Work visa in Thailand or Thai work permit is required in order to be able to work legally in the Kingdom of Thailand as skilled professional. It is also given to employers in order to legally operate a business in Thailand. This is required for every foreigner who engages in a work by “exerting energy or using knowledge whether or not in consideration of wages or other benefits.” Working without a Thai work permit is against the law, thus once caught, a foreigner working without a work permit will be arrested, and might be punished with fine or imprisonment. A work permit needs to be applied before the foreigner starts working.
To get a work permit in Thailand, you have to go through the following steps:
1. Find a prospective employer in Thailand
A foreigner who intends to work in Thailand need to look for a prospective employer in Thailand first. The company that intends to hire a foreigner should be able to provide company documents necessary to for work permit application. This might include offer letter or job contract.
Do a background check on your employer: It should have a minimum of 2 Million Baht in registered capital per work permit in the company. A company can usually provide up to 4 work permits.
2. Apply for a Non-Immigrant “B” Visa
From the foreigner’s home country, he needs to apply for a non-immigrant “B” visa in order to enter Thailand. Upon arrival to Thailand, this non-immigrant visa will be extended to one year stay.
3. Granted initial 90-Day stay permit
At the Royal Thai Embassy/Consulate abroad, the Non-immigrant “B” visa will be processed. Once approved, the foreigner will be given 90 days of stay in Thailand. Once the foreigner arrives in Thailand, then a visa extension will be done.
4. Work Permit Application
The foreigner will be able to enter Thailand using the initial 90-day stay permit. At the Ministry of Labor in Thailand, the foreigner needs to file an application for a work permit. Once approved, the foreigner could start to work.
Applying for the work permit is easy. If the job is in Bangkok, the application should be done at the Ministry of Labor. If the job being applied for is not situated in Bangkok, the application should be filed at the province’s Department of Employment or at the province’s city hall.
In the work permit application, the following documents must be provided:
- application form
- letter stating the job description and an explanation of why the company hires a foreign employee
- a map showing the location of the work place
- valid passport with non-immigrant visa
- proof of the applicant’s educational qualifications such as resume
- medical certificate not older than 6 month from a recognized hospital in Thailand stating the blood type and that the applicant is of good mental and physical health
- Six (6) photographs
- In case the applicant is married to a Thai national, the following additional documents should be annexed to the request:
- Marriage certificate
- Spouse’s identity card and household registration
- A copy of every page of the applicant’s passport
- Commercial Registration Department Certificate proving that the company is a registered juristic person, the name of the director(s), the objections and registered capital
- Shareholders List certified by the Commercial Registration Department
- Factory License, if any
- VAT Certificate
- Withholding Tax
Requirements to be fulfilled by the Thailand employer:
The company hiring a foreigner must have the following characteristics to be eligible hiring a foreigner
- must be registered in Thailand
- has applied for Tax I.D. and VAT registration
- If Thai company, has a minimum of paid up capital of 2,000,000 THB per foreign employee (For foreign employers, 3,000,000 THB)
- meet the ratio of 2 Thai Employees per work permit
- maximum 10 work permits per company (BOI companies may be granted more)
Once approved, the blue work permit needs to be picked up in person at the Labour Department. You must appear in person with your passport and sign the Thai work permit book in the presence of the Labor Department staff. Afterward, the staff will put a stamp in the back of your passport at the time of receipt.
Apply for Extension of Stay Permit
Your 90 Day stay issued by a Thai Embassy or Consulate abroad allows you entry into the Kingdom of Thailand. Once allowed to enter the Kingdom, an application for the Extension of Stay is done. This extends the time period you are allowed to remain in Thailand. Extension of Stay is done at the Immigration Bureau in Thailand. Since you have already received your work permit, you can apply for an extension of your visa from 90 days to 1 year. Both the visa and work permit needs to be extended every year before they lapse.