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Going Native

Posted by greenman42 on 15/11/2009 at 14:25

I am planning on moving to Thailand for a year or so, mostly sticking to the islands and doing scuba diving. I'm curious as to how easy it is to find work while travelling. I have a one year student visa, will I need to get a non immigrant type B working visa and a work permit, or are things pretty relaxed on that front?

#1 greenman42 has been a member since 18/9/2009. Posts: 63

Posted by furneburner on 15/11/2009 at 16:06

Not easy.

I wouldn't bother with even trying unless you are going to stay in the one area and teach English.

Things are not relaxed on "that front" either.

I'm pretty sure that legally, you are not able to work in a position that a Thai can do.

However, I don't live there, im sure others will be along soon with their opinions.

#2 furneburner has been a member since 5/9/2009. Posts: 180

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Posted by somtam2000 on 16/11/2009 at 10:46 admin

Simple answer is it depends.

If you're a diver, then working as an instructor is the obvious route to take. There is a story on that very topic here:

For other work, well it depends. If you're not legal (ie correct visa and work permit) then for starters you'll probably be paid less and you'll get busted if you get caught.

I often meet travellers doing casual work, but the money is dire -- with a capital D. A better option perhaps is teaching English, there's a story on that here: but really for most schools you'd need to be legal.

I have friends in Bangkok who have worked there for years illegally -- one is a senior manager for a large advertising firm, another lived for years on Ko Pha Ngan working for a New York web design firm -- but for most of the friends who were just doing visa runs every month it has got tricky enough now that they're getting more legal. Personally, I was properly legal for about 5 of the 7 years I had in Bangkok.

A lot depends on the type of work you want and if you want to work to save money (generally a bad idea) or work to tick over (more doable).

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,942
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Posted by MADMAC on 18/11/2009 at 22:59

Tutoring English can be done illegally without much hassle out in the provinces. But, and here's the big but, you have to be out here long enough to establish the connections to draw students. I know a fair number of people who are working illegally, but they are connected in their communities after years of living there.

#4 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
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