Like every other country, it is a pre-requisite for every foreign individual to hold a valid Visa and work permit if he is intending to work or opening a business in Thailand. However, things are a little more difficult and more challenging in Thailand than elsewhere. Every individual should have a firm objective and precise planning while applying for Visa and Work Permit in the kingdom of Thailand.
Visas and Work Permits in Thailand
Foreigners often visit Thailand for many different reasons including Thailand market research, doing business in Thailand or opening a branch office. Some visits may need a Thai Visa, whereas others don’t. If you want to stay long-term, then this in-depth guide comprises of a comprehensive guideline, up-to-date procedures, and a list of useful resources to apply for Thai Visa services. If you are seeking for detailed information including the best visa option for your desired stay and also processes such as converting a visa type to another, extending a visa, and much more, then the below information guide could help you a lot.
Different rules are applied for different nationalities. However, one requirement that governs everyone who is applying for getting a Thai Visa is a having a passport with minimum 6 months validity. Even though this seems to be a simple requirement, some people still try to overlook it. Ignoring this requirement is quite understandable when you are visiting Thailand as tourists.
However, if you are coming to Thailand for the purpose of education, business, retirement, investment, or employment, which needs longer stays, you should know the significance of this simple eligible criterion. Other than a valid passport, no other documents are required to travel to Thailand if you meet the conditions of the Immigration Act of Thailand.
Proof of funds
Visa exemption and Visa on Arrival applicants would have to present proof of funds, while traveling to Thailand.
- 10,000 Baht per person
- 20,000 Baht per family
Proof of onward travel:
In addition to the proof of funds, the Visa on Arrival applicants will need to present the proof of onward travel. As per the rule of Visa on Arrival, foreigners are not often asked to show the return ticket while traveling in & out of the country. But, if you have made a number of entries, then there may be a good chance of asking you to show the proof.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, certain nationalities are required to submit an International health Certificate in the form of a proof of the yellow fever vaccination. This must be presented along with your Visa application.
Types of visas available in Thailand:
Here is a summary of various Visas that are offered by Thailand and mostly applied by foreigners.
- Tourist Visa:
Tourist Visa is available for foreigners wishing to visit the Thailand for the sole purpose of tourism and not for any type of business. The tourist visa lets you to stay in the country for a period 60 days which can either be a single or multiple entries and it could then be extended in-country at a cost of 1,900 baht. This extension is entirely up to the discretion of the Immigration officer and could be anywhere from 7 to 30 days. In case you would like to extend more than 90 days, you can convert this visa to a Non-immigrant one, which will need you to go the cities or countries close at hands such as Laos, Cambodia, Singapore or Malaysia.
- Non-Immigrant Visa
Aliens seeking a prolonged stay, or those coming to work in Thailand, should obtain non- immigrant visas for all family members prior to entering the Kingdom. There are several categories of Non-Immigrant visas which include business visa category (B); dependent visa category (O); investment subject to the provision of the laws on investment promotion (BOI IB); diplomatic and consular visa category (D); performance of duties with the mass media (M); performance of skilled or expert work (EX); investment (with concurrence of ministries and departments concerned)-(capital investment IM); study or observation (ED).
A non-immigrant visa entitles the holder to apply for a multiple re-entry visa to Thailand from the Immigration Division in Bangkok, as well as allowing the holder to apply for permanent residence in Thailand. It also provides eligibility for the issuance of a Work Permit, and eligibility for temporary visa renewal while processing issuance of a long- term annual visa.
Aliens are advised to strictly adhere to the rules governing each visa category. They should report any changes of address or status to local police within 24 hours.
- Non-Immigrant O Visa
Non-Immigrant O Visa is the visa to apply for in case you’re retiring in Thailand or wishing to get a 1 year visa on being married to a Thai citizen.
In the case, you’re applying for this visa on the basis of a Thai spouse, your original marriage certificate is required and they might well ask the copies of your spouse’s ID card and possibly his/her family’s house registration papers. In case you’re applying for this visa on the basis of retiring in the country, you should be at least 50 years of age and be able to show either monthly income of 65,000 Thai baht or you should have a bank balance of 800,000 baht.
