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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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) 


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. 


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.


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.


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 spokn 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.  


Showing 10 questions out of 44 total

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