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Education Visa


For visitors to Thailand who wish to stay for a year or longer without the inconvenience of quarterly border runs, the Thai Immigration Department introduced the ‘ED visa’ or to give it its full title – the Education Visa.

This visa permits a visitor to stay for one year, providing they fulfill the requirements, get accepted, and sign up and attend a one year course in a feature of Thai culture. For most this means learning to speak Thai. The course needs to be with an academy accredited by the Ministry of Education. At the end of the year they can sign up again for a further year. Currently some visitors have been able to benefit from this scheme for 3 consecutive years.

However this should not be viewed as a ‘cheap’ way to stay in Thailand. Language academies are required to report attendance records of ED visa holders to the immigration department. Anyone abusing the arrangement by frequent non-attendance (without a valid reason), could have their visa revoked, which gives very little time for the visitor to pack their bags and leave the country.

Generally no language academies make a charge for processing an application, though there maybe an administration charge for costs incurred for a failed application. In two years we have never experienced a failed application.

When comparing course costs between language academies, be sure you are comparing like for like. At TLC for example, we charge 27,900 baht for a 180 period (one year) course including textbook. Some other academies are offering a 180 period course for 25,000 baht, which on the face of it is cheaper.

However TLC periods are 55 minutes long. For a lower price, some other academies offer only 40 minute periods. So on a 40 minute period basis the cost is 208 baht per hour, whilst the TLC rate is only 169 baht per hour. At TLC we do not believe that 40 minutes is sufficient time for a period to learn a foreign language.

In addition we periodically arrange cultural activities for students to practice the Thai they have learned in a practical way.


The application process is simple, providing you have the documentation – a completed application form, a passport with at least 12 months time before expiration and 5 passport size photographs. You will also be required to pay the full course fee on application.

We submit your application to the Ministry of Education who on acceptance will issue a letter entitling you to apply for the visa. If you are in Thailand on a Non Immigrant ‘O’ visa, or a tourist visa you will need to make that application at an overseas Thai consulate. We give you all the necessary paperwork and addresses of consulates in nearby countries. They are conversant with applications through TLC.

If you are currently in Thailand and would like to discuss your options, please visit our office with your passport so that one of our consultants can assess your situation and advise you on the best solution for a successful application.

If you are not yet in Thailand, we can send you the application forms to your overseas address. Be sure when making the application at a consulate that you request a ‘Single Entry ED Visa’.

If you need an express application processed we incur courier and other fees and these will be passed on to the applicant. Application normally takes 2-3 weeks, but an express service is sometimes possible within a 7-10 day time frame. An express application costs about 2,000 baht extra.


Once you have your ED visa you are entitled to stay for 90 days. Every 90 days you will need to go to an immigration office in Thailand to get it extended for a further 90 days at a cost of 1,900 baht, payable to the immigration department. However, if you give us the authority to do so, we can do this on your behalf, at an additional cost of 7,600 baht for the year – which we pay to immigration for you. We can also handle your 90 day reporting at immigration which is also necessary to confirm your present address. There is no charge for this service.

Some language academies will claim a ‘special relationship’ with the immigration department to enable these things to be done on your behalf. This very impressive for you! But in practice, any language academy operating within the law is usually able to offer the same service.  We have a very accessible and cooperative immigration office in Hua Hin.


Your Thai language course will run for 45 weeks. Each week there will be 2 days to learn, 2 hours each day. There is a 10 minute break after 55 minutes. Classes are held in mornings (10am to 12am) and afternoons (1pm to 3pm) and new classes are starting almost every week. There may be a one week gap between a course ending and another course starting. A course is 20 periods. You will be learning with other ED visa holders and also non ED visa holders taking classes. In general there are 6-8 students in a class.

Initially, the course curriculum is structured to give you progressive ability to speak Thai in every day situations. We operate 9 levels of instruction. You can move on to whichever course you feel capable of benefitting from. If you wish to re-take a level, that’s fine – or if you already have some understanding of Thai and wish to start at a higher level, that’s fine too. Our native Thai teachers will help to assess your ability to fit you in at the right level.


There is no doubt that learning to speak Thai is of great benefit to visitors to Thailand. It makes the stay more fulfilling and Thais love to hear foreigners speaking to them in their own language – even if not perfectly. Our classes also introduce Thai reading and writing to you. Whilst looking at Thai script may seem bewildering, it is in fact very logical and is of enormous benefit to you when you pronounce the consonants and vowels in speaking Thai. And when you can read a very simple Thai word, perhaps on a billboard or car registration plate, it gives a really good feeling of accomplishment!

Another benefit is the new friends you will make in class. Many lasting friendships, golfing partnerships … and more, have resulted from attending Thai classes at TLC. From time to time we have a Thai Culture trip, perhaps to a famous landmark or to a temple. There students can practice the Thai they have been learning in the company of their peers.


So you are convinced you need an ED visa? Great! If you are in Thailand you can call in to our office (we are open 7 days a week, 9am – 8pm). You will find us on the 3rd floor of Wongchomsin Building, 83/14 Phetkasem Road, Hua Hin 77110. It’s a new cream coloured building directly opposite the Citin Loft apartment building. There is a chemist (drug store) at street level below our school.

Alternatively, give us a call on (0066) (0) 32 533 428 during office hours
or (0066) (0) 81 341 3274 outside of office hours. (Thai time is GMT + 7 hours).

Finally you may email us at or

Naturally, we all speak English!


The original TLC.  Imitated – but never bettered!


Copyright © 2010 All Rights Reserved.

83/14 Wongchomsin Building Suite 303 on 3rd Floor Phetkasem Rd,
(between Soi 63/1 and 65) Hua Hin, Prachuabkirikhan 77110

Phone: 032 533 428  Mobile: 081 341 3274 (Tum), 084 123 3428 (Office)