Thai Work Permit Application

Business in Thailand

Obtaining a work permit in Thailand is perhaps the most convenient and most rewarding way for the enchanted visitor to enjoy the country's many promising attractions while immersing into the exotic and opulent Thai culture without worrying much about a visa or time. A work permit allows you to work and operate business in Thailand as a skilled professional or even as an employer. The work permit is required in order to be able to work legally in the Kingdom of Thailand. Working without a Thai work permit might cause severe consequences. A foreigner, who is arrested for working without work permit, will be punished with a fine or imprisonment.

In general, the success of a work permit application depends on the hiring company's registered capitalization.

  • Thai Business Entities who want to apply their foreign employee for work permits must have at least two million baht fully paid-up registered capitalization. However, where the foreign employee has a Thai spouse, the registered capitalization may only be one million baht.
  • Foreign Business Entities who had operated their business in Thailand can apply their employees for work permit if they bring at least three million baht per employee into the country.

The entities above may be granted to maximum 10 work permit per active entities. However, the BOI-promoted company is an exception from the regulations above. Thailand Board of Investment is authorized to grant the promoted companies special right concerning the issuance of work permit and visa for the foreign employee working on those projects as technical experts.

Before you can apply or be issued with a work permit you must have a non-immigrant visa first. This is required to apply for a Thai work permit in the Kingdom. Ideally, it should be acquired prior to your arrival in Thailand. We can assist you in obtaining it in your home country or in country close to Thailand. In addition, we can help you convert a tourist visa to a non-immigrant visa without leaving Thailand but it can take up to 1 or 2 months for this conversion process.

Requirements for getting a non-immigrant visa outside the country:

  • The applicant has been offered a job or starts a Thai company to employ himself/herself
  • The company requests that the applicant be given a non-immigrant visa so the company may apply for a Thai work permit for him/her
  • The company knows the person to be dependable, upstanding, and law abiding and that they will respect the laws and customs of the Kingdom of Thailand.

You should apply for this visa within 30 days before you plan to depart your country. The Consulate or consular officer will ask for copies of the registration documents and financial statements from the company.

Employee provided documents:

  • Passport - copies of every page. Each copy must be signed by employee.
  • Non-Immigrant Visa
  • Departure Card TM.6
  • Education degree (signed copy) *
  • Transcript (signed copy) *
  • Certificates or licenses held by applicant (signed copy) *
  • CV or Resume - describe in detail the applicant's past positions, duties, performance, length and place of employment.
  • Photos, three (3) in quantities which are 5 x 6 centimetres in size (not passport photos) with full face and taken wearing business attire (no hat and some jurisdictions require suit and tie). This must have been taken within six (6) months before the application for the Thai work permit.
  • Marriage Certificate (if married to Thai National). This includes the original and signed photocopies. Also include wife's Thai ID card, birth certificates of children, and household registration.

*Thai government officials may require these documents to be certified by your country's embassy (this requires bringing your degree, resume, license or certificate to your embassy to declare it is a true and original document. You are required to pay an authentication fee to your embassy. In addition, they can require you to translate these documents into the Thai language from your foreign language.

Employer provided documents:

  • Commercial Registration Department Certificate showing that the organization for which the applicant is going to work has been duly registered as a juristic person, giving the name of the Managing Director and/or Director, and its objections and registered capital. *
  • Shareholders List certified by the Commercial Registration Department. *
  • Factory License (if required) issued by Factory Department, Ministry of Industry. *
  • VAT Certificate - Phor Phor 20 *
  • VAT filing - Phor Phor 30
  • Withholding Tax - Phor Ngor Dor 1
  • Social Security Payment filing

*Thai government officials require that all documents to have the seal of the company stamped on every page and the true and authorized signature(s) of the Managing Director and/or Directors next to the seal. In addition, government officials have in past requested official copies of registration, shareholder, licenses and certificates to have been issued by their respective agencies within the past 90 days of your application for Thai work permit.

There must be four full-time Thai staff per every one foreign employee.

Getting Your Thai Work Permit Approved

A job description is often the determining factor in the approval or denial of a Thai work permit. Unless the written job description requires skills that a Thai is not likely to possess, the application will not be approved. Our licensed Thai lawyers and foreign lawyers are skilled in writing professional and accurate job descriptions in order for you to gain quick approval. The Labor Department often seems to want to reduce the number of permits actually issued to help demonstrate that they are protecting Thai jobs. Therefore if your company applies for three permits, they may only approve one or possibly two. You need professional help in ensure all of your applications will have a successful outcome.

