Non b visa from hell

by Kirsty on June 1, 2011

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This is a rant from Kirsty to the internet – never think that getting a work visa in thailand will be easy….

This is the long and complicated story of how I tried to getting a non b visa in Bangkok (work visa). It sounds pretty simple, all I needed to do was to get to the immigration office within 15 days of landing in Thailand and as long as I had all the right documents I would get my non b.

But obviously things in real life are never that simple! I held up my end of the bargain and went to the immigration office within 15 days, unfortunately work fucked up and didn’t send the papers…. STRIKE 1!

I was told it would all be fine, and that we would just apply for an extension near the end of my existing visa and then hey presto I would be fine.

So off we go back to the immigration office for the second time. OH NO, you can’t extend for more than 7 days on that visa madam, I’m afriad you won’t be able to get your non b today. STRIKE 2.

Now I had two options, I could go to Laos and apply for a tourist visa or I could fly in and out of the country and get another stamp. Both are pretty expensive, but I chose the latter. Right now I am regretting that decision but as the saying goes “hindsight is a wonderful thing”

I head back to the immigration office the day after I fly back into the country for the third time, I was thinking – this must be it, I have allll the documents and I have enough days on my visa…. NO! I’m sorry madam there has been a rule change, we need to see your original degree certificate for us to give you your new visa… STRIKE 3!

angry man

Grrrrrrrrrr……. photo credit: Nicolai Kjærgaard

Now by this point I am pretty pissed off, I have already spent over 8000 baht trying to get this all important non b visa! So I ring my Mum begging her to send over my degree certificate asap, it’s a three day national holiday here in Bangkok so it won’t be arriving for a week.

I sit tight, a week comes and goes, 8 days 9 days 10 days still no degree certificate! I must be having the worst luck in the world!

On the second to last day I can get the visa I try my luck at another immigration office, I already kinda know they won’t be able to do it, but figure what’s the harm. Within minutes they tell me I am in the wrong place and I need to go to the main immigration office in town… STRIKE 4!

There is one other final “maybe” option. I can got to my own embassy and get my degree certificate copy notorised by them. So on the last possible day I headed to the British embassy, a couple hours later 4000 baht lighter I come out with a lovely shiny seal of approval.

Now time to race back to the Thai immigration.., wait for three hours to be seen and finally get my non b????

Rant Over!

Title photo credit: Ev0luti0nary


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Sasha June 1, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Work visa’s are a pain in the behind in a lot of countries! You will not believe the kind of trouble I’ve had getting my visa in China despite already being here over a year and having teaching experience new rules now say I’m too young. Crazy that if my last workplace had applied for the right visa in the first place before the rule changes I would have no probs, unfortunately they didn’t and now every three months I have to fork out a lot of cash to go on visa runs to Hong Kong!

Kirsty I really hope yours gets sorted out soon, I totally can sympathise and know how frustrating it is! Hang in there!
Sasha´s last blog post ..Inroducing Travel Blog Chronicle


Kirsty June 7, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Oh man – that sounds so dumb! I’m glad it’s not just me that are having problems with bureaucracy!


Turkey's For Life June 1, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Hope everything is sorted soon for you. work visas in Turkey are a pain in the neck and a lot of them never even materialise, leaving a lot of teaching staff technically working illegally. Nothing’s ever simple when it comes to bureaucracy – anywhere in the world! Good luck.
Turkey’s For Life´s last blog post ..Fethiye to Rhodes Day Out – Go With The Tourist Flow


Kirsty June 7, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Nope – never. Yeah a lot of people here in Thailand just work on a tourist visa to save time and money! Maybe I should have just done the same!!!


Katie June 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm

It’s not easy getting a work or study visa for any country. It took me a year to get a visa for Spain to go to uni there, receiving the actual document just days before departing to go back home at the end of the year. As for Hungary, I’m still waiting for the visa but it’s been a 1 1/2 process of lines, countless trips to the immigration office, tax forms, fees and a constant change of policies. Somehow though, it’s all worth it.


Kirsty June 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm

grrrrr… why do they make it soo difficult! Hope you get it sorted! 🙂


Giulia June 2, 2011 at 1:09 am

Oh, so sorry to hear that. Must be frustrating – reminds me of the last time I was extending my visa in Egypt, and they wanted me to pay for AN EXTRA YEAR when I asked for 2 more months only. Wtf? I fought with everyone, but in the end I had to pay. Stupid way to spend money:(
Good luck with your visa, you will get it in the end and will forget about all this trouble soon, hopefully!
Giulia´s last blog post ..Scared of Muslims in airports Read this


Kirsty June 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Yuck – sometimes I think that they just do it for fun!!! Although I am sure (hope) that I am in the minority. We’ve been pretty lucky so far so I hope this was our part of bad luck!!!


Shaun June 3, 2011 at 6:57 am

Oh, wow. That sounds stressful as shit. I am really not looking forward to having to go through anything like that when we decide to work abroad. Hopefully everything will work out! /crosses fingers
Shaun´s last blog post ..The Magical Meat Market of Oaxaca- Mexico


Kirsty June 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm

It really was – luckily it is now sorted, as of last Friday!! I have a feeling this is why most people work on tourist visas here….


Heather June 6, 2011 at 4:53 am

Hope it’s all been sorted by now!! What a pain 😛 It’s so hard when the ball is in someone else’s court and you ca do little about it.
Heather´s last blog post ..Australia Roadtrip- South Australia


Kirsty June 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Kinda – I have the non b but now I have to go to the ministry of education to get a work permit then go back to immigration to extend my visa and then go back to the ministry of somewhere to extend my work permit!
They do love their paper work here!!!!


Hugh August 12, 2015 at 5:28 am

Are you still in Thailand?
I can really relate to what you had been through.
They need teachers..yet the process for procuring a work petmit is designed to deter any aspiring teacher from finding any happiness, satisfaction, security or a feeling of wellbeing.
Applicants are looked down on as parasites…like crooks and common criminals…who want to partake of their wonderful banquet.
These people are like frogs in a well..and think that nothing else exists beyond their borders.


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