Education Visa in Thailand

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Last edited: June 23, 2019 at 07:04:55

The non-immigrant ED visa or in short: Education Visa is one of the most popular ways to stay in Thailand longterm, while at the same time learning something useful.


A. study Thai language

B. study Chinese language

C. do a Self-Defence Course

Train to learn how to defend yourself during one year in Thailand and get a 1-year Education Visa
Doing a one-year Self Defense course in Chiang Mai is one of the ways to stay in Thailand for one year

Most foreigners choose to study Thai language because obviously it's useful to speak your local lingo if you stay longer, but it depends very much on your own interests and the amount of time and effort you want to spend on a study when choosing your course.

The PROCEDURES to get an ED visa are exactly the same for whatever course you do, however the CONDITIONS of study are not the same. This means that in one school you would need to study 400 hours per year while in another school you could do with 180 hours per year.
The reason for this is that while the laws are national, the authorities that approve the school program are local, so there are variations in which schools and which programs are allowed to provide the ED visa. This can depend on different interpretations of the rules by local authorities and it can also depend on the relationship of a certain school with such authorities.

Because conditions of the study program vary amongst schools, you as a foreign student can benefit from that by choosing the program that best suits your needs.


The procedures for student visas are a bit different from other visa. The school you will be attending plays a central role. Together with the school you will have to prepare and submit sets of documents before and during your year of study.

Here are the steps you have to take:


Not all schools provide programs that allow for the ED Visa, only schools which have been approved by the Ministry of Education. Most foreigners choose a program based on their interests, the area they (want to) live in, and the conditions of the study.
To make things easy, we have selected a number of good study programs for you in various areas of town, with attractive study conditions.

Study Thai either in group classes or in private class
Learning Thai in private class or in group class (in TSL Language School Chiang Mai)


You need to fill out a set of documents with the school. You need to submit copy passport and passport photos and you need to specify in which Embassy / Consulate you wish to pick up the first entry of your ED visa.

This means that you cannot just stay on in Thailand if you're applying from within Thailand, you need to travel to a Thai Embassy / Consulate abroad to pick up the first ED visa entry. Most foreigners in Chiang Mai choose to pick up the first entry in Vientiane, Laos, because this Embassy is rather smooth and not so far from Chiang Mai, so it will incur not too high travel costs.

However, if you're applying from abroad, you can save yourself time and money by applying for your ED visa before you enter Thailand. You can then simply pick up the first entry in the country where you are at that moment.

Note that the time needed to process your application is about 5 weeks.


Go to the Embassy / Consulate that you selected and ask for the ED visa. Bring passport, passport photos, money and proof of income or savings. Some Embassies are stricter than others, it's better to bring sufficient proof of everything so that you can answer in case of further questions.

Additional documentation that authorities could ask for are:
- proof of income: to show that the applicant can support him/herself and doesn't not work in Thailand;
- two year visa history, personal history check and purpose of attending the course.

The first entry of your education visa has to be issued from an embassy or consulate abroad


From the date that you enter Thailand, your first entry lasts 3 months.


Your stay in Thailand starts from the moment that you enter Thailand. Immigration demands that you report to them every 90 days.
About 14 days before your 90 days are up, you should be in contact with your school to prepare documents to report. Some schools are more active and more organised that others, so keep an eye on this calendar yourself. Some schools send admin staff to go with you, others let you pick up the documents by yourself and you have to go alone.

If you report later than 90 days, you have to pay a fine to Immigration. It's better to report early and you're allowed to report up to about 14 days before.

If you study Thai language, Immigration may ask some questions to students randomly to check if you're really studying.

Third entry of the first year non-immigrant ED visa,
officially 180 days (but effectively being 179 days)


If for whatever reason you need to leave the country during your year of study, you need to get a Re-entry Permit from Immigration, if not you will lose your visa. You need to apply for a single re-entry or a multiple re-entry permit (different prices) at Immigration.

The 2nd and 3rd year you simply get an entire calendar year stamp in your passport


Before your 1-year ED visa expires, you can extend it by applying for a new year of study. Again, you need to pick up the first entry outside of the country. You need a few weeks of preparation time for that.

