Please check with the school who are eligible to apply. All information below are subject to change without prior notice so always contact the school first before submitting your documents.
It was a long trip to the Thai Embassy in Vientiane, Laos. Others chose to travel by plane as it would be a lot faster but as for me, I chose to ride the bus. Before my trip to Vientiane, Laos, I arranged a trip with one of the Visa Run Companies in Bangkok, Thailand. I paid 3,800 BAHT for everything which already includes 2,000 BAHT Visa Fee for a Non-Immigrant ED Visa and 1,800 BAHT for my Transportation, Hotel Accommodation, and Food. I think, among all my trips crossing the border this I would say is one of the cheapest and fastest.
I chose going to the Thai Embassy in Vientiane, Laos as I’ve heard that you will only spend 1 Overnight Stay at the Hotel to apply and get your Non-Immigrant ED Visa. Since it was a scheduled trip to Vientiane, Laos and a group trip, I left the house early around 6 pm as there was a meeting time. Had I known that the Visa Run Company Owner would wait until all of her vans are filled with passengers, I wouldn’t have left home early. I waited for 4 hours at the meeting place in Tesco Lotus, Onnut, Bangkok. Aside from waiting for the vans to be filled, the owner check which visa each person is applying for and kept every passengers’ passports and documents for safekeeping. Then we left at 10 pm. On the way, we had several stopovers as the drive would really make you sleepy as it was very long.
We arrived at Nongkhai, Thailand around 8 am. When we were there, we lined up and presented ourselves to the Immigration Officer. After which, the owner gave us the Arrival Card of Vientiane, Laos and Thai Embassy Vientiane, Laos Visa Application Form to fill. She again, checked and sorted out our documents while we fill the forms. She got our passports and documents again. After 45 minutes, we rode a bus to the border of Vientiane. We got off, barely lined up. The owner basically took care of everything. When our passports were ready, they called us and we rode the van for a 30-minute ride and went to the Thai Embassy.
When we were at the Thai Embassy, we waited for the other vans to come until we could apply for our Visas. After 45 minutes, they arrived. There were 2 groups, one group is applying for Non-Immigrant Visas and the other one is for Tourist Visa. Since we were applying for Non-Immigrant ED Visa we had to line up inside the Thai Embassy. Around 11:00 am we lodged our application, we gave all of our documents and passport. We are very fortunate that all of our personal documents and the documents from Sandee Thai Language School are complete otherwise we would end up getting the Tourist Visa instead. One person from the group was not able to apply for a Non-Immigrant ED Visa as her documents were not complete.
After 15 minutes at the Thai Embassy, we rode the van and went to the hotel. We arrived around 11:45 am. They served breakfast buffet which a very hefty meal after a long trip. We slept until 4:00 pm. We would’ve gone somewhere but since we don’t know our way around, we just stayed at the hotel. The signal of the phone went on and off. There was an internet connection which hardly connected. So, I just waited patiently until dinner was served at 5:30 pm.
During this trip, I’ve met a lot of Filipino teachers and other travelers from different parts of the world. After dinner, all of us went to the Mekong Riverside to hang out. It was also during this time that my phone got a signal. We stayed until 12 am. Coming back to the hotel was easy as one of us brought their name card and just showed to the driver. Be careful of the tuktuk driver who will take advantage of you and charge you more than allowed. If you speak Thai, that would be very handy.
Then I slept until 10:30 am ate breakfast freshen up and then again it’s time to go. Around 12:30 pm we left the hotel. Didn’t pass the Thai Embassy anymore we went straight to the border. Again, we barely lined up. It was the Visa Run Company owner who submitted our passports at the Immigration and did everything for us. They returned my passport with a Non-Immigrant ED Visa Sticker in it. After 1 hour, we rode a van and went to Nongkhai, Thailand border. It was just a 20-minute ride going to the border. This time, we had to line up and present ourselves at the Thai Immigration. Before 2:00 pm, we waited for the van to be filled by passengers at the 7/11 store in Nongkhai, Thailand. And then, 2:30 pm we left.
Again, it was a lengthy ride. The company still served packed lunch and dinner at one of our stopovers. We got in Bangkok, Thailand around 1:30 am. It was about 11-hour ride as it includes all traffic, stopovers, etc.
It may be a long ride but getting the Non-Immigrant ED Visa at the Thai Embassy in Vientiane, Laos was easy. You just pay 3,800 BAHT, make sure personal and school documents are complete and wait overnight to get your visa. I would recommend this trip to those country nationals who are allowed to Cross Land Borders. If your nationality belongs to those who still need to get a Laos Visa, riding the bus wouldn’t be advisable. But if your nationality can cross the border and get Visa on Arrival, this would be easier and cost- economical. However, if it’s not for Sandee Thai Language School’s documents, getting the Non-Immigrant ED Visa wouldn’t be possible…..Anne