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Thread: New Non Imm O ED Visa rules (Phuket)

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    Senior Member NeedHoliday's Avatar
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    New Non Imm O ED Visa rules (Phuket)

    Just a heads up for anyone thinking of going down the ED Visa route - over the last week, at least in Phuket, they are definitely no longer giving one-year ED Visas. It went through a few phases:

    - 1 year ED Visa with 1 year extension of stay (1900B one off visit for the year)
    - 1 year ED Visa with 3 months extension of stay (1900B every 3 months)
    - 1 year ED Visa with 1 month "consideration", followed by another 2 months after that - to make 3 months extension of stay (1900B every 3 months)
    - 6-month max ED Visa with 1 month "consideration", followed by another 2 months after that - to make 3 months extension of stay (1900B one off since that would then be 6 months after your initial 3 months grace extension)

    And then this week they've introduced a reading and writing exam if you want to apply for the 2nd (or future) 6th month Visa/extensions. If you don't pass it, no Visa/extensions, bye bye. If you pass it, you have to once again apply for a ED Visa and collect it outside of Thailand as usual, so another cost to bear to go Penang etc.

    One guy in my class had just done his 1 month "consideration" and was going to get his further 2 months extension of stay. He said they took him into a side office and drilled him for 45 minutes on what he was doing here, why he was learning Thai, how he was supporting himself etc - pretty intense stuff for what should have been a standard 2 month extension update.

    They also told him about the exam requirement now, and that he'd have to know how to read and write Thai (not transliterate). Our school (Patong Language School) doesn't teach that in the first 6 months, so he and potentially a few others are really screwed as when he told the IO that we learn that in the latter half of the year, the IO basically just said "tough". He's taking it up with the school as he's already paid for a year.

    One guy has already gone back to Australia since he was literally given 5 days notice that these changes were in place and he'd have to have a new ED Visa in 5 days when his runs out (he was due for an extension). 5 days to get the letter/paperwork and travel to get a new visa is just impossible, yet they are stupidly enforcing it without any type of grandfathering for those in the middle of the old rules.

    I think some saw tighter restrictions coming, but I think this is a little too far and they're not working with the legitimate schools to help them understand the requirements, so the school are told one thing and then a month later it all changes and enforced immediately, which is extremely impractical for a business to be able to manage staff/courses when their students could at a whim be kicked out of Thailand.

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    Thanks for the info NH......like you say was a dot on the cards really!

    But although it will catch out a lot of ppl and can see the reasoning behind it......there are also times where it is completely unfair, i.e one guy in my class goes religiously every week but is just completely useless at learning languages and so there is no way he will be able to carry on to another year even being from an attendance point of view he is best student in the class!

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    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davis121 View Post
    Thanks for the info NH......like you say was a dot on the cards really!

    But although it will catch out a lot of ppl and can see the reasoning behind it......there are also times where it is completely unfair, i.e one guy in my class goes religiously every week but is just completely useless at learning languages and so there is no way he will be able to carry on to another year even being from an attendance point of view he is best student in the class!
    I dont see how that is unfair though
    I would imagine the spirit behind the ED Visa is for people to learn Thai and intergrate into the society......if he can't do it, than so be it

    We have to take an English test for PR in Canada
    Weirdly I am the one who has to take it, not my wife because I am considered the main applicant
    But I'd have no issues if she was forced to take it and pass as a requirement
    I don't think it is wrong for any country to want their immigrants to know their basic language

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    I dont see how that is unfair though
    I would imagine the spirit behind the ED Visa is for people to learn Thai and intergrate into the society......if he can't do it, than so be it
    I dont think people mind the rules.. its the arbitrary way they are introduced, different in different provinces and offices.. With no consideration of how those changes effect people within the system..

    Secondly putting a limit on the amount of ED study is kind of strange, I think anyone would agree it takes years of study to be fluent and literate to a decent level.. And the Way the ED currently is its "come spend money in our schools to learn a language spoken no where else.. Then once you have done it.. Leave"..

    Yes theres people abusing the system, and ways to curtail that is logical.. But if they are offering study as a basis of stay, there should be some flexibility.. I mean there seems zero allowances for holidays or vacations, should they study x days per week 52 weeks a year ?? dont they get some break ?? Why must they be forced out the country at great expense to simply turn around and return, does that benefit Thailand ??

    The current visa regs just get tighter and tighter.. The unmarried under 50s not working with some modest cash.. They really dont have it so easy..

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    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    I dont see how that is unfair though
    I would imagine the spirit behind the ED Visa is for people to learn Thai and intergrate into the society......if he can't do it, than so be it

    We have to take an English test for PR in Canada
    Weirdly I am the one who has to take it, not my wife because I am considered the main applicant
    But I'd have no issues if she was forced to take it and pass as a requirement
    I don't think it is wrong for any country to want their immigrants to know their basic language
    Well to my mind if someone is attending every class and trying their hardest then they should be given more time to learn and not simply refused another visa. I could understand if they guy had already done 4 years and still didnt have a clue but maybe a bit harsh in some cases after 1 year.

