If you are seriously considering teaching in Thailand you are probably wondering how to obtain your visa and what kind of visa you need. Our guest blogger Johna from Global Teaching Adventures knows it all!
1. Traveling to Thailand as a paid teacher and receiving a visa on arrival
When you book your flight to Thailand, knowing that you are going there to work, you have two options: you can fly into Bangkok and receive a visa on arrival OR apply for a tourist visa before you depart. Check out Global Teaching Adventures’ website for visa information for paid teachers here; it lists the visa requirements and gives detailed information on the visa process. If you receive a visa on arrival (aka entry stamp in your passport), your visa will only be valid for 30 days. This is what I did and it made me feel a little unsure of what happens next, but this is when you have to remind yourself that things work differently in other parts of the world.
Your school will likely NOT issue you a work permit within those 30 days for several reasons; one reason is because they want to be sure you are a good investment. Work permits are expensive and some people that go abroad to teach find that they do not like the experience and leave within the first month or change schools. This means you must get an extension before the 30 days is up and this can be done by traveling to an immigration office in Bangkok. Check out this website and scroll down to number six for the address and name of the office, Thai Visa. You will receive an extension for approximately 30 days, but this may vary depending on port of entry and your native country. If you still do not have a work permit after receiving an extension then you will take a visa trip. This is unnerving for some but it can be a great adventure. Luckily, I was introduced to a very helpful company called, Meesuk Travel. It was an awesome experience. They spoke English and picked me up near my apartment in Bangkok, drove me to the boarder of Laos and Thailand, and took care of the entire visa process. The cost was about 6,000 baht ($200 USD) for the three day trip, but this included travel, visa application, visa costs, hotel accommodation, and meals (breakfast and lunch). I believe the cost is totally justified for the convenience and ease of experiencing your first visa trip.