26 April 2013
Thailand is a fantastic country to go to with your TEFL certificate. It’s a beautiful country filled with a new culture and way of life to explore, making it a favourite. Thailand also has a great demand for English teachers.
To work in Thailand, you require a 120 hour TEFL certificate and at least a Bachelor’s degree. These are often the minimum requirements needed for a job here and the Thai government won’t let foreign nationals work in Thailand without a degree. In addition to these, you also require various permits and a visa to work here. You will need –
- A non-immigrant B-Visa
- A Work Permit
- A teacher’s licence
A common occurrence is for you to apply for the Visa and your employer will handle the necessary paperwork for the work permit and teacher’s licence and inform you of any documentation you need to provide. Occasionally you can even find a job placement where the employer will offer to pay the fees for any visas or permits you need!
To get the non-immigrant B-Visa, you need a confirmed job offer from an employer. This will make the whole process of applying for a Visa much easier. The Visa application form can be downloaded from the Thai Embassy website. You will also need a valid passport that will not expire in the next six months plus a copy of it and two recent passport-style photographs. They should have been taken in the last six months and should measure 2 x 2 inches. You may also need your TEFL certificate and your degree or proof of any qualifications you have plus copies in case you are required to produce them.
Sometimes you are also required to provide a Criminal Record Clearance certificate. This can be applied for through your local police force and it basically confirms that you have no criminal record and it is safe for you to work with children. You will also need a letter of invitation from your employer in Thailand and information about your term of employment, such as where you intend to work and the length of your employment.
Once these documents have been gathered, you need to submit them to the Embassy or to one of the various Consulates around the country. You will also need to pay a Visa fee in cash, cheques and credit or debit cards aren’t accepted, and the price of the visa can be found on the Embassy website. If successful in your application, the Visa will be issued in a few days.
Now that you have the Visa you can travel to Thailand. When you have arrived, you need to procure a teacher’s licence from either the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of University Affairs in addition to a work permit from the Ministry of Labour. With both of these and your employment certificate and contract, you can apply at the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok for a Visa extension.
Please note that you cannot work in Thailand on a tourist visa, no matter what an employer may tell you, and any applications will need to be made in person. A fine will also need to be paid if you stay longer than your Visa allows.
For more information on Thai Visas then go to the embassy website here and to search for a job in Thailand, visit the TEFL Job Centre. Or you can look at course options to get started towards a great new life in Thailand!