Working in Thailand for Russians - another letter with questions

With a certain frequency, I receive questions about whether there is a job in Thailand and how to find it. Moreover, ask those who just want to earn a little extra money, having funds, and those who go there with no money at all, let's say all-in. Therefore, I decided to answer these questions in a separate small article in order to simply give a link in the future, otherwise you get tired of answering every time.

I say right away, this will not be a direct instruction on how and where to find a job in Tai, I will not take the pen 🙂 This will be my opinion on this issue and basic information, both for reflection and for the direction of further actions.

The content of the article


Firstly, I'm not going to portray an advanced expat here and grumble about how people get to this kind of life by downshifters, and about the fact that Thai laws are violated. Secondly, I will not talk about how easy it is to find a job, and that you don't need to listen to anyone, go and look.

That is, I do not want to accept either side, because I think it is wrong. In general, it is strange for me to listen to these two sides. Some of themselves are all so righteous, they do not violate Thai laws, although the business itself is built according to a gray scheme (and I suppose they started in a black way), and in the Russian Federation they have probably violated the law more than once. The second are gouges, telling everyone how easy it is to make money here and ignoring the laws in principle.

So I will not judge «correctness» and I will not give advice. Anything happens in life, it's not for us to judge. Everyone has their own head on their shoulders, and I am convinced that if a person does something, then he understands why he is doing it, and, accordingly, takes responsibility for his actions..

Work in Thailand

Work is illegal

This is the most important thing to know! All those who seek to find vacancies here for a tourist guide, waiter, diving instructor, photographer, cook, etc., will work in 99% of cases illegally. There is list of prohibited professions in Thailand, and it includes almost all the professions that foreigners are supposed to do here. This is how the authorities protect the interests of their citizens and jobs. IMHO, they are doing the right thing, it would not hurt us in Russia, at least partially. In general, you can own a restaurant, but you cannot be a chef. You cannot be a tourist guide, but you can be «translator» with him. Something like this.

However, illegally working and living simply by tourist visas here above the roof, especially in the season. Look at the various offers on the Internet, which are not there. But most of all photographers, I think. What percentage of those caught and planted, I do not know, I was not interested. Yes, they are imprisoned for this (3 years). Well, if you have nothing to buy off with. This is also possible, since the country is corrupt. The amount of the contribution will depend on the presence of connections among Thais and the lack of your language. But it seems to be in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of baht. Again, I won't say for sure, such data is not too advertised on the network..

Working as a photographer in Thailand

Working as a photographer in Thailand

So is it worth working without a work permit or not? It's up to you to decide. Many work and do not know the problems, and some come across. Personally, I am not very close to violation of laws, so I do not seek to expand my activities from the Internet to Thai offline. Even in Russia, I finally decided register an individual entrepreneur, so as not to break the law and there. Just don’t think, I don’t make a saint out of myself, I sometimes break road rules, and I also drove a group to Tai illegally (though I don’t want to anymore).

Official work in Thailand

If you have decent work experience, knowledge of English and other skills, then you can try to find here a legal job with a work permit. The fact is that good specialists are in demand almost everywhere, in any country. Here they are officially employed as programmers, and as teachers in language schools, I know of them. Naturally, we are talking about permitted professions, and not about professions from the list, the link to which I gave above. By the way, it seems to me that it is a vacancy in a language school that is most likely to be found. But in general, I do not observe direct mass official employment. Basically, people work legally, or for large tour operators as guides (all other guides are illegal), or in small real estate firms with friends.

Most of the long-lived expats are the direct owners of their businesses. But you cannot single-handedly own the company, yours is only 49%, the rest should belong to 2 Thais. Therefore, they usually register a business through verified law firms, which will write these percentages on «dead Souls» with a waiver of any claims in your direction. Of course, most often they are engaged in something related to tourism, because what else to do. And here there are illegal issues, like hiring your own compatriots without a work permit. It is better to look for details about business not on forums, but in real life, and you need to understand that business in Tae is not always profitable.

