Can I enter Thailand on a tourist visa and obtain an education visa there?

As an American Citizen, would it be safe to fly into Thailand without a visa? You can get a 30 day upon entry right?

The reason I ask is, I’m in the process of getting my passport. I’d like to leave basically as soon as my passport arrives in the mail. I’m unable to apply for a Thai Visa until I have my passport, so that would require an even longer wait.

Would I be able to fly into Thailand with no visa, then get a 30 day entry, then apply for an education visa while inside the country? Once I go, I’d like to not have to return to the US. I don’t mind if I have to take a bus/flight to a neighboring country for however long if I must leave while I wait for an education visa.

No, you will need to apply for the education visa in another country. And yes you do not need a tourist visa - you can get a stamp when you fly in.

You will however need a lot of paperwork for the visa from the school. So my suggestion is to fly in to Thailand on normal 30 day stamp and find a good school that suits your needs. Once you enrol at the school and they will prepare all the required paperwork for you.

Once you have the paperwork you go to a place like Vientiane, submit your visa papers in the morning and collect your visa the following afternoon.

Awesome reply! Great information. Thanks so much :).

I didn’t realize you could get the visa so quick. I heard somewhere that it takes 4-6 weeks to process the visa. So it is just an overnight thing basically?

Yes, in Vientiane you submit in the morning and collect the following afternoon. Other embassies may be different, but the school should be able to advise you as they are very current with the latest information.

If I remember correctly it did take the school a week or so to prepare the paperwork, but the entire process certainly does not take anything like 4 - 6 weeks.

I must also add that I did this a year ago, so a few things may have changed in the meantime.

Thank you so much for all your help, I appreciate it so much.

So I should probably look for schools the day after I get there?

Is there any type of punishment for missing classes? I want to attend as many as possible, as I’d really like to learn Thai, but you know sometimes work can be overwhelming and things like that.

You can start doing your research for schools online before you arrive. Where in Thailand do you plan to live?

As for punishment - that will depend on the school. Some schools are more strict about attendance than others.

I have also heard that immigration have started “testing” students more often to check whether they are actually learning the language, and not just getting the visa to stay long in Thailand.

So be prepared to answer a few questions in Thai when you go visit immigration every 3 months to extend the visa.

Awesome! I don’t mind being put on the spot and asked questions, as I will actually be learning the language. I’m going to start researching some schools right now.

Thanks for all the help man I greatly appreciate it :).

Hi, I have the same question. But I understood the visa rules have changed since May 2015.

Does anyone know if the same rules still apply?