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Jimjim1968

Online Teaching

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Most people I know have hit the 6 year visa waiver and now teach online only. 

 

They appear to make substantially more money too.

 

Is this the way to go?

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Uh! So not in Thailand ? Online teaching is for anyone with an internet anywhere!


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Most online teaching in Thailand is illegal.

 

The teacher works in Thailand without the required non-immigrant visa and work permit. The teacher doesn't declare their income to the Thai tax authorities.

 

The Chinese company earns income from their overseas operations in Thailand. They fail to provide the required visas and work permit for their staff. They avoid Thai tax on their revenues. They don't have a Thai school license. I could go on.

 

It won't continue for much longer once the Thai government realizes what's happening under their noses.

 

 

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17 hours ago, Loaded said:

Most online teaching in Thailand is illegal.

 

The teacher works in Thailand without the required non-immigrant visa and work permit. The teacher doesn't declare their income to the Thai tax authorities.

 

The Chinese company earns income from their overseas operations in Thailand. They fail to provide the required visas and work permit for their staff. They avoid Thai tax on their revenues. They don't have a Thai school license. I could go on.

 

It won't continue for much longer once the Thai government realizes what's happening under their noses.

 

 

I imagine it is a complex issue but my understanding differs.  If the teacher is working for an offshore registered entity, is not teaching Thai students in Thailand, and the money is not being paid in to a Thai bank account then it is likely not deemed as working in Thailand.  The only high profile case in Thailand happened where online workers were actually working from from an office in Thailand and were being hired as employees in Thailand.  There is a difference.  Even if it is illegal, I somehow imagine internet police have much bigger fish to fry.  The cost of tracking one individual online who is teaching would be unjustifiable. Yet, Thailand is renowned for the ludicrous.

 

Is it the way to go?  Well I don't think it pays much unless you put in significant effort and could not be considered a stable position. But this is a business that looks set to boom as it tends to be much cheaper for the student and more convenient.

 

As the OP points out, Thailand has made it increasingly difficult for the standard ESL teacher to make an honest and simple living.  Anything that keeps a teacher out of a sweatshop school is of benefit, if only as a stop gap imo.

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17 hours ago, Loaded said:

Most online teaching in Thailand is illegal.

 

 

Who gives a toss when it's not something that is ever going to matter and that nobody anywhere cares about.

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It's irrelevant whether the money is paid outside of Thailand or not, you need a work permit. Volunteers aren't paid anything but if they are caught without the appropriate visa/wp, they may be chucked out the country via Immigration prison.

 

I guess it's also breaking the Thai Computer Act as well. IE breaking the law by using the Internet.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Loaded said:

It's irrelevant whether the money is paid outside of Thailand or not, you need a work permit. Volunteers aren't paid anything but if they are caught without the appropriate visa/wp, they may be chucked out the country via Immigration prison.

 

I guess it's also breaking the Thai Computer Act as well. IE breaking the law by using the Internet.

 

 

Even when Loaded is usually always loaded, he's damn right about it. 

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7 hours ago, Loaded said:

It's irrelevant whether the money is paid outside of Thailand or not, you need a work permit. Volunteers aren't paid anything but if they are caught without the appropriate visa/wp, they may be chucked out the country via Immigration prison.

 

I guess it's also breaking the Thai Computer Act as well. IE breaking the law by using the Internet.

 

 

There have been people doing sites like ebay for years from Thailand, and plenty of tourists and long stayers buying and selling shares in UK.  It's simply not regarded as illegal for any reason- probably regarded as out of Thai jurisdiction and not really of its concern either.  That's the long and short of it.  But this is Thailand and they could and sometimes do what they like.

 

Luckily, no one much gives a toss as one poster said, and it is costly to track anyway.

 

I dare say you are right about the Thai Computer Act.  My impression is that it is so 'broad sword' that anything could stick.  But what makes you think so?

 

I really do think you are speculating on something where there appears to be no known problem.

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2 hours ago, jenny2017 said:

Even when Loaded is usually always loaded, he's damn right about it. 

 

If you say so.  Maybe theoretically- if someone really wanted to push the issue.  After all, they managed to stick tax evasion on someone vaping, so anything is possible in Gagaland.

 

I can't see Interpol providing much help.......:sleepy:

 

 

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3 hours ago, mommysboy said:

There have been people doing sites like ebay for years from Thailand, and plenty of tourists and long stayers buying and selling shares in UK.  It's simply not regarded as illegal for any reason- probably regarded as out of Thai jurisdiction and not really of its concern either.  That's the long and short of it.  But this is Thailand and they could and sometimes do what they like.

