Education Visas and Re-Entry Permits
Koh Samui Language School explains all
With recent stories flooding in about people getting arrested and detained at borders nationwide, we thought we should share a few do’s and don’ts with regards to visas and re-entry permits.
Get the right visa
People here on tourist visas who have been skipping in and out of the country for long periods of time are being stopped, questioned, and deported. This is easily overcome by getting an Education Visa. An Ed-Visa allows you to stay up to 5 years in Thailand, without all the hassle of going in and out every 3 months.
Have the required money upon entry
If you are coming back in on your new visa, or with re-entry, immigration may ask you for 20,000 baht in cash. Please be aware that a bank statement will not be accepted and they will not allow you to go to an ATM, so be prepared with cash ready to present to them.
Have the required documents upon re-entry
If you get a re-entry permit, try to leave for no more than 7 days. If you need to leave for longer, make sure you have a valid reason such as medical treatment. Immigration will ask you for evidence if you’ve been gone longer than 1 week. Also, we will provide you with a signed letter supporting your return.
Please note, if you plan on taking more than a couple of weeks, you should be prepared to possibly have your visa cancelled. In this case, take your documents with you and then you can get another visa if you need to (although this will cost!).
Know what you’re talking about
If you’re on an Ed-Visa then officials will probably ask you some questions about what you’re learning. If you’re learning Thai, have a few phrases tucked up your sleeve to show them your skills.
Enter/Re-enter Thailand through Bangkok
Most of the feedback we are getting seems to be coming from the Bangkok airports. Try to avoid them by flying through Kuala Lumpur or Singapore and then to Samui. If you do arrive in Samui and there’s a problem, then we are here to help you. We have a great relationship with the immigration here so we have a lot more influence than if you get stuck elsewhere in Thailand.
Always believe what immigration tells you
Rules seem to change here quicker than the weather, so just because one immigration official tells you something, don’t take it for granted. No matter where you enter Thailand, it is up to the discretion of individual immigration officers as to what they ask you and what rules they wish to impose. Be prepared.
Say the word ‘work’
Unless you have a work permit, don’t tell anyone you are working, have been working, or that you previously worked here, even online. The cuffs will be out and you’ll be in jail quicker than we can say chok-dee (good luck).
We are happy to talk about any issues you may have with you visa or re-entry permits. Call in to the office to see us. Our door is always open.