Student visa instructions for students at LILS
Updated on April 27th, 2015.
The official name of student visas in Thailand is “Non-Immigrant ED visa”, or “ED visa” for short. If you would find a job in Thailand you would need to change your visa into a Non-Immigrant B as you are not allowed to work in Thailand while on a student visa.
An ED visa is issued for the duration of your course. You can enter Thailand on an ED visa before your course starts but preferably not more than 45 days ahead.
You cannot apply for your ED visa in Krabi. You have to apply at a Thai Embassy or Consulate abroad. Most students apply in Vientiane (Laos) or in their home countries.
Most Thai Embassies and Consulates will only issue Single Entry ED-visas (not multiple entries). If you have a single entry ED visa you will get 90 days stamped in your passport when you enter Thailand. When 90 days have passed you will need to make an extension of your visa at Krabi Immigration for another 90 days. In order to get the extension you need to have good class attendance (minimum of 80% recommended).
You will continue to do 90 day extensions at Krabi Immigration for the duration of your course, but not longer than one year in total. If you would like to study longer you will need to apply for a new student visa abroad. Extensions can only be done in Krabi as the school is located here.
If you would get a Multiple Entry ED visa you will get 90 days stamped in your passport when you enter Thailand. You will then have to leave Thailand every 90 days in order to activate your next three months of visa. If you are not sure of the difference between an entry stamp and the visa sticker please check with the school as it is important that you know which date you need to leave.
IMPORTANT: If you have a Single Entry ED visa you cannot leave Thailand without losing your visa. If you want to travel abroad you need to get a Re-Entry Permit at an Immigration Office before you leave.
Preparation for ED visas
You need many documents in order to get your visa application approved. Please start your visa application process at least six weeks before you intend to apply.
Hand in or send the following documents by post to LILS at least six weeks before you plan to apply for your visa:
Pay your course fee to LILS. Minimum one year (48 weeks) course fee for the Standard Course or three months deposit for the Intensive Course. Email us for payment instructions.
When we have received your documents and course fee we will apply for an official letter of approval for you at the Thai Ministry of Education. When we receive that document we will add some more and send them to you by post.
When you have received the documents bring all of them together with your passport, two passport photos and the visa fee to your chosen Thai Embassy or Consulate. There you will have to fill in a visa application form unless you have already downloaded the form from the Embassy's website and filled it in beforehand. Some Embassies ask for more documents from you, such as proof of sufficient funds or flight tickets, so be sure to check their website or call them beforehand.
Please always check the Embassy's or Consulate's website or call them for the latest updates regarding their visa application instructions. Thai rules change often and each Thai Embassy applies the rules differently. It is also a good idea to check if there are Thai or National public holidays coming up as the Embassy will then (usually) be closed.
The ED visa application process at the Embassy usually takes two days (hand in on Day 1 in the morning and get it back in the afternoon on Day 2) but can take longer in high season. If your ED visa application should be declined please contact us immediately so we can contact the Embassy or Consulate by phone and try to sort out the issue.
When you have received your ED visa you will get a 90 day stamp on arrival in Thailand. Remember this date. If you have a single entry ED visa and need to make an extension please tell us at least one month before your 90 days expire so that we can start to prepare the documents for your extension.
If you have a multiple entry ED visa you have to leave Thailand every 90 days. 10 minutes in another country is enough. There are organised visa runs available to the border so you don't have to fly out.
It is your responsibility to check and keep track of your visa expiry dates. If you overstay your visa you will have to pay a fine (500 – 20 000 THB) to Immigration or be sent to the Immigration Detention Centre (similar to a prison).
It is also your responsibility to hand in all applicable documents to us in time for us to prepare your ED visa application. If we need to make an emergency application/extension/notification for you we will charge an emergency fee of 2 000 THB to cover our expenses.