 

Luckily, no one much gives a toss as one poster said, and it is costly to track anyway.

 

I dare say you are right about the Thai Computer Act.  My impression is that it is so 'broad sword' that anything could stick.  But what makes you think so?

 

I really do think you are speculating on something where there appears to be no known problem.

 

 

Enforcement of this, obviously will not happen...too much trouble for little somchai.

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Sometime ago, I asked an immigration officer about computer work and whether it was a violation of the law.   Keep in mind this was several years ago, and online teaching was really not on the radar at the time.

 

What he told me is that immigration was not going to go after people for internet based work, UNLESS  they were working in a central location, such as an office where a number of people are employed.  

 

He also said that it was probably illegal, but it would be hard to prove they were working and that unless they had some very good reason to go after someone, it wasn't the type of thing they went looking for.  

 

So, is it illegal if you don't have a work permit?   Yes.  

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Immigration authorities have issued public statements again and again saying they're not interested in what they referred to as "digital nomads". These are people who make money from their blogs, monetized youtube channels, come here for vacation but still need to manage their business back home, and so on.  Neither their customers nor their employer is Thai, so it would be impossible to get a work permit for it anyway.  The authorities understand that there is no realistic way for these people to become "legal".

 

If anything the authorities should encourage this, since it's a revenue stream coming into the country.  Until the antiquated labor laws catch up to the technology, thousands of online businesses will continue to be managed/run by foreigners in Thailand.

 

Previous discussions: If you are a 'digital nomad' running your own business on the internet, the immigration office says you can do this on a tourist visa.

 

Quote

Pol. Col. Rutphong Sanwanangkun, Superintendent of Chiang Mai Immigration, addressed those present along with two of his colleagues. The immigration officers answered questions, including some that CityNews asked readers to submit.

 

If you are working for a Thai company, you will need a non-immigrant (type  visa and then a work permit in order to work legally.  If you are a 'digital nomad' running your own business on the internet, the immigration office says you can do this on a tourist visa.

 

Immigration clarifies new regulations for foreigners in Chiang Mai:

 

Quote

[Superintendent of Chiang Mai Immigration, Pol Col. Rutphong Sanwanangkum] noted that online work for overseas companies that pay overseas is not prohibited but that the person will need to get a visa to stay longer, currently there is no new visa for these kinds of people.

 

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Interesting comments. 

 

I would be interested if there is a knock-on effect to the number of foreign teachers in Thai schools. Extra duties and difficult working conditions may see some folks adopting this line of work. I have noticed many non native English speaking Western teachers hold many teaching positions where I reside. This was not always the case.

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7 hours ago, Scott said:

Sometime ago, I asked an immigration officer about computer work and whether it was a violation of the law.   Keep in mind this was several years ago, and online teaching was really not on the radar at the time.

 

What he told me is that immigration was not going to go after people for internet based work, UNLESS  they were working in a central location, such as an office where a number of people are employed.  

 

He also said that it was probably illegal, but it would be hard to prove they were working and that unless they had some very good reason to go after someone, it wasn't the type of thing they went looking for.  

 

So, is it illegal if you don't have a work permit?   Yes.  

This probably states it the way it is and I can give another example where a friend disclosed that he was making money online to a police officer.  Initially, the officer thought it an offence, but after discovering it was offshore trade he changed his mind.

 

I think we need to distinguish between theory and reality here.

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3 hours ago, attrayant said:

Immigration authorities have issued public statements again and again saying they're not interested in what they referred to as "digital nomads". These are people who make money from their blogs, monetized youtube channels, come here for vacation but still need to manage their business back home, and so on.  Neither their customers nor their employer is Thai, so it would be impossible to get a work permit for it anyway.  The authorities understand that there is no realistic way for these people to become "legal".

 

If anything the authorities should encourage this, since it's a revenue stream coming into the country.  Until the antiquated labor laws catch up to the technology, thousands of online businesses will continue to be managed/run by foreigners in Thailand.

 

Previous discussions: If you are a 'digital nomad' running your own business on the internet, the immigration office says you can do this on a tourist visa.

 

 

Immigration clarifies new regulations for foreigners in Chiang Mai:

 

 

The two threads your cite are from 2014 when internet teaching didn't exist.

 

Digital Nomads were/are usually foreigners using a blog to make a little extra cash from clicks from Google Adwords linked to their websites.

 

Teaching is a profession and is controlled by a whole swathe of rules and regulations.

 

There's a difference.

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