The visa runaround

The process for getting a teacher's visa in Thailand (non-B) is anything but simple (as of my experiences with Jomtien immigration when I was last there).

First, I needed original proof (housebook or letter from owner) of where I was staying. If the accommodation you are living in is owned by a farang (condo) then you need this letter from the Thai building owner. If you are staying in a hotel/hostel, you need a letter from the owner of that (whether or not they are actually in town/country doesn't matter to the officials, you still needed it). This then had to be authenticated by the city hall.

Secondly, I needed to get my (original) degree certificate sent over from the UK. A photocopy would no longer suffice. It had to be the original certificate.

Waiting for the required documents to arrived was a long and stressful process (what if they got lost in the Thai post?!)

My time on my tourist waiver ran out and I had to take a border run to Cambodia (getting a grilling of who I was, what I was doing in Thailand and why I was there from the stern Thai official at the re-entry border).

I was then told to obtain photographs of myself including one of me "teaching" students, one of me with a Thai colleague and one again stood by the sign for the school name at the front gates (although when I questioned them asking me for pictures of myself teaching without a visa that allows me to teach would have been illegal, they became agitated and said "I tell you already, why you no understand!?"

Of course nobody in Jomtien immigration office spoke English or even explained anything to my Thai partner when I took her with me. It seemed they didn't even know the rules themselves. The request for photographs was way beyond Thai logic and the whole thing would have been hilarious if it wasn't so stressful.

I then waited for more than a couple of weeks for my monumentally incompetent school admin to produce the contract and proof of my employment document.

In the time waiting for this, my 30 days again ran out and I took a weekend trip to Kuala Lumpur, getting another 30 days (and another grilling off Thai immigration at Don Muang).

Thirdly, I had to take this to be legalised and authenticated by the British Embassy of Bangkok.


Read more letters

Featured Jobs

Primary & Secondary Teachers (48K - 50K)

15 hours ago

฿40,000+ /month


English Conversation Teachers

1 day, 7 hours ago

฿35,000+ /month


MEP Teachers for Chaiyaphum City

1 day, 10 hours ago

฿30,000+ /month

Various locations

Positions in the Provinces for May Start

1 day, 12 hours ago

฿30,000+ /month


Qualified Filipino and Chinese Teachers (20-25K)

2 days, 8 hours ago

฿20,000+ /month


Corporate Trainers

2 days, 8 hours ago

฿600+ /hour


TEFL Courses & Training

Get off to a good start...

Take your course
in Thailand!

Training Directory

Featured Teachers

  • Meherr


    Cypriot, 34 years old. Currently living in Spain

  • Chakchai


    Swiss, 38 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Chaky


    Swiss, 38 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • April


    American, 27 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Eugenia


    Russian, 33 years old. Currently living in Russian Federation

  • Jonathan


    American, 53 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Ben


    Canadian, 24 years old. Currently living in Canada

  • Luke


    British, 47 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • John


    Canadian, 38 years old. Currently living in Canada

  • wayne


    British, 40 years old. Currently living in Thailand


Sine Education

No TEFL required.

Mediakids Academy

Top TEFL job placement provider with competitive benefits and an unforgettable experience.

English Planet

To be internationally recognized as the leader in quality English language training.


Vacancies for in-house and corporate teachers at the finest schools in Suphanburi City


We get you a job! Options for school placements all over Thailand

BSI Broker

Brokers for ajarn health insurance and for all your Thailand insurance needs.

Siam Computer & Language

Competitive teacher packages with benefits and bonus incentives

Kajonkietsuksa School

First bilingual school in Phuket. Vacancies for kindergarten, primary and secondary teachers.

Kasintorn St Peter School

Progressive English program school near Bangkok employing NES and Filipino teachers

Inlingua Thailand

Premier language school with many branches and corporate training.

The Hot Spot

Can you hear me OK?

Can you hear me OK?

In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?

Renting an apartment?

Renting an apartment?

Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.

Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?

Air your views

Air your views

Got something to say on the topic of teaching, working or living in Thailand? The Ajarn Postbox is the place. Send us your letters!

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?

Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.