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.


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.


Which visa will I need in order to become a legal teacher?

A Non-immigrant 'B' visa is generally the visa you need to obtain if you are looking to work here as a teacher.

If you are applying for a non-immigrant 'B' visa, it's a good idea to call your nearest embassy or consulate ahead of time and find out exactly what they require if you want to apply for a non-immigrant B, - although this information is usually on their website and updated regularly.


Can I get a visa to do substitution work at different schools?

Firstly, there isn't a lot of demand in Thailand for some kind of substitute teacher who flits between different schools perhaps covering for absent teachers, etc. In truth, there never has been a demand for this sort of position.

Maybe one or two of the larger private language schools who supply teachers to Thai secondary schools might sometimes have a vacancy for a supply teacher, but you would still be classed as a 'full-time' teacher for that particular private language school (agent)

The thing is you still need a work permit to do this type of work so technically you need a non-immigrant B visa in order to start the work permit process.

Visas don't entitle you to work legally (there is no such thing as a 'work visa' in Thailand) To work legally, you still need a work permit. And it would be nigh on impossible to get a work permit as a substitute teacher working for several different employers. 


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. 


What's the difference between a legal and an illegal teacher?

A legal teacher has a teacher's license (from the Thai Ministry of Education), a work permit (from the Thai Labor Department) and a one-year visa (from the Thai Immigration Dept)

The one year visa is issued on the strength of you having a work permit. If you don't get the work permit, you don't get the one year visa. They are inextricably linked.

An illegal teacher has no teacher's license and no work permit, and of course - no one year visa.

Illegal teachers are resigned to doing border hops and consulate runs to neighboring countries. Life is getting far more difficult in Thailand for this kind of teacher.


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.


Do I have to return to my own country to obtain a work visa?

Firstly, there is no such thing as a work visa in Thailand. You mean a non-immigrant B visa, which allows you to apply for a teacher's licence, etc.

Many people take the option of returning to their home country because non-immigrant B visas can be more difficult to obtain in the Asian countries bordering Thailand, especially if you don't have the correct paperwork.


Briefly, what is the process of obtaining a teacher's license and getting a work permit?

Briefly, you give your school whatever documents they ask you for, and they process them.

You need to be tolerant and helpful at this point even if you personally think the school has no need to ask for certain things. If you don't co-operate, the process will get stuck and you'll be the one leaving the country to get a new visa.

First they obtain a teacher's license for you, and then they use this to get a work permit. Once you have a work permit, your visa can be extended.

Lengthily, (and the details may vary between schools and provinces) the first step is the teacher's license. This requires more or less the following:

A personal information document, up to 12 one and a half inch photos, up to 12 two inch photos, a current health certificate (50 baht any hospital - are you alive? yes - you passed), copies of your degree and other certs (originals may be requested along with transcripts) certified Thai translations of your degree and other certs, copies of every page of your passport, school director's license, school principal's license, map of school, teaching schedule of teacher, list of other work permit holders at the school, a new blank teacher's license book (blue), form Sor Chor 10, form Sor Chor 17, form Ror 11.

And if you've had a license before, then you can add Ror 12, Sor Chor 19, Sor Chor 18, and your blue license book (not to be confused with the work permit book, plus some provinces don't issue them, in which case you might need to fabricate a police report saying you've lost it)

These are all submitted in quadruplicate to the Thai Ministry of Education - and don't forget to sign every single page.

After a while (one week to who knows) you will get the license back. You take this, along with most of the same documents as above to the Labour Department, who will issue a receipt of application.

You can use the receipt to extend your visa - the implication being that your application won't be turned down at this stage.

After about three weeks you pick up your new work permit.

When the time comes for renewal, it's a good idea to remind your school about one month before the expiry date, though they really should be on top of things by that stage.


Do schools contact the authorities in your home country about a criminal record?

No. It's the responsibility of the teacher to provide criminal background checks to the employer (if required)

Most school admin departments wouldn't have the first clue how to go about the process anyway,


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.


Showing 10 questions out of 45 total

Page 3 of 5



Featured Jobs

NES English Teacher for Boys' School

฿53,000+ / month

Bangkok


Baby and LTS Swimming Teacher

฿700+ / hour

Bangkok


Non-native English Conversation Teachers

฿30,000+ / month

Thailand


English Conversation Teachers

฿35,000+ / month

Thailand


Full-time Teachers (25K-40K)

฿25,000+ / month

Thailand


Pre-school teacher

฿80,000+ / month

Nonthaburi


Featured Teachers

  • Emalyn


    Filipino, 44 years old. Currently living in Kuwait

  • Damin


    South African, 20 years old. Currently living in South Africa

  • Dawn


    British, 50 years old. Currently living in United Kingdom

  • Arturo


    Filipino, 24 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Maxim


    Russian, 34 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • William


    American, 50 years old. Currently living in Vietnam

The Hot Spot


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.


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?


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?


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.


Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Walter van der Wal from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.