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Work Permits

Thailand - Work Permits

In order to make an application for a work permit in Thailand you need to have a non-immigrant visa first. When making the application for the non-immigrant visa you need to have proof that you have been offered a job in Thailand. This should be in the form of a letter on company paper to confirm that an offer has been made and that the company is requesting that you are granted a non-immigrant visa so that the work permit can be applied for. The letter should also state that you are law abiding and dependable and that you will respect Thailand’s customs and laws. The consulate or embassy that you are applying to may require additional documentation from the company. This visa should only take a few days to be granted.

It is a good idea to ask for a multiple entry visa as the non-immigrant visa needs to be renewed every few months and for some this involves leaving the country for a short time. All embassies are able to issue a multiple-entry visa but some may try to convince you to take a single entry visa as they can make a little more money this way due to the fees on the visa. However, if you are already in Thailand you can extend this visa by going to the nearest immigration office with your passport, your work permit, employment details and tax payer details. You may also be asked to produce your bank book.

You are able to search for work as a non-resident but in order to begin work you need to have the relevant visas and permits in place. It is a good idea to have the non-immigrant visa already when you are searching as this can save a little time.

Once you have the non-immigrant visa you are able to apply for the work permit. You will need to provide a photocopy of the ID page of your passport, the non-immigrant visa, a copy of the passport page which shows the latest entry stamp, a copy of the Thai entry card, a copy of your qualifications, a doctor’s certificate which shows you are in good health, visa photos (slightly different to passport size), tax documents from the employer and the relevant fee. The medical certificate can be issued by a local doctor for a fee and will not necessarily include an examination. The fee for the permit will vary according to the length of permit that is being issued.

All applicants for a work permit will need to have a job description as this is considered to be an important factor. The job description should show that the job needs skills that the majority of Thai people will not have. If it is considered that a Thai person could do the job then the permit will not be granted. Generally, it is the company that you will be working for that will make the actual application. It should be noted that there are efforts to reduce the number of jobs which are given to expats, so if a company applies for several work permits all at the same time, not all of them will be granted.

While waiting for the work permit to be approved it is up to the expat to ensure that their non-immigrant visa remains current at all times. Visa extensions of 2 weeks are available. The wait for a work permit to be authorised can take months, so it is wise to be prepared for this.

When a work permit has been issued the applicant will need to go to the Labour Department with their passport in order to sign for it. This acknowledges receipt of the permit and the passport will be stamped at the same time.

The work permit should be kept current at all times and an application for a new one should be made before the old one expires. An expired work permit means that you need to begin the whole process again which can be time consuming and costly. It is easier to renew a permit than apply for a new one.

When you receive your work permit it will restrict the work that you are allowed to do. You will only be allowed to work for the company that applied for the permit. If you decide to change jobs then you need to begin the process again. If you choose to leave the company, are made redundant or finish for any other reason then you have only 10 days to take your permit back to the Labour department. The company will not do this for you. In order to begin a new job in Thailand and get a new work permit your first company will need to give you a written reference.

Useful Resources

Thailand Labour Department
Tel: + 66 2232 1421 22
Email: webmaster@mol.go.th

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

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