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I’ll be moving to Bangkok on a work permit in a few weeks (I work in marketing, and I fell in love with Bangkok after spending most of 2020 there), though I want to bring my girlfriend as well. We’ve been together for 5 years, and while there’s a chance we might get married in the future, we aren’t ready to do so at the moment (so that precludes me sponsoring her for now). I’m thinking that the best option for her would be to enrol in a Thai language school and get an ED visa on the basis of that. Any recommendations for agencies that can handle this process, start to finish? Volunteer visas, of course, are another option if an agency can arrange it. For a bit of background, my girlfriend is a PRC citizen, whereas I hold a different citizenship, and we’re both in our 20s. Currently, she’s in Mainland China, whereas I’m elsewhere in Asia at the moment. Any other recommendations you might have for us, please let me know. Thank you.

Edited by misterworldwide
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It would be best to check with some schools rather than looking for a agent.

Dependent upon her level of education she might be able to enroll in a University that would allow her to get a non-ed visa at the embassy in Beijing or one of the consulates in China.

You wanted to enroll in a language school she would not be able to get non-ed visa before entering the country since it is a informal school at this time.

An agent can only help with getting a non-ed visa here and a extension of stay supported by documents from a school.

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ujoe: ED visa in-country,through reputable ( informal) Language School, would not need any Agent as the School does the whole process with Ed.Min & Imm. ,with documents provided directly by applicant.

Such ED Visa limited  to 12 months ( limit of supporting Ed.Min Letter) comprising four consective three month visas, with no extention of stay. No actual need to attend Classes either. No Financials. Must be the UNI Embassy ED Visa that would be Extended in- country ?

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37 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

It would be best to check with some schools rather than looking for a agent.

Dependent upon her level of education she might be able to enroll in a University that would allow her to get a non-ed visa at the embassy in Beijing or one of the consulates in China.

You wanted to enroll in a language school she would not be able to get non-ed visa before entering the country since it is a informal school at this time.

An agent can only help with getting a non-ed visa here and a extension of stay supported by documents from a school.

Thank you. So I take it, entering on a tourist visa then converting it to an ED visa by way of the language school option is the way to go? Any recommendations on language schools? I want to avoid the university route due to the stricter attendance requirements and the cost. Basically, we are just doing this to get her a visa for the mean time before, presumably, we get married (maybe in a year from now).

Edited by misterworldwide
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9 minutes ago, WhiteBuffaloATM said:

ujoe: ED visa in-country,through reputable ( informal) Language School, would not need any Agent as the School does the whole process with Ed.Min & Imm. ,with documents provided directly by applicant.

Such ED Visa limited  to 12 months ( limit of supporting Ed.Min Letter) comprising four consective three month visas, with no extention of stay. No actual need to attend Classes either. No Financials. Must be the UNI Embassy ED Visa that would be Extended in- country ?

This sounds perfect. Now all I need to do is find her a language school? Likewise, entering on a (45 or 60 day, I’m unsure) tourist visa should give her ample time to convert it right?

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1 hour ago, misterworldwide said:

Currently, she’s in Mainland China, whereas I’m elsewhere in Asia at the moment. 

Did everyone miss this part?

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19 minutes ago, WhiteBuffaloATM said:

ujoe: ED visa in-country,through reputable ( informal) Language School, would not need any Agent as the School does the whole process with Ed.Min & Imm. ,with documents provided directly by applicant.

Such ED Visa limited  to 12 months ( limit of supporting Ed.Min Letter) comprising four consective three month visas, with no extention of stay.

A non-ed visa only allows a 90 day stay in the country. For a informal school near the end of the 90 days a 90 day extension at immigration would be applied for. Then another two 90 day extensions up to a total stay of one year.

A formal school allows for a one year extension after the 90 days from the non-ed visa.

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5 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

A non-ed visa only allows a 90 day stay in the country. For a informal school near the end of the 90 days a 90 day extension at immigration would be applied for. Then another two 90 day extensions up to a total stay of one year.

A formal school allows for a one year extension after the 90 days from the non-ed visa.

That would work. Any good schools you’d recommend in Bangkok?

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6 minutes ago, misterworldwide said:

That would work. Any good schools you’d recommend in Bangkok?

I am not aware of any schools I could recommend.

The problem at this time is that your girlfriend would not be able to get a non-ed visa for a attend a informal school due to the covid 19 restrictions.

She would have to enter on a tourist visa and apply for a the non-ed visa at immigration. That is where the problem can arise since the requirements to apply the non-ed visa requires document most informal schools would not be able to supply. See: https://bangkok.immigration.go.th/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/03.pdf

 

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18 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

I am not aware of any schools I could recommend.

