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Should foreign monks get non-ED or non-R visas?

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Hi everyone,

There seems to be some disagreement about what kind of visa a foreign monk should get:

The Buddhist Affairs handbook says they can get either ED or R.

Samut Prakaan IO says if you apply for the visa at a Thai embassy overseas, you should get R. But if you come on a tourist visa and change to a non-imm here, then you should get ED.

Chiang Mai IO and I think most other provinces say it has to be R and they won't even allow you to move there and get an extension with an ED visa.

Which is a problem if you got a non-ED from Samut Prakaan and want to move somewhere else.

Any ideas where I might find actual rules about it?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,



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Thanks Faz.

So it looks like the requirements are identical except that to get the ED you have to have a letter from Mahamakut or Mahacula instead of from the Office of Buddhism. I just came to a monastery. So it seems like they shouldn't have given me the ED; I should really have an R. And technically they aren't supposed to grant me a new ED visa or change the status from tourist to non-ED, but if I have it already, they should extend it?

The page on extension for monks has this:

"Criteria for Consideration

The alien:

Must have been granted a non-immigrant visa (NON-IM).

Must have been confirmed and requested by the National Office of Buddhism, or Office of the Prime Minister, or Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, or Mahamakut Buddhist University.

Must have been confirmed by the abbot of the temple where the applicant is studying Buddhism or practicing religious activities."

So it sounds like I should be able to get an extension with a letter from the National Office of Buddhism even with an ED. If I dare argue with them!

Thanks for clearing that up,


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