New ED Visa Rules – No Extensions If Visa Older Than One Year

Further changes have been announced to the Education visa rules and ED visa extension requirements. While it seems the new and considerably stricter rules have not been officially approved yet and will not go into effect before August 29, the Chonburi Immigration office on Jomtien Soi 5, which covers Pattaya and Chonburi province, is reportedly already enforcing them and is refusing ED visa extensions if the visa is older than one year, instead requesting students to go apply for a completely new ED visa.
Until now, the same ED visa could be used to study the same subject, e.g. Thai language, for up to five years; the student did not have to leave Thailand but simply extend his visa at the local immigration office every 90 days (extension fee 1,900 Baht). Under the new rules, an ED visa is obviously only good for one year (during which the student has to extend his visa every 90 days); after one year the student will have to leave the country and apply for a new ED visa, which will again be valid for only one year.
From a police order quoted on ThaiVisa.com: “[Each] permission [for ED visa extension] shall be granted for … no more than 90 days, total length of stay shall not exceed one year from the date of entering the Kingdom.” There are also a number of threads currently discussing the new rules, e.g., here and here.
Current ED visa holders who have studied Thai for a couple of years already and hold a visa older than one year, will now reportedly have to leave Thailand and apply for a new ED visa before their current extension period ends. For example, if you have been using the same ED visa for more than one year (say it was issued in 2012) and your next 90-day extension is due after August 29, e.g., on September 10, 2014, you will obviously have to leave Thailand before that date and apply for a completely new visa.

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