Obtaining a work permit and visa’s in Thailand

Work Permits & Visas

To work legally in Thailand as an expat it is necessary to obtain a work permit. If arriving into the country under the auspices of a sponsoring company, the employer should guide you accordingly and should bear the brunt of the organisational burden by using a reputable company, well versed in the correct legal procedure.
However, if your sponsoring company seems communicatively inadequate, or if you don't have the benefit of securing a position prior to your relocation, it is possible to obtain a work permit once in the country. Many of the more menial positions in the countryside or along the southern islands will even employ expats illegally without a work permit and pay them “under the table”, though this is in strict violation of Thai law and is strictly not advisable.

Getting a non-immigrant visa in Thailand

If planning to get a work permit in Thailand, the first step of the process is obtaining a non-immigrant visa. It is best to come into the country with this document already organised through the Thai consulate in your home country. A multiple entry visa is preferable, but it is possible to get this document from within Thailand as well. There are a number of different categories within this domain; take care to select the most suitable for your plans. 

Expats applying for non-immigrant visas will need a letter from a sponsoring company stating the following:

  • The applicant has been offered a contract of employment
  • The company requests that the applicant be given a non-immigrant visa so the company may apply for a work permit for them
  • The company knows the person to be qualified, dependable, and upstanding and law abiding, that they will respect the laws and customs of the Kingdom of Thailand.

Getting a work permit in Thailand

Once you are in possession of a current non-immigrant category ‘B’ visa it is possible to apply for a formal work permit. The crucial factor in qualifying for a work permit is that you have skills that cannot be replicated by a Thai individual. The Department of Labour is becoming more and more reluctant to issue these permits, thus doing research prior to ascertain what job descriptions and positions are in demand will work to your benefit.

Generally, work permit applications must be accompanied by the following documents, though requirements change often. It is best to contact the consulate in your home country to confirm information.

  • Copy of the picture page/identification page of your passport (the one with your photo and passport number)
  • Your non-immigrant category ‘B’ visa
  • Copy of the passport page with your current entrance stamp
  • Copy of your entry card
  • Copy of your degree or resume or transcript - sometimes they require it be certified by your country's embassy (this requires bringing your degree or resume to your embassy, declaring it is a true and original document and then paying an authentication fee).
  • A doctor's certificate stating you are in good health (this can be arranged quickly in Thailand and generally costs less than 500 baht).
  • 2 colour, 4 by 6 centimetre photographs (This is not a standard Passport size photograph).
  • Additionally, your employer will be required to submit tax and legal documents concerning the nature of their business and employees.

    Work permit applications can take some time to process if the documentation is not correct and up to date. It’s important to be patience and ensure that your visa does not expire in the meantime. If it is in danger of expiring you must apply for the appropriate extension – it is imperative that your visa is current the day you sign for your work permit. If all the correct documentation is in place the whole process usually takes 7-10 days.

    To register your interest and to receive more information on this subject, please visit www.businessclassasia.com/legal-contract-company-services/

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