Samui's local news :-)
First one - for those who would like to hang out here for a while, enjoying sea and sun, but doesn't know how - now you can get a legal student visa in Samui from «Koh Samui Tutor & Vocational School» (11/8, Moo 1, Maenam, Koh Samui, Surat Thani, 84330, Thailand, tel. +66 (0) 77 248228), which is opposite the industrial kitchen shop "75" in Maenam.
Enrolling in courses in English or Thai language (or you can learn both at the same time if you want to), for the duration of 180 hours, you can obtain all the documents necessary for getting 1 year student visa.
What you need to bring to the Thai Embassy: your passport, six 3x4 photos and papers (copies) about your course, better to have them already translated to English. You can actually translate it yourself.
For couples - you'd better bring a marriage certificate (copy), also translated into English.
The cost of 1 year course (including the preparation of all the documents for a student visa) is 35 000 baht. And half of that amount should be paid before you start a visa getting process. If the visa is not granted - the money are refunded in full.
After receiving permission from the Ministry of Education for obtaining a visa, you will have to go to any Thai consulate outside of Thailand. After receiving the visa (which cost about 2000 baht), the school will give you a letter from the same Ministry, on which basis you can get a 90 days visa extension in the local Samui's Immigration Office in Nathon without the need to cross the Thai border.
The cost of each extension is 1900 baht.
When you first enter the country with this type of visa, at the airport you will get a stamp in your passport, allowing you to stay in Thailand for 90 days. After 90 days you will have to go to the local immigration office and get that extension for the next 90 days. So, during your 1 year visa, you will make 4 extensions, resulting in the permitted period of stay of about 15 months.
If you want to study less than a year - then you will have to pay 25 000 baht for 90 hours, in which case you can obtain a visa for 6 months, and if you are paying 15 000 baht for 45 hours - a visa for 3 months.