298 replies to this topic
Posted 2007-01-02 17:26:40
I wasn't going to believe it until I saw it. Well, here it is off the website of the Royal Thai Embassy to the UK in London:
This raises more questions than it answers. Who can tell us question #1?
Also being discussed at http://www.thaivisa....showtopic=99451
Posted 2007-01-02 17:45:03
From what I understand on the document, these are internal domestic police checks- presumably to see if you've been arrested or penalised for any kind of offense in Thailand. This is not yet, from what I can see, the worst case scenario of having to figure out how to get back ground reports from one's home country in a timely and accurate way, and then worrying about how charges from one's youth will affect one's presence here.
Posted 2007-01-02 17:47:05
Seems to be true. I tried a consulate website but can't download at the moment. Fingerprints and police clearance!!! I'm sure not a problem for most people but what a bloody liberty. One of the most corrupt countries in the world requires law-abiding citizens to be finger printed so that they can come and teach Thai kids for a few dollars an hour. There's going to be a lot of teaching vacancies this year.
Posted 2007-01-02 17:49:52
Yup- and it means that those which are filled will be filled even more with dodgy or illegal workers. Most legal, normal-type workers won't put up with it if they're not already in the system. There has probably never been a worse time to try to start teaching in Thailand, I'm afraid.
Posted 2007-01-02 17:56:38
I don't think I have one, so I'd better get working on it- any suggestions?
Posted 2007-01-02 18:05:51
Good point, Steven. Wait, here's another page on the embassy website
Visa for English Teacher
Visa regulation of Thailand concerning the visa applicant from English native speaking countries who wishes to apply for an appropriate visa to work as an English teacher in Thailand both on employment basis and voluntary basis is as follows :
Documents Required :
1. On Employment Basis
The applicant must apply for non-immigrant visa, Type “B” at the Royal Thai Embassy. The applicant is required to submit :
A copy of education certificate
Criminal record clearance certificate in the United Kingdom or Ireland (issued by the national police department)
Official recommendation letter from the education institution in Thailand to the Embassy.
Information of the employment term of the applicant in Thailand have to be provided for the Embassy’s consideration.
If the applicant has appropriate qualification, the Embassy will issue a non-immigrant visa, type “B”, single entry with three months validity to the applicant within two working days. With this kind of visa, the applicant will be permitted to stay in Thailand not more than 90 days.
Once the applicant arrives Thailand, the education institution will apply a teacher license at the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of University Affairs and also apply for work permit at the Ministry of Labour for the applicant. The work permit will be issued within 7 working days.
After granted teacher license and work permit, the applicant is required to submit teacher license, work permit, employment contract and employment certificate to the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok in order to apply for visa extension to cover the term of employment.
2. On Voluntary Basis
The applicant must apply for a non-immigrant visa, type “O”. at the Embassy. The applicant is required to submit an official recommendation letter from the organization in Thailand to the Embassy. Information on the term of voluntary work of the applicant in Thailand have to be provided for the Embassy’s consideration. If the applicant has appropriate qualification, the Embassy will issue a non-immigrant visa, type “O”, single entry with three month validity to the applicant within two working days. With this kind of visa, the applicant will be permitted to stay in Thailand not more than 90 days. In case the applicant wishes to extend the duration of stay in Thailand, the applicant is required to apply with the Immigration Bureau in Thailand by enclosing an official introduction letter of the Organization in Thailand.
Please be informed that a foreigner who is holding a Thai tourist visa is not permitted to work as an English teacher in Thailand, even on a voluntary basis.
VISA FEE GBP 40.00 for Single Entry
VISA FEE GBP 90.00 for Multiple Entries
(Visa fee may be changed without prior notice)
VALIDITY OF A VISA :
Single-entry and multiple-entry visas are valid for three months and multiple- entry visas for one year respectively.
VALIDITY OF A STAY :
The holders of this type of visa are initially granted a period of stay in the Kingdom not exceeding 90 days unless otherwise instructed by the Office of Immigration Bureau.
For more information, please contact the Royal Thai Embassy , Consular Section, 29-30 Queen's Gate, LONDON SW7 5JB. Tel. 0207-5892944
Posted 2007-01-02 18:07:43
It's not just coming out of the UK. For what it's worth, if you go to the Royal Thai Consulate General, Los Angeles site, you will find the following:
"Note: For teaching in Thailand, a background check from your local, state or federal law enforcement agency(s) is required along with the original letter on school letterhead from the accredited school. Please contact the consulate to confirm whether or not Non-Immigrant "B" visas can be issued for teaching at the school which intends to employ you."
Here's the link for the above: http://www.thai-la.n...visa-non-im.htm
Posted 2007-01-02 18:12:56
I don't suppose any of these documents have addressed the issue of those who have been abroad so long that they no longer have a "location" back home? Sigh. You can't do these things half-way, or they fail.
