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Phuket teacher turned away in Penang applying for visa





According to a British EFL teacher based in Phuket, officials in Penang are requiring a criminal background check from Thai police when applying for a Non-immigrant B visa associated with teaching.

As reported in a Facebook post on the morning of May 17, Jay (who asked we omit his surname) stated the first thing embassy staff asked was, ‘Do you have a police check from Thailand and your home country?’.

After failing to produce a background check from Thai police, officials in Penang refused to even take the application.

“They didn’t check my history, if it was my first visa, or if I’d been living there before. They didn’t even look at my passport. They just asked if it was for a teacher, and then asked for a Thai police check and one from my home country,” Jay stated.

Phuket teacher turned away in Penang applying for visa | News by Thaiger

He went on, “I also went to three visa agents and they all said that without the document, it can’t be done.”

Still in need of a visa, Jay returned to Phuket and has been asking officials about obtaining a local police clearance.

“I went to the Tourist and Chalong police stations to ask about the police check. Tourist police told me to go to immigration, which is incorrect, and Chalong police didn’t know anything about it. It’s the Forensics department next to the Tourist Police on Yaowarrat Road that you need to go to.”

Foreign teachers in Thailand have always needed a valid criminal background check from their home country, but a background check from Thailand would be a new requirement.

There was no mention of this on May 8 when the same office announced on their Facebook page that they would be limiting visa applications to 100 per day. The office has been asked to confirm this requirement but did not yet reply.

Phuket teacher turned away in Penang applying for visa | News by Thaiger

For further information on this, or other matters related to teaching English in Thailand, contact Eric Haeg at


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