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.


Is it legal for a potential employer to ask for original documents?

There is no legality issue here. It falls under the heading of common sense.

You should NEVER let original documents out of your sight and even if you have to hand them over to someone (let's say in a Thai government department) for a fleeting moment, you should know exactly where they are.

So make sure wherever possible, that you accompany those original documents on their journey. 


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.

One of our ajarn bloggers - Sam Thompson - did a visa run to Laos in 2015 and his detailed account is well worth a read.


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 are the minimum number of hours you need to work to qualify for a work permit?

I've asked around and no one has come up with a straight answer to this.

Someone did mention the minimum as possibly being 20 hours a week but the general concensus seems to be that there is no set figure. I'll update things when and if I hear something more concrete.  


How long does the process take to get a teachers licence, and do I have to do it myself?

You need a school backing you up in order to get yourself a teacher's license. If the school can't do the paperwork then your own chances of doing it will be slim to non-existent.

Many schools do not actually know how to get licenses and work permits for foreign teachers, or do not have a member of staff who has ever done it. In this case things can get very drawn out with the application being postponed indefinitely. If you're the first or only foreigner in a school, good luck.

The actual process need not take a long time. The important thing is to get the teacher's license because that will enable you to file your work permit application, which is then enough to extend your visa.

The process shouldn't take more than a month according to several school admin people that I have spoken to.


How can I make sure that leaving a job goes smoothly in terms of handing back the work permit?

Firstly, this is by and large the employer's responsibilty and not the teacher's.

You need to liaise with your school's admin person and tell them that you are leaving (hopefully you gave them 30 days notice) and discuss this issue.

Ask the employer to inform you as soon as your work permit has been cancelled and returned to the labor department. You must ensure that this procedure has been carried out or else getting your new work permit for the next job could be a problem.

Years ago, it was the responsibilty of the employer to give the teacher a chit to show that the permit had been cancelled but that's no longer the case. Therefore the current system is open to all sorts of administrative procrastination if your school is that way inclined.  


How do I stay working as a teacher here for longer than two years?

I presume you are talking about the two-year waiver that the TCT (Teachers Council of Thailand) granted teachers that were not qualified enough to apply for a teachers licence but could show they were making the effort to actually get qualified.

Well, for many teachers - especially those who have done nothing about getting qualified in the past two years - that two-year period is up.

In many cases though, employers have been successful in getting a second extension to the waiver agreement (or so I'm led to believe) but other employers have been knocked back and teachers now face losing their jobs.

As with so many rules and regulations in Thailand - the colour is grey!    


Should I trust my employer with my passport if they need it for certain processes?

There will probably come a time when your employer needs to show your original passport as part of the visa / work permit process, etc and photocopies won't suffice.

If at all possible, ask if you can accompany the school staff on these processing trips. In other words, don't let your passport out of your sight.

There have certainly been instances of school admin staff losing passports and while it isn't the end of the world, it can be a real hassle and inconvenience to get a passport replaced.

Asking to accompany the school staff on a processing trip is certainly not an unreasonable request.  


What are the penalties on being late for your 90 day reporting?

The fine is 2,000 baht and the rule is certainly enforced.

Don't forget though that you are allowed a 7-day grace period once your 90 days is up.


How long does a work permit renewal take?

If your school knows what it is doing, then a work permit renewal should only take a day or two - provided there are no unforeseen problems. 


Showing 10 questions out of 44 total

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