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Information about Crackdown on Thai ED Visa Holders

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests we are going to be discussing ED visas, those are education visas, equivalent to student visas for those who are going in to the United States except these are student visas for those who wish to attend some form of schooling or educational undertaking here in the Kingdom of Thailand. One can actually remain in the country for long periods of time in order to undertake courses of study. That being said, in the past and even apparently now, ED visas are sometimes used by those who simply wish to be in the Kingdom for whatever reason. In some cases they are used, post of pre-textually I guess, by those who simply want to be in Thailand and don't really have another category into which they can fit.

A recent article in the Chiangrai Times that is, the article's title is "Thailand's Immigration Police Crackdown on Foreigners Abusing Non ED Visas". Quoting directly "Tourist Police and Immigration are working closely with educational establishments to root out foreigners abusing study or Non-ED visas. There is a cap on non-attendance of classes being made. If a person with a study visa is absent from a course more than 3 times and it is not explained, then that person will lose their student status and face expulsion from Thailand. In the latest crackdown, a joint operation with 191 Special Branch Immigration Police and several other agencies in Bangkok have resulted in arrests at 108 locations. 49 of these were at educational establishments and 51 at private homes”. Again that's Chiang Rai times, the headline is "Thailand Immigration Police Crackdown on Foreigners Abusing Non ED Visas"; I strongly urge viewers to go check this out.

My comment on this is, it is basically one more sort of vignette in an overarching theme which is, Thai authorities are very serious about cracking down on immigration violators. In fact I think they sort of view it as one way of predicting people that could become criminal because they are unwilling to operate within the parameters of the immigration code. It is sort of almost kind of a gateway, criminal thinking mentality. Well, if you are okay with violating one aspect of the law maybe you will probably be more comfortable violating another aspect of the law. I don't know if that is the right way of thinking but Immigration Officers have been increasingly strident in their enforcement practices, they have been stringent in their application of the rules. I don't see this becoming any more lax any time soon, but what I found was rather interesting is that were 108 locations that were targeted in some of the recent raids and crackdowns and 59, if I recall correctly from the article, were educational institutions so it is clear, Immigration Authorities are coming to sort of narrow their focus on educational institutions as essentially facilitators or the hubs of various forms of basically circumvention of the immigration laws.

The thing to take away from that I think is most notably, I think that just moving forward, there is going to be serious attendance requirements associated with Non ED education visas and when they say "non" ED,  they mean “non-immigrant” education visas. I think that you are going to see that moving forward to see if you have got an ED Visa you are going to have to show up to whatever schooling you have undertaken fairly frequently or you are going to find yourself not having that ED Visa much longer and as noted in prior videos, the Immigration Apparatus here in Thailand does not look intent on backing off on any of this. If anything, I think their efforts are going to be stepped up as things move forward.