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Hi, I’ve been in and out of Thailand for 1 year now, using TR visas, mostly back to back with a trip home back to the UK inbetween. My last visit back into Thailand I faced an issue where I was pulled aside ... the IO flicked through my passport and wasn’t happy. However, I showed them my income with bank statements, (lucky enough I’m an online university student whose parents pay for me whilst I’m studying) had the cash and an onward ticket..it was fine in the end but the IO told me I should return with an non imm Ed visa .. she made a note in my file that I’m a student & no more TR.  I will be returning after two months back home with an Ed visa.. I also have a new passport as it was needed which I know the system already has my info.. but I assume it looks better to the eye for the IO - to flick through a clean passport. I know nobody can predict whether I’ll face issues but I’d like to hear what people think in regards to me reentering. I’m flying to Krabi as it was a direct flight but I’m studying in Phuket. 

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23 minutes ago, swineninety9 said:

You are studying online or at a university in Thailand?

I study at a UK university online, I had the papers with me to prove that’s what I do. I was advised the education visa just for the fact it’s a not a tourist I think because understandably .. I’m not a tourist. 

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3 minutes ago, DrJack54 said:

I'm really interested in the experts replies. So you study with UK institution and because its online, your able to obtain ed-visa for Thailand??.

No you cannot get a non-ed visa for studying at a school outside of Thailand. It has to be a school registered with the education ministry here.

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2 minutes ago, DrJack54 said:

I'm really interested in the experts replies. So you study with UK institution and because its online, your able to obtain ed-visa for Thailand??. That would be a blast for the backpacker community

Sorry no! I will edit my post. I will be getting the ED visa for a Thai course which was recommended by the previous IO just because it’s a non imm. It’s not possible for my studies. I noted my studying at uni to explain why I’m in Thailand ..first year I spent it in Spain, now I’m in my second year in Thailand.. so I always carry the documents to show IO what I do, bank statements to show money coming in from my family monthly. 

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21 minutes ago, Rose34 said:

I study at a UK university online, I had the papers with me to prove that’s what I do. I was advised the education visa just for the fact it’s a not a tourist I think because understandably .. I’m not a tourist. 

I think the officer misunderstood you. Also you can attend school here without a non-ed visa it can be done on a tourist or any other visa entry.

People only get the non-ed visa to stay here when attending a school here.

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6 minutes ago, Rose34 said:

Sorry no! I will edit my post. I will be getting the ED visa for a Thai course which was recommended by the previous IO just because it’s a non imm. It’s not possible for my studies. I noted my studying at uni to explain why I’m in Thailand ..first year I spent it in Spain, now I’m in my second year in Thailand.. so I always carry the documents to show IO what I do, bank statements to show money coming in from my family monthly. 

In that case you can easily return. Get your end visa but be aware there are many conditions. Many threads on Thaivisa about ed visas for Thailand. They have a cost also and attendance requirements. Have you considered other places such as Vietnam. Just a thought.

Edited by DrJack54
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2 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

I think the officer misunderstood you. Also you can attend school here without a non-ed visa it can be done on a tourist or any other visa entry.

People only get the non-ed visa to stay here when attending a school here.

No it was clear, she knew I studied online. She told me no more tourist visas. When I asked what to do, she said go to a local language school and sign up to it, do a language course, get a non immigrant visa ed that allows 90 day. 

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2 minutes ago, DrJack54 said:

In that case you can easily return. Get your end visa but be aware there are many conditions. Many threads on Thaivisa about end visas for Thailand. They have a cost also and attendance requirements. Have you considered other places such as Vietnam. Just a thought.

Yes, I will be attending definitely, the school I’ve chosen seems to be quite good as they have weekly visits from immigration who sit in the class, so I’m hoping it has a good rep. I’ve already sorted everything out I’m just waiting for the papers. & of course, I know my Thailand days will come to an end unless I search for work once my degree has finished. But it’s hard to leave once you make friends & feel part of something. I just wish it was easier! 

