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THAILAND WORK PERMIT APPLICATION
All foreigners who intend to work in Thailand have to apply for a work permit before they start working. A work permit is required for every foreigner who engages in work by “exerting energy or using knowledge whether or not in consideration of wages or other benefits.” The issuance of Thailand work permits falls within the competences of the Ministry of Labour. Section 8 of the Foreign Business Act states that the future employer may apply for this work permit on behalf of the foreigner, but the work permit itself can only be issued once the foreigner has entered Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws and presented himself to receive the permit. Moreover, a Thai work permit will not be issued to the foreigner who does not have a non-immigrant visa. In Thailand, a work permit is issued to an individual with the support of a company for a specific position and job role within that company.
A work permit does not allow a foreigner to work outside of that company designation. In practice, this means that if you found a job before you actually move to Thailand, the Thai company should arrange for your application for a non-immigrant B visa. You can enter Thailand with this non-immigrant B visa and within that period you should apply/collect your work permit for which, again, multiple company documents should be provided. Having received your work permit (valid for the same amount of time as your visa), you can apply for an extension of your visa (from 90 days to one year). From that point on, if you are a resident in Thailand, both your visa and work permit can be extended every year (and before the year elapses).
If the job content and/or place of work would change, the employer must report these changes within 15 days. If the employment contract would be ended, the foreigner is obliged to return their work permit or they risk a fine of up to 1,000 THB
If a foreigner is working in Thailand without a work permit, they risk imprisonment up to three months and/or a fine of up to 5,000 THB. Foreigners who exercise an activity which is prohibited to them, they can be imprisoned for five years and/or fined (between 2,000 to 100,000 THB). The employer themselves may be punished with imprisonment not exceeding three years and/or fined up to 60,000 THB.
If all documents as stated above are in order, it takes the Labor Department only seven days to issue the work permit in Bangkok but almost two months in Phuket. Only after issuance of a work permit, an employee of a non-BOI company can start working. As mentioned above, an employee of a BOI company can start working as from the moment they applied for the work permit.
Requirements for Thai work permit
Per foreign employee:
2M THB in registered capital
Four Thai employees registered in social fund
The individual must have a valid, proper type, non-immigrant type visa to apply
Some employment classes may require proof of educational qualifications
A proper/formal/realistic working environment for all employees is required based on the registered objectives of the company