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Immigration & Work Permits

Work Permits

Foreign workers are required to have the proper visas and work permits in Thailand, as established by immigration laws. Work permits must be secured for employees, and sponsored by a locally licensed and incorporated entity, which can be a problem for companies just entering the Thailand market. If you have yet to complete the incorporation process you can use an outsourced management company or GEO Employer of Record to sponsor the employee for the necessary permits.

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To obtain a work permit a foreigner must initially apply for a non-immigrant visa prior to entering Thailand. Once the initial visa is obtained a foreigner may begin the process of obtaining a work permit. On average the Thailand Ministry of Labor Office would take 7 business days to process a work visa.

Foreigners, who wish to work, conduct business or undertake investment activities may apply for

  • Business visa category “B”
  • Business approved visa category “B-A”
  • Investment and business visa work

Such visas for a single entry (valid for 90 days) would cost 2,000 Baht and for multiple entries valid for a 90 day period would cost 5,000 Baht.

A foreign national must ensure that the intended job and skills does not belong to the categories generally limited to Thai nationals only.

Steps in securing a work permit (Thai work visas)

Step 1: Securing a non-immigrant visa

To obtain a non-immigrant visa an employee must provide the following

  • Employment invitation and/or recommendation letters
  • A request from the company that the employee shall be given a non-immigrant visa that would allow the company to apply for a work permit
  • Company attestation mentioning that the employee is dependable, upstanding, law abiding and guarantees that the employee will respect Thai laws and customs

The non-immigrant visa will be valid for a period of 90 days. Non-immigrant

Step 2: Obtaining the work permit

The applicant (employee) must provide the following documents

  • Passport copies with each page signed by the employee
  • Non-immigrant visa card
  • Departure card TM. 6
  • Certified copies of scholastic records
  • Certified copies of transcripts of records
  • Curriculum vitae
  • 3 copies of photos taken within the last 6 months (5 X 6 centimetres in size with full face coverage and on business attire)
  • Certified marriage certificate if married to a Thai national

The employer must provide the following documents

  • Commercial Registration Department certificate that shows the company is duly registered as a juristic entity and bearing the name of the Managing Director and/or Director, its objectives and registered capital
  • A Commercial Registration Department certified shareholders’ list
  • Application of VAT –VAT certificate (Phor Phor 20)
  • Withholding tax of the company
  • A Factory Department, Ministry of Industry issued factory license (if required)
  • Financial statement
  • Photocopy of the Directors’ passports and work permits with signature affixed
  • Office map
  • Letter of employment stating applicant’s salary and position
  • Employment agreement

While the work permit is being processed the Thai employer should apply for the tax ID card for the employee.

Thai work permit can be granted to expatriates who satisfy one or more of the following conditions

  • An establishment with a registered capital of atleast 2 million Baht can hire one expatriate for every 2 million Baht limited to a maximum of 10 expatriates in total.
  • An establishment which has paid income tax to the Revenue Department in the past 3 years with not less than 5 million Baht can hire 1 expatriate for every 3 million Baht limited to a maximum of 3 expatriates in total.
  • An establishment which employs 50 Thai employees can hire 1 expatriate for every 50 Thai employees limited to a maximum of 5 expatriates in total.
  • An expatriate who has an income and duty to pay personal income tax equivalent or more than 18,000 Baht

Thai immigration authorities may consider work permit approval, renewal and modification of employment descriptions regardless of afore mentioned requirements if any of the following conditions are met.

  • An expatriate working for a representative office conducting quality control, procurement, or marketing research
  • An expatriate working for investment consulting, administrative consulting, technical and technology, or periodical internal audit
  • A tourism representative who brings in foreigners to travel in Thailand
  • Employed under a International Financial Institution approved by the Bank of England
  • Engaged on a temporary basis in the entertainment, religious, social welfare, cultural or sporting without the intention of making profit and paying income tax to the government
  • A contractor working on government or state enterprise projects
  • An individual who works using mostly local raw materials or is capable of reducing the usage of imported raw materials
  • Supports the export of Thai products
  • An individual working to bring in new technology
  • Provision of labour where there is a shortage of Thai labour

Work permit for expatriates in Thailand

To apply for a work permit the employee should have a non-immigrant visa or a residence permit. An employer may file an application for advance permission to allow an employee work prior to arriving in Thailand. However, the work permit will only be issued one the employee arrives in Thailand.

Documents that should be submitted to apply for a work permit.

  • Applicationform (Tor. Thor. 2) along with 3 ID photos (5 X 6 cm) taken within the last 6 months
  • Letter from the employer certifying employment and the reasons for not employing a Thai national
  • Employment agreement
  • Copy of the company’s affidavit (within the past 6 months) certified by the Commercial Registration Department
  • Copy of the list of shareholders certified by the Commercial Registration Department (obtained within the last 6 months)
  • Copy of certified incorporation
  • Copy of the tax payer card, VAT certificate or Phor. Por. 01 and 09
  • Copy of current balance sheet with profit and loss showing total assets
  • Copy of Phor. Ngor. Dor. 50 (Corporate Income tax return) including the receipt
  • Organizational chart
  • List of all expatriate(s) along with their positions and work permit numbers
  • Copies of educational certificates and letters of recommendation from previous employment
  • Copies of all pages of the passport with a calid non-immigrant visa (category B or O)
  • Copies of all the pages of the work permit of the authorized Director showing the valid date (given that the authorized Director is a foreigner)
  • A medical certificate (taken not more than 3 months ago)
  • Power of attorney affixed with a stamp worth
  • Map of the company’s location
  • Official form of notification of commencement of work (Tor. Thor. 10)
  • Copy of Phor. Por. 30 for the previous 6 months including receipts (for new companies only)

Thai work permits are only valid as long as the visa allows the employee to remain in Thailand.

