WHERE TO APPLY?
Thongsook College students are required to apply for their Education visa at Immigration Division I in Bangkok.
It is highly recommended for students to enter the Kingdom on a 60-day Tourist Visa rather than receiving a 30-day tourist stamp upon arrival.
In addition to the time required for the college to prepare documents, Immigration requires there be a minimum of 15 days remaining on the existing visa. If a student's visa expires prior to transferring to an Education Visa, they must exit the country and apply for a new tourist visa in a neighboring country.
To avoid having to leave the Kingdom when applying for an Education Visa, enter Thailand on a 60-day tourist visa rather than the 30-day stamp tourists receive upon arrival.
HOW SOON CAN I GET MY EDUCATION VISA?
The college will begin preparing Education visa documents for students who have received official notification of acceptance from the Faculty of International Programs and have completed course registration and paid all related fees for their first semester.
HOW DOES IMMIGRATION DETERMINE WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE AN EDUCATION VISA?
Students who have registered at a college or university licensed by the Ministry of Education and have also registered for courses and paid all tuition fees for the upcoming semester are eligible.
HOW LONG DOES MY EDUCATION VISA LAST?
The original Education visa stamp is valid for 90 days.
In order to keep the Education Visa active, students must obtain Visa Extension documents from Thongsook College and apply for Visa Extensions at immigration division 1. The documents must show that the student has registered and paid for courses for the upcoming Semester and that the courses listed in the previous extension request were completed and graded.
Thongsook Students receive the following extension stamps
6 month extension - must register and show proof of payment for 18-21 credits in semesters 1 or 2
90 day extension - must register and show proof of payment for 12-15 credits in semesters 1 or 2
Immigration does not count courses studied in Semester 3 when determining the extension, however it is a requirement of the Ministry of Education that students complete a minimum of three credits in Semester 3.
Students who study less than 12 credits in either semester 1 or semester 2 do not qualify for an Education Visa.
Provided the student maintains the minimum course requirement and continues to pay all tuition fees as is required, the Education Visa remains valid until graduation is approved by the College Academic Board. Once approved, a student has 24 hours to leave the country and re-enter on a new visa.
WHEN DO I NEED TO EXTEND MY VISA?
Visa extensions can be processed when there is less than 30 days remaining on the current stamp. Immigration prefers students on a Education visa to extend early rather than later and the new extension date is dated from the previous expiry date, not the date the student extended, ensuring no time lost for an early extension.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY VISA EXTENSION EXPIRES?
It is the students responsibility to ensure the college has the necessary information to prepare future extension requests in a timely manner. Failure to do this may result in a visa expiry.
Students are able to extend a visa that has expired no more than 7 days, however they are subject to a 500thb penalty per day that must be paid prior to receiving a new extension.
Students who have overstayed their Education visa by more then seven days are required to start the Education process over again by exiting the country and paying the overstay fee and re-entering on a tourist visa.
WILL I EVER RECEIVE LESS THAN A 6 MONTH EXTENSION?
Visas and Visa Extensions are always at the discretion of the immigration officer. Currently, Thongsook students who are studying less than 18 credits in either semester one or semester two will only receive 90 day visas in that semester. Students who have registered for less than 12 credits in semesters one or two do not qualify for an Education Visa
In addition, immigration may reduce the length of your visa for the following reasons:
Filing your 90 day report late
Extending your visa late
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR EXITING AND RE-ENTERING THE COUNTRY?
The Education Visa is a single-entry visa which means that when you exit the country your visa will automatically expire.
To prevent this from happening a re-entry permit can be purchased at Immigration Division I or from the airport at the time of departure. If purchasing the re-entry permit, it is recommended to check the hours the re-entry counter is open, particularly if it is an early morning or late night flight. It is also suggested to obtain the necessary paperwork in advance and to have passport size photos taken in advance. The cost of a re-entry is 1,000B.
WHAT IS THE EXPECTED DRESS CODE WHEN AT IMMIGRATION?
Appearances in Thailand are very important and the immigration office is no exception. It is important that students are dressed like students. In Thailand this means a white shirt or blouse and black trousers or skirt. Alternatively students can wear the Thongsook College polo shirt along with clean,pressed trousers and clean shoes.
You should never go to immigration in shorts, tshirt, tank tops, or flip-flops. The immigration officer may tell you to go home and change and you may receive a reduced visa extension.