Once the application is submitted for your Thai Work Permit

Our staff will submit the documents for your Thai work permit, during the processing you must not let your visa expire. The Labor Department's system links the non-immigrant visa ("extension of stay") you listed on your application to the work permit paperwork. A typical time frame for approval of the work permit for a company of 2 million baht registered capital is seven (7) business days in Bangkok and up to 2 months in Phuket. BOI approved companies can enjoy 3 hour processing times at the One Stop Service Center. The Labor Department will issue a receipt stating your return date for receiving your work permit book.

Signing for your new Thai Work Permit

Your first and only appearance for the Thai work permit will be at the Labor Department upon its approval. You must appear in person with your passport and sign the Thai work permit book in the presence of the Labor Department staff. The Labor Department puts a stamp in the back of your passport at the time of receipt.

Restrictions on Your Thai Work Permit

The Thai work permit once approved allows you to work at the noted company and location. If you change employers or place of work, you must make a new application. Also if you resign or are terminated or laid off, according to the law, within 10 days of this, you must return your work permit to the Labor Department. Don't count on your company doing it. It is your responsibility and you are liable to return it to the Labor Department.

Thailand Revenue Department:

Once your Thai work permit has been arranged, the next step is for your company to apply for a Thai taxpayer identification card. This ID card has a tax ID number which you will need to list on tax documents.

Extension of Stay vs. Re-entry Permit

Definition: "Visa" is issued outside of Thailand by a Thai Embassy or Consulate in which you request entry into the Kingdom of Thailand. Once allowed to enter the Kingdom, the Immigration Officer will stamp a date in your passport. This is referred to as your "Extension of Stay."

Definition: "Extension of Stay" is the time period you are allowed to remain in the Kingdom of Thailand. This is typically the date stamp in your passport by the Immigration Officer either after arriving in the Kingdom through a border checkpoint or issuance by the Immigration Police after a request for an extension of stay.

Many people misunderstand the difference between an extension of stay and re-entry permit much to their own disadvantage. Here is the key point: your "extension of stay" stamp is the controlling date. Everything is dependent on this date. Your re-entry permit or Thai work permit is only valid until the date stamped in your passport to leave the country. Any re-entry permit you obtain will expire when your "extension of stay" expires. If you depart the country without a re-entry permit, your "extension of stay" is invalidated as well as your work permit. This is the key distinction so after going through the process of getting a longer period of time for your "extension of stay" and Thai work permit; please ensure you have a re-entry before departing Thailand. Siam Legal can assist you to obtain a single re-entry entry permit (one time use) or multiple re-entry permits (unlimited use).

Your Work Permit expires when your Extension of Stay does

You will need to renew your stay in Thailand before you can renew your Thai work permit. This can be done in Thailand or in some cases you must leave the country. If you cannot obtain your extension inside Thailand, you will have to get a new non-immigrant visa from a Thai Embassy or Consulate abroad as explained above. If you have an unexpired multiple-entry visa, all you have to do is go over the border and then return. If required to go outside Thailand to obtain a new visa, you will need to provide the Embassy or Consulate with copies of your work permit and new recommendation letter from your company, company registration documents, and financial and tax reports. Siam Legal International with its global presence can assist you in any country with renewing your visa. Again, all of this must be done prior to your work permit expiration.

Reporting your Stay every 90 days

For persons on a long term extension of stay, they are required to report to Immigration Police every 90 days. Persons holding a multiple entry visa will simply depart Thailand and renew their extension of stay after each 90 day entry. Our firm offers professional service with a yearly package to perform the task of the reporting to Immigration each 90 days.

Local Office Numbers:
Bangkok: 02-259-8100
Phuket: 076-326-322
Chiang Mai: 053-818-306
Pattaya: 03-300-8830
International Numbers:
US: 1-877-252-8831
UK: 0207-101-9301
Australia: 128-015-5273
Thailand: +66 2259-8100
Work Permit Application Guide
Important legal procedures and requirements to obtain a work permit in Thailand. Get your legal guide now!