*A One-Stop Service Center was established to speed up the processing of visas and work permits. Work permits that would normally take between 10 and 14 working days would be processed within 3 hours.

The following personnel are qualified to submit applications via the one-stop service center

  • An investment expert who has been granted privileges under the Investment Promotion Act, the Petroleum Act, or the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand
  • An executive or expert working for a company with a fully paid up registered capital or whose operational funds are not less than 30 million Baht
  • Alien officers of branch offices of overseas banks, foreign banking offices of overseas banks in Bangkok, provincial foreign banking offices of overseas banks, and representative offices of foreign banks
  • Aliens who come to work for branch, representative, or regional offices of overseas enterprises

Use the Shield GEO solution

Once you get in touch with us, one of our consultants will take all the work off your hand, co-ordinate with our local partners to get all the required permits organised, provide the processing time, costs, document-checklist and keep you informed through the process. Contact us to know more.

Types of visas in Thailand

Category Description of Visa
Non immigrant visa category “B” Issued to applicants who wish to work or conduct business in Thailand

1) Foreigners who wish to work in Thailand
Documents required

• Passport or travel document (valid for 6 or more months)
• Completed visa application form
• Passport sized photograph (4 X 6cm) taken within the last 6 months
• Evidence of financials (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family)
• Letter of approval from the Ministry of Labour
To obtain this letter the employer must submit Form WP3 to the Office of Workers Administration, Department of Employment at the Ministry of Labour or the Provincial Employment Office in the respective province.

• Copy of the work permit issued by the Ministry of Labour and Alien income tax or Por Ngor Dor 91 (if the employee has worked previously in Thailand)

• Corporate documents of the hiring company in Thailand
o Business registration and business license
o List of shareholders
o Company profile
o Details of business operations
o List of names of foreign workers, their nationalities and positions
o Map indicating the location of the company
o Financial statements including the balance sheet, statement of income tax and business tax (Por Ngor Dor 50 and Por Ngor Dor 30 of the latest year)
o Value added tax registration (Por Por 20)


2) Foreigners who wish to conduct business in Thailand
Documents required
• Passport or travel document (valid for 6 or more months)
• Completed visa application form
• Passport sized photograph (4 X 6cm) taken within the last 6 months
• Evidence of financials (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family)
• Letter of applicant’s company indicating the applicant’s position, length of employment, salary and purpose of visit to Thailand
• Documents indicating correspondence with the business partners in Thailand
• Evidence of financial status (where the applicant is self-employed)
• Letter of invitation from trading or associated partners/companies in Thailand

• Corporate documents of the hiring company in Thailand
o Business registration and business license
o List of shareholders
o Company profile
o Details of business operations
o List of names of foreign workers, their nationalities and positions
o Map indicating the location of the company
o Financial statements including the balance sheet, statement of income tax and business tax (Por Ngor Dor 50 and Por Ngor Dor 30 of the latest year)
o Value added tax registration (Por Por 20)

Copies of company documents must be signed by the Board of Directors or authorized Managing Director and affix the company seal. An extension maybe applied for a period of one year from the date of first entry into Thailand.

Cost: 2,000 Baht for single entry valid up to 90 days, 5,000 Baht for multiple entry valid up to 90 days
Non-Immigrant visa category “B-A” (Business approved visa) The applicant’s associated company in which he or she will invest in or conduct business mat apply for this visa on behalf of the applicant.
Period: valid up to a 1 year

Cost: 2,000 Baht for single entry valid up to 90 days, 5,000 Baht for multiple entry valid up to 90 days
Non-Immigrant visa category “IB” (Investment and Business visa) Issued to foreigners who intend to become teachers at education levels below university level in Thailand.
Documents required:
• Passport or travel document (valid for 6 or more months)
• Completed visa application form
• Recent passport sized photograph (4 X 6 cm) taken within the last 6 months
• Letter of acceptance from the employing school or institution
• Letter of approval from the respective government agency (Private Education Commission, the Office of the Basic Education Commission)
• Evidence of education qualifications
• Scholl license or business registration, list of shareholders and school profile
• Applicant’s resume
• Police certificate

Cost: 2,000 Baht for single entry valid up to 90 days, 5,000 Baht for multiple entry valid up to 90 days
Three year Non-Immigrant visa “B” (for business only) Issued to foreign citizens who wish to visit Thailand for business purposes. Valid for a period of 3 years. Multiple-entry allows the visa holder to visit Thailand as often as required as long as each visit is not for period exceeding 90 days. Employment of any kind is strictly prohibited.

Documents required:

• Completed application form
• Valid passport or travel document
• Two passport sized photographs (4 X 6 cm) taken within the last 6 months
Additional documents required:
• National identity card, residence documentation or proof of identity
• Employment letter (applicant’s position, length of employment, salary and purpose of visit. If the applicant is self-employed, the applicant must provide documents representing business undertaking such as business registration and details of business operation)
• Copies of correspondence with business partners in Thailand
• Letter of invitation from trading or associated partners/companies in Thailand

• Corporate documents of the hiring company in Thailand
o Business registration and business license
o List of shareholders
o Company profile
o Details of business operations
o List of names of foreign workers, their nationalities and positions
o Map indicating the location of the company
o Financial statements including the balance sheet, statement of income tax and business tax (Por Ngor Dor 50 and Por Ngor Dor 30 of the latest year)
o Value added tax registration (Por Por 20)

Cost: 10,000 Baht
APEC Business Travel Car (ABTC) scheme Australian businessmen and businessmen who belong to APEC economies are eligible to apply for ABTC which allows them to obtain multiple entry business visas.

APEC economies which currently participate in the ABTC scheme are Australia, Brunei, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea (Republic of Korea), Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Thailand, Chines Taipei, Vietnam
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