Have a question about obtaining a work permit or visa? Check out the questions below; chances are we've got your query covered! If not you can submit a question to us.
No, there is no limit on either work permits or the number of non-B visas you can have. There is only a limit (officially) on the number of teaching licence waivers, but many teachers have managed to work for years using these waivers.
Several readers have suggested paying a visit to your embassy in Thailand and getting a sworn affidavit. It certainly worked for them when they were faced with the same situation of the name on their degree not quite matching the name in their passport.
Please note though that the British Embassy in Thailand no longer provides this service.
Well, the school will be pissed off for a start (unless you're an awful teacher and they can't wait to see the back of you).
In addition to that, you will probably be required to reimburse the school for the costs of work permit, teacher's license, admin staff's shoe leather, etc, etc. You can expect to cough up something in the region of 5,000 baht.
More importantly, once you quit a job, your work permit and one-year visa are null and void. You now have 7 days to leave the country and get a new visa.
Make sure that you keep tabs on exactly when the school hands back your work permit to the labor department, because that's when the 7-day clock starts ticking. I've heard numerous stories of schools failing to tell the teacher that they've already cancelled the work permit and the teacher suddenly staring at a hefty overstay fine.
Needless to say, breaking a contract is something you really should avoid doing if at all possible.
Paully also adds the following - In addition to the advice already given, remember that if your written employment contract has a notice period clause in it (as is common), for example, allowing your employer or you to terminate the contract on one month's written notice to the other party, you are NOT breaking your contract by giving your employer one month's written notice of leaving.
You are terminating your contract by agreement. This is as valid in Thai law as in US or UK law.
Your employer may still be pissed off, but there's nothing in law he can do about it other than try to hold up your application for a new work permit.
Keep a copy of your letter of notice and contact the Ministry of Labour if your old employer refuses to give you the Min of Labour a release form (Tor Dor 11) agreeing to your leaving and allowing you to get a new work permit.
Update from a teacher regarding the '7-day rule'
In my case, the employer wrote on whatever form it was that they presented to the Labour Department that my last date of employment was 12 June.
They actually notified the Labour Department on 14 June and subsequently notified Immigration on 15 June. Immigration gave me until 18 June (ie, the clock started ticking the first second into 12 June) to leave the country.
I was expecting a date of 21st June, so this was a bit of a surprise, but not a problem.
Ask ten different teachers and you'll hear ten different experiences. Some teachers will go to local clinics, pay about 50 baht for the medical check, be in and out in ten minutes and the doctor won't even pick up a stethoscope in anger.
Others will go to a proper hospital, pay anything up to 700 baht and actually be required to give a blood sample and answer a few questions. Conclusion? It all depends where you go. But the end result - obtaining the medical certificate - is the same. Getting a medical certificate is not a big deal at all.
The requirements can vary from embassy to embassy.
Decide which Thai embassy you are going to and then take a look at their website for the latest updated requirements.
If you are relying on a school to provide you with documentation, then the school should know exactly what is required.
I am HIV positive and have been offered a teaching job in Bangkok. I am worried my status will be an issue. I was hoping to not disclose my status to my employer and I receive medical treatment in the UK and will continue to do so even if I leave. Is this medical examination the same one for the work permit or is this something different?
We put this question out on social media and here are some of the responses.
"My medical examination includes HIV tests for a work permit"
"I was told by a doctor that it's illegal to discriminate/test for HIV here unless you have a high risk job. Could be a different story in reality though"
"My medicals for work permits have never asked for hiv tests"
Several teachers all remarked that the medical test only checks for syphilis.
In conclusion, yet another one of those infamous Thai grey areas.
Thailand has a very complex visa system and sometimes it seems like it's forever changing.
My advice to anyone who has an important visa-related question is to go to your local immigration office or Thai embassy and get the answer from the people who make the rules.
Don't rely on info from well-meaning 'experts' (including me) who think they know the ropes. Their info might be correct at the time of writing but they could also be wrong.
For that reason the answers to the questions in this section should never be taken as absolute gospel.
The level of customer service at Thai immigration offices has improved a great deal over the past years and I always find them very helpful. Even in the smallest provincial immigration offices there will invariably be an officer who can speak enough English to help you.
We put this question to some Thailand teachers on social media. As one teacher was quick to point out - legally, you can't work a single second of time without the correct visa or a work permit. However, as another teacher said - I would allow a maximum of three months. You're allowed to work on your single entry non-B visa, as long as the company can prove your work permit is in process. Another teacher kind of agreed by saying - legally you can't work without a work permit, but we all know that's unrealistic as many schools like to stall the process to make sure you've got what it takes to become one of their teachers. I'd also plan for three months.
"The school has asked me to work a one-month probation period and then they will assist with the documents for a b visa and work permit. I am currently on a tourist visa and I am very worried that I will get into trouble. Should I have the correct visa and work permit before starting the job?"
It's certainly not unusual. Billy Weaver had the following to say on the ajarn Facebook page - In my experience, it takes many schools that long to even get the paperwork together. They dont want to give you a work permit if you prove to not be the teacher they are looking for. so it takes them time. If you have any problems then you generally have immigration or whoever call the school. That's in my experience.
Chris and Angela, a couple living and working in Chiang Mai, have put together a fantastic overview of the Thailand multiple-entry tourist visa, which came into operation in 2015. All the info you need is there.
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