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Hi,

I'm new here because I have a question about Thai Visa. I'm willing to do volunteer work at two rescue centre in Thailand in september until november. When I checked the site of the embassy in the Netherlands I saw the next Visa: Non-Immigrant type O (vrijwilligerswerk):single entry which required the next documents: an invitation to me for doing volunteer work, in which period I will be doing that and the type of work I will be doing. Also they need a copy of the Chamber of Commerce from the organization (not older than 6 months) and a copy of the ID card from the person who signed the letter. 

 

So I asked both rescue centre to provide me these documents but they both state that I don't need that Visa and should just ask for a tourist Visa because of the complications that are required by getting such a Visa. 

 

What should I do? What will happen if I go to Thailand and do volunteer work with a tourist Visa? Do you recommend that? Or should I insist on getting the documents from the organizations I will do the volunteer work.

 

Thank you very much!

 

King regards 

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If you do volunteer work on a tourist visa, you will be working illegally. In practice, if the organization you will be working with has a good relationship with the authorities, you can expect your illegal work to be tolerated. If there are political tensions, you could possibly be arrested, fined, deported and blacklisted from Thailand. I am actually sympathetic to the organizations being reluctant to go through the hassle and expense of getting you a work permit and visa for a short period of assistance. However, if you are risk averse, you might want to reconsider your plans.

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Well isn't this the cat's meow.  The Thai organizations don't want to deal with the visa process.    Of course with the recent "crackdown" on visa's and abuses, I am not surprised the volunteer avenue of visas is getting scrutinized. 

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Thank you for your responses. 

 

So besides the visa I also should have a work permit (which I need to apply for when I arrive in Thailand as I'm correct?). What are the chances I will get one if I'm only doing 1 month of volunteer work at one place and 1 month at another (and I will arrive one week before starting). Are there specific requirement to get one? And for the visa?

 

As I learn all this I almost understand why organizations don't want to deal with it, but they're also not responsible for the consequences. In fact when you get caught you have to leave the country? No jail time? 

 

@gk10002000 What do you mean by the recent crackdown on visa's and abuses? 

 

Thank you.

 

Kind regards

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the recent visa crackdown is mainly about those with more colour than others ie africans, asians and some schools being checked. I have yet to see the toyota office being raided to see if the japanese management team have their correct paperwork. It just wont happen there are only going after easy targets like those selling drugs or overstay or under UN refugee status etc.

 

I can also understand why it would be a pain in the rear end for rescue centres to get work permits as some volunteers work for a very short time, and have little responsibility to stay for the proposed time period.

 

On a public forum you always going to get its illegal to work without a work permit in Thailand.

So you just going to have to decide whether you can   emotiinally help resues out on a tourist visas or just panic and cant handle the pressure of working without a work permit. 

 

 

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You would be arrested, sent to the IDC for a while and then out of the country (you have to buy a direct flight to your home country), here an impression of the IDC, afaik you would be banned 5 years from Thailand:

 

The chance to be caught is very small, but it's not zero, in the end it's your own decision. I would not take the risk.

The organizations just don't care about what happens to you, because you face the consequences, not them.

Edited by jackdd
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haven't heard any stories of people doing a few months voluntary work for a charity getting deported or having any issues. legally you should have a WP but personally i wouldn't worry about it

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6 hours ago, KellyDown said:

As I learn all this I almost understand why organizations don't want to deal with it, but they're also not responsible for the consequences. In fact when you get caught you have to leave the country? No jail time? 

An actual jail sentence is an option in the relevant law, but highly unlikely in practice. You could be held for a couple of days while the court case and sentencing are processed (this goes very quickly). Assuming deportation is ordered (highly likely) you will be held until you buy an air ticket out of Thailand to a country willing to receive you as a deportee. In practice, this is almost invariably a ticket to home country on your national airline, not cheap. Blacklisting from Thailand is not certain, but possible.

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as a matter of interest, for which organisation would you be working  and what work would you be doing? you mention rescue centre - for what or for whom? on my travels i have come across many NGO's on tourist visas, so it must be quite normal.