How to look for a job in Thailand

Before you go to Tai to work, try to find out more about it, or rather go to the country and look at it. It doesn't hurt to get first-hand information from expats, but only from those who worked there. Especially, this concerns illegal immigrants, there are different nuances, for example, where it is better not to appear, being an illegal guide or photographer, how to behave, etc..

You are looking for a job in three ways: sending your resume, through friends and contacts, direct searches and communication on the spot (just go and ask). Any of the methods assumes you are in the country, because there is no point in doing this from Russia.

There is a moment that you should definitely know. This or that company may be ready to hire you illegally, promising to grease you if something happens, but it will really merge you if problems arise. The fact is that there are many who wish, one will leave, another will come, and officially employing someone is not very profitable from a financial point of view. It will not always be right this way, but you need to remember this. So connections are everything! Come, talk, make friends with both locals and Russians and foreigners. It may well be that you have a friendship agreement to work in some small company with further registration of a work permit, show yourself and get a work permit. I know that some companies have shifted the financial burden of issuing a work permit onto the shoulders of an employee, and this may be an option, it is better to pay yourself, but work officially, without fear. Just do not forget about caution, you should not be led on fabulous speeches ...

Yes, I almost forgot. They can also snitch on you if you cross someone's road..

Or you can not work and just lie in a hammock

Or you can not work and just lie in a hammock

What salary to apply for?

If you are not some kind of advanced specialist, then, as in Russia, you cannot count on a large salary. Moreover, there is competition here (people in batches come here to earn extra money) and, in general, the low level of salaries. I think about 15-20 thousand baht for illegal, and maybe a little more for the official one. In this case, you also have to plow. Not mountains of gold, right?

With photographers and private guides, who are on their own, the situation is different. In fact, they set their own service fees. For example, almost all photographers in Tai have Moscow rates, which is why there are so many of them here. I bought a DSLR and ticket to thailand, and you are already a cool photographer in Thailand 🙂

Remote work is available in any country

Who do the remote workers work

A significant part of those who come to Thailand or wintering here work unnoticed by the Thai authorities: website development and programming, photo stocks, blogging and copywriting, the development of their websites and online stores, traffic arbitrage, SMM, forex and stock exchanges, the sale of Thai goods or handmade in other countries, remote engineering projects with drawings and calculations. Here you can list for a long time, but it all comes down to either freelancing or making money on the Internet. All my acquaintances make money this way. Alternatively, you can also rent an apartment, if you have one..

All of the above activities can be safely performed in any country and not violate anyone's legislation. Because there is no way to check what you are doing, and your activity with Thailand is in no way connected. In fact, only a slippery issue with taxes remains, which can be resolved, or can be left hanging, since you also cannot really check.

Remote work in Thailand

Remote work in Thailand

Yes, u freelancing has pros and cons, but I advocated this kind of activity and continue to advocate. This gives much more stability than coming and working for the season as an illegal Thai guide with incomprehensible prospects. Freelance with remote work will stay with you upon your return to Russia. But, here's the master, sir, who likes what.

Where to begin

As you may have guessed, I am a blogger myself and have been making money on websites for the past few years. This is not a freebie at all, as it seems to some, no. When you make a business out of a website and travel, you have to work more than in an office. Moreover, you have to not only write articles, engage in promotion, but also organize the process itself, which includes planning, analytics, employee management, etc. There are many nuances, I will not stop. In any case, I like what I am doing now much more than my previous engineering job. I like the format of work, I like the opportunity to sometimes spend the winter in Thailand, I like the prospects (I earn more than in the office). I even wrote a post about, how to become a blogger, but there are the basics, the very beginning. Yes, and still, being a site owner or, in other words, a publisher is not for everybody..

Therefore, I would start by trying to understand which activity is closer to you. Naturally, we are talking about freelancing, remote work and making money on the Internet. This is the safest thing to do in Thailand, and indeed in any country. And most importantly, you are not tied to a specific workplace, you can move to other countries, or return back to Russia.

P.S. There is only general infa about working in Thailand, so you will have to fill your own bumps on the spot yourself. But the main thing is that you have to do something, try, otherwise under a lying stone, you know ...