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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What are the costs involved in doing a border run and will my school pay?

Very difficult to answer this question. You could take a cheap minibus from Bangkok to Aranya Pratheet on the Cambodian border and still have change from thirty dollars. Or you could fly to Singapore and stay a night in a swanky Orchard Road hotel.

Border runs can be tailored to fit most budgets.

Schools almost rarely/never pay for a teacher to do a border hop or consulate run.


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.


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,


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 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.


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.


Do you need two WPs if you work full-time at a school and part-time at a language institute?

You would probably have a work permit for the full-time job at the school, but the part-time work at the language institute would just be for a few hours in the evening.

One of Bangkok's biggest private language schools only employs part-time teachers who already have a work permit for their full-time job. This means that at the very least, the teacher is legally entitled to work in Thailand, albeit not for the part-time job.

However, an ajarn reader got in touch to say that at the back of the work permit book, there is space to add a 'second employer'. So it seems you can possibly cover two jobs at two different locations with just one work permit book.


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.


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 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.


Showing 10 questions out of 45 total

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