    People learn at different speeds and so if you are going to set tests like this you should also take into account other factors so that you are not basing the decision purely on how fast someone picks up what for westerners is a difficult language to learn IMO.

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    Personally in my situation I am pretty confident with most of words and phrases that we have learnt...........but when it comes to speaking with the right tone then I could quite easily come unstuck.......badly! But I guess it depends on how strong they go with the testing really!

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    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    I dont see how that is unfair though
    I would imagine the spirit behind the ED Visa is for people to learn Thai and intergrate into the society......if he can't do it, than so be it

    We have to take an English test for PR in Canada
    Weirdly I am the one who has to take it, not my wife because I am considered the main applicant
    But I'd have no issues if she was forced to take it and pass as a requirement
    I don't think it is wrong for any country to want their immigrants to know their basic language
    But people on the ED Visa are not immigrants, visas based on marriage, child support or business don't have any Thai language requirement so as usual it doesn't make any sense at all. Once you're done with your studies you can go back home and are in the same situation as someone who doesn't speak a word of Thai.

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    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimbag View Post
    But people on the ED Visa are not immigrants, visas based on marriage, child support or business don't have any Thai language requirement so as usual it doesn't make any sense at all. Once you're done with your studies you can go back home and are in the same situation as someone who doesn't speak a word of Thai.
    I understand that but I am sure a good majority of the students do go on to live in Thailand for a period of time
    I just don't see any issue with requiring a certain knowledge
    I don't think they should expect you to speak fluently in 6 months but if someone is a dunce on an ED visa and can't learn it............then they don't qualify to stay in my books

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    Senior Member Geespot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeedHoliday View Post

    They also told him about the exam requirement now, and that he'd have to know how to read and write Thai (not transliterate). Our school (Patong Language School) doesn't teach that in the first 6 months, so he and potentially a few others are really screwed as when he told the IO that we learn that in the latter half of the year, the IO basically just said "tough". He's taking it up with the school as he's already paid for a year.
    Wow I'm amazed, without reading and writing you will never get to grips with the language properly. It should be getting taught from day one along with oral

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    Senior Member Geespot's Avatar
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    It seems like it's just tightening down on illegal workers. They squeezed the 30 days back to backs and sometimes question marks about tourist visas, so the obvious choice was all these people jumping on Ed visas. At the time this was happening all i saw and heard was everyone jumping on Ed visas. Makes you wonder what the increase in visas for Ed was?

    I would imagine after 6 months of study there should be some basic level of proficiency in oral, reading and written Thai and assume the exam would be set at the appropriate level

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geespot View Post

    I would imagine after 6 months of study there should be some basic level of proficiency in oral, reading and written Thai and assume the exam would be set at the appropriate level
    I think that'd be okay if there was one standard curriculum set forth by the government for it, so that schools could then plan courses appropriately. Right now each school teaches different aspects in different time frames, and yes I've also heard that learning to read and write Thai from day one does help, but then I've heard from students that they preferred learning the basic transliteration, tones, structure and such first and couldn't grasp the alphabet along with everything else at once.

    Now that this new exam requires reading and writing Thai, my school is pretty screwed. Though not everyone there is on a ED Visa (half the class or so).

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    If the level of difficulty for a first year student is anything other than very basic, then in my school they will lose about 50% of the students..but then maybe that is the objective here anyway!

    Whatever happens surely Thai logic will prevail…….if they kick out half the students then all they need to do is double the prices for the VISA…..problem solved !!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by davis121 View Post
    Whatever happens surely Thai logic will prevail…….if they kick out half the students then all they need to do is double the prices for the VISA…..problem solved !!!
    It honestly wouldn't surprise me if it was a money issue. The single (for the year) extension of stay would have only got them 1900B a year, whereas now they're collecting 1900B every 3 months, and a new Visa every 6 months instead of yearly.

    They're making more work for themselves by doing this though - it's not computerised for the most part. We've all heard how crazy the processing time is (Phuket was 4hrs wait for a friend, then he had to go back in the afternoon to collect the passport as well). On top of the visa/extension processing, there's the new (well old, but now enforced) landlord/residence validation as well.

    Phuket Immigration just seem to love causing trouble for us Patong Immigration on the other hand - was in and out in literally 3 minutes for my 90-day report. So the tourist/short-term aspects of immigration are clearly streamlined and extremely efficient, whereas long stay has an insane amount of paperwork and processing.

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    While Thailand continues to desire visitors and tourism, yet at the same time does not offer any longer stay legal options for those who legitimately can afford to be here without working.. There will always be a tub of way and a huge glaring hole in the system that will somehow be filled by grey area solutions.

    If Thailand want A it has to accept B.. If it really wishes to stamp out B it has to lose A.. It cannot have both a freewheeling anyones welcome policy and a closed door..

