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Thailand Work Permit

Background

Thailand does not provide a work visa that serves as both a visa granting permission to stay in the Kingdom and permission to work while staying in the Kingdom. In Thailand. The visa process and work permit process are two separate endeavors. A common myth that circulates throughout the foreign community in Thailand is that an individual does not need a work permit to legally work in Thailand. This is not correct. Working without a work permit in Thailand is illegal and carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.

"Work" is defined according to Thailand law as follows:

"Work means any work involving physical strength or knowledge whether or not done for money or other remuneration.  (Alien Working Act, B.E. 2551 Section5)

Working without a work permit is punishable as follows:
"Any alien engaging in the work without permission shall be subject to an imprisonment of not exceeding 5 years or a fine from 2,000 baht to 100,000 baht, or both.

In the case the alien accused committing an offense under paragraph 1 agrees to return their country within the period of the investigation but not exceeding 30 days, the inquiry official may impose a fine and proceed with the return of such alien." (Alien Working Act, B.E. 2551 Section51)

In order to apply for a work permit, an applicant must already be in possession of a valid Non-immigrant B visa or other applicable visa or residence permit.

Additional requirements to obtain a Thailand work permit include:

  • The work must not be restricted to Thai nationals
  • The work must not be labor that can be performed adequately by a Thai person
  • The company or sponsoring organization hiring the alien must meet capital and employee size requirements
  • The alien working must be in possession of a valid visa or residence permit of the correct category
  • The alien's salary must be in compliance with the Department of Labor's regulations