How to Apply for a Work Permit in Thailand

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Work Permit in Thailand

Been offered a job in Thailand? If you take the job, you’re going to need a work permit. A Thai work permit is a legal document required by law that states the occupation, position and job description of the foreigner and their place of work.

It’s also required by non-Thais, if they plan to set up a business in Thailand. This guide is going to take you through the exact steps on how to obtain a work permit and the correct visas in Thailand, costs and documentation needed for success.

What to Do Before Applying for a Thailand Work Permit

To apply for a work permit in Thailand, you must first apply for and enter Thailand on a Non-Immigrant Visa Category B visa. The two types of Non-Immigrant B visas are:

  • One for foreigners wanting to enter Thailand and setup a business in the country
  • The other is for foreigners who intend to work for a company within Thailand

Once inside the country, you can start the process of applying for a Thailand work permit. Both you and your intended employer will have to meet certain requirements and provide the right documentation.

Company Requirements and Documentation Needed

Firstly, the company must have 2 million baht in capital or 1 million if the employee is married to a Thai national. Other requirements include:

  • Must be registered to trade in Thailand
  • Needs a registered tax ID and VAT registration
  • Must have four Thai employees for every one non-Thai employee
  • Cannot exceed the 10 work permits per company cap

Employers need to provide the Thai embassy with the following documents. All must be written in Thai or English.

  • Employment agreement
  • Letter of employment stating position, salary, job requirements and duration of the contract
  • An up to date financial statement
  • Company Registration Department Certificate
  • VAT certificate and proof of VAT filings
  • Company withholding tax
  • The location of the main office
  • A list of company shareholders
  • Signed photocopy of the company director’s passport and work permit

Individual Requirements and Documentation Needed

To apply for a work permit in Thailand, the individual must meet a few requirements. You need to:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree and former work experience in the job you intend to work in
  • Be offered a job by a company in Thailand or intend to start a company that meets the above requirements
  • Only have a single job with the work permit and the position must be something a foreigner can do legally in Thailand

If you meet all these requirements, you must provide the Thai embassy with the following documents.

  • Six 2-inch by 2-inch passport photos
  • A valid medical certificate (last 30 days)
  • Your original passport
  • A signed copy of your non-Thai immigrant visa
  • Departure card TM.6
  • A signed letter of employment
  • A signed copy of your certificate of education
  • Proof of your current address in Thailand

How to Submit Your Work Permit Application?

Once you have your documents prepared, go to the Ministry of Labor in Bangkok to submit your application. If your place of work is situated in another province far from the capital, get approval from the Department of Employment in that area.

Next, you need to go to Bangkok Immigration to extend your visa to one or two years. The work permit process in Thailand can take on average 7 days if issued in Bangkok. If you are situated in Phuket or another province, the process can take up to two months.

Thailand Work Permit Costs

There are a few fees to pay when applying for a Thailand work permit. These include:

  • 100-baht application fee
  • 750-baht fee for three-month work permits
  • 1,500-baht fee for three to six-month work permits
  • 3,000-baht fee for twelve-month work permits

How Long Does a Thai Work Permit Last?

A Thai work permit is issued for a maximum length of one year. If your contract is for longer than a year, you’ll need to extend your work permit by going through the same process, using up to date documents.

How to Extend a Thai Work Permit?

Once you are nearing the expiry of your current work permit, you can go to the Immigration Bureau and apply for a one-year extension. You’ll need all the same documents as when you first applied with stamps and signatures.

Can You Change Jobs Once You Have a Work Permit?

It’s important to note that once you have a work permit in Thailand, this only applies to the company that the permit was originally granted for. If you decide to get a different job, you must repeat the application process again with the new company.

What Happens if You Lose Your Job?

If you quit your job, get fired or the contract expires, you must leave Thailand as soon as possible. One option to give you a little time, is to go immediately to Bangkok Immigration and apply for a 7-day extension which costs 1,900 baht.

Regulations to Be Aware of Once You Have a Work Permit

The main point to remember is to always have your work permit on your person at all times. If you cannot show it when asked by a government official, you risk a fine of up to 1,000 baht.

If your work permit gets damaged or lost, apply to have it replaced within 15 days or face a potential 500-baht penalty. And, if your job description or place of work changes, you need to apply to have the information altered or risk a 2,000 baht fine or even a month’s imprisonment.

In the event you resign from your job, you must return the work permit within seven days or risk a 1,000 baht fine.

To stay in Thailand after your work permit expires, you must apply for an extension before its expiration date. If you don’t do this, you risk a 5,000 baht fine or up to three months’ imprisonment.

How to Get Help with Thailand Work Permits?

Aster Lion is an Employer of Record (EOR) and payroll provider in Thailand who can assist with visa and work permit applications. We can guide you through and simplify the process, so you can concentrate on re-locating and getting ready for your new job.

Reach out to us anytime with questions and inquiries on how we can help. Visit our services page to find out more about EOR, payroll solutions, visas and work permits in Thailand.

You can also reference more details here on the Thai Embassy website.

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