Non ED Visa and Guardian Visa
If a parents of a student or students attending an international school in Thailand is in the situation where his or her employment is terminated or he or she wishes to change jobs to work overseas and the family members are on dependent visas and their children are still studying at an international school in Thailand, what will be the options?
In accordance with the Order of the Royal Thai Police No. 327/2557, which has been effective since 29 August 2014, the children will be entitled to apply for a Non Immigrant ED or education visa to study at the international school to issue documents to support the visa extension.Both parents can apply for Non Immigrant O visas to stay as guardians of their children.In this case, each parent will be required to have a minimum bank deposit with a local Thai bank in the amount of not less than THB 500,000 each for at least three months before the application date (or at lease thirty days for the first year of application).
However, if there is only one child, then the parents can only apply for one guardian visa.
- Business Visa:
Business visa for Thailand is particularly designed for those who want to perform any legal business in Thailand. So, it is also referred to as Non-immigrant business visa and the rules are the same as mentioned above in the Non Immigrant Visa section . Even though you can able to obtain a work permit and open a bank account, but still you need to have a reporting procedure to the Immigration every 90 Days.
- Permanent Resident Visa:
In order to become eligible for this visa, you have to stay in Thailand for three consecutive years with one-year-visa extensions. Your minimum monthly income should be Baht 30,000 in case you are married to a Thai National for minimum 5 years or your income should be minimum Thai Baht 80,000 if you are single. To get a permanent resident visa in Thailand, you just present your 3-year personal tax statement, which offers the above-listed income requirements.
Rules for “Visa on Arrival”:
30-day visas cut down to 15:
Because of recent changes made in the rules of overland entry by the Thai Immigration to improve thailand investment opportunities, border runs are found to cut short. Foreigners, who are entering Thailand through border posts at Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Myanmar without securing an earlier visa, would now be permitted only for 15 days to stay in the country.
The reason behind this new regulation was to encourage foreigners in order to secure their visas properly in advance to their arrival. This new rule would also reduce the number of back-to-back visas made by the foreigners while extending their stay.
But keep in mind that this change is only applicable to those who haven’t receive a prior visa and also entering from the border post. If you arrive at the airport, you will get a 30-day stamp although you are not having a visa beforehand. When your Visa on Arrival gets expired, extensions at the Thai Immigration will be 7 days. After then, you have to leave the country. Otherwise, you should pay the penalty or any other sanctions for the purpose of overstaying the visa.
To these new regulations, the only exception would be Malaysian passport holders who are traveling from Malaysia because they can get a 30-day visa on arrival. Further, Immigration authorities clarified that will not be a limitation found on the number of times entering into Thailand by a foreigner within the days permitted on the Visa on Arrival. The above statement clears that visitors could not be allowed to extend their 90-days stay within six months, which has earlier been dropped.
Good news is waiting for tourists by following the new rules and regulations set by the Thai immigration. Now, visitors can come to Thailand regularly devoid of limiting their stay in a total of ninety days within a six-month period.
As the restriction has been abolished previously, tourists can now able to visit Thailand as frequently as they wish. They will get a 30-day visa on arrival if they arrive at airports. If they are traveling through land borders, they will obtain 15-day Visa on arrival.
But, immigration officials are still recommending visa beforehand while traveling to Thailand because they remind tourists that back-to-back short visas aren’t a proper way to widen their stay in the country.
It is predicted that this new regulation will greatly benefit travel agencies because more border trips are anticipated to be booked with an increased influx of visitors who are interested in renewing their visas.
The Act grants exemptions from the Work Permit requirement to the following professionals:
- Members of the diplomatic corps
- Members of consular missions
- Representatives of member countries and officials of the United Nations and its specialized agencies
- Personal servants coming from abroad to work exclusively for persons listed under the above items
- Persons who perform duties on missions in the Kingdom under an agreement between the government of Thailand and a foreign government or international organisation
- Persons who enter the Kingdom for the performance of any duty or mission for the benefit of education, culture, arts, or sports
For more information about Visa and procedures, read more here
You will also be able to notice the differences exist in requirements when you are applying for a non-immigrant B visa as you are employed by various kinds of employers. In case you are applying for a Visa under multinational or a BOI registered company, then the application process will become smoother and the possibility of being asked for surprise requirements is also rare. But, if you are applying to get a non-immigrant visa under a small company, you need to double check the conditions of the embassy where you are applying.
