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.
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Can you get a work permit without a degree?
This is one of those 'ask ten different people and you'll get ten different answers' type questions. There are a lot of those in Thailand trust me.
Although the official line is 'no you can't get a work permit without a degree' there are plenty of examples of agencies managing to get one for their teaching staff and in some cases, teachers at government schools out in the sticks have had no problem at all.
As in most cases, it can depend on contacts and being in the right place at the right time. If you're looking for some hard, fast rule that applies 100% of the time - forget it. This is Thailand.
Who should pay for the work permit - employer or employee?
There is no rule or law stating who is responsible for payment. Sometimes it's the employee that forks out but in most cases it's the employer.
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.
Can a visa and work permit be transferred to another job?
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.
Is there an age limit to working in Thailand according to visa requirements?
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)
Is it possible to secure a visa / teachers licence that also covers you for your child?
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)
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.
Can a potential employer cancel my 90 day non-b visa should I wish not accept employment?
An ajarn reader writes - "I came into Thailand a week ago on a non-B visa with the intention of working at a school here.
I discovered on the first day that the terms of employment were not as they appeared to be. I informed the school that I would not continue with them and that I would need to look for other work.
Naturally they were not pleased and said they would go to immigration and cancel my non-B. Can they do that? Please help!"
Phil says "I'm not getting the full story here but I assume you fixed up a job while you were still in your home country and the employer sent you a letter of 'intent to employ' and you used that letter to get a non-immigrant B visa at your local Thai embassy.
The truth is that you haven't done anything wrong. It's not your fault that now you are actually here, the job has not turned out to be what you expected.
It seems I can never repeat this enough but NEVER fix up a job before you arrive. Wait until you get here and then start looking for jobs.
Back to the original question - the employer can't waltz into immigration and start demanding that visas be cancelled. There's no contract between the two of you for starters. It's nothing but an idle threat. A pretty nasty one at that. I'm sure you've learned a lesson or two from all this though.
What happens if I break a one-year contract?
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.
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