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Volunteer Visa: A Comprehensive Guidebook 2022

Thailand Volunteer Visa

The Volunteer Visa is a category of the Non-immigrant Category O Visa for some religious workers and ministers allowing a trip to Thailand for religious work or volunteering.

In recent 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 NGOs (non-profit organizations) out there that offer this kind of work. While dealing with Thai officials may be unavoidable throughout your stay, you must recognize that appropriate processes must be followed following Thai regulations to prevent getting yourself into problems. Working as a volunteer in Thailand may be highly rewarding if you take into account considerations on doing the reasonable steps to satisfy the legal requirements.

Thailand Volunteer Visa

In This Post

Who Is Eligible for Thailand Volunteer Visa?

This category of visa is issued to applicants who wish to visit Thailand as a volunteer to work in a non-government organization in Thailand.

Important Reminders to Become a Foreign Volunteer Worker in Thailand

If you want to participate in a volunteer activity in Thailand, you must consider two important things:

1- Getting a Visa

A valid Non-Immigrant O visa is required for foreigners who want to participate in charity or volunteer activities in Thailand. It is recommended that you contact a Thai consulate in your home country to learn more about the visa application process.

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

2- Getting a Work Permit

Even though international volunteer workers are not paid for their work in Thailand, they are obliged by law to obtain a valid work visa. In many situations, people may have come to the nation for vacation and then get interested in a volunteer activity later on.

While they may believe they can get away with it without having to apply for a work permit, the possibility of being caught in a position that might result in penalties, prison time, deportation, or even blacklisting does not paint a pretty image.

Chiangmai Volunteer Application Form
Chiangmai Volunteer Application Form

How to get a Volunteer Visa and Thai Work Permit?

There is evidence necessary to support your application for a valid visa and work permit to volunteer to receive a valid visa and work permit.

The following are the documentation that must be supplied from the organization:

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

How to get a Thailand Volunteer Visa?

You will be expected to participate in charitable volunteer activities (primarily assisting disadvantaged children). This will take the shape of:

   Volunteer work for the charity:

      • Cooking and preparing food
      • Delivery and serving food packages in local schools and Hill-Tribe communities
      • Planting Trees in Villages
      • Teaching English to Children
      • Many other types of work.

What are the conditions for a Thai Volunteer Visa:

The Thai Volunteer Visa is valid for a single entry for medical-related purposes only.

The Thai Volunteer Visa is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. Travelers must enter Thailand within the said 90-day period. They will be allowed to stay in Thailand for a period of up to 90 days, counting from the date of entry. During the 90 days of stay, if they wish to leave and re-enter Thailand, they are required to apply for a re-entry permit (single or multiple) before departure. If they leave Thailand without a re-entry permit, the current stay permit shall be considered void.

The extension of stay is at the discretion of the immigration officer. Extension applications can be made at the office of the Immigration Bureau.

If the Thai Volunteer Visa holder breaches the entry conditions, the stay permit will be revoked and he/she will be prohibited from entering Thailand in the future.

Thailand Volunteer Visa Requirements

The required documents are as follows:

    1. Actual Passport or Travel Document. (must not expire within 6 months and contain at least one empty visa page);
    2. Passport-size photographs (2″x2″):
      • Photographs must have a light color background;
      • Full-face view of the person without wearing a hat or dark glasses and covering up shoulders;
      • Photos must be taken within 6 months.
    3. Flight confirmation/reservation, showing going from the US to Thailand     (The name of the applicant must be indicated clearly.)
    4. Recent bank statement:
      • $700 per person and $1,500 per family;
      • The name of the applicant must be indicated clearly;
      • In the case of submitting a family bank statement a proof of relationship; (i.e. birth certificate, marriage certificate) must be provided.
    5. Official letter certifying the purpose of duties and period from the organization;
    6. The organization’s registration certificate;
    7. A copy of the Thai ID card or passport of the head of the organization;
      • A copy of the work permit if the head of the NGO organization is a foreigner;
    8. Non-US citizen:
      • A copy of the permanent resident card (green card).
    9. For minors under 20 years old, please provide the following documents :
      • Notarized copy of a birth certificate; and
      • Notarized copy of marriage certificate.
    10. In case of sole custody notarized copy of the court order must be provided :
      • Notarized copy or original of mother and father/ legal guardian’s passports or ID; and
      • Original letter of notarized consent from mother and father/ legal guardian for the minor to travel abroad;
    11. For Nigerian nationalities and passport holders:
      • Certificate of Clearance from NDLEA; and
      • Authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affair of Nigeria; and
      • Authenticated by the Royal Thai Consulate in Abuja, Nigeria.
    12. Application using passports from Afghanistan and Iraq:
      • Visa application and supporting documentation must be forwarded to Thailand for visa approval;
      • Processing time is a minimum of three weeks.
    13. All supporting materials that are not in English must be accompanied by certified English translations and certified by an embassy only;
    14. Visa fee.
Elephant Volunteer Programs In Chiang Mai, Thailandvolunteer Programs In Chiang Mai, Thailand
Elephant Volunteer Programs In Chiang Mai, Thailandvolunteer Programs In Chiang Mai, Thailand

How to get a Thailand Volunteer Visa?