Edited by Rose34
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2 minutes ago, Rose34 said:

Yes, I will be attending definitely, the school I’ve chosen seems to be quite good as they have weekly visits from immigration who sit in the class, so I’m hoping it has a good rep. I’ve already sorted everything out I’m just waiting for the papers. 

Excellent Rose. Seems your sorted.

Re my comment about Saigon... Since your UK you can enter visa exempt for 15 days. Only mention this as UK were only added to ve in last couple of years. Good joint for short break from los.

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What you are planning seems like a good fit.  But do be aware, there are no legal laws/rules limiting Tourist Visa use for repeat-stays based on previous stay-time.  As UJ pointed out, you are allowed to study here while on a Tourist Visa.  It is just some entry-points where some IOs have a problem with this, and have invented their own rules. 

I'm glad they actually looked at your documents / bank-statements - many have been rejected entry at bad entry-points while refusing to consider any evidence which the visitor attempted to present.

 

One reason they like people to use ED Visas, is that many schools offer a "no hassle" extension option, costing 3K to 5K Baht for each extension, some of which pays off immigration to leave you alone.  The bad entry points are trying to maximize these types of income-streams.

 

Also, if you need to leave/return to Thailand while on an ED Visa or extension, you would use a re-entry permit to keep your current permitted-stay alive - but many have reported problems at bad entry points (such as Bangkok airports), so be sure to have a letter from your school, excusing your absence, contact information for school-personnel - or, better yet, just avoid the bad entry points, and you will have no problems at all.  Also, always have 20K Baht in cash - even at good entry-points.

 

Good entry points include all land-borders other than Poipet/Aranyaprathet, and it seems the CM airport is also OK.  At these entry-points, no made-up rules are applied.

Edited by JackThompson
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17 minutes ago, JackThompson said:

What you are planning seems like a good fit.  But do be aware, there are no legal laws/rules limiting Tourist Visa use for repeat-stays based on previous stay-time.  As UJ pointed out, you are allowed to study here while on a Tourist Visa.  It is just some entry-points where some IOs have a problem with this, and have invented their own rules. 

I'm glad they actually looked at your documents / bank-statements - many have been rejected entry at bad entry-points while refusing to consider any evidence which the visitor attempted to present.

 

One reason they like people to use ED Visas, is that many schools offer a "no hassle" extension option, costing 3K to 5K Baht for each extension, some of which pays off immigration to leave you alone.  The bad entry points are trying to maximize these types of income-streams.

 

Also, if you need to leave/return to Thailand while on an ED Visa or extension, you would use a re-entry permit to keep your current permitted-stay alive - but many have reported problems at bad entry points (such as Bangkok airports), so be sure to have a letter from your school, excusing your absence, contact information for school-personnel - or, better yet, just avoid the bad entry points, and you will have no problems at all.  Also, always have 20K Baht in cash - even at good entry-points.

 

Good entry points include all land-borders other than Poipet/Aranyaprathet, and it seems the CM airport is also OK.  At these entry-points, no made-up rules are applied.

Thanks for all the info! I’m hoping Krabi airport will be ok, I’ve never flown into there so not sure. I will always have cash, accommodation and onward tickets, I know maybe I don’t need one for an Ed visa but I’ll buy one anyway after the 3 months just because I know that extensions are a privellage and don’t have to be given. I don’t plan to live throughout my studies so hopefully won’t encounter them sorts of issues! I’m just concerned because of my past record that will show up on the system, my passports clean but.. hopefully it’s not an issue. And if the note shows up I guess it could either help me in terms of they know a IO has recorded what I do.. or that they see it as a negative.

i believe they looked at my documents because I was totally calm, of course I want to go back to Thailand I have friends and my own little life going on there, but I wasn’t going to beg. I stayed calm and quiet .. answered when they asked. 

