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confusion with flights and visas

3189 Views 21 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  KhwaamLap
Hey to everyone who has taken their time to read my thread :) I am quite young for choosing to leave my country I would say, only being 21, but I have taken the matter into a great deal of consideration. I've been toying with the idea for nearly a year now and Thailand is perfect in my opinion. Money is not really too much of an issue as I recently came into a fair bit of money, a friend of mine is also joining me and we plan to leave in March sometime.

Now, the first aspect I need some help with is concerning flights. My friend seems to think that if you say book a one way ticket to thailand, you will not be permitted to enter the country as you are intending to stay. He suggests getting either a return and not using it, or booking another flight from thai to say combodia. To me this seems ludicrous and cannot be correct, but I thought I would check anyway.

My other point is referring to visa's. There are probably plenty of threads about visa's on here, but the whole topic confuses me some what as I have never needed to apply for one or would know how to go about doing so. I am obviously intending to stay in thaialnd for quite a while at least, so would I have to inform someone or apply for a visa previous to boarding a plane, or would I do that after getting to thailand?

If anyone can help me with these aspects of emigrating to thailand, I will be much appreciative :) Thanks, tom
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Hi UKTom

I think you need to do a lot more reserch, if you don't mind me saying. I think is a little too early to describe Thaialnd as perfect, if you have not yet even discovered if you will be permitted to stay.

Thailand certainly is wonderful, perfect it is not. Remaining in Thailand without employment and valid Work Permit is quite difficult (actaully staying here WITH Work Permit is becoming more and more difficult).

One area you could investigate, is getting a ED Visa (Education), which I think is valid for a full 2 years (probably still have to the same 90 day reporting that we all have to do). To get the ED Visa, you need to enrol into a training program (Language for example), and I think must complete a minimum of 15 hours education per week (but could be month, not sure).

Try searching, I'm sure you will find more accurate info on this, or many of the other Thai related Forums

Good luck, if that's what you want to do. I lef the UK at 23, and am now 44. Thailand wasn't my first resting point, but have always been in this neck of the woods!
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Yep agree ED Visa is probably your best bet - learning the lingo won't hurt either. Use Hull Consulate rather than the London Embassy - you could get a one year non-O on the pretext of looking for work or - if you have arranged your course - then as Non-O "ED". Google Hull Thai Consulate there isd a wealth of info on their web site - they will also answer emals quite quickly too. Be careful what you ask though as they can not advise you ways to circumvent the laws of Thailand, but will answer a straignht question if you word it well. Also Walen (a language school) has several branches and advertises that they can continue getting Visas for you for uo to 10 years. Note: You can not work with an "ED" visa.
I was denied entry to a Etihad flight heading for Bangkok, since I didn't have a valid visa or a ticket out of the country within the 30 visa free days. So I had to run and buy a one-way plane ticket to Kuala Lumpur, only costed me 1400 baht, so not so bad.
Yes - on the issue of return flight bookings, if you have the likes of a multi-entry one year non-residence visa then they don't bother with this. But for shorter stays they can insist.

The study visas are a good bet as suggested above. The Thais aren't particularly interested in whether you have money to finance your stay. It's not easy to get a visa, the Thais treat us pretty much as we treat the Thais wishing to get a visa for Europe. It's not a simple matter. You either get a three month tourist visa (actually 60 days extendable to 90), or you have to get on a course for the period of time you wish to stay (ED visa)... beyond that you're pretty much out of options, unless you can get offered the likes of a teaching job in advance, or you can wait until you're 50 and get a retirement visa ;), or you have family in LOS, or have enough funds to spare to make a pretty huge investment...
Hi Tom,

First i would say look at Siam Legal .. they have an online chat box to ask questions directly to an operator

I am also from U.K. & have just tried to get a 3 month tourist's visa for Thailand & was informed i need a letter of invitation from someone in Thailand .. i was suprised at this as there is no mention of this in all the websites i have looked at .. very conflicting info !! :confused2:
{now bearing in mind i got this info from the Thai Consulate in Dubai where i am based at the moment }

Now if you dont apply or get a visa before u go ..... & this has to be done outside of Thailand
You can only enter for 30 days on a U.K. passport & they can refuse u entry if you dont have a return ticket dated 30 days from date of entry
I bought a 3 mth open ticket but have to go & change the return date now to 30 days because of this new info .. it was very confusing to me as well because there were so any versions of visa's & applications etc
I have decided just to go now for the 30 days .. no need for visa
Anyway hope this helps
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Some excellent advice [above] from several here who have faced the same challenges you will face. Before you decide Thailand is your future home I would urge you to make a trip here and see it – the good, the bad and the ugly. Actually, most of it is good but there are some marked differences in living in Thailand and living in England. Suffice to say the biggest for most is the language. Imagine you were an illegal in England, unable to speak, read or write the language and, though you would be legal and have a visa it is very much a totally different world.

