Govt to be stricter over work permits for foreign teachers

Govt to be stricter over work permits for foreign teachers

The Ministry of Labour has ordered the Department of Employment to be more strict in issuing work permits to foreign teachers at schools.

The order is part of the ministry's stepped-up efforts against illegal foreign teachers who do not possess work permits. Public and private academic providers are being shown how to apply for work permits for the teachers.

According to the Department of Employment, there are 6,129 foreign teachers working in 922 public and private schools in the country. The figures show 2,667 people are from the Philippines, 558 from the UK, 465 from the US, 237 from China and 160 from South Africa. The rest of them are from other countries.

Eight foreign teachers were found to not have a work permit or be working in a reserved profession. Three failed to inform a government employment registrar of their employer, workplace and nature of work within 15 days of the first day they started working.

One academic institution was found guilty of hiring foreign teachers who did not have a work permit or allowing foreigners to take jobs they are not allowed to do.

Twenty academic institutions faced charges of failing to inform the registrar of the names, nationalities and the work performed by foreign teachers within 15 days of their first day of employment, according to the Employment Registration and Job Seeker Protection Division.

Foreign workers eligible for a teaching work permit must have a non-immigrant visa, not a tourist/transit visa.

Under Thai law, foreigners wishing to work in Thailand must have a non-immigrant visa obtained by their employer. The visa is issued at the Thai embassy in their country.

Foreign teachers are encouraged to apply for a work permit at their nearby employment office.

Foreign teachers without work permits will be subjected to fines ranging from 5,000-50,000 baht and will be deported, director-general of the department Suchat Pornchaiwiseskul said.

Schools or academic institutions hiring illegal foreign teachers will be fined 10,000-100,000 baht for each illegal foreign teacher and could face jail terms.

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