As of now, the rules are that you can apply for an ED visa with the same school for a maximum of 3-4 years (often depends on the school).


For a 1-year ED visa you need to pay the following fees:

  1. the school fees: this varies per school and per program between THB 15,000 and THB 40,000 for a 1-year study
  2. the fees for the first entry of your ED-visa to be paid to the Embassy / Consulate amount: about THB 3,000
  3. the fees for 90-day reporting to be paid to Immigration: THB 1,900 for each entry, so for a period of 1 year you pay a total of THB 5,700.


TSL Language School Chiang Mai 1-3 years ED visa

DISCLAIMER: This information was compiled from several sources and best-practises. Policies, prices and procedures of the Thai authorities change continuously. CM Locator accepts no liability for incorrectness of information here. Help us keep this information as update and useful for visa applicants as possible and let us know if you find something has changed.

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What do you think about this article?

chan Posted on March 19, 2021 at 15:43:48
How much do I need to prove income a month in order to apply ED Visa?
Do I still need to go to Thai Embassy to apply Visa in US? I am live in America.
Tatiana Molina Posted on July 31, 2020 at 11:50:31

I am interested in a Chineses course. How much it cost and how many classes per week?


Admin Locator Posted on June 21, 2020 at 10:55:49
@John Michael Schmidt: There are no age requirements for an education visa. You can find the list of most attractive education visa programs here.
John Michael Schmidt Posted on January 13, 2020 at 11:45:02
Are there age requirements for an education visa? Where is there a listing of which language schools are approved for education?
Michael Gray Posted on October 18, 2019 at 03:53:43
Hello, I am trying to find the latest updates on the ED visa. Can I still get the one year Education visa for learning Thai with 90 day reporting? I am a U.S. citizen. In the future I plan to register myself as a sole proprietor under the Treaty of Amity. So, a foundation for my future will be to learn Thai to a point I can learn on my own. Thank you for your time and information.
joe Posted on October 13, 2019 at 14:38:11
I want to get an Education visa。can you send a quotation to my e-mail. thanks
nouman ahmad Posted on May 22, 2019 at 11:21:04
i go too student visa

Yun Sun-yong Posted on February 24, 2019 at 13:26:02
치앙마이에서 학생 비자로 1년 간 공부하고 싶습니다.
올 해 입학이 가능 한지 여부와 가능하다면 학생비자를 받는 과정을 다세히 알고 싶습니다.

Ahmed Dawood Posted on August 19, 2018 at 08:44:20
Hi There

My name is Ahmed, I'm from Iraq and currently living in Bali, Indonesia. I'm looking for possibility to visit in Chiang Mai and stay there for 1 year under student visa. Could you please share more details and fees with me.

Best Regards
Ahmed Dawood
walter tshibasu curtis Posted on April 23, 2018 at 12:15:00
i want to get an Education visa
Walter tshibasu curtis Posted on April 22, 2018 at 11:34:10
I want to have your visa
Naseem Posted on July 05, 2017 at 16:46:38
I want to get admission in Thailand to learn chinese language
JC Posted on December 20, 2016 at 12:30:18
I was always curious studying abroad for US students is more or less difficult than studying at US Universities Our foreign students have many abilities like educational services, but what about Thai?
daman Posted on November 11, 2015 at 17:27:16
very informative web site,,thanks to make this website,,,,,,,,thailand is very sweet country
Admin Locator Posted on August 15, 2014 at 18:27:18
Hello David, for an ED visa, some embassies require proof of sufficient assets to study during one year. You can study in theory unlimited time, but the cycle is 3 years: first year you need to leave first to get the first entry of 3 months, then renew for 9 months, the following 2 years you can easily renew that. Then the cycle starts again. It is, however, likely that ED visa requirements will become somewhat stricter in the future, meaning proof of income may be asked more often or may become standard.
David Posted on August 15, 2014 at 16:21:50
Dear School
I have 2questions

1. For get a ED visa, does I need a income of money or a asset of money?
2. How long can I study in Thailand? 10 years or less.

Thank you in advance
Best regards
Mr. David