Contact Startup in Thailand, a boutique business startup consulting firm in Thailand for all your requirements.
To startup a business in Thailand or even for a job opportunity, expats need a work permit. For companies promoted under Ministry of Commerce, it is mandatory for each work permit, the company must have a capital investment of Baht 2 million and employ atleast 4 Thai staffs in the organization. However, if the company is promoted thorough Thailand Board of Investment, the process is much more simpler and the company can issue much more work permits at a quicker pace, without much restrictions on the quota.
Before applying for a work permit in Thailand, one must have a non-immigration(Non-B) visa. This visa can be acquired through Royal Thai embassy or consulate in any foreign country but must ensure that the validity of this visa is for 3 months at least, giving sufficient time for application.
We can assist you in the application of a work permit and will submit all necessary documentation to the Department of labor on your behalf. If submitted correctly an application can be processed in about 2 weeks or so.
For more information about visa, please check out the visa, work permit section by downloading this Business Guide of Thailand
Through our Legal Assistance, we can provide right assistance for all your visa and work permit issues.
We are one of the leading startup consulting firms in Thailand whose focus is to provide 360 degree business consulting support to our clients by consulting them in areas of investment opportunities in Thailand and business development in Thailand/Asia.
Any foreign national who is planning to work in Thailand needs to apply for a Thai Non-Immigrant B visa first and then apply for a work permit in Thailand before they are legally allowed to commence work. It is important to note that there are restrictions on the types of work that foreigners are permitted to do in Thailand and people are only permitted to do the tasks that are outlined in their
It is important to note that there are restrictions on the types of work that foreigners are permitted to do in Thailand and people are only permitted to do the tasks that are outlined in their Thailand work permit.
People who are found doing different types of work for money without the appropriate Thai work permit risk being given a heavy fine and may even be deported from Thailand. Therefore, it is essential to obtain the correct Thai work permit before doing business in Thailand. Here are details of how to get a work permit in Thailand.
Note: You can find a resume infographic of this work permit information post at the end of this article.
Essentially, all non-Thai people needs a Thailand working authorisation, which is also commonly known as a work permit.
This work permit allows non-Thai citizens to work in Thailand as an employer or a skilled professional. Even non-Thai citizens who are planning to open a business in Thailand need to apply for a working visa, which is officially called as ‘Non-Immigrant B Visa’ followed by a Thai Work Permit
Even non-Thai citizens who are planning to open a business in Thailand need to apply for a working visa, which is officially called as ‘Non-Immigrant B Visa’ followed by a Thai Work Permit before they are able to legally work in Thailand. It is important to note that application for a work permit does not necessarily guarantee success and companies or individuals need to meet strict criteria.
It is important to note that application for a work permit does not necessarily guarantee success and companies or individuals need to meet strict criteria.
Before individuals can apply for or be issued with a work permit in Thailand they must obtain a non-immigrant – B visa first. Whenever possible, the non-immigration visa should be obtained before the applicant arrives in Thailand and can be granted in the home country of the individual or in a neighboring country such as Laos, Malaysia or Cambodia.
There are also some professional visa and immigration companies that can help individuals to convert their tourist visa into a non-immigration visa without having to leave Thailand if necessary but the price to obtain the working visa will be high on this way.
In order to obtain a Non-Immigrant B visa outside of Thailand, applicants need to meet certain requirements. The applicant must have been offered a job in Thailand or is starting a business in Thailand and needs the visa in order to employ him or herself.
The company who is employing the applicant requests for the applicant to be issued with a Non-Immigrant B visa so that the company is able to apply for a working visa for the applicant.
The company must express a strong level of confidence in the individual and be willing to confirm that they believe them to have good morals and be respectful to the culture of Thailand as well as abiding the laws of the country. People who wish to obtain a non-immigration B visa should apply for it at least thirty days before they plan to arrive in Thailand. The Thai consulate or consular officer will ask for copies of all of the registration documents as well as financial statements from the company.
