How to apply for a work permit in Thailand

How to apply for a work permit in Thailand

How to apply for a work permit in Thailand

All foreign nationals who work in Thailand must hold a work permit at all times. A Thailand work permit is a blue card that gives a foreign national the right to work in Thailand. It contains information related to his/her work such as company, job title, office location and the relevant validity period. Thailand’s Ministry of Labor is the government agency responsible for issuing this type of permit.

If the foreign national is currently outside of Thailand, the application process for a work permit in Thailand can be divided into two phases.

Phase One: Thailand Non-immigrant Visa Category ‘B’

A foreign national, as a prerequisite for applying for a work permit in Thailand, must hold a non-immigrant visa category “B” or a business visa for Thailand. It can be either single entry valid for three months or multiple entries valid for one year which is issued by the Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate.

The documents that are essential for applying for a Thailand visa are as follows:

  • Passport or travel document with at least twelve months validity
  • Thai Visa Application Form
  • A recent passport size photograph
  • Proof of adequate funding of THB 20,000.00 per person and THB 40,000.00 per family
  • Letter of approval from the Ministry of Labor (called WP2)
  • Thai company registration documents to hire a company in Thailand (such as Thai business registration, certificate and all financial documents)
  • Copy of previous Thailand work permit and foreigner’s income tax (if applicable)

Second phase: work permit in Thailand

After approval of the non-immigrant Thai ‘B’ visa application, the next step is to apply for a work permit in Thailand at the Foreign Worker Administration Office, which is under the Thai Department of Employment, Ministry of Labour.

But first, he/she must prove that he/she meets the qualifications provided by Thai law. He/she must be a legal resident or have permission to stay temporarily in Thailand and be both physically and mentally healthy. People suffering from tuberculosis, syphilis, leprosy, elephantiasis, drug addiction and alcoholism are strictly prohibited from having a work permit in Thailand.

This permit can only be issued if the applicant will be engaged in an occupation that matches his/her education and skills. In addition, there are 39 reserved occupations for Thais. These professions are stipulated in Royal Decree BE 2522 and violation of it is punishable by imprisonment of up to five years and/or a fine of 2,000 to 10,000 THB.

The application for a work permit in Thailand must be accompanied by the following requirements:

  • A recent photo taken within the last six months (preferably taken in a suit and tie)
  • A certificate duly signed by the Thai employer stating the need to hire a foreigner
  • Certificate of education and work experience of the applicant
  • A medical certificate issued within the last six months showing that he is free from any of the prohibited diseases
  • Passport and Certificate of Permanent Residence and Certificate of Foreigner
  • Map of the location of a company or enterprise

In most cases, if the application is approved, it is issued with a maximum of one year of validity. The validity period may be shorter if the requested period is not longer than one year. The Thai government has introduced a new two-year work permit. It is available to certain Thai companies that meet the company’s financial revenue requirements.

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