Process for working legally in Thailand as a teacher

The process for working legally in Thailand basically comes down to obtaining a valid work permit to do so. You would first have to obtain either a Non-Immigrant “B” which requires a degree in any field or a Non-Immigrant “O” which does not. Both of these Non-Immigrant visas open a 90 day window for you to obtain a valid work permit from-your employer and once you obtain your work permit, your visa is also-extended a year from entry. (see the five steps below)

The two main categories a school or potential employer would consider is if you are currently a degree holder or a non-degree holder. The two sub-categories would be are you a native English speaker or non-native English speaker. The term Native English Speaker (N.E.S.) referrers to any individual holding a passport from; The United States of American, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand or Australia. If you are not holding a passport from one of these countries, then according to Thailand and most of Asia you are a non-native English speaker. Over the years Thailand has made some exceptions in considering passport holders from South Africa and Ireland as native, but these countries have not been formally added to the list.

What is the difference between arriving on a Non-Immigration Visa or Tourist Visa?

Non-Immigrant visa provides you a 90 day window to obtain your work permit. Once you have obtained your work permit, your visa is extended one year from entry. A Non-Immigrant ‘B’ Visa requires a degree where as a Non-immigrant ‘O’ does not.

Non-Immigrant visa

Non-Immigrant visa provides you a 90 day window to obtain your work permit. Once you have obtained your work permit, your visa is extended one year from entry. A Non-Immigrant ‘B’ Visa requires a degree where as a Non-immigrant ‘O’ does not.

90 days of validity

Must leave the country to get a new non-immigrant visa once your employer provides you the sponsorship documents.

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The Non-Immigrant “B” Visa

(Opens a 90 day window to obtain the work permit)

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The Non-Immigrant “O” Visa

(Opens a 90 day window to obtain the work permit)

Tourist visa

A single Entry Tourist Visa gives you 90 days of validity with the 30 day extension and the Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (METV) gives you 180 days of validity with two 30 extensions, which is basically two single entry tourist visas back to back. The tourist visa allows you to; participate in meetings, conferences, seminars, attend special academic training or lectures which makes it prefect for our TEFL course.

May convert the tourist visa to a non-immigrant visa without leaving the country.

Must pay an additional 1,900 baht at a local immigration office for the additional 30 extension to equal the 90 days.

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The Tourist Visa – Single Entry

(90 days of validity = 60 days + 30 day extension)

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The Tourist Visa – Multiple Entry

(180 days of validity = 60 days +30 extension + 60 days +30 extension)

The five steps to working legally in Thailand as a teacher

Step 1: Sign up for our course

After chatting with one of our consultants and signing up for a course, we will send you a welcome pack with arrival and visa information to get you started on your new adventure.

 

Step 2: Arrival in Thailand

Upon your arrival in Thailand (as with any country) you will be asked to fill out an arrival card (as below).  This form is pretty straight forward and easy to fill out.

 

If you have signed up for one of our TEFL courses you would have received an arrival information sheet along with your welcome pack on how to fill out this form and other location specific information on airport arrival, airport pickup, accommodation, etc.

 

Your visa is activated once your passport is stamped by the Immigration officer with on your arrival date; this is your entry date. If you are arriving on a Visa on Arrival, then this gives you 30 days of validity. Exciting times ahead!

 

Things you will need:

 

A pen (blue or black) to fill out your visa application form

Passport with at least 6 months of validity

Travel document, a copy of your air ticket showing a departure of 60 days out from your arrival.  We recommend to purchase a Flexible flight so you are able to change your departure dates when needed. 

Bank statement, a copy showing the last three months, with at least a balance equivalent to 20,000 Thai baht (approximately $700) per person

Accommodation Address and contact information where you will be staying during your time in Thailand.  

Arrival-Card-S1

Arrival Card – TM 6 (front)

(Please see your Information sheet for detailed instructions)

Arrival-Card-S2

Arrival Card – TM 6 (Back)

(Please see your Information sheet for detailed instructions)

Both your passport and your Departure Card (They keep your Arrival card) will stamped with both you Arrival Date and Visa expiry date (Admitted Until). The immigration officer will staple your departure card in your passport, so you don’t lose it. During the Entrust TEFL orientation at one of our training centers; we will take a look at you passport and visa entry stamp to be sure that everything was done correctly, if not one of our staff will take you to the airport to have immigration correct the error.  

Some nationalities my be required to also fill out a TM 88 below.

Step 3: Meeting your employers

Job placement typically happens during our second and third week of the course, so you will have time to talk with your potential employers about visa sponsorship and work permits. We want you to be completely comfortable with your employer, so we ask Agents and Schools come to our training centers to interview with you personally or via Skype, so you don’t need to spend time or money to travel to them.

During the third week of the course one of our staff will accompany you to the local immigration office to extend your tourist visa for an additional 30 days at a cost of 1,900 Thai baht.  This will be a good experience as you will get comfortable and confident with the process of extending your visa while our staff is on hand to assist. 

