level. One year is permitted to complete each level.
New staff at Phuket immigration, have suggested to owners and managers of the island's language schools, that the curriculum should be condensed to six months for each level, with a maximum time on a student visa of eighteen months.
The schools have expressed their collective concerns to the new immigration staff and, as a result, a brainstorming meeting has been scheduled for this coming Friday.
It would seem that the mooted policy change has originated specifically from Phuket.
When I spoke with the owner of my language school today I was told that the following points will no doubt be raised during the discussions on Friday:
I will endeavor to provide a further update in the wake of the impending meeting.
Posted 2012-07-18 21:25:09
Who are your ''poisonous replies'' aimed at ? Me ? Immigration is weeding out the scammers, Yes/No. Your school WANTS the cash, they don't care the students reason for being there, the CASH flow counts. And thats cool, a business, BUT, if lowlifes are using it to set up dodgy girlie businesses then why shouldn't the authorities do their stuff. ?
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