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Work Permit

A foreigner shall mean a non-Thai natural person.

The word "work" is defined in Section 5 of the Foreign Employment Act B.E. 2551 (A.D. 2008) to read "using of physical strength or using knowledge for oneself or for other persons whether for remuneration or benefit or not".

A foreigner who wishes to work in Thailand must be permitted to enter Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws by applying for a Non-Immigrant Visa, Category "B" ("Business") at the Thai Embassy/Consulate in the applicant’s country of residence before entering Thailand. Please note that a foreigner who is permitted to enter Thailand under a tourist visa or a transit visa will not be allowed to apply for a work permit.

A foreigner who is eligible to apply for a work permit

  1. Must have the knowledge and capability in the work for which the work permit is being applied.
  2. Must be free from six diseases; Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Elephantiasis, Drug Addiction, Alcoholism and Tertiary Syphilis.
  3. Must be a holder of a Thai Certificate of Residence or permitted to stay in Thailand under a Non-Immigrant Visa, category “B”.

Features and conditions of an employer who is eligible to hire the foreigner.

  1. Must be a juristic person.
  2. Must register for a Value Added Tax License.
  3. Must fulfill any of the following qualification in accordance with the Rules of the Department of Employment:
    3.1) Having registered paid-up capital of not less than 2 million baht. One work permit shall be issued to a foreigner for every two-million baht of registered paid-up capital.
    3.2) Having paid revenue tax for a recent year of not less than 3 million baht.
    3.3) Being an employer who performs export business and brings foreign currency into Thailand in a minimum of 30 million baht in a recent year.
    3.4) Being an employer who performs in the tourist business and brings not less than 5,000 foreign tourists into Thailand in a recent year.
    3.5) Being an employer who employs not less than 100 Thai workers.

A foreigner who has obtained a work permit must proceed as follows.

  1. A permit holder must keep the permit with him or at the place of work during working hours in order that it may be readily shown to the competent official or the registrar.
  2. A permit holder shall not engage in work other than that which is specified in the permit or change the location or the place of work from that which is specified in the permit unless prior permission is obtained from the registrar.
  3. Before a permit expires and the permit holder wishes to continue working. The permit holder shall apply for a renewal of the permit to the registrar prior to the expiration.
  4. If the permit is materially damaged or lost, the permit holder shall file an application for its replacement with the registrar within fifteen days from the date of the permit holder’s knowledge of the damage or loss.
  5. If a foreigner changes his name, surname, nationality or residence address, the foreigner shall file an application for such change without delay.

Urgent and Essential Work

A foreigner who enters Thailand temporarily in accordance with the Immigration Law, is permitted to perform work any of “urgent and essential works” for a period not exceeding 15 days. However, such foreigner may only engage in work once a written notification on an application form has been submitted to and accepted by the Director-General or his designee.


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