Requirements for the Application of Foreign NGOs in Thailand

In the previous articles, we went into some detail regarding the operation of foreign NGOs in Thailand, including a list of information that a foreign NGO must submit to the Committee if it wishes to establish an office in Thailand or to send any of its official to work here. However, we also discussed that there are three other categories by which a foreign NGO may apply to operate in Thailand. Aside from actually establishing an office in Thailand, a foreign NGO may only be offering financial assistance or some other type of support in Thailand, or it may be arranging a seminar here, or it may be offering financial assistance or other type of support to a seminar that is being arranged here. As for the case where a foreign NGO does not intend to establish an office, but will only be offering financial assistance or other type of support, an application must be submitted to the Department of Employment on behalf of the foreign NGO by the domestic organization in Thailand who will receive the assistance or support and must include the following information:

  • Objectives and activities of the foreign NGO
  • Certificate of the status of a foreign private organization issued by the embassy or consulate of the country which is the domicile of the NGO
  • Details regarding the project that the foreign NGO will be offering assistance to

In the case where a foreign NGO intends to arrange a seminar in Thailand, an application must include the following information:

  • Objectives of the seminar
  • Names of the speakers and the participants
  • Topic of the seminar
  • Schedule of the seminar

If the the foreign NGO will only be offering financial assistance or other support to arrange the seminar, but will not be arranging the seminar itself, then the organization in Thailand receiving the support may submit the aforementioned application on behalf of the foreign NGO not less than 30 days before the seminar.

Assuming that a foreign NGO has been granted permission to operate in any of the aforementioned manners, a license which is valid for no more than 2 years will be issued by the Committee. The foreign NGO must comply with the specific conditions in the license, which includes a semi-annual report that must be submitted to the Committee detailing the results of the NGO’s work.

Due to the complexity of the rules and regulations in Thailand, foreign NGOs are advised to consult with competent legal counsel before beginning operations in the country.

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