Edited by Rose34
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8 minutes ago, Rose34 said:

Thanks for all the info! I’m hoping Krabi airport will be ok, I’ve never flown into there so not sure. I will always have cash, accommodation and onward tickets, I know maybe I don’t need one for an Ed visa but I’ll buy one anyway after the 3 months just because I know that extensions are a privellage and don’t have to be given. I don’t plan to live throughout my studies so hopefully won’t encounter them sorts of issues! I’m just concerned because of my past record that will show up on the system, my passports clean but.. hopefully it’s not an issue. And if the note shows up I guess it could either help me in terms of they know a IO has recorded what I do.. or that they see it as a negative.

i believe they looked at my documents because I was totally calm, of course I want to go back to Thailand I have friends and my own little life going on there, but I wasn’t going to beg. I stayed calm and quiet .. answered when they asked. 

You will be fine. Having said that a bloke has current thread here being refused entry at krabi airport. His situation different to yours. I only mention this to back up your idea of having your docs with you. Print outs. Apart from the 20k etc, if you have any condo bookings then great, have print outs. 

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12 minutes ago, DrJack54 said:

You will be fine. Having said that a bloke has current thread here being refused entry at krabi airport. His situation different to yours. I only mention this to back up your idea of having your docs with you. Print outs. Apart from the 20k etc, if you have any condo bookings then great, have print outs. 

I do hope so I'm flying a long way to be denied haha. Hopefully it will go to plan 

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2 hours ago, Rose34 said:

Thanks for all the info! I’m hoping Krabi airport will be ok

With a Non Ed visa, you will not have a problem. However, do not even think of trying to enter through Krabi airport in the future with a tourist visa (or, even worse, visa exempt).

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9 minutes ago, BritTim said:

With a Non Ed visa, you will not have a problem. However, do not even think of trying to enter through Krabi airport in the future with a tourist visa (or, even worse, visa exempt).

But you think with an Ed visa it’s fine? Regardless of my history? Wow I didn’t know that. I’ve searched and only found 2-3 complaints of it. (Of course not everyone turns to the Internet to record their denials) But it all seems to be in reason for nothing having the 3 proofs. The only reason I’m flying there is because it’s a direct flight which I prefer rather than stops! 

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2 hours ago, Rose34 said:

But you think with an Ed visa it’s fine? Regardless of my history? Wow I didn’t know that. I’ve searched and only found 2-3 complaints of it. (Of course not everyone turns to the Internet to record their denials) But it all seems to be in reason for nothing having the 3 proofs. The only reason I’m flying there is because it’s a direct flight which I prefer rather than stops! 

It will be your first entry with a Non Ed. They would need to be really creative to find a justification to deny you entry. I would advise against punching the official in the face. Short of that, you will be admitted.

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9 minutes ago, BritTim said:

It will be your first entry with a Non Ed. They would need to be really creative to find a justification to deny you entry. I would advise against punching the official in the face. Short of that, you will be admitted.

Haha, yes first non immigrant visa. Only ever had tourist visas. Home for 2 months and re entering with the non Ed. Never overstayed or problems like that. 

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17 hours ago, Rose34 said:

I study at a UK university online, I had the papers with me to prove that’s what I do. I was advised the education visa just for the fact it’s a not a tourist I think because understandably .. I’m not a tourist. 

I think you are a tourist you'r just studying while on holliday 

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9 minutes ago, Nanaplaza666 said:

I think you are a tourist you'r just studying while on holliday 

And your basis for this sweeping assertion is ....... ???

 

He sounds pretty genuine to me.

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17 hours ago, DrJack54 said:

Excellent Rose. Seems your sorted.

Re my comment about Saigon... Since your UK you can enter visa exempt for 15 days. Only mention this as UK were only added to ve in last couple of years. Good joint for short break from los.

Nope 30 days. 😆

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1 hour ago, Nanaplaza666 said:

I think you are a tourist you'r just studying while on holliday 

I’ve been i Thailand for a year, whether I left for a few weeks in between or not a year there makes me not really suitable for a tourist visa. I’m being a tourist in Terms of the life I live there but I think it’s time for a change of visa 🙂 

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17 hours ago, Rose34 said:

i believe they looked at my documents because I was totally calm, of course I want to go back to Thailand I have friends and my own little life going on there, but I wasn’t going to beg. I stayed calm and quiet .. answered when they asked. 

However you handled that interview was good - because you would have been denied-entry  if you ticked them off.  That is definitely how to handle it - not trying to pre-answer un-asked questions and keeping your cool.

