Thai Immigration Department Crackdown on Education Visas Imminent

The Pattaya Times is reporting the Thailand Ministry of Education has warned schools offering education visas to foreigners, in exchange for a Non-immigrant ED-Visa so they can stay in the country for a year, that they must make sure their students are legitimately attending classes, studying and taking the appropriate exams.

If not, schools could be held liable and have their licenses taken away. Students will also have their education visas cancelled.

For many non-Thais in Thailand, this news probably doesn’t come as much of a shock.

After all, too many foreigners are signing on for classes so they can “learn Thai”, then never setting foot in the school again. Often, the school doesn’t care, as the classes have already been paid for by the foreigner now not showing up to take them.

Plus, the fewer Thai classes they have to run the better, as they pay out less money to Thai teachers.

At Tasty Thailand, we had heard a while ago that immigration officials were informally testing people with education visas, when they did their 90 day check-in at immigration. Asking them a simple question in Thai and canceling their ED-Visa if they couldn’t answer it, or say much of anything else in Thai.

Again, you cannot blame Thai Immigration for demanding people simply follow the rules.

When I first arrived in Thailand, I took three months of Thai classes.

Within a few weeks, I could string together a few simple sentences and understand basic questions a Thai might ask. If some of the people “taking Thai classes” for at least three months cannot even do that, then it seems likely they are not showing up for class or doing what they should be to keep their education visas active.

In that case, they deserve what Thai Immigration throws at them.