Given your age [young thereby disqualifying you for a retirement visa] your options are very limited as has been mentioned. With regard to your air ticket, the carrier you choose will examine your documents and among them will need to see confirmation of a ticket out of Thailand or the air carrier faces a penalty. The easiest way is to buy a ticket to Penang or Kuala Lumpur on Air Asia or one of the other discount carriers. You will have to show the one segment [leaving Thailand] in order to check in / get a boarding pass. Hop on an airplane and make a visit to the LOS 

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thanks a bunch people, it has really put things into a clearer perspective for me and my friend :) so he was correct in saying we need a ticket out of thai in order to board a flight. he suggested cambodia or something of this nature. I know I am maybe rushing into things here, but the person I am going with has in fact been to thailand recently and I have desired to live there for many months. It is not some magical haven to me, there are many different aspects which are making me head east. For one the english society and way of life to me seems sterile, cold and very materialistic, I know I have never been before but have heard many things from many reliable sources. I have heard how peaceful and welcoming the thai communities are for the majority, which suits my nature totally. Obviously everywhere in the world has good and bad points to it, I am in no delusion there, but I can safely say I am done with what I know call 'home'. It as been an opinion of mine that has been developing over time for me and now feel ready to go. I am also a practicing buddhist, so this also contributes to my reasoning for leaving for thai. Does anyone know information on taking refuge in buddhist temples in thaialnd, i.e the cost and regulations involved..?

My friends plan is to obtain his tefal so he can teach english there, I am sure there are plenty of people trying this so do not think there would be a vast demand for such a skill at the moment, but I could be wrong..

Personally after reading all of you gratified replies, think I may try and apply for the educational visa. I am in the mind set of trying to do everything by the book here, but my friend who recently came back from thai mentioned he has met people who have been there for ages without a visa and just get there passports stamped.. This seems quite risky and immature to head into such a major change in ones life in this manner. Also there is one other problem that I have lol. Basically I have student loans outstanding as i have finished at university, also more recently I got a lump sum of money given to me by mistake for a course I am no longer on. I was going to use this along with money I have saved to leave. What would be the most extreme inplications of me just leaving the UK without considering these finacial matters?

Thanks again for all of your replies, if people could carry on shedding light on this dim situation, I would much appreciate it :) thanks again tom
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If you really are interested in going to a temple, there is a special class of Non-Imm O visa for being a monk./ You wold need to contact a temple and get their written sponsorship, but its another avenue (but one rarely trodden comparatively).

TEFAL is a teapot, I think you mean TEFL :D - demand is dependant on location, lots in BKK in CM there are also positions, but a lot of people with the paperwork, so jobs are thinner. The sticks is actually easier, the the pay will stink.
Tom .. Have a look at Phuket Gazette .. local newspaper in english & its got lots of local news & jobs / housing etc

Also there was a report on there a few days ago about a Tour company employing a group of ilegal workers & they arrested them all, apparently they are really clamping down !!