Things to take with you to your local immigration office:

Your physical passport
A copy of your passport (info page)
A copy of your entry stamp
A copy of your Arrival card
A pen (blue or black)
One visa photo
Your physical address in Thailand
1,900 Thai Baht

Step 4: Head to your school or Employer

Before you graduate the Entrust TEFL course on Friday evening, you would already have determined which employer you will be going with and all the arrangements as to how are you getting to the school, who will be meeting you at the bus station or airport to collect you, where will you be living, what level of students and what your teaching schedule looks like. 

You will typically be graduating at our training center on a Friday evening and working at your new school earning income as ESL teacher Monday morning.  If you would like a little holiday between gradation and employment just let our staff know so they can accommodate you.

Most schools have a probation period, both to see if you are happy at the school and If they are happy with you before they start the lengthy sponsorship process. During this probation and the processing of your visa sponsorship paperwork you may work at the school as both you and the school are in this probation period.

Please note: Entrust TEFL is not your employer, but merely making the introduction to potential employers as a regular part of our ongoing training programs. Only your employer can sponsor you with a working visa and work permit.

Step 5: Obtain a New Visa or Working Visa

If you arrived tourist visa and completed both your 30 days of validity and your 30-day extension, then you need to visit a neighboring country to obtain a brand-new visa.

If you have been given sponsorship documents from your school or employer then you will obtain either a non-immigrant "B" visa (Degree holder) or a non-immigrant "O" visa (non-degree holder) which will open a 90 day window for the Thai Ministry of Labor to issue you a work permit.

Once you have been granted a work permit then your Non-immigrant visa will be extended one year  from entry.

If your school or employer has not organized your sponsorship documents yet, then you will be simply obtaining a tourist visa to give your school an additional 90 days (60 days + 30-day extension) to complete the paperwork.

The five official Thai border exit / entry check points.

NORTH - LAOS / VIENTIANE

Laos / Vientiane

North East: Nong Khai is the border crossing between Thailand and Lao PDR. The Lao entry visa and entry stamp will cost approximately 1,550 Thai Baht depending on your nationality. You will also have to purchase a bus ticket to go across the bridge between Thailand and Lao; it’s about 20 Thai baht each way. (Website)

Visa run to Vientiane; The process:

(Click Here to book an Appointment with the embassy)

  1. Get yourself to Nong Khai then to the border
  2. Stamp out of Thailand (no cost)
  3. Get your Laos visa ($30-$35 USD)
  4. Arrive at the Royal Thai Embassy (8:30am-12:00PM) – Download form
  5. Apply and pay for your Visa. (Tourist 1,000 baht / Non-Immigrant 2,000 Baht)
  6. Go find your accommodation for the night (500 – 1500 baht)
  7. The next day return to the Embassy to pick up your visa and passport (1:00PM-3:00PM)
  8. Get a bus (10,000 Kip / 42 Baht) or taxi 20,000 Kip / 82 Baht) back to Nong Khai
  9. Leave Laos Immigration check point and get on bus across the bridge (12,000 Kip / 54 baht)
  10. Enter Thailand (Free)

NORTH - LAOS / SAVANNAKHET

Laos / Savannakhet

North East: Mukdahan is the border crossing between Thailand and Lao PDR. The Lao entry visa and entry stamp will cost approximately 1,550 Thai Baht depending on your nationality. You will also have to purchase a bus ticket to go across the Friendship bridge II between Thailand and Lao; it’s about 50 Thai baht each way.

Visa run to Savannakhet; The process:
  1. Get yourself to Mukdahan and on a bus to the border
  2. Stamp out of Thailand (50 Baht)
  3. Get your Laos visa ($30-$35 USD)
  4. Arrive at the Royal Thai Consulate (Mon – Fri 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM)  Download form
  5. Apply and pay for your Visa. (Tourist 1,000 baht / Non-Immigrant 2,000 Baht)
  6. Go find your accommodation for the night (500 – 1500 baht)
  7. The next day return to the Consulate to pick up your visa and passport (Mon – Fri 2:00 PM -4:00 PM)
  8. Get a bus (10,000 Kip / 42 Baht) or taxi 20,000 Kip / 82 Baht) back to Mukdahan
  9. Leave Laos Immigration check point and get on bus across the bridge (12,000 Kip / 54 baht)
  10. Enter Thailand by presenting your arrival card and passport

WEST - MYANMAR (BURMA) / MAESAI

Myanmar (Burma) / Maesai

Maesai is the border crossing between Thailand and Myanmar (Burma). The Myanmar visa stamp will cost approximately 500 Thai baht. You’ll simply walk over the bridge to the Myanmar check point, get your passport stamped, and then walk back to Thailand.

EAST - CAMBODIA / BAN LAEM

Cambodia / Ban Laem

West: Ban Laem is the border crossing between Thailand and Cambodia. The Cambodian entry visa and stamp will cost approximately 500 Thai baht. You’ll simply walk over the bridge to the Cambodian check point, get your passport stamped, and then walk back to Thailand.

