A Thai Work Permit is required for an Expat to be able to work legally in the Kingdom of Thailand.
A Thai Work Permit will also allow a non-Thai citizen to work and operate a business in Thailand as a skilled professional or even as an employer.
The consequences for an Expat who is arrested for working without a Thai Work Permit may be severe, including deportation, a hefty fine or possibly imprisonment.
As a general rule, the success of a Thai Work Permit application is dependent on the size of the hiring company’s registered capital.
- Thai Business Entities planning to receive a Thai Work Permit for its Expat employees must have at least two million baht fully paid-up registered capital. If the foreign employee has a Thai spouse, the registered capitalization may be only one million baht.
- Foreign Business Entities already operating their business in Thailand can apply for a Thai Work Permit for its foreign employees if they bring at least three million baht per employee into Thailand.
Such foreign entities may be granted up to 10 Thai Work Permits each.
Special exceptions to this rule, are Thailand Board of Investment (BOI companies which can issue a Thai Work Permit and visas to its foreign employees that are working as technical experts on their projects.
- An Expat seeking to obtain a Thai Work Permit must already have a Non-Immigrant Visa. If possible, the Non-Immigrant Visa should be acquired prior to arrival in Thailand. TSL can assist you to obtain the Non-Immigrant Visa in your home country or in a country near Thailand. TSL can also help you to convert a Thai Tourist Visa to a Non-Immigrant Visa without leaving Thailand.
- One of the key success factors in obtaining the Thai Work Permit, is a well written job description. TSL is available to assist you with drafting support all legal documentation and has successfully obtained Thai Work Permits for numerous clients.
- TSL’s staff will submit the documents for your Thai Work Permit. It is important that during the Thai Work Permit application processing that your Non-Immigrant Visa does not expire.
- The Thai Labor Department’s system links the non-immigrant visa (“extension of stay”) that is listed on your application to the Thai Work Permit application.
APPLICATION PROCEDURES FOR THAI WORK PERMIT
Step 1: Obtaining a Non-Immigrant Visa outside Thailand
Requirements for getting a Non-Immigrant Visa outside Thailand:
- Application for a non-immigrant visa must be made within 30 days of planned departure date from their home country or country of residence.
- Documentation is required to prove that the applicant has received a job offer or has established a Thai company to employ himself/herself.
- A letter from the employer to request a non-immigrant visa for the applicant stating that the company wishes to apply for a work permit for the applicant.
- A letter from the employer supporting the applicant’s character in terms of good morals, and respect for the laws and culture of Thailand.
- The Employing Company’s registration documents and financial statements are also required.
Step 2: Obtaining The Thai Work Permit
Submission of documents by the Employee or Worker.
The following documents are required to be submitted by the applying employee:
- Copies of every page of passport duly signed on every page by the employee or worker
- Non immigrant visa
- Departure card TM.6
- Education degree, transcript and certificates or licenses held by the applicant. The worker’s embassy may be required to certify the submitted documents pertinent to education documents such as diploma or certificate, resume, transcripts or license for authenticity.
- CV or Resume – with details on applicant’s past positions, work experience, duties, performance and duration and place of employment.
- 5 x 6 cm photos in 3 sets, with full face and taken wearing business attire (no hat, and sometimes suit and tie). Photo must have been taken within six months before the application for work permit.
- Original and signed photocopies of marriage certificate if married to a Thai national, including Thai ID card of spouse, birth certificates of children and household registration.
Submission of Documents by the Sponsoring Employer.
The Thai company seeking work permit for a foreign worker will have to submit the following documents with company seal stamped on every page and duly signed by authorized signatories:
- Commercial Registration Department Certificate to show the legality of company sponsoring the foreign worker. Name of Managing Director and/or Director and its objections and registered capital should be provided as well.
- List of Shareholders certified by the Commercial Registration Department
- Factory License issued by Factory Department, Ministry of Industry
- VAT Certificate – Phor Phor 20
- Withholding Tax – Phor Ngor Dor 1
Processing and Approval of Work Permit.
- In many cases, the approval of work permit is determined by the job description for which the work permit is applied for. If said job description requires skills which is not common to Thai workers in an effort to protect the local citizens in securing employment with skills they can provide.
- Signing of the approved Thai work permit will be done at the Labor Department upon release of the approved work permit.
Signing and Receiving the Thai Work Permit
- Following approval of the application, the applicant must appear in person with their passport and sign the Thai work permit book in the presence of the Labor Department staff. The Labor Department puts a stamp in your passport at the time of receipt.
- Typical processing times for work permit approval for a company of 2 million baht registered capital is seven (7) business days in Bangkok and up to 2 months in Phuket. Processing times for BOI approved companies are only 3 hour at the One Stop Service Center.
- The Thai Labor Department will issue a receipt that states the return date with which the applicant can receive the Work permit book.
Restrictions On Your Thai Work Permit
- Work is only permitted at the company and location of the employer that obtained the Work Permit. A change in employer or place of work would require a new application. This is due to the fact that the work permit is issued to the employee for the specific company at the specific location.
- In the case of resignation or termination, the issued work permit should be surrendered to the Labor Department within 10 days of resignation or termination from work.
- Note: Normally it is required that there must be four full-time Thai staff for every one foreign employee.
Thailand Revenue Department:
When the application for a work permit has been prepared and arranged, the individual is also required to obtain a Tax Identification Card through its employer.
Each Tax ID Card has a Tax Identification Number (TIN), which will be used for official work and tax related matters in Thailand.
Step 4: Obtaining The Re-Entry Permit
Visa Extension vs. Re-entry Permit
There is often confusion regarding the “Extension of Stay” and the “Re-Entry Permit”.
To clarify, their respective definitions are as follows: “Visa,” as issued at the Thai Embassy or Consulate where the application has been lodged, is what determines the duration in which the individual is allowed to stay in the Kingdom.
He has to leave Thailand on or before the stamped on his passport otherwise the individual may face the consequences of violating the Kingdom’s immigration laws.
The work permit and re-entry permit depend on the visa.
“Re-entry Permit” allows the individual to exit Thailand before the expiration of the visa’s validity and re-enter the Kingdom.
Exiting the country without a re-entry permit would invalidate the visa and work permit.
On the other hand, a re-entry permit is also invalidated if the visa expires.
It would be of great advantage if the Expat is a holder of a multiple re-entry permit (unlimited use) over a single re-entry permit (one time use).
Either way, TSL can assist the individual to obtain one of the two choices.
Step 5: Renewing Your Visa and Thai Work Permit
The Expat’s visa should first be renewed before renewal of the work permit.
This can be done within or outside Thailand depending on the case and the circumstances involved.
If the Expat has been granted a multiple entry visa, he has to exit Thailand every 90 days and then return.
If he does not, he has to exit the country and then re-apply for a new visa by submitting another set of application documents.
Step 6: Reporting your Stay every 90 days
Individuals on a long term extension of stay, are required to report to Immigration Police every 90 days.
Individuals holding a multiple entry visa must depart Thailand and renew their extension of stay after each 90 day entry.
* * TSL offers professional service with a yearly package to perform the task of reporting to Thai Immigration each 90 days.
TSL Thailand Contact Information:
For more information about applying for a Visa or requesting our Legal Services, please visit the TSL Thailand Contact page.
Or you can contact us by phone:
International: +66 84-361-2818
In Thailand: 087-595-4918 or 02-168-7734