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.
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.
Yes, this can be done if you are a teacher with a guaranteed job offer but surprise! surprise! there is a certain amount of hassle involved.
A lot of the responsibility rests with your employer, who will need your paperwork in order to apply for a letter from the Thai Ministry of Education. This letter can take anything from 3-6 weeks to obtain.
Because of the hassle involved, many employers take the easy option of asking the teacher to go to a neighboring country such as Laos or Malaysia and apply for a new non-immigrant B visa from a Thai consulate or embassy in that country.
Can I get a three-month category 'O' visa in Laos? What about a double-entry non-immigrant B in Penang?
To be honest I hate answering these kind of questions because there is no such thing as a straight yes or no in my experience.
My advice is always to either call or fax the Thai consulate you intend to go to (calling is better) and get the answer from the actual consulate officers. Ask the name of the person you are speaking to so you have a reference point.
I wouldn't plan a visa run - transportation, accommodation costs, etc - unless I had some sort of guarantee.
If you turn up at the consulate with ten bits of paper, and the consulate want eleven, then it's too late. You're screwed.
Find out exactly what you need before you make the journey.
What should officially happen when a teacher quits a job and hands the work permit back to the employer is that both teacher and employer should go to the immigration department and inform the officer that the teacher has terminated his / her employment.
The officer will then cancel the teacher's visa and the teacher has 24 hours to leave the country. However there are many 'ifs' and 'buts'. If the teacher needs to organise transportation out of the country, etc, - as is often the case - they can ask the immigration officer for a 7-day visa extension (at a cost)
In reality, when many teachers quit their jobs, their employer simply can't be bothered to go and do the right thing at the immigration office and the teacher ends up staying in Thailand for the remaining period that their visa allows.
This is something of a risky game to play because if you, the teacher, are stopped by police for a passport spot-check, you no longer have a work permit to support the visa in your passport.
My advice - do the right thing. Get a one-week extension and then leave the country.
Technically, the answer is no.
If a teacher leaves a job for whatever reason, they need to hand back the work permit to the labor department and the visa that goes with that work permit becomes null and void.
You then have to leave the country (usually within 7 days) to obtain a new visa at a Thai embassy or consulate in a neighboring country.
However, there are rarely any black and white answers in Thailand, and some teachers (probably very few I might add) have had success transferring the visa but not the work permit, while others have had success transferring both work permit and visa due to the fact that the paperwork for the new job was completed in time (before the end of the first contract)
If that doesn't sound like a straight answer, then that's because it isn't one. This is another one of those situations where as the teacher, you need to rely on both your past and previous employers to get all their ducks in a row.
It rarely happens that way in truth - so be prepared to leave the country for a visa run.
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.
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.
You should ideally bring your original degree certificate and originals of any transcripts. And also a criminal background check if you can get one (although these seem to be less and less of a requirement as time goes by)
Don't fret about how many copies of each document you need to bring. It's not as though Thailand doesn't have photocopiers (as some people seem to think!)
Yes, as long as you have a non-B visa which entitles you to get a teaching licence and work legally in Thailand.
You can then obtain a non-O visa for your children or spouse (qualifying them as dependents)
I've never heard that there is an age limit for a visa, but 60 is apparently the age where you can't get into the social security scheme.
In my experience, there is no problem getting a work permit after you turn 60.
(Thanks to Terry LH for answering this question)
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