SOUTH - SADEO / MALAYSIA

Southern valid exit/entry points:

South: Sadeo is the border crossing between Thailand and Malaysia. The Malaysian entry stamp is free to western and Common Wealth countries. There is a fleet of motorbike taxis that will drive you to the Malaysian check point to get your stamp, and then back to Thailand. You’ll never even have to get off the back of the motorbike! This costs about 20 Thai baht.

 

 

 

The Work Permit Process

Once you have obtained your Non-immigrant “B” visa or Non-immigrant “O” visa from the Royal Thai Embassy and have returned to Thailand, your employer will want a copy of every page in your passport so they can start the work permit process. The work permit process can take from 10 business days to six months as the due diligence period has been increased.

Your employer will request the following items so they can start the process.

1) Original passport
2) Your departure card
3) 12 photos (white background) 3 X 4 cm at a cost of approximately 250 baht
4) 12 photos (white background) 4 x 5 cm at a cost of approximately 250 baht
5) Blood Test (Doctor visit & test) at a cost of approximately 1,200 baht
6) Royal Thai Police clearance at a cost of approximately 100-150 baht

 

Once you have obtained your work permit, your visa will be extended one year from your entry date. You will be required to report to a local immigration office to every 90 days to notify your intent on staying an additional 90 days and to update your physical address. As a foreigner (non-Thai National) your landlord must also report to immigration of your physical address, contract term, people living with you, etc., so both of these address and information should match up at immigration.

Overstaying your visa

Please be aware when your visa is expiring.  Your school or employer may inform you when you must extend or obtain a new visa or they may not, either way it is ultimately your responsibility to maintain your legal status in Thailand or any country you are not a citizen.      

If you find that you have overstayed your visa DO NOT to surrender at a local immigration office as they may detain you until you can arrange a flight back home. It is far better to go directly to a Thai Immigration border crossing (land or Air) to pay your fine, safely step (or fly) across the border entering a new country, then head to a Royal Thai Embassy in that country to obtain a new visa and return to Thailand.

Please note: If you are currently holding a passport from one of the following “Red Flag” countries you may not be able to do a land crossing from Thailand as that country you are crossing into may not allow you entry, thus you will be stuck between that country and Thailand

Red Flagged countries

If you are holding a passport from one of the following countries, you must obtain a visa prior to entry into Thailand.  

If you are holding a passport from one of the following countries do not attempt to do visa run or border hop to a neighboring country prior to obtaining a visa to do so.  What generally happens is that people find themselves stuck between two countries, by simply stamping out of Thailand, but do not have a visa to enter Lao, Cambodia, Myanmar or Malaysia, and do not have a visa to reenter Thailand.

Afghanistan
Algeria
Angola
Bangladesh
Benin
Botswana
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cambodia
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Care d’Ivore
Central African Republic
Chad

China
Comoros
Congo
Congo DRC
Cuba
Djibouti
Egypt
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gabon
Gambia
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau

India
Iran
Iraq
Jordan
Kenya
Korea
Lebanon
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Mauritania
Mauritius

Morocco
Mozambique
Namibia
Nepal
Niger
Nigeria
Pakistan
Palestine
Principe
Rwanda
Sao Tome
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone

Somalia
South Sudan
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Swaziland
Syria
Tanzania
Togo
Tunisia
Uganda
Vietnam
Yemen
Zambia
Zimbabwe

MISCELLANEOUS THAI IMMIGRATION FORMS

THAI IMMIGRATION FROM DOWNLOAD
Transferstamp
Transferstamp
Application from for Residence Certificate
Application from for Residence Certificate
Lost or Stolen Passport
Lost or Stolen Passport
Change New Passport
Change New Passport
Information of Conveyance - TM 2
Information of Conveyance - TM 2
Passenger List - TM 3
Passenger - TM 3
Application For Extention Of Temporary Stay In The Kingdom - TM 7
Application For Extention Of Temporary Stay In The Kingdom - TM 7
Application For Re-Entry Permit Into The Kingdom - TM 8
Application For Re-Entry Permit Into The Kingdom - TM 8
Application For Permanent Residence In The Kingdom - TM 9
Application For Permanent Residence In The Kingdom - TM 9
Application For Endorsement Of Re-Entry Permit - TM 13
Application For Endorsement Of Re-Entry Permit - TM 13
Application For Substitute Of Certificate Of Residence - TM 18
Application For Substitute Of Certificate Of Residence - TM 18
Application For Non-Quota Immigrant Visa - TM 22
Application For Non-Quota Immigrant Visa - TM 22
Application For Extension Of Temporary Stay During Resident Consideration - TM 25
Application For Extension Of Temporary Stay During Resident Consideration - TM 25
Form for aliens to notify their change of address - TM 28
Form for aliens to notify their change of address - TM 28
Notification form for housemaster, owner or the possessor of the residence where alien has stayed - TM 30
Notification form for housemaster, owner or the possessor of the residence where alien has stayed - TM 30
Form for alien to notify of staying longer than 90 days - TM 47
Form for alien to notify of staying longer than 90 days - TM 47
Application for change of visa - TM 86
Application for change of visa - TM 86
Application for Visa - TM 87
Application for Visa - TM 87
Application for Visa on Arrival - TM 88
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