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.

Send your question to Ajarn.com

If your question regarding work permits and visas hasn't already been addressed on this page, we may be able to help! Submit your question using the form fields below.


How long can I work legally at a school while they sort out visas and work permits, etc?

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.


Can my employer refuse to give me my teacher's license when I leave?

This information comes from an ajarn reader.

It's common for schools to hang on to your teacher's license (both the permanent version and the version issued to that school for your current contract period) while you're working there.

Schools sometimes like to hang on to your passport and your blue work permit book too, officially for safekeeping, unofficially perhaps in an attempt to stop you disappearing at the end of the month.

Remember that your passport is yours, the school has no right to keep it and it should be kept with you.

The work permit has to be kept with you OR at your place of work during working hours: again the school has no automatic right to keep it in the school safe forever.

At the basic minimum, keep a copy of the work permit in case you need it to refer to the number or issue/expiry date.

When you leave your work, the school must give you your permanent teacher's license (but not the current one issued for your employment) whether you leave Thailand or remain to go on to a new job.

Check you have the original license with the original photograph and stamp on it. They have no right to keep the original permanent license and give you only a copy. It's yours, not theirs.


What happens if I overstay a visa?

Don't overstay a visa in Thailand. It's as simple as that.

The overstay rules are getting stricter and stricter.

At best you will have to pay a fine depending on the number of days you have overstayed. At worst (if the overstay is a long one) you will be barred from entering the country for X number of years.

There's little point going into detail. DON'T OVERSTAY A THAI VISA. 


What is a re-entry permit?

If you have a non-immigrant visa (possibly one that has been extended for a year) it will be cancelled if you leave Thailand.

So to avoid your visa being cancelled, get a re-entry permit from your local immigration office. 

This is very important if you have a work permit, because canceling your visa also cancels the work permit and you have to start the process all over again.

If you have a multiple entry non-immigrant visa which has been extended on a work permit (or you have a work permit application in process) then you still need a re-entry permit, because a new entry is considered to be a new visa, and everything will have been cancelled.

If in doubt, check with immigration first, because the consequences of getting it wrong are troublesome.


What are the costs involved in doing a border run and will my school pay?

Very difficult to answer this question. You could take a cheap minibus from Bangkok to Aranya Pratheet on the Cambodian border and still have change from thirty dollars. Or you could fly to Singapore and stay a night in a swanky Orchard Road hotel.

Border runs can be tailored to fit most budgets.

Schools almost rarely/never pay for a teacher to do a border hop or consulate run.


If I need to get a non-immigrant visa from a neighboring country, what documentation do I need?

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.


What is a consulate/embassy run?

A consulate run is when you physically need to get a new Thai visa in your passport and that means schlepping to a Thai consulate/embassy in a neighboring country.

It goes without saying that consulate runs are more expensive, more time-consuming (and dare I say more stressful) than border hops.

Depending on what time of day you arrive, Thai embassies / consulates will issue you a new visa within 48 hours.



Does a work permit cover you for all types of teaching work and in any location?

Your work permit usually allows you to teach in ONE location only - the location written on the inside cover of the work permit.

However, several ajarn readers have informed me that it is now possible to add a second or other locations to a work permit book.


What is a border run or border hop?

A border hop means taking a train, a bus, a plane or anything with wheels, and crossing one of Thailand's borders to enter a neighboring country (Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar, etc). Then usually coming straight back into Thailand again.

A border hop is usually done to 'activate' a second or third entry on a double or triple entry visa.


Do people teach on tourist visas for a long time? Why?

The main reasons that teachers work illegally (on tourist visas) are

1) they don't possess the necessary qualifications to obtain a teacher's license
2) their school / institute can't get them a work permit / won't get them a work permit / don't know how to get them a work permit
3) they actually prefer to remain a 'free spirit' often juggling around freelance work and not tied down to one particular establishment.

Be warned though: teaching without a work permit can land you in serious trouble. Jail / fine / deportation - take your pick.


Showing 10 questions out of 45 total

Page 1 of 5



Featured Jobs

Homeroom Teacher for Pre-Kindergarten to K3

฿50,000+ / month

Bangkok


Preschool and Primary Homeroom Teachers

฿37,000+ / month

Lampang


Part-time Teachers

฿540+ / hour

Online


Full and Part-time Reading/EFL Teachers

฿40,000+ / month

Thailand


Primary and EYFS Teacher(s) - Year Level Negotiable

฿100,000+ / month

Bangkok


NES Teachers for Primary Level English Program

฿45,000+ / month

Bangkok


Featured Teachers

  • David


    Irish, 45 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Velankanni


    Indian, 35 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Marichu


    Filipino, 57 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Pamela


    Filipino, 23 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Tejaswini


    Indian, 39 years old. Currently living in India

  • David


    Filipino, 31 years old. Currently living in Philippines

The Hot Spot


Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Ricky Batten from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.


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.


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.


Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

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


The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

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


Renting an apartment?

Renting an apartment?

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


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?