 

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6 hours ago, Happy enough said:

haven't heard any stories of people doing a few months voluntary work for a charity getting deported or having any issues. legally you should have a WP but personally i wouldn't worry about it

What he said.

and make sure your travel insurance covers manual volunteer work.

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The chance for being caught is very, very small. 

 

 

But when organisations tell you that "for this kind of work", or "at our place" a Workpermit is not required, they are lying. And this ly can cause you huge problems, as explained here above. For working 2x times one month at two different organisations, the costs for a WP (WorkPermit) are so high, no one will help you to work legal. It is a big risk, and you are the one who takes the risk.... Applying for a work permit has to be done in Thailand, on a "Non Immigrant Visa "O"" Entering on a tourist visa will not work to apply for a work permit.I guess your chances to work legal in Thailand are close to zero. Arjen.

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OP….  I don’t want to make you feel despondent, your ambition to help the Thai rescue organisations are very admirable, but you do need to be aware of a number of issues which can cause you potential problems.

Firstly you will need to obtain a non-O visa and also obtain a work permit even for the type of voluntary work you have indicated.  As has been previously indicated, if you get caught working without a work permit the Thai Authorities will take you to court and you will be deported and banned from entering Thailand for some considerable time.   Some previous posters have indicated that your chances of being caught are remote, and even if you are it is unlikely that because of the nature of the work that you are proposing, the Authorities will not take any action. 

Are you willing to take the risk? Bearing in mind that if you attend incidents with the rescue organisation it is highly likely that the police will also be attending and as a foreigner you are going to stand out like a ‘sore thumb’ as far as the police are concerned and it is possible they may, just may, start asking some questions.

Secondly, if you hold any professional advanced lifesaving skills (Paramedic or EMT) you will not be allowed to employ those skills in Thailand without accreditation from the Institute of Emergency Medicine.  At very best you will have to confine your assistance to very basic first aid only.

Thirdly, most rescue groups that I have had contact with are very enthusiastic but very much basic first aid trained and they tend to be ‘scope and run’ merchants.  You also need to bear in mind that members of these rescue groups tend to only speak Thai as will the people who you may have to assist.  So having a good command of the Thai language is essential otherwise you will be more of a hindrance than help.

Best of luck.

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7 minutes ago, 007 RED said:

OP….  I don’t want to make you feel despondent, your ambition to help the Thai rescue organisations are very admirable, but you do need to be aware of a number of issues which can cause you potential problems.

Firstly you will need to obtain a non-O visa and also obtain a work permit even for the type of voluntary work you have indicated.  As has been previously indicated, if you get caught working without a work permit the Thai Authorities will take you to court and you will be deported and banned from entering Thailand for some considerable time.   Some previous posters have indicated that your chances of being caught are remote, and even if you are it is unlikely that because of the nature of the work that you are proposing, the Authorities will not take any action. 

Are you willing to take the risk? Bearing in mind that if you attend incidents with the rescue organisation it is highly likely that the police will also be attending and as a foreigner you are going to stand out like a ‘sore thumb’ as far as the police are concerned and it is possible they may, just may, start asking some questions.

Secondly, if you hold any professional advanced lifesaving skills (Paramedic or EMT) you will not be allowed to employ those skills in Thailand without accreditation from the Institute of Emergency Medicine.  At very best you will have to confine your assistance to very basic first aid only.

Thirdly, most rescue groups that I have had contact with are very enthusiastic but very much basic first aid trained and they tend to be ‘scope and run’ merchants.  You also need to bear in mind that members of these rescue groups tend to only speak Thai as will the people who you may have to assist.  So having a good command of the Thai language is essential otherwise you will be more of a hindrance than help.

Best of luck.

Probably OP is talking about a rescue centre for animals

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I know a couple of volunteer organizations are they are left alone by Immigration

 

However if you decide to go ahead with a Tourist Visa you do it at your own risk, it's up to you to decide what you want to do

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If they really needed you or wanted you; there would be a more straightforward way.  If it was easy to be a "volunteer" here, there would be armies of penniless backpackers justifying their existence by the work they do for their top heavy NGO.  Ironic how so few have any worthwhile skills, at all, and often seem to be escaping seemingly hopeless conditions back home.  Same goes for most of the missionaries.  

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