There is another thread running on here at the moment about Thailand
thats tells u people whats happening .... just search this thread
.... Many Leaving Thailand for Malaysia
hello again all :) I really do now have a better understanding of the process of obtaining such things as visa etc, but I would like to ask several more things if people would not mind answering them. The first concerns the non-immigrant visa. I myself have a bit of money that will last a certain a mount of time, but it would be foolish to not think ahead and the need for work. My friend as you may have read above is applying for the TEFL, (thanks KhwaamLap :D) lol, so I am also considering applying for the non-immigrant 'O' visa. I have read that you need a workers permit to actually work in thaialnd even with this visa. Do you need a workers permit to actually obtain the 'O' non-immigrant visa? I have seen things stating you need a letter from a company stating you can get a place at their company etc. Also adding the fact that you should ideally apply for a visa close to the time you desire to leave creates more pressure. I was considering applying for the 'ED' visa as I am a buddhist and i could train to be a monk there. but this will not bring money which is something essential. If anyone could guide me and my friend in the right direction here, i would be very grateful :) all the best, tom
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OK. First off a work permit is nothing to do with a Visa really. You need a Visa to get a work permit (and the Visa must be an allowable type), but not the other way around. With Hull you can apply for a Non-O on the pretext of looking for work or a non-im B if you have a letter of support (job offer in writing on a company headed human signed letter from a Thai company or Government agency). WIth the O you would probabl;y have to leave and come back with a B once you had the job offer (not sure on this - for me I don't need to as my O is for marriage and it allows work - an O for "looking for work" may be different). Either way at worse this is a trip to a neighbouring country with letter in hand.

The work permit is not for "working", but for "working for stated company" - i.e. they are not transferable and they are not general umbrellas to allow you to work where you want. Any work, even free charity type work requires one legally. Having said that by far the majority of English teacher do not have one (at least one that covers their earnings - even employed one with WP from schools etc tend to do private work whiuch is not covered).

With an "ED" visa, you can not legally work in the kingdom and can not obtain a work permit (you can have both an "ED" and a "B" visa of course, but it would be a lot of running around and more expense) so if you are going to work, then its best to try and get a B at some point if poss.

The Hull COnsultae website has a pack which explains what THEY want quite clearly - google it - there is stacks of infor in PDF format online there.
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thank you very much for your reply :) I understand what they want though and have downloaded many of the files on the hull site. I am just slightly confused with finding work. You said that many people work without a permit but with an 'O' visa. I have heard also many people who even stay in thai without a visa. It seems there are many rules and regulations that are not so strictly followed. I think that here in the Uk most things are done so strictly to regulation, and that is what I am use to. If there are people there teaching english and working with no permit then would it be possible for me to apply for an 'O' visa and apply for such jobs there?

I have heard some crazy stories though, but stories they are lol. My friend who has recently returned from thaialnd said that he knows someone who has a business there without a visa.. So say the man said to my friend he just gives the police whisky at christmas and everything is huncky-dory lol. Obviously I would not intend to go about my move in this manner, but there seems to be a big contrast in what people have said to me.
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Hi Tom .. why dont you just go in on the 30 {no entry visa needed } & have a look for yourself
then you could always go over to Malaysia & have a look around there too ... Malaysia gives you a 90 day entry .. {no need for visa also } then decide from there
hey, yes that is a possibility, a good one at that :p i don't know, i know i am jumping in the deep end here, but thats how i have always lived and will continue to do so lol. ideally i would just like to know i could apply for a specific visa and obtain work with it, i.e teaching english. i don't think i will be able to return to the UK for a while after leaving to be honest haha :p
Hiya .. think once u have been there u wont want to return to U.K.

Cant help u on the visa stuff i am as confused as u to be honest ... i know someone & she has got the Non immigrant 'B' visa & she teaches English there & think there are loads of people that just go on holiday & stay there but would'nt want to risk that as they are clamping down & stopping people re entry when they do a visa run's
Other option ... not do visa runs BUT if u ever got caught they fine u for overstay & DEPORT you to your own country & the police are very active out there ... wouldnt want to mess with the Thai's

I am going back over in 2 wks .. then going over to Malaysia to have a look around
If you are looking to be a Monk i would think Malaysia would be much better for u anyway !!
yes i do think east is more suited to me than west. You say your friend has a 'B' visa.. did she/he need certain documents or qualifications to obtain that visa? I hope you have a great time when you go back to thai and mal, i am sure you will. I know I am venturing into the great unknown to an extent, but for me that is half of the fun. I am sure many people here would advise me to reconsider but that won't happen lol
Hiya ... She just applied for the 1 yr non immigrant 'B' visa five months ago
she is from South Africa but she didnt have any written qualifications in teaching .. she is ex Cabin crew .. but maybe she got in at the right time

Anyway i hope it turns out to be what your looking for & all the best to u too
If you are in the country it is illegal to be without an entry clearance. If you are from a country that allows a waver (almost all English speaking ones and European qualify) then you get a 30 day clearance for tourist pruposes. If you have a visa you will get stamped at immigration on arrival at the aitport anywhere from 30 to 90 das depending on the Visa. If this entry permit expites, then you are illegal.

