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brucetefl

What REALLY happens when Immigration inspect a school

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One great big can o worms that no one wants to open, bit like in Oz where the cops, ambos and fireies are not tested for drugs, just to many would have to be suspended/sacked and the system would fall apart.


Even most qualified foreign teachers are teaching illegally till the paper work gets done.

As many would know it takes a min of 1 mth to get the papers done and can blow out to when ever, there is no interim process and no school is going to do all that work before a teacher sets 1 foot in a class room (understandably). Yes it is highly unlikely that someone will have trouble. BUT That the authorities don't care about that little mess shows me how much respect they have.

If you told a new fully qualified teacher before they came that they would be illegal for a time, wonder how many would come?

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Well, not everyone works illegally, but most do. When we hire a new teacher we start the paperwork as soon as they sign a contract or agree to work. If there is enough lead time, for instance, if the person is hired in March and starts work in May, then we can complete the paperwork.

The illegal part, however, is that most of them were looking for employment on a tourist visa or visa exemption, which is also technically illegal.

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you may be right, Scott. but i think it actually illegal to work until you have your work permit. Of course, that takes at least months if not longer. Your school maybe one of the very few that operates completely within the law.

Edited by brucetefl

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In the situation I cited earlier, I was told by the immigration officer who was dealing with the teacher and the forged document that immigration did not take any action as long as the paperwork was being processed. He said they were concerned more about those who were not eligible for the appropriate visa and work permit.

This information was in a verbal discussion and breaking a law is breaking a law, just like when you are traveling 91 Km/hr in a 90 Km/hr zone, they may chose to let you go, but it doesn't mean you weren't breaking the law.

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I'll relay an anecdote passed on to me from a friend of mine.

He was working at a school in Chiang Mai and one day a truck load of inspectors from the Department of Employment showed up and demanded to see work permits. Long story short, it turned out that two foreigners were working without documentation. This happened on a Friday morning, and these two teachers spent the weekend in a Thai jail. On Monday afternoon they paid a fine (off the books?) that was slightly more than their monthly income, were brought to immigration which gave them a 7 day stamp to leave the country. While they were not officially "deported", they were told that the authorities would not be so lenient if they were caught again.

I don't know about you, but I have no interest in spending any amount of time in a Thai jail.

Get yourself legal: It's the right thing to do, it's not that difficult, and you won't always be looking over your shoulder. And most importantly, you won't have to worry about being locked up in a Thai jail.

Edited by up-country_sinclair

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Well upcountry, in 18 years that's the first time I've heard of anything like that happening. And like many such stories its 3rd person. Possible urban myth, which is exactly why I asked for any direct knowledge.this story may be true but I can't see the other teachers are allowing this to happen nor could I see the school ever managing to hire another teacher.

you are absolutely correct that it's best to have a legal visa and work permit, but people on this forum seems to really go overboard on the dangers volunteer teaching in a rural school.

Edited by brucetefl

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whistling.gif This being Thailand many times things that are "inconvenient" are settled quietly.

I wonder, for example, how many teachers that are teaching and don't have exactly the right (officially required) documents are simply told that their contract is "not to be renewed" at their next contract renewal time..

No hassle, no fuss, just a quiet thank you for your previous service, but it is no longer required at this time.

When I was a student in school, a married female teacher was caught in a "compromising position" with a male teacher.

He was "asked to resign" from his position, but she was not asked to resign.

However, the next term, her contract was simply "not renewed" for the next term.

I wonder, would such a thing ever happen in Thailand?

Sounds to me like a Thai solution also, no loss of "face" for anyone involved.

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whistling.gif This being Thailand many times things that are "inconvenient" are settled quietly.

One way that inconvenient things are settled quietly is with the offending party taking out their wallet. And more often than not, it's a costly experience.

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If you don't want to be constantly be looking over you shoulder, get legal.

If you don't want to pay (ahem) fines, get legal.

If you don't want to get locked up in a Thai jail, get legal.

It's not difficult.

Alas it is. smile.png I had everything in place. I chased everyone up to get it sorted. I still spent over four months trying to get other people to pull their finger out of their kiester and get it done. I came to Thailand with a brand new passport. I left thailand with around 6 free pages left thanks to the constant 15 day border runs and massive cambodian visas. It was infuriating. In fact, its part of the reason i ended up leaving. Only part mind you. smile.png The point is though that until Thailand gets its shit in gear and genuinely takes this stuff seriously, its no wonder that people will keep on telling people that you dont really need a visa (and you dont), and that a bit of hush money will end up making the problem go away (and it will).

I would NEVER suggest to someone that they can teach in either Korean or Japanese public schools without the appropriate visa. In fact the guy i replaced in Nagano didnt have the required documents and it was a MASSIVE black mark on the board of education for failing to check it appropriately. It cant be done. It wouldnt be done. If it is done, someone genuinely messed up and it will be a bit of a scandal.

I go on evidence and not on ideals, and the fact is, in Thailand it IS a completely different ball game. I wish it wasnt. My almost full passport (which i will have to renew far sooner than id hoped) wishes it wasnt. In fact, those stupid constant border hops and the resulting cambodian visa's filling up my passport led to some awkward questions from Chinese Immigration when I went in for my 'talk' with them about illegal working. Its infuriating and it benefits me not a jot!

I have every document that would grant me legality, i had them good to go from signing the contract in April (i even had them on that day) right through to August when i finally left. But for some reason people would rather i just taught illegally and waste my time every two weeks riding to Cham Yeam to pick up another 15 day waiver. Eugh! Or rather:

GRRRWWWWAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Maddening!

Edited by inutil

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I should also add that the process once you even get to the step where you have your documentation is also a hodgepodge of red tape and garbage. fortunately never having done it myself i missed that dubious pleasure. But apparently the next step in legality is a minefield in itself often requiring the poor dumb teacher to take all the necessary documents to an agent/lawyer to make sure every i is dotted and every t is crossed before making the long bus trip out of the country to see if it all works (in quadruple i believe). Its as if the entire process is made obscure and weird as possible so that you need to pay an agent to do it for you.

In japan the company i worked for did all the initial leg work, my job was to take those docs to Shinagawa, give them my passport, wait a week, come back and the visa was in the passport. Korea was even more straight forward. Recruiter sent you out the docs. You filled them in. Attached copies of your CRC, degree and SELF-health check. Recruiter went to immi, got the permission to invite you out, you took that plus a few other docs to the korean embassy and a week later, visa. China, same same. Though chinese immigration are arguably the worst most petty bureaucrats of the three so it took far longer to get that initial invite and then get immi to finally grant me the Z visa.

Simplify the process and enforce it properly. How is that not the most logical solution?

Edited by inutil

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A school can provide paperwork for non-immigrant B visas, work permits and visa extensions for foreign teachers. If the school were inspected, the school can always argue the application is in process. There seems to be tolerance for working while a work permit is in process. There was no intention on the teacher's part to break laws. I don't think teachers working at schools need to worry too much about this. As Bruce said, in his 18 years he's never heard of anyone getting in to trouble.

However, if a foreigner were working in a proscribed job - barman in a bar, builder in a building company etc - I'm sure they would be treated more severely as there is now an intention to break immigration and labor laws.

And I imagine more serious than this would be if the foreigner were working for an unregistered/unlicensed business.

Edited by Loaded

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