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Registration, Permits & Other Documentation

Bangkok - Registration, Permits & Other Documentation

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There are many employment opportunities for expatriates in Bangkok. While most professions will be eligible to apply for work permits, there are certain professions that are not permissible, for example, medical doctors.

For expatriates wishing to work and live in Bangkok, the two main documents to secure are a Non-immigrant visa and a work permit. The processes for obtaining these permits are described in detail in Expat Focus' Thailand Country Guide. For additional and updated information on visa requirements, refer to Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs guidelines website.

The application and approval for a work permit is sequential – to obtain a work permit, expatriates must first apply and obtain a non-immigrant visa. Non-immigrant visas are obtained from a Thai embassy in your home country. Expatriates wishing to conduct a business in Thailand can apply for a non-immigrant B type visa at a Thai embassy outside Thailand. For all types of visa, it is important to have a letter of support (usually from your employer).

In most cases, it is the employer who applies for the work permits on behalf of the employee. Expatriates who wish to work on a voluntary basis (without drawing a formal salary) should note that missionary / voluntary work are in fact still employment and subject to a work permit. Busking is considered illegal in Thailand, and it is legally place in the same category as begging. The work permit is a small blue booklet. It is not advisable to engage the services of companies who claim to be able to offer 'visa' extensions for expatriates wishing to extend their stay in Thailand.

Expatriates should note that although there is no photo ID card issued for foreigners living in Bangkok, expatriates living in Bangkok should carry some form of photo identification. The best form would be your passport, and carrying a laminated photocopy of your passport is sufficient.

Apart from seeking assistance from your home country's consulate services in Bangkok, expatriates should not be turning in their passports to any other third party, particularly companies who 'offer visa extensions'. Expatriates would be wise to take note of these scams.

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.