A work permit allows a non-Thai citizen to work and operate a business in Thailand as a skilled professional or even as an employer. The work permit is required in order to be able to work legally in the Kingdom of Thailand. Working without a Thai work permit might cause severe consequences. A foreigner, who is arrested for working without work permit, will be punished with a fine or imprisonment.
In general, the success of a work permit application depends on the hiring company's registered capitalization.
- Thai Business Entities who want to apply their foreign employee for work permits must have at least two million baht fully paid-up registered capitalization. However, where the foreign employee has a Thai spouse, the registered capitalization may only be one million baht.
- Foreign Business Entities who had operated their business in Thailand can apply their employees for work permit if they bring at least three million baht per employee into the country.
The entities above may be granted to maximum 10 work permits each. However, the BOI-promoted company is an exception from the regulations above. Thailand Board of Investment is authorized to grant the promoted companies special right concerning the issuance of work permit and visa for the foreign employee working on those projects as technical experts.
Before you can apply or be issued with a work permit you must have a non-immigrant visa first. This is required to apply for a Thai work permit in the Kingdom. Ideally, it should be acquired prior to your arrival in Thailand. We can assist you in obtaining it in your home country or in country close to Thailand. In addition, we can help you convert a tourist visa to a non-immigrant visa without leaving Thailand.
Step 1: Obtaining a Non-Immigrant Visa
Requirements for getting a non-immigrant visa outside the country:
- The applicant has been offered a job or starts a Thai company to employ himself/herself
- The company requests for the applicant to be issued with a non-immigrant visa so that the company may be able to apply for a work permit for the said applicant.
- The company can express great confidence on the individual to be of good moral and respectful to the culture of Thailand as well as being abiding to the laws of the country.
You should apply for this visa within 30 days before you plan to depart your country. The Consulate or consular officer will ask for copies of the registration documents and financial statements from the company.
Step 2: Obtaining the Thai Work Permit
Employee provided work permit documents:
- Passport - copies of every page. Each copy must be signed by employee.
- Non-Immigrant Visa
- Departure Card TM.6
- Education degree (signed copy) *
- Transcript (signed copy) *
- Certificates or licenses held by applicant (signed copy) *
- CV or Resume - describe in detail the applicant's past positions, duties, performance, length and place of employment.
- Photos, three (3) in quantities which are 5 x 6 centimeters in size (not passport photos) with full face and taken wearing business attire (no hat and some jurisdictions require suit and tie). This must have been taken within six (6) months before the application for the Thai work permit.
- Marriage Certificate (if married to Thai National). This includes the original and signed photocopies. Also include wife's Thai ID card, birth certificates of children, and household registration.
*Thai government officials may require these documents to be certified by your country's embassy (this requires bringing your degree, resume, license or certificate to your embassy to declare it is a true and original document. You are required to pay an authentication fee to your embassy. In addition, they can require you to translate these documents into the Thai language from your foreign language.
Employer provided work permit documents:
- Commercial Registration Department Certificate showing that the organization for which the applicant is going to work has been duly registered as a juristic person, giving the name of the Managing Director and/or Director, and its objections and registered capital. *
- Shareholders List certified by the Commercial Registration Department. *
- Factory License (if required) issued by Factory Department, Ministry of Industry. *
- VAT Certificate - Phor Phor 20 *
- VAT filing - Phor Phor 30
- Withholding Tax - Phor Ngor Dor 1
- Social Security Payment filing
*Thai government officials require that all documents to have the seal of the company stamped on every page and the true and authorized signature(s) of the Managing Director and/or Directors next to the seal. In addition, government officials have in past requested official copies of registration, shareholder, licenses and certificates to have been issued by their respective agencies within the past 90 days of your application for Thai work permit.
There must be four full-time Thai staff per every one foreign employee.
Getting Your Thai Work Permit Approved
There are several points on which the granting of the work permit would be based upon and one of them is the job description as it should be able to convince the panel concerned that the applicant has the required set of skills and knowledge for the job, a set in which Thai workers may not or may inadequately have. Also, in view of protecting the availability of jobs for its citizens, there is always a possibility that not all of the work permits it has applied before the Ministry of Labor would be granted.
In relation to the importance of the job description, the company may choose to obtain crucial assistance from Siam Legal’s highly skilled foreign and Thai lawyers to increase the chances of being granted with a work permit for its desired employee.
Once the application is submitted for your Thai Work Permit
Our staff will submit the documents for your Thai work permit, during the processing you must not let your visa expire. The Labor Department's system links the non-immigrant visa ("extension of stay") you listed on your application to the work permit paperwork. A typical time frame for approval of the work permit for a company of 2 million baht registered capital is seven (7) business days in Bangkok and up to 2 months in Phuket. BOI approved companies can enjoy 3 hour processing times at the One Stop Service Center. The Labor Department will issue a receipt stating your return date for receiving your work permit book.
Signing for your new Thai Work Permit
Your first and only appearance for the Thai work permit will be at the Labor Department upon its approval. You must appear in person with your passport and sign the Thai work permit book in the presence of the Labor Department staff. The Labor Department puts a stamp in the back of your passport at the time of receipt.
Restrictions on Your Thai Work Permit
When granted with a work permit, the individual must work only with the said company. If in case he is assigned to another location of the same company, he is required to obtain a new work permit covering such new location. The same is required if and when the individual would work with another company. This is due to the fact that the work permit is issued to the employee for the specific company at the specific location.
If in case he tendered his resignation or has been laid off by the company, he is tasked to surrender his work permit to the Labor Department not more than 10 days.
Step 3: The Tax ID Card
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. On his tax ID card is the Tax Identification Number, which will be used for documents that need the tax identification number (TIN).
Step 4: Obtaining the Re-entry Permit
Visa Extension vs. Re-entry Permit
It is a fact that some confuses the Extension of Stay over 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 he may face the consequences of violating the Kingdom's immigration laws. His work permit and re-entry permit relies 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 invalidated his visa and work permit. On the other hand, a re-entry permit of his is also invalidated if his visa expires.
It would be of great advantage if he is a holder of a multiple re-entry permit (unlimited use) over a single re-entry permit (one time use). Either way, the lawyers of Siam Legal can help the individual obtain one of the two choices.
Step 5: Renewing your Visa and Work Permit
Basing on the definitions on the earlier section, his visa should first be renewed before he can renew his work permit. This can be done within or outside of the country depending on the case and the circumstances involved.
If he has been granted with 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 specified documents.Reporting your Stay every 90 days
For persons on a long term extension of stay, they are required to report to Immigration Police every 90 days. Persons holding a multiple entry visa will simply depart Thailand and renew their extension of stay after each 90 day entry. Our firm offers professional service with a yearly package to perform the task of the reporting to Immigration each 90 days.