  1. Contact the Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General where you will submit the visa application. If one is accessible, you may also go to their website. Learn about the visa office’s opening hours, working days, and preferred form of payment.
  2. Make an appointment, if one is necessary. A list of the Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General may be found here.
  3. Collect the required documents for a Thailand Volunteer Visa.
  4. Submit the documents and visa application. Depending on which Embassy/Consulate you apply in, you can apply:
    • In-person;
    • By mail, in which case you must attach a postage-paid, self-addressed envelope.
  5.   Allow time for the application to be reviewed.
  6. Grab your passport and visa. They will be returned to you if you applied via mail.

What Is the Duration of a Thai volunteer visa

The Thai Non O Volunteer Visa is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. Travelers must enter Thailand within the said 90-day period. They will be allowed to stay in Thailand for a period of up to 90 days, counting from the date of entry. During the 90 days of stay, if they wish to leave and re-enter Thailand, they are required to apply for a re-entry permit (single or multiple) before departure. If they leave Thailand without a re-entry permit, the current stay permit shall be considered void.

The extension of stay is at the discretion of the immigration officer. Extension application can be made at the office of the Immigration Bureau

If the Thai Non O Volunteer Visa holder breaches the entry conditions, the stay permit will be revoked and he/she will be prohibited from entering Thailand in the future.

Important Reminders

90-day Reporting

Holders of any Thai Non-Immigrant visa such as Non-Immigrant B Visa, Retirement Visa, Marriage Visa, etc. must report their current address to a Thai immigration office every 90 days.

This can be done three ways:

    • In-person at a Thai immigration office.
    • By mail.
    • Through an agent who has the Power of Attorney to report your status.

If you are not in Thailand on the date your 90-day reporting is due, you do not need to report your status, your 90-day reporting will begin again from day 1 on the date you re-enter Thailand.

Re-entry Permit

If you plan on leaving and re-entering Thailand whilst on a Non-Immigrant O Marriage Visa, you will first need to get a re-entry permit to not lose your visa when you leave.

A re-entry permit can be secured from a Thai Immigration Office or International Airport. The fees are 1,000 Baht for a single re-entry, and 3,800 Baht for a multiple re-entry permit.

When re-entering Thailand, make sure to note the number of your re-entry permit on your immigration arrival form for your visa to be re-activated.

Thailand Volunteer Visa FAQs:

Do I need a visa to volunteer in Thailand?

Yes, You need it. To volunteer for a longer duration in Thailand, you must apply for a 12-month ‘Non-Immigrant O Visa’ at a Thai Embassy before arriving. You will need a letter from the organization requesting for temporary stay for volunteer reasons.

How much is a volunteer visa for Thailand?

Application fee 34,500 THB

What kind of visa is a volunteer?

Non-Immigrant O visas are required for foreigners who wish to participate in charity or volunteer activities in Thailand.

How long is a volunteer visa in Thailand?

This visa is valid for 90 days. Visitors must enter Thailand within 90 days. There is a 90-day limit on their stay in Thailand.

Is it illegal to volunteer in Thailand?

It is illegal. You must first obtain a valid visa before you may enter Thailand. Afterward, when you arrive in Thailand, your volunteer group should take care of getting your work visa.

How much does it cost to volunteer in Thailand?

For instance, IVHQ offers programs for around $300 per week, while Love Volunteers offers programs for as low as $175 per week.

The typical program cost for volunteering in Thailand is between $500 and $1500 per week—but keep in mind that inclusions and services vary greatly.

How does a volunteer visa work?

Available to foreign nationals interested in volunteering with a non-governmental organization (NGO) or other charity organization in Thailand. After being granted a visa for up to 90 days, applicants may apply for a work permit and extend their stay in Thailand.

What are examples of volunteer work?

Volunteer work for the charity:  

    • Cooking and preparing food 
    • Delivery and serving food packages in local schools and Hill-Tribe communities
    • Planting Trees in Villages
    • Teaching English to Children

Many other types of work.

How do I set up a charity in Thailand?

To register a Thai Foundation, the application form must be submitted to the district registrar of the proposed location. A Foundation’s total assets must be 500,000 baht, including 250,000 baht in cash.

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