It's not worded very well, but I think "letter from the accredited school" refers to the usual paperwork from the school to sponsor you for a non-imm. B. "Check to see if the consulate can issue visas for the school" is more of the infamous "list" which comes up when one goes to apply for the non-imm. B (and schools never seem to know if they are on this "list" or not until you go). The only new thing is the local police report- but the document reported in the opening report SEEMS to indicate that if you are already in Thailand you can get your police report from Thailand. But who knows?
Posted 2007-01-02 18:14:34
I just checked my favourite consulate-in-UK's website and no update of this requirement. Business as usual at the consulates maybe?
Embassies have always been difficult.
Posted 2007-01-02 18:20:21
For us Yankees (okay, us estadounidenses), we could try for the FBI check. Steven, you've been gone so long you hardly remember what state you're from. Let's see, how to I get a police check from Houston, Texas? The county sheriff's office? I worked in more than one county.......How would a Thai consulate/embassy/ministry know? I could whip up something on photoshop from Matagorda County, Texas in ten minutes, signed by "Deputy Sheriff Donald Dog."
Posted 2007-01-02 18:58:27
I have British CRB(Criminal Records Bureau) clearance.Is this what they mean by "criminal record clearance" Surely thats what they mean? But when you do your CRB they don't take your fingerprints and you don't have to go to your local police station either.
gahhh i don't understand...
Posted 2007-01-02 19:27:07
Cant DIY..gotta get your company to request....or.......ask Pete Docs mate...?
Applicant’s Guide to the CRB's Disclosure Service
The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), an executive agency of the Home Office, provides access to criminal record and other information to organisations in England and Wales through a service called Disclosure.
Its specific purpose is to help organisations make more informed decisions when recruiting people into positions of trust.
The Disclosure service is also available to other professional, licensing and regulatory bodies whose volunteers, employees and licensees are not necessarily in direct contact with the vulnerable, but still need to uphold the highest standards of professional performance and Disclosure can help improve these recruitment decisions as well.
Through the Disclosure service, organisations can provide greater protection for the vulnerable members of our society and afford greater protection to their customers, staff, volunteers and ultimately their organisation
Posted 2007-01-03 19:14:43
Good idea other countries use this standard so why not Thailand.
It won't stop all the pervs I guess, but it might help if they're on the sex offenders register in the UK.
Now if only they could make it easier for people that have been vetted, to enter the Thai education system and work in a supportive enviroment with a coordinated curriculum and resources and ministry policies that encourage English speakers to choose Thailand and help Thai people progress..... hold on I'm getting ahead of myself again.. sorry about that.
Posted 2007-01-03 19:22:20
robski, you're not quite getting ahead of yourself. The police background check is obviously needed, but in practice, it's doubtful it will happen, or doubtful that Thais and farang teachers will figure out how to do it. I've just heard from somebody who's quitting at a university because the paperwork demands are just too tough (and this teacher is way over-qualified!).
We all have to ask, is it worth it, when you meet all the qualifications and still put up with so much .....garbage?
Posted 2007-01-03 19:28:15
It is a shame really that it such a mess.
Perhaps they'd like all the kids to speak Chinese?
Or maybe they just don't want the kids to get ideas of their own.
Edited by Robski, 2007-01-03 19:30:16.
Posted 2007-01-03 19:43:03
I would imagine the FBI check would hold up pretty well. Also easy to do, if you go to the the FBI site they have all the information and documents for download. UK may have a similar agency (federal).
Posted 2007-01-03 20:37:30
I am hearing more people mention that you also need a background check from your home country ( in addition to the paperwork you must get from Bangkok). Nothing confirmed. Can anyone verify this?
Edited by sweetbear, 2007-01-03 20:40:13.
Posted 2007-01-04 10:09:27
It's true that nothing is confirmed about requirements either way for police checks, in Thailand or from your "home" country. If anyone who's been through the process recently would post about it, that would be a big help- it's possible that no one is going through the process these days, as difficult as everything seems to be getting...
Posted 2007-01-04 14:52:32
Thanks, tywais, for the website advice. I went there (www.fbi.gov) and they have the cover sheet, and a sample of the fingerprint card. However, since the genuine article is a heavyweight card, you can't print it off on your printer. I called the US embassy in Bangkok, and a nice Thai gentleman there said I can get the fingerprint cards there, or at the Chiang Mai Consulate General.I would imagine the FBI check would hold up pretty well. Also easy to do, if you go to the the FBI site they have all the information and documents for download. UK may have a similar agency (federal).