 

17 hours ago, Rose34 said:

I do hope so I'm flying a long way to be denied haha.

Krabi Airport - yuk - not a friendly place.  You mentioned the school have immigration visit weekly and sit-in on classes - which is a good thing.  This means the school is paying off immigration in a way satisfactory to them (that officer isn't showing up for nothing).  But, whether Krabi Airport Immigration will respect this arrangement (if not in on the action), is another issue.  If the school is in Krabi, that is a plus, and the IO (or supervisor) should know there is an arrangement, and be happy.

 

I generally agree with others, that a denial is unlikely given a fresh and 1st ED Visa (even at that entry-point).  But I would have your school-paperwork handy in your carry-on luggage when you enter - including contact-info for someone at the school they can call to verify.  Also, have all the other info you presented to the other IO and state, very politely, that this is what you showed the other IO for you As A Student, and that you followed their instructions by adding a Thai course to your overseas-studies. 


EDIT: And have 20K Baht worth of cash or travelers checks (can be another currency).  Plastic doesn't count - cannot go to an ATM.

 

14 hours ago, Rose34 said:

But you think with an Ed visa it’s fine? Regardless of my history? Wow I didn’t know that. I’ve searched and only found 2-3 complaints of it. (Of course not everyone turns to the Internet to record their denials) But it all seems to be in reason for nothing having the 3 proofs. The only reason I’m flying there is because it’s a direct flight which I prefer rather than stops! 

There are fewer reports about Krabi Airport, because there is lower volume there.  By contrast, many reports on Bangkok Airports (both) as a poor choice (hate ED Visa users there).  We have more data on Chang Mai Airport, which indicate it is a better choice (if one must enter by air).

Edited by JackThompson
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 12/23/2018 at 1:00 PM, ubonjoe said:

No you cannot get a non-ed visa for studying at a school outside of Thailand. It has to be a school registered with the education ministry here.

Ubonjoe sorry to open this back up. I now have my Non imm Ed issued, stamped in my passport.. what is your opinion on my situation? Do you think I will be scrutinised? I fly in a few days. 

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Let me jump in here and say that getting a Non-Imm ED VISA just after having had several tourist VISAS or Exempt entries is a big red flag.  Especially if you've also obtained a new passport--which they can link to your old passport. That said, you seem well prepared for the worst. Good Luck!

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38 minutes ago, mosan said:

Let me jump in here and say that getting a Non-Imm ED VISA just after having had several tourist VISAS or Exempt entries is a big red flag.  Especially if you've also obtained a new passport--which they can link to your old passport. That said, you seem well prepared for the worst. Good Luck!

The new passport was needed I’m not silly to think they wouldn’t know history! .. the non imm Ed was advised by the IO after seeing my school papers and after saying 4 visas is too many. Also like I said i have proof of income from outside of Thailand & will have the 3 proofs. 

Edited by Rose34
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4 hours ago, Rose34 said:

The new passport was needed I’m not silly to think they wouldn’t know history! .. the non imm Ed was advised by the IO after seeing my school papers and after saying 4 visas is too many. Also like I said i have proof of income from outside of Thailand & will have the 3 proofs. 

It's not an issue if you enter at a law-following entry point.  If you are planning on flying into a hornet's nest airport, all I can say is "good luck."   I recall an IO told you go to with the ED - which is odd, since they generally hate ED-Visa holders. 

Have your school-paperwork, a contact at your school they can call, proof of where you will be staying upon arrival, your boarding-pass (don't leave it on the plane), and 20K Baht worth of cash or travelers checks. 

 

I would give you very good odds with all that, combined with the time-out back in the USA (clearly, you aren't working illegally) - I just hate gambling on such things with IOs who may do things arbitrarily, which one cannot prepare for.

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6 minutes ago, JackThompson said:

It's not an issue if you enter at a law-following entry point.  If you are planning on flying into a hornet's nest airport, all I can say is "good luck."  

Most people have only had a problem when entering with a re-entry permit for a education extension or a multiple entry non-ed visa. The first time on a single entry non-ed visa should not be a problem.

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