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Thai Immigration Crackdown On Ed Visas

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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.

pattayatimeslogo.png

-- Pattaya Times 2011-07-07 footer_n.gif

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While I fully support closing a loophole that allows abuse.. It also has to be said that this cannot be on some arbitrary whim of a desk officer with no grading, assessment, appeal, or standardization. As of course the next thing is all ED visa people will need to pay a small fee, to administer the test (and ensure a pass).

Put in place controls, sure, but clear and transparent controls.

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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.

Hahaha - who said they didn't have a sense of humor? :D

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I have been using an ED visa for the past 5 years, but I will graduate this year.

I have a high GPA, and am on the Dean's List.

I used to work part-time as a teacher.

I think it is silly, not to allow real students to work at all.

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Well good thing to do. Just hope that my school is 100% legit.

I think they are, because they actually advertise at (outside) Pattaya immigration.

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Walen is not affected by this or? Do those Skype students need to attend the classrooms now too?

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What impact would this have on folks attending classes at a distance via online methods, as some schools allow for? Guess as long as they're attending the classes, it doesn't matter the means by which they are attending, no?

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"A guy came in and wanted to renew his Education visa for a 7th straight year. .. 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

Gee, that sounds terribly unfair! Maybe this guy was just a slow leaner!

Like this lass:

http://www.japanprob...udying-english/

:)

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Great news! But they should have done it years ago!

Even though these "students" can take care of them self, it shows clearly that they do not wish to integrate themselves. If you do not have sufficient qualifications to get a job in a foreign country and you are not retired, the least you can do is to learn the language, integrate yourself and then try to positively contribute to the society. Those who just want to be here without doing anything, should not be here!

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All you people who are cheering this are absolute scum, you know that? At least people who use ED visa's are trying to do something to stay here legitimately.

Some of you lot forget that we are essentially all here for similar reasons, it's just that not all of us are lucky enough to have a job or be over a certain age so that we can get the visa we need...

You might laugh now while you have your comfortable retirement visa or whatever it is, but one day they'll clamp down on those as well - then perhaps you'll wish you weren't quite so gleeful about the struggles of the rest of us to stay here. Morons. Shameful

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Great news! But they should have done it years ago!

Even though these "students" can take care of them self, it shows clearly that they do not wish to integrate themselves. If you do not have sufficient qualifications to get a job in a foreign country and you are not retired, the least you can do is to learn the language, integrate yourself and then try to positively contribute to the society. Those who just want to be here without doing anything, should not be here!

Are you sure you are talking about pattaya?

What about schools in other regions will be there crackdown too? or it is pattaya immigration initiative only?

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..... 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"

Oh how funny - oh how good and right this was!!! Once again I will get many angry answers to my statement - but I don't care.

There is a real need of much more, sufficient controls towards all those "visa-gangsters". Not attending 80% of the lessons, not passing two tests each term - kick them out of here.

Well done! Go ahaed with that strict policy.

This is not sarcastic, not ironoc. It's my honest opinion.

And: I am not over a certain age to retire. I don't have enough money to stay here without doing anything than hanging around. I am working for my money and for my visa.

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BANGKOK 22 July 2017 13:34
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