Interested in teaching English in Thailand? You're in the right place! Visas are an important part of planning your adventure overseas, so you want to make sure you're familiar with the process before you head abroad.
The type of visa you'll need in Thailand (and how you get that visa) will depend on your nationality, teaching job and perhaps other factors like whether you get your job in advance of your arrival, or if you get hired locally in Thailand. Be sure to speak to an International TEFL Academy Advisor by calling 773-634-9900 to discuss your specific questions and concerns about your visa for teaching English in Thailand.
The following is the most common type of visa that can be obtained for teaching English in Thailand.
Do You need a Visa to Teach in Thailand?
Yes, if you are planning to teach in Thailand as a foreigner, you will need a visa that allows you to work in the country legally. The most common type of visa for foreign teachers in Thailand is the Non-Immigrant B visa, which is a work visa that allows you to stay in the country for up to 90 days.
Read more: Requirements to teach English in Thailand
How do I Get a Teaching Visa for Thailand?
If you want to get a teaching visa for Thailand, you will need to follow these steps:
- Obtain a Non-Immigrant Visa (Category B) from a Thai embassy or consulate in your home country. This visa will allow you to enter Thailand for the purpose of applying for a work permit.
- Find a job as a teacher in Thailand and obtain a letter of employment from your employer. The letter should state your position, salary, and responsibilities.
- Apply for a work permit at the Ministry of Labor in Thailand. You will need to provide the following documents: your passport, Non-Immigrant Visa, letter of employment, medical certificate, and a criminal record check.
After you arrive in Thailand with your Non-B Immigrant Visa, your school will begin processing your teacher’s license and work permit. You may be required to visit the labor department, but all documents should be prepared by your school.
Once your school has successfully obtained your teacher’s license and work permit, you will visit an Immigration office. Your Non-B Immigrant visa will then be extended to the same expiration as your work visa, which is typically the length of your contract.
For more information, you can check out the Thai Embassy and Consulates website
These laws are subject to change and it is up to you to make sure you have the most updated information. It is very important that visa applicants check the specific requirements of the consulate where the visa will be processed.
What is the Cost of the Visa?
If processed in the USA, a single-entry (only) visa processing fee is $80 USD. This is payable in money order (only) made payable to "Royal Thai Embassy". No cash, no personal and no business checks accepted.
The fee is not refundable in any case.
How Long is the Visa Valid For?
The validity of the visa is 3 months (90 days). Once a work permit has been obtained, the Non-B Immigrant Visa will be valid through the length of the work permit, which is typically the length of the contract. Your school will have 90 days from when your visa has been issued to obtain your teacher’s license and work permit.
Please note: A visa becomes effective from the date of issuance. Do not apply for the visa too early. If you apply too early the visa may expire before your trip and you will have to re-apply.
Non-B Visa Requirements for Teachers in Thailand: The Details
Please note, a background check must be provided to obtain the Non-B Immigrant Visa. This can be a federal background check or a local police check from your state of residency. You may obtain a police check from a police station in Thailand if you plan on processing your visa after your arrival in Thailand.
You will also require your original university diploma and original transcripts - this may be something your school asks to see.
The following requirements are for processing in the USA:
- Your actual Passport or Travel Document. (Passport or Travel Document must not expire within 6 months and contain at least ONE completely empty visa page).
- One original visa application form completely filled out (black and blue ink only) [Download]
- Two passport-size photographs (2″x2″) (photocopy or photo taken from Photostat will not be accepted). Photographs must have a light color background with a full-face view of the person without wearing a hat or dark glasses and covering up shoulders. Photos must be taken within 6 months;
- A copy of flight confirmation/reservation, showing going from U.S. to Thailand and leaving from Thailand (The name of the applicant must be indicated clearly) *Some consulates do not require this;
- A copy of recent bank statement ($700 per person and $1,500 per family). (The name of the applicant must be indicated clearly). In case of submitting a family bank statement, proof of relationship (i.e. birth certificate, marriage certificate) must be provided. *Some consulates do not require this.
- For non-US citizens living in the US, a copy of a permanent resident alien card or a copy of a valid U.S. visa with a letter proof of employment ( **we don’t accept pay stubs**);
- An original letter of acceptance from an institute school in Thailand;
- Evidence of educational qualification such as a copy of diplomas /teaching certification or copies of transcript;
- A copy of the school (in Thailand) license or business registration, list of shareholders and school profile;
- Resume of the applicant;
- An original letter of verification stating that the applicant has no criminal record/ background check (verification has to be valid for not more than three months and must be issued from a state or Federal Bureau of Investigation only. Online criminal record without an authorizer’s signature is unacceptable);
- For applicants who are going to teach at international schools, not listed as recognized International Schools, a copy of letter of approval from the Office of the Private Education Commission is required.
If you plan to process your visa after your arrival in Thailand, the requirements will be similar to those listed. Once your school has organized your documents, you will need to leave Thailand to process your Non-B Immigrant Visa.
Please reference the consulate in which you plan to process your visa for specific requirements.
Take Note: If you would like to leave Thailand while on your Non-B Immigrant Visa, you must obtain a re-entry permit. This can be done at an Immigration office or during specific hours at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok. You may obtain a re-entry permit only after you Non-B Immigrant Visa has been extended with the addition of the work permit.
Go further: How much money can I make in Thailand as an English teacher