Crackdown by the government on foreigners teaching with no work permits

18 Feb 2021

The Ministry of Labour of Thailand is cracking down on foreign teachers who, without valid work permits, may work in the Kingdom. In issuing work permits to foreign teachers, the ministry has instructed the Department of Employment to apply stricter criteria. Thailand currently has 6,129 foreigners teaching in 922 private and public schools, according to department figures. Of these, 2,667 are from the Philippines, 558 are from the United Kingdom, 465 are from the United States, 237 are from China, and 160 are from South Africa. The remaining ones are from other countries.

The Bangkok Post reports that 8 foreign teachers not in possession of work permits or working in reserved professions have been discovered by the authorities. Of those, 3 failed to notify their employer, place of work, and duties to government employment officials within 15 days of taking up employment. Officials also discovered a school that hired foreign teachers without job visas, as well as hired foreigners to do work that they were not permitted to do. A further 20 schools are accused of not providing the names, nationalities, and duties performed within 15 days of starting work by foreign teachers.

Foreign teachers must have a non-immigrant visa, not a tourist or transit visa, and should apply to their local employment office for a work permit, officials say. Foreigners teaching without work permits may face fines and deportation of 5,000-50,000 baht. For each illegal worker, schools or other academic institutions that illegally hire foreign teachers face fines of between 10,000 and 100,000 baht, with those responsible also facing potential jail terms.