So, a prospective teacher (who of course wouldn't be working YET), first visits the embassy or consulate (which in northern Thailand is twice a week, during school hours). Then he or she goes to the immigration police to get their fingers printed. Then, the teacher sends it to the FBI in Amurica. Then, according to the FBI website, it takes them 8 to ten weeks (that's eight to 10 weeks), to send it back. Add in a few more weeks for international mail, and you're looking at 13 weeks. Yes, three full months (during which of course the teacher isn't working YET). Then add in however many weeks it takes Dr. Khun Sir Ajarn Somchaikorn to figure out how to write the letter requesting the work permit from the department of l-a-b-o-u-r, and how long it takes junior assistant Lekachacha to process the paperwork, and.......
Let me shout it in upper case: AT THIS TIME, IT APPEARS IMPOSSIBLE TO TEACH LEGALLY IN THAILAND. DON'T EVEN TRY.
Posted 2007-01-04 15:25:44
When I lived & worked in Argentina 6 years ago, all that I required was an Australian Federal Police clearance, which simply stated that I had no criminal record up until the date of the clearance letter. This can be obtained by going to any police station in Australia, paying a small fee & then getting your fingerprints taken. The whole process takes up to 1 month but I got my letter back within 2 weeks.
My Argentinian employer was satisfied with this VERY CHECKABLE document & I was not required to get a clearance from the Argentinian authorities as I had not been in the country long enough (less than 3 months).
I imagine that the Thai authorities would like to do a similar thing but if they think that they are going to get the signature of the Australian police officer who took my fingerprints, they've got another think coming.
If things don't become a little more reasonable soon, I'm changing countries.
Posted 2007-01-04 19:50:22
The nice guy at the Amerkan Embassy told me the Immigration Police might be able to do the fingerprinting (or some other local police force). But the authorities back home are strict about getting perfect prints, so you might find out 3 months later that you hadn't started the process YET after all.
I recommend that we all recommend to our friends not to come here to teach. At all.
Posted 2007-01-05 01:46:17
what is the problem with police checks??
all thai must do the fingerprint etc thing in order to go and work in any foreign country; most countries have a formal request and the the thai go and do it in the main police headquarters in bangkok... there's also a place in the famous brochure i once mentioned that describes what foreigners have to do if they are already in thailand etc.
also here in the holyland, not only do u have to do a police record thing in order to work even on a factory line as joe smo , but for many many jobs, u have to do a security clearance thing, plus a graphology test (handwriting test believe it or not!!!) to see that u arent really a serial hair plucker or something...
if u have no criminal record, what's the deal?? if u do, then anyone employeeing u has the right to know (or maybe i've been living in a country that is also a bit totalitarian about these things also?)
guess i've been out of the states too long or something or maybe u all take your liberty and freedom for granted.....
Posted 2007-01-05 03:17:42
The problem most teachers here in Thailand (and the ones who will be trying to get here) is not the idea of police checks- actually they're a very good idea, and I don't think my one lack-of-proof-of-automobile-registration from 15 years back is going to cause too much trouble for me. I'd welcome the opportunity to get rid of some of the riffraff here (let's institute them for *all* tourists, too).
The problem is the logistics. Those who are already familiar with the way things work here know that typically, you don't even get hired until about 1 week before you are supposed to start working. To start working legally requires the non-immigrant B visa (available pretty much only from abroad), a teacher's license from the MOE (for which this police check has now become only one of the requirements), a work permit from the department of labour, and then a visa extension contingent on all of these documents. It's already a farce to assume that anyone can work legally at a new job in Thailand (typically, even if the school is serious about paperwork it will take at least a few months)- adding another few months to this timeline for the foreign police checks to be processed (because the school has to request them) means that you're looking at a minimum of 6 months at a job before anyone can manage to work legally at that job. This is far too long, and serious teachers are going to stop considering Thailand as an option.
THAT's the problem with police checks.
Perhaps the pressure to get paperwork in order will finally cause schools to hire sufficiently far in advance- but they're going to have slim pickings hiring from abroad for the kind of wages they'll tend to offer- and I have the feeling that pressure from the schools is more likely to change the regulation than the regulation is likely to change the schools.
From the security point of view, incidentally, I don't think Israel is the best model for how an average country should manage its affairs- for what I hope are the obvious reasons.
Posted 2007-01-05 06:29:39
Do not look only to the issue concerning English teachers, there are more serious affairs:
- What about the moslim imans teaching religious affairs? It is clear that a check is necessary to see if they are related to islamic extremists but on the other hand, as there are some moslim schools you have to recruit some people able to teach in those schools.
- following September 11, in Aviation Schools, the background of the Flight Instructor is systematically checked by Interpol, it is a worldwide procedure instigated by USA, well understood and comprehensively applied by everybody: it takes around a month to proceed.
-to be smart, a Government cannot make the difference between English, religious or Aviation teachers, as teaching is sensitive because it has some influence on young brains, this request is absolutely understandable. About how it is applied, this is an other story. But you should make the difference.