Thailand Visa and Work Permit Process

Thailand Visa and Work Permit Process

This page will provide you with some basic information on what to expect when going through the process of obtaining a Non-Immigrant B Visa and 1-Year Work Permit for Thailand.

The first thing to note is that process is long and detailed so patience is a must.  Regardless, take comfort in knowing that you are not the first person to go through this process and there will be guidance and help throughout. The process involves not only yourself and the school but also 3 government ministries (labor, immigration, education) and Kurusapa (Teachers’ Council of Thailand).  All of these parties have to provide various documents during the 7 steps listed.  As such, the process could take anywhere from 1-2 months to longer depending on the different parties involved.  Additionally, understand that we attempt to anticipate and advise of any possible document request but there may be other items of information that the ministries may request.

Finally, there are important documents you should obtain prior to your start date to ensure the process is not delayed. Please click here to learn more about degree legalization and police background check.

Disclaimer:  The information on this page in regards to the legal requirements of Thailand visas and work permits is provided for general information only. We make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, or reliability with respect to the information. Questions involving interpretation of specific foreign laws, services, or requirements should be addressed to the appropriate Thai ministry, embassy or consulate.

Through this website you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.

Step 1 - Tourist Visa

The 3 main type of Tourist Visas (Single Entry) are:

Tourist Visa:  This type of visa is provided to specific countries (you should check to see if your country is eligible).  It will provide up to 60 day stay but it is not free.  Additionally, you must visit a Thai embassy and apply with specific documents.  The most important is copies of bank accounts showing you have more than $1,500 US in the bank and proof of travel arriving and leaving Thailand within that 60 day period.

Tourist Visa On Arrival (by air): Many visitors are given a free 30 day tourist visa when arriving by air.  This tourist visa on arrival only applies to foreigners holding passports issued by specific countries.  Visitors from non-participating countries should obtain a visa prior to arrival.
For Tourist VOA, you simply need to pass through airport immigration. You may be asked for the following:
– Proof of adequate finances for the duration of stay in Thailand (i.e. cash or travelers checks of approximately $1000 US).
– Proof of onward travel (confirmed air, train, bus or boat tickets) to leave Thailand within 30 days of the arrival date.
– Address and contact of where you will be staying while in Thailand (hotel, apartment, friend, etc.)

Tourist Visa On Arrival (by land): This is similar to the Visa on Arrival by air though you are typically only given 15 days.

Note: if you meet specific requirements, you can request a Visa extension at the Bangkok Chaengwattana immigration office by submitting a TM7 form with the required supporting documents and a 1,900 baht fee.

Step 2 - Non-Immigrant B Visa

Once you arrive, the process of converting your Tourist Visa to a 90-Day Non-Immigrant Visa will need to be accomplished.  The Non-Immigrant B Visa is the type of visa need to apply for a 1-year Thai Work Permit as a teacher.  This process can’t begin until all the paperwork listed to the left has been provided and prepared. Don’t forget to have your degree legalized first.  Click here to learn more about the Degree legalization process.

Note:  Not all paperwork will come from you and the school. As such, the school can’t control how long it will take the Ministry of Education or others to respond.

There are 2 ways this can be accomplished:

In Bangkok:
If you meet certain requirements, you may be able to convert a Tourist Visa into a Non-Immigrant B Visa within Thailand at the Chaengwattana Immigrant Bureau in Bangkok.  One requirement has to do with having more than 21 days left on your current Tourist Visa. There is an 2,000 THB fee for this.

At a Thai Embassy:
If there are not enough days left on your Tourist Visa to convert it to a Non-Immigrant B Visa within Thailand, you will be required to travel to a Thai Embassy outside of Thailand.  The choice of which embassy is yours to make.  For example, the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia is a $200 round trip flight from Bangkok and you will need a hotel.  There is a mandatory 3-day period after leaving Thailand before the Thai consulate in the chosen country can issue the new visa.  It is essential that your non-immigrant B visa application paperwork is 100% in order and all relevant requirements are met. There are strict checks in place and if any part of the paperwork is missing, incomplete or incorrect your application will be refused.

Note:  The teacher is responsible for obtaining the Non-Immigrant B Visa and any costs associated with it.

Step 4 - Medical Certificate

To apply for a work permit, you are required to obtain a medical / health certificate.  You can get it at a public hospital for a cost of 300 THB ($10) or at a private hospital for  300-1000 THB ($12 to $30).  Some will go to local clinics to obtain a medical certificate.  Please be aware that some clinic medical certificates have been rejected so best to pick a hospital.

The certificate must be in Thai, not English and list that you are negative for the 5 items.  Make sure the form they give you lists them all.  

If you like, you can download a medical certificate form by clicking on the image to the right.

Note:  You will need to obtain a new medical certificate each year when you renew your Work Permit.  Some say that it is not needed but better to have one that have to return anther day because they asked you for it.

Step 5 - 1-Year Work Permit

After obtaining your Non-Immigrant B Visa and a Medical Health Certificate, your school will prepare the documents necessary to submit for a 1-Year Work Permit from the Thai Ministry of Labour.

Please note:  As with the Non-Immigrant B Visa, there are documents that are required from Ministries of Labour and Education as well as the Teachers’ Council of Thailand (Khurusapha).  Your school has no control over any delays from the Ministries or Council in supplying the necessary documentation.

Step 6 - 1-Year Non-Immigrant B Visa

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Step 7 - 90-Day Reporting, Residence, and Reentry Permit

Once you have your 1-year Non-Immigrant B Visa and Work Permit, there are certain things you must do to maintain it.

90-Day Reporting:
You are required to submit a TM47 form to immigration every 90 days.

You must notify immigration if you change your address.  Additionally, there are requirements for landlords to submit a form regarding foreign tenants.

Leaving Thailand:
If you wish to leave Thailand for a trip or short holiday, ensure that you obtain a re-entry permit using TM8 form.  Failure to do so will invalidate your Non-B visa and your work permit.

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