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Visa Requirements

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Thailand Education Visa

Who Can Apply to be a Student in Thailand?

Any nationality can apply to be a student in Thailand although students from Bangladesh, China, India, the Middle East, Nigeria and Sri Lanka who need an education (“ED”) visa will have to apply at the Thai embassy in their own country.  Please note that “ED” visas are only available to students over 12 years of age and, for an English language course, to holders of non-native English country passports.

How Long Can I Study in Thailand For?

Students can study full-time in Thailand for up to 3 years on an “ED” visa.  For students wishing to study for periods of 8 weeks or fewer, the “ED” visa is not necessary and any visa is acceptable to study at IH Chiang Mai.

How Do I Get an “ED” Visa?

Once you have applied for one of our courses and paid the deposit, you will need to send us, by mail:

  • 3 recent photos of you (4cm x 6cm).
  • Your original course application form, signed by you.
  • 3 copies of the photo page of your passport or travel documents, original size, signed by you.
  • Completed and signed Personal History Check and Purpose of Attendance forms

Student approval with the Ministry of Education usually takes between 3 and 5 weeks.  Once we have received this and your final payment, we will send you, by mail:

  • Letter of incorporation from IH Chiang Mai.
  • Full details of the course that you have signed up for.
  • The Ministry of Education student approval document.

You will then need to produce these documents, along with your visa application form and payment to your local Thai embassy.

How Much Does the “ED” Visa Cost?

The visa currently costs 2,000 baht but please check with your local Thai embassy as this may vary.  Although you can use the same visa for up to 3 years, it has to be extended every 90 days by visiting the Thai Immigration Office in Chiang Mai.  The cost of each 90 day extension is currently 1,900 baht.

What If I Don’t Need an “ED” Visa?

There are a number of other visa options available from your local Thai embassy:

  • The 60 day tourist visa: This visa currently costs 1,900 baht although you will need to check with your embassy as this can vary.  This tourist visa can be extended for a further 30 days by visiting the Thai Immigration Office in Bangkok.  The extension currently costs 1,900 baht.
  • All other non-immigration visas: For students who are coming to Thailand to work, retire, marry and carry out a variety of research and academic duties, your visa will enable you to also study at IH Chiang Mai.
  • Immigration Exemption: For most countries, you are able to receive a 30 day visa exemption on arrival at the airport. You can extend this visa exemption by 30 days for a total of 60 days.