The problem at this time is that your girlfriend would not be able to get a non-ed visa for a attend a informal school due to the covid 19 restrictions.

She would have to enter on a tourist visa and apply for a the non-ed visa at immigration. That is where the problem can arise since the requirements to apply the non-ed visa requires document most informal schools would not be able to supply. See: https://bangkok.immigration.go.th/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/03.pdf

 

I think a lot of people go this route (see attached image), so it presumably shouldn’t be an issue. I’ve tentatively suggested to her that she should get a TR visa in China then plan on converting it to ED once in Thailand. Sandee looks good to me, as does AAA; your thoughts? Volunteer (through an agent) could always be an option, might that be better?

 

Edit: I’ve checked, and as you mentioned, there might be some issues with in-country conversion. Could she get the ED visa in China? I looked at the website for the consulate nearest to her in China and there doesn’t seem to be an issue with language schools, but maybe I’m wrong.

FD7315DA-7A63-4A28-85BA-7A675A9F2552.jpeg

Edited by misterworldwide
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11 minutes ago, misterworldwide said:

I think a lot of people go this route, so it presumably shouldn’t be an issue. I’ve told her to get a TR visa in China then plan on converting it to ED once in Thailand. Sandee looks good to me, as does AAA; your thoughts? Volunteer (through an agent) could always be an option, might that be better?

If she sees value in learning to speak Thai, go with a Non Ed visa and extensions. For just the permission to stay, a volunteer visa and extension using an agent is cleaner.

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12 minutes ago, BritTim said:

If she sees value in learning to speak Thai, go with a Non Ed visa and extensions. For just the permission to stay, a volunteer visa and extension using an agent is cleaner.

Probably that route is best. My friend recommended Thai Visa Centre as a good agent for the volunteer visa. Do you know of any better ones? Likewise, could she get the volunteer visa while still in China, or will she have to convert from TR once in Thailand?

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22 minutes ago, misterworldwide said:

I looked at the website for the consulate nearest to her in China and there doesn’t seem to be an issue with language schools, but maybe I’m wrong.

I looked at the embassy website in Beijing and it is not the same as others.

It does not show a list of requirements to obtain a COE based upon the type of visa used. Other websites list types of visas allowed to enter the country.

This from another embassy website.

Visa and Certificate of Entry for Non-Thai nationals who are students of formal educational establishments in Thailand approved by Thai authorities, including their parents or guardians, except for students of non-formal schools in accordance with laws on private schools or of any other similar private educational establishments"

Source: https://thaiembdc.org/2020/07/11/visa_coe_education/

 

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4 minutes ago, misterworldwide said:

Likewise, could she get the volunteer visa while still in China, or will she have to convert from TR once in Thailand?

A COE is only issued for those with a non-o visa for volunteer work with a work permit. A person just tried applying for a COE without a work permit and was denied a COE.

She more than likely would be able to apply for the non-o visa without a work permit application being done.

She would have to use an agent to the get the non-o visa at immigration.

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18 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

A COE is only issued for those with a non-o visa for volunteer work with a work permit. A person just tried applying for a COE without a work permit and was denied a COE.

She more than likely would be able to apply for the non-o visa without a work permit application being done.

She would have to use an agent to the get the non-o visa at immigration.

Thanks again for looking into this for me. This is what I was thinking, and it corresponds to what “Thai Visa Centre” just told me. Basically, she applies for TR in China, gets COE, flies to Bangkok, then converts to Non-O “volunteer” at the immigration office there with the help of the agent. Anything else?

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33 minutes ago, misterworldwide said:

Thanks again for looking into this for me. This is what I was thinking, and it corresponds to what “Thai Visa Centre” just told me. Basically, she applies for TR in China, gets COE, flies to Bangkok, then converts to Non-O “volunteer” at the immigration office there with the help of the agent. Anything else?

That is exactly correct. Be aware that while agent non O volunteering and 12 month extension is straightforward process it is not cheap. Expect 35k min. IMO best option.

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On 9/12/2021 at 8:23 PM, DrJack54 said:

That is exactly correct. Be aware that while agent non O volunteering and 12 month extension is straightforward process it is not cheap. Expect 35k min. IMO best option.

Use to be like 55k for Non-o if the person has TR visa . . . IF have Non Immigrant visa allready its like 35k a year yes.

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5 hours ago, oMega69 said:

Use to be like 55k for Non-o if the person has TR visa . . . IF have Non Immigrant visa allready its like 35k a year yes.

Helped couple of folks last year from tourist visa and visa exempt to obtain non O volunteering and 12 month extension. Most agents were around the 35k mark all up (excluding 90 reports) 

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