Thailand work permit

Thailand work permit

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Thailand Work Permit

  1. 1.   Legalities:

To legally work in Thailand, a foreigner must apply for a work permit. Work permit is a legal document that states a foreigner’s position, current occupation, or job description and the Thai company he is working with. It also serves as a license to perform a job or an occupation allowed for foreigners inside Thailand.

Foreigners entering Thailand are not permitted to work, regardless of their type of visa, unless they are granted a work permit. Those who intend to work in Thailand must hold the correct type of visa to be eligible to apply for a work permit.

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To secure a work permit in Thailand, a foreigner needs an initial visa, which is a non-immigrant visa. The non-immigrant visa must be obtained before entering Thailand.

Once the foreigner has a non-immigrant visa, he may begin to process the work permit. The work permit process would take approx 14 business days to accomplish. Work permit application is processed in the Ministry of Labour office.

A foreigner is eligible to apply for a work permit as long as he has a non-immigrant visa or a resident visa, has an available employer who will provide documents for work permit, and the occupation he will perform is not prohibited to foreigners.

  1. 2.   Details required with the applicant:
  • 2 inches photo
  • medical certificate
  • original passport
  • letter of employment
  • certificate of degree
  • address in Thailand

The employer has to provide the following:

  • company certificate and objectives
  • list of shareholders
  • application for VAT
  • withholding tax of the company
  • financial statement
  • photocopy of the director’s passport and work permit with signature affixed
  • office map
  • letter of employment stating position and salary of applicant
  • employment agreement

Once granted, the foreigner has to bring the work permit all the time especially at the work place and during working hours. Please note that the foreigner can only perform the job stated in the work permit and on the specific employer.


Thai Work Permits can be granted to expatriates who satisfy any or most of the following conditions:

  • Working for an establishment with a registered capital of at least 2,000,000 Baht. One expatriate can be hired for every 2,000,000 Baht of capital but not more than 10 expatriates.
  • Working in an establishment, which has already paid income tax to the Revenue Department in the past 3 years not less than 5,000,000 Baht. For every 5,000,000 Baht tax payment is allowed to hire 1 expatriate.
  • Working for an establishment, which engages in export business and remit foreign currency of at least the equivalent of 3,000,000 Baht last year? For every 3,000,000 Baht, an establishment is allowed to hire 1 expatriate but not more than 3 expatriates.
  • Working in an establishment, which employs 4 Thai employees. An establishment is allowed to hire 1 expatriate for every 4 Thai employees but not more than 5 expatriates in total.
  • An expatriate who has an income and duty to pay personal income tax to the Revenue Department of equivalent or more than 18,000 Baht, or already paid personal income tax in the past year of equivalent or more than 18,000 Baht.

Thai Immigration may consider work permit approval, renewal, and modification of employment descriptions regardless of the previous requirements as stated if you are under the following conditions:

  • If you are an expatriate working for a representative office conducting quality control, procurement, or marketing research.
  • If you work for investment consulting, administrative consulting, technical and technology, or periodical internal audit.
  • If you are a Tourism representative who brings in foreigners to travel in Thailand.
  • If you are employed under International financial institutions approved by the Bank of Thailand.
  • If you are in the temporary business of entertainment, religious, social welfare, cultural or sporting without intention to make profit and paying income tax to the government.
  • If you are working as a contractor on projects with any government bodies or state enterprises.
  • If you work using mostly local raw material as an essential component in the production process or work that can reduce the use of imported raw material.
  • If your work involves supporting export of Thai products.
  • If you are working to bring in new technology, which Thai people are not capable of, in order to distribute and transfer to Thai people?
  • If you work in the area where there is a shortage of Thai labour.
  • If you can provide certificate of residence in Thailand.
  • If you are married to a Thai citizen with a legalized marriage registration, publicly cohabiting as husband and wife, and with a legal profession.


  1. Once in Receipt of the Thailand Work Permit:
  • You must carry your work permit or keep it in the office during working hours to show to government officers any time. A fine of not more than 1,000 baht will be paid by those who violate this.
  • You must only perform the work according to the occupation stated in your work permit. You should apply for the revisions should you change occupation or office address. If you violate this rule you can be imprisoned for not more than a month or fined not more than 2,000 baht or both.
  • You must apply for an extension before the expiration date if you intend to continue working in Thailand. Should you fail to do this, you can be imprisoned not more than 3 months or fined not more than 5,000 baht or both.
  • If your work permit is damaged or lost, you must apply for its replacement within 15 days from the date he/she knows about the damage or disappearance of the work permit. If you fail to do so, you will be fined not more than 500 baht.
  • You need to inform the Employment Service office to update your personal information should you change any of it as stated in your Work Permit.
  • In case of resignation, you must return your work permit within 7 days from the date of your resignation. If you are found violating this, you will be fined not more than 1000 baht.
Application Form

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