    I have never really understood why Thailand doesnt accept retirement money proof on any age ?? By all means be stringent on ensuring its remitted and real.. But if the person genuinely can support themselves and is pushing that into the Thai economy how is it not just as good, in fact multiple more, than the tourist market they spend billions each your to attract.
    Dkdude, Waharoa and billpay like this.

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    Has anyone learning Thai started the writing side of things yet?
    As well as being about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike….it does seem to be quite fckin complicated and definitely going to take a bit of learning!!!!

    Apparently we have to be able to write sentences for this exam?

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    Senior Member NeedHoliday's Avatar
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    Yes our school is trying to get people up to speed with reading and writing as soon as possible. Initially their 1yr course was 6 months speaking, 6 months reading/writing, but with the test after 6 months now they've had to re-jig their class schedules and do reading/writing first.

    I don't know anyone who has needed to do the test at Phuket yet, but from other areas it sounds like one of the common things is writing your (full) name in Thai along with some basic chit-chat and maybe reading some basic sentences. A classmate did his 2nd extension a week or so ago and he got the usual 1 month consideration stamp, so perhaps Phuket aren't rolling out the tests just yet, but the way the school is acting it is definitely coming.

    As for learning, my god yes I never imagined how hard it would be. I've only had 5 lessons so far (2hrs each) but it is mind boggling trying to make logic out of some of the aspects of it. You'll be picking up some easy letters and then *bam* they throw in some stupid ass rule that completely loses you. So far we've learned about 11 consonants and 5 vowels, and remembering how to write and what their names are is no problem, the hardest part is remembering that each consonant can a) have a different sound as the start of the word than at the end, and b) consonants fall into 3 classes (low/middle/high) which have no bearing alone on the *tone* of the word (even though the classes are named similar) but rather the length of the vowel (short/long) and/or the ending consonant will determine tone. So you're having to remember 4 or 5 attributes to each consonant, as well the tone rules, and then all the crazy ass rules and exceptions, before you can even figure out what the word is, and even then it gets even more complicated because some words, whilst for example may end in 'd', there's like god knows how many consonants that make the 'd' sound - so you have to just remember which are used where as well. So annoying and inconsistent. Like yesterday we were told that two consonants together (for the most part, there's other rules and exceptions) "imply" an 'o' in the middle even though it's not written, so like นม (nm) would be 'nom'. I'm sure in time we'll just get used to it, but compared to speaking and understanding/writing transliteration I'm finding this 10x harder.

    If anyone has learned the tone 'matrix' and has any suggestions for easier ways of remembering the rules, do let me know 555.

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    Take a look at this, maybe it can help you (watch the video):
    Learn Thai the Rapid Way

    A lot more fun, and it makes it easier to remember the letters.

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    Senior Member NeedHoliday's Avatar
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    Not sure that site would be good for those taking the ED test, but maybe okay for fun or as a hobby. ThaiPod's alphabet learning is very good though and definitely recommended (free registration).

    I don't find it hard remembering the letters, and I think for the ED tests you need to (or should) know the names of the letters anyway (would look good as you write/spell out your name I bet). I've also heard some people who took the test elsewhere were asked to recite the alphabet, so again knowing the correct names (and even order) could be crucial.

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    I find / found that LTRW course worked for me when I spent hours and hours with flashcards and failed..

    Doing it the Thai way.. Saw Sua = tiger = S just didnt go into my mind.. The Tiger = A mnemonic is all wrong.. Using the LTRW course it just went in.. Yes it doesnt perhaps dovetail neatly with an established course, but it did get me sounding out words (tho then letters changing sound, silent letters, word spacing.. urggg) very rapidly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeedHoliday View Post
    As for learning, my god yes I never imagined how hard it would be. I've only had 5 lessons so far (2hrs each) but it is mind boggling trying to make logic out of some of the aspects of it. You'll be picking up some easy letters and then *bam* they throw in some stupid ass rule that completely loses you. So far we've learned about 11 consonants and 5 vowels, and remembering how to write and what their names are is no problem, the hardest part is remembering that each consonant can a) have a different sound as the start of the word than at the end, and b) consonants fall into 3 classes (low/middle/high) which have no bearing alone on the *tone* of the word (even though the classes are named similar) but rather the length of the vowel (short/long) and/or the ending consonant will determine tone. So you're having to remember 4 or 5 attributes to each consonant, as well the tone rules, and then all the crazy ass rules and exceptions, before you can even figure out what the word is, and even then it gets even more complicated because some words, whilst for example may end in 'd', there's like god knows how many consonants that make the 'd' sound - so you have to just remember which are used where as well. So annoying and inconsistent. Like yesterday we were told that two consonants together (for the most part, there's other rules and exceptions) "imply" an 'o' in the middle even though it's not written, so like นม (nm) would be 'nom'. I'm sure in time we'll just get used to it, but compared to speaking and understanding/writing transliteration I'm finding this 10x harder.
    At least it isn't just me then Also I think not having spaces between words makes it more difficult to recognise patterns with words (only spaces between sentences ?) etc.... but maybe as you say is early days and will start to fall into place!

    Will also give a couple of online things a try as do need to get up to speed with it

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