Work Permit

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Work permit in Thailand​

Any foreigner who wishes to run a business or work in the Kingdom of Thailand, need to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Labour. However, the following exceptions are the cases where the foreign nationals do not require to hold a work permit to perform certain activities in Thailand:

  • Representatives or people employed by the organizations under United Nations
  • Individuals performing diplomatic activities
  • Individual performing consular tasks
  • Personal assistants and employees like servants working for the individuals mentioned on item 1-3.
  • Individuals working in Thailand based on agreements between Thailand and foregin nations or international organizations
  • Individuals entering the country in order to perform activities related to culture, arts, sports or education for the benefit of Thailand.
  • Individuals with special permission from the government of Thailand

Process to Obtain a Work Permit in Thailand

 Any foreign individual looking to obtain a work permit in Thailand needs to enter the country with a Non-B visa with an employer already in the picture for permanent employment. Then the foreigner is required to request a work permit at Alien Occupational Control Division. For the areas outside Bangkok, this form will be submitted to the Office of Employment in different provinces. It is also possible that the employer files the application in advance before the arrival of the hired individual in Thailand. This is quite a common practice since in many cases, Thai embassies ask the person applying for the non-B visa to provide them with a work permit letter of approval from the Office of Foreign Workers Administration, Department of Employment of the Ministry of Labour and a number of other documents from the hiring party. The hard copy of the permit will be provided to the individual after he or she enters Thailand after providing another series of documents to the Office of Foreign Workers Administration.

In order to obtain a work permit in Thailand, it is mandatory that the applicant possesses the below qualifications:

  • Residing in Thailand or possessing the right to stay with means other than tourist or transit traveler visas.
  • Applying for occupations that are not listed in the reserved jobs for Thai nationals mentioned in the royal decree of B.E.2522
  • Possessing the abilities and knowledge to perform the duties stated in the application to obtain the permission to work in Thailand
  • Mental Sanity
  • Not suffering from TB, addiction, alcoholism, leprosy and elephantiasis.
  • No criminal record or imprisonment for immigration or employment offesses at least one year before the application.

Employer eligibility

Any registered business in Thailand with the capital of at least 2 Million Baht per work permit would be eligible to hire foreigners. In the case that the majority of shareholders are not Thai nationals, the capital need to be 3 million baht per work permit. Any international business in the kingdom under the treaty of Amity or working as a foregin branch must provide evidence of providing outside money into thailand for the minimum of 3 million baht per work permit. In the case that the foreign national in married to a Thai, the numbers mentioned above will be decreased to half. 

Non Compliance Penalties

  • In the case that the foreigner works in Thailand without a valid permit there will be punishment in form of imprisonment of less than 5 years or/and fines starting from 2,000 Baht to 100,000 Baht.
  • In the event that an individual with work permit works in a place other than where it is mentioned in the work permit, there will be a fine of less 20,000 Baht.
  • Individuals shall keep permit that the place of employment to show to any officials or registrar in the case that it is required. Inability to provide the work permit shall result in fines of less than 10,000 Baht.
  • Employers who hire foreigners without a permit face fines not exceeding 100,000 Baht
  • Employees put to work in areas other than what what specified in the work permit will result in fines for the employer which shall not exceed 10,000 Baht.