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.


Does a medical examination include an HIV test?

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.


What does a Thai medical check entail to get a work permit processed?

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.


Is it usual for a school to ask for a month probation without a work permit

"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.


What are the rules, etc regarding Thailand's latest multiple-entry tourist visa?

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. 


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.


My school will get me a work permit if I sign a one-year contract. What happens if I break it?

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.


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.


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