Becoming a Foreign Volunteer Worker in Thailand

Becoming a Foreign Volunteer Worker in Thailand

Over the past years, the Kingdom of Thailand has seen an increase in the number of foreigners who come to the country to participate in vast independent voluntary activities. There are many non-profit organizations out there that offer this kind of work. While it may be inevitable to deal with the Thai authorities during your stay, one must understand that proper procedure which adheres to the legalities imposed in Thailand must be set in place to avoid getting yourself into any kind of trouble. Taking into account considerations on doing the reasonable steps to satisfy the legal requirement, working in Thailand as a volunteer can be very rewarding.

Important Reminders to Become a Foreign Volunteer Worker

If you wish to take part in a voluntary activity in Thailand, you must consider 2 important things:

Getting a Visa

Foreigners who want to engage in a charitable or voluntary activity in Thailand need to have a valid Non-Immigrant O visa. It is advised to contact a Thai consulate in your home country to find out about the process involved in the visa application process.

The holder of a Non-Immigrant O visa is granted with an initial period of stay not exceeding 90 days unless otherwise instructed by the Office of Immigration Bureau. Depending on the length of time the foreigner needs to participate in the voluntary work, they can obtain an extension of 1 year stay on a discretionary basis.

Getting a Work Permit

Even if foreign volunteer workers are not paid for the activity that they are engaged to in Thailand, it is still legally required for them to have a proper work permit. In many cases, they may be staying in the country originally for tourism purposes and then eventually be involved in a voluntary activity. While they may think that they can get away with it without having to apply for a work permit, the risk of getting into a situation that can result in fines, jail, deportation and even blacklisting does not make a very good picture.

In order to obtain a valid visa and a work permit, there are evidences required to support your application for the purpose of volunteering. The following are documents from the organization that need to be presented:

  • Sponsor letter which must be registered in Thailand.
  • Registration and license.
  • List of shareholders
  • Board of Directors
  • Profile and details of operation
  • Map indicating the location
  • Balance sheet


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