If you are couaght by the police (and the law says foreigners must carry their passpoerts at all times - and Thais must carry their ID cards) then you can go to jail. If you decide to go home then you will be fines for each day yopu noverstay (up to a maximum of 20,000 Baht). It really is not worth the expense or risk of overstaying the Visa/entry clearance - just go get a new once (extend it with a visa run etc).

Only a work permit allows you to legitimately work here. period. What I said earlier is that many teachers teach without work permits (or ones valid for the work they are doing - i.e. private or part time work). This means they are officially breaking the law. There is always a risk that there is a crack down (and Thailand really goes in for 2/3 day crackdowns on everything from time to time) then some may becaught and deported (once deported they are black marked and can never return - or are blocked for ten years etc).

Its a risk but many do it, with teaching it is somewhat ignored as may schools and agencies (like the police even!) can not afford the paperwork costs or legal requirements to get work permits for native (i.e. foreign) English speakers, bnut the risk is always there (even from a disgruntled Thai teacher who sees some backpacker getting 4 times the money with no degree or possibly even TEFL paperwork, a better air-con staff room (often Thai teachers have their own fan-cooled cramped staff rooms!) and allowed to go home when the lesson is over).

If you work without a WP, then it doesn't matter which Visa you have - because you're illegal anyway. Many teachers without WP's are passing through and only have tourist visas.

As I said some visas exclude the possibility of working at all (you can not get a work permit based on them) these include (for example): Non-Imm "ED", Non_Imm OA (Retirement visa), some types on Non-Imm "O" (they may be stamped 'work disallowed') and all Tourist Visas.

To get a 'B' Visa the embassy/consulate requires a letter as explained earlier from the employer offering a job. The company MUST fit the profile to allow it to hire (many things such as %Thai owned, capitalisation of company, time its been runing, taxes paid, amount of Thais to foreigners employed etc). The work MUST NOT be on the exclusion list (there is a large list of Thai only jobs such as working in a bar or farming for instance!). Once obtained, it does not allow you to work!!!! It allows your employer the right to apply for a workpermit (*a blue book). It is ONLY this that allows you to legally work.

You can own a business without a visa, as long as you do not work in it. For example I own a cafe here, I never work in it as I could never get a WP for it. This is fine - it allows Thais to be employed and earn money and pay taxes (well if they are paid enough - whcih they are not - I once saw a stat that said 80% of Thais never pay any income tax in their lives). The work permit thing is to protect Thai jobs, NOT to stop you earning money - that is why it also applies for unpaid work. There are plenty of gray areas (like working on the internet - or writing a book etc) that are probably best kept to ones self just in case.

When thew school hires a teacher - and applies (send the teacher top apply etc) for the work permit, they have toi complete a ton of paperwork. In that it should show that bthe person is suitably qualified (its down to the school these days to check that degrees are real etc - the MoEmay do it as a check if they feel a school is taking the mickey). If the teacher is not, then they need to justify his/her appointment. I know a guy who has a WP for teaching with no degree, but they waved it because he has two years worth of a degree and the school is in the sticks and can not recruit - the previso is he completes his degree at some point.

The fact that the friend has a B Visa does NOT give her the right to work - the labour department will expect the correct paperwork when her WP is appl;ied for, she may well come unstuck then. Some schools may tell you they have a WP in your name, but do not - so it is vital you ask for it (it is yours, not theirs and they have no legal right to keep it from you!).

The labour departments in different areas can have varying levels of stgrictness and laxness depending on many things (one is the availablility of teachers in the area, another may be their interpretation of the rules - which are often vague). SOme areas will accept a person with no paperwork, others will not.

good luck
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Thanks a lot Khwaam for your lengthy and useful reply :) I am in touch with someone from the hull consultant embassy at the moment via email who is also helping me gain a better understanding of the process.

I have come to the conclusion I need the chance to work or have an income so need to get a visa other than that of the ED visa. I am trying to search for places where I can be accepted to teach English over in Thailand at the moment. I hope your cafe is doing well :p if I am ever in the region, I'd swing by for some breakfast lol. All the best, tom
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