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THAILAND WORK PERMIT APPLICATION
All foreigners who are looking to work in Thailand must apply for a work permit before conducting any working activities. Furthermore, a work permit is required for every foreigner who engages in work activities by exerting energy or using their capacities whether or not in consideration of wages or other benefits. Thailand will issue a work permit if it falls within the capabilities of the Ministry of Labour. Section 8 of the Foreign Business Act states that future employers can apply for the work permit on behalf of the foreigner, though the work permit itself can only be issued once the foreigner has officially entered Thailand in accordance with the Thai immigration laws and is present to receive the permit. Furthermore, a Thai work permit will not be issued to a foreigner who does not hold a non-immigrant visa. A work permit will only be issued to an individual with the support of the company for a specific position and job within that company.
It is important to note that a work permit in Thailand does not allow a foreigner to conduct any business outside of the company’s designation. This means 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. With this visa, you can enter Thailand and should apply or collect your permit within that period of stay for which multiple company documents will be required. Upon receiving your work permit (which will be valid for the same amount of time as your visa), you can then apply for an extension from 90 days to one year. Thus, if you are a resident in Thailand, both your visa and work permit can be extended every year.
Should the job content and/or place of work change, the employer is required to report these changes within 15 days. If the employment contract ends, the foreigner is obligated to return their work permit or they shall risk a fine of up to 1,000 THB.
If a foreigner is found working in Thailand without a work permit, they can risk imprisonment of up to three months and/or a fine of up to 5,000 THB. In addition, foreigners who exercise working activities prohibited to them can be imprisoned for five years and/or fined between 2,000 to 100,000 THB. The employer may also be punished with imprisonment not exceeding three years and/or fined up to 60,000 THB.
If all documents stated above are collected and in order, it may take the Thai Labor Department only seven days to issue the work permit in Bangkok but almost two months in Phuket. Only after being issued a work permit can an employee of a non-BOI company start working. As mentioned above, an employee from a BOI (Board Of Investment) company can start working 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
- VAT registration
- 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