Getting an ED student visa

February 12, 2013

Since I am a student now at Sasin, I am also eligible for a student ED visa which will let me stay in the country for longer periods of time with a lot less hassle than before. In the past I had to apply for a tourist visa back home, and even then I had to do a visa run to the border every now and then. A student visa would only demand me to hand in a notification of residence every 3 months and that’s it. That luxurious lifestyle only required a letter from Sasin confirming I really study there and a trip to the immigration office in Bangkok.

With this documentation I can finally stop doing those dumb visa runs to the border.

With this documentation I can finally stop doing those dumb visa runs to the border.

The place to go to get your ED student visa is the Government Complex Commencerating His Majesty, B building, at Chaengwattana Road (soi 7), which is a 13 km drive from BTS station Mo Chit setting the average punter 120 baht back in life when taking a taxi. Another option would be to try to find the correct bus going there, for whoever is going to try that, I wish you good luck.

From the front of the building to where you need to be is about 1 km, so make sure the taxi drops you at the right spot.

From the front of the building to where you need to be is about 1 km, so make sure the taxi drops you at the right spot.

Luckily I was smart enough to print the location of the immigration office on paper, in Thai, to show the taxi driver, because the government complex is seriously humongous and entering the complex from the wrong site might set you back on a quest similar to finding El Dorado while being dropped somewhere in Mexico.

The inside of Government complex B-building; second floor

The inside of Government complex B-building; second floor

On the second floor one can find this relatively small entrance giving the impression not many come here. Once inside you can go the front desk and tell the uniformed person what you want to do there, and they will hand you the proper paperwork to fill in.

The entrance to the immigration office.

The entrance to the immigration office.

Besides the letter stating that you really study somewhere, your immigration card, and your passport you will also need a passport picture and copies of your passport of the page with all your personal information and your visa / stamp on arrival. Both can be easily made in the building for very low prices in case you don’t have many copies lying around at home.

Be sure to come early in the morning so you won't be here all day.

Be sure to come early in the morning so you won’t be here all day.

When you are complete its time to go really in and this is when you realize it can all take a while. At the next desk you get a queue number and from then on its simply waiting till it’s your turn. The first time I arrived there I waited about 90 minutes to find out that your visa, or stamp on arrival, should be valid for, at least, another 11 days otherwise they cannot help you – yes, I had to do another visa run to Cambodia to fix that little problem- while the second time I only had to wait for 30 minutes. Coming early does pay off I found out, as does bringing a book to have something to do when waiting.

FINALLY, I got my ED student visa!

FINALLY, I got my ED student visa!

After handing all the paperwork to the immigration officer on duty she started entering some of the information into the computer in a spreadsheet which looks like it has been designed ages ago, and she took a hard look to see if you really resemble my passport picture; or was she maybe flirting with me by giving me the mean eye? Right after that you can wait outside and it will take about half an hour before being called back in again to receive your passport back, with the long awaited ED student visa. This made me wonder why the hell my old stamp on arrival had to be valid for another 11 days at least, and I had to go on a 8-hour visa trip to renew my stamp on arrival, if they hand you the visa in about 30 minutes. But I am not going to complain there but just smiled and walked away. The lady did explain two minor things to me; that I had to come back in about 90 days for my notification of residence and that I could not leave the country without permission. In about 2 months I will try to figure out what the next steps will be to keep my ED visa, but first it’s time to go eat some Japanese food at the restaurant on the ground floor.

For questions/remarks you can contact me at: eric@stuckinthailand.com

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