People who wish to obtain a non-immigration B visa should apply for it at least thirty days before they plan to arrive in Thailand. The Thai consulate or consular officer will ask for copies of all of the registration documents as well as financial statements from the company.
This is an important factor that helps to determine whether or not staff are able to be granted a work permit. Thai Business Entities that wish to obtain work permits for their foreign employees need to have at least two million baht fully paid up registered capitalization. However, if the foreign employee has a Thai wife or husband, the registered capitalization may be reduced to one million baht.This figure has to be multiplied by the number of foreign employees in the company that
However, if the foreign employee has a Thai wife or husband, the registered capitalization may be reduced to one million baht.This figure has to be multiplied by the number of foreign employees in the company that need working visas.
Foreign Business Entities that have operated their business in Thailand are able to assist their employees in applying for Thailand work permits as long as they are able to bring at least three million baht per employee into the country.
Apart from this, it is mandatory for Thai registered companies to employ 4 Thai Employees for every work permit issued to a foreign employee of that organization.
The Thai Business Entities and Foreign Business Entities may be granted up to a maximum 10 work permits each, which means that they are able to have a maximum of ten foreign employees. However, BOI (Board of Investment) promoted companies are exempted from the regulations that are stated above.
The Thailand Board of Investment is certified to grant BOI promoted companies special rights concerning the issuance of work permits in Thailand for the foreign employees that are working on projects as technical experts for the company. Therefore, BOI companies need to determine the processes that they need to go through and the regulations that apply to them and it is best to seek advice from the board of investment in Thailand. However, in all cases at least one
Therefore, BOI companies need to determine the processes that they need to go through and the regulations that apply to them and it is best to seek advice from the board of investment in Thailand. However, in all cases at least one full time Thai staff member must be working in the company for every foreign staff member.
The employee must obtain and supply a number of different types of documents when applying for the Thailand work permits. In addition to submitting their actual passport, they must also require
In addition to submitting their actual passport, they must also require to provide photocopies of each of the pages of their passport and each photocopied page must be signed and dated by the employee to show that they are authentic. The non-immigration B visa must be supplied along with the Departure Card TM.6 that is found inside the passport.
Other Thai work permit requirements are signed copies of professional qualifications such as the education degree (university degree), degree transcripts, certificates or licenses that are held by applicant including their resume or CV that contains a detailed description of the past jobs they have held along with their duties and the place and length of previous employment.
Three photographs of the individual wearing business attire measuring three centimeters by four centimeters (3x4cm) must be submitted along with these documents and the photographs must have been taken within the last six months.
If the applicant is married to a Thai national, the work permit requirements will be little bit different and they must supply their original marriage certificate as well as signed photocopies of the marriage certificate and the Thai ID card of their spouse along with birth certificates of any children that they have together and their household registration.
In some cases the Thai government officials may require the education degree, transcripts and other licenses or certificates to be certified by the individual’s home country embassy, which will require them to take their degree, resume, license or certificate to their embassy in order to declare that they are true and original documents. An authentication fee will be charged for this by the embassy before the service is performed. In addition, the Thai government may require individuals to translate these documents into the Thai language before they are accepted
An authentication fee will be charged for this by the embassy before the service is performed. In addition, the Thai government may require individuals to translate these documents into the Thai language before they are accepted
In addition, the Thai government may require individuals to translate these documents into the Thai language before they are accepted.
The employer needs to provide certain documents before the Thai work permit can be granted to the employee. These include the Commercial Registration Department Certificate that proves that the organization that the applicant will be working for has been correctly registered as a juristic person.
The Commercial Registration Department Certificate must include the names of the managing director and director of the company as well as the company’s main objectives and registered capital.
Other documents that need to be provided by the employer include the Shareholders List that is certified by the Commercial Registration Department, if applicable the Factory License that was issued by Factory Department or the Ministry of Industry, the VAT Certificate that is also known as the Phor Phor 20, the VAT filing that is known as the Phor Phor 30, the Withholding Tax form – Phor Ngor Dor 1 and Social Security Payment filing.
It is important to note that Thai government officials require for all documents to have the seal of the company stamped on each and every page and the original and authorized signatures of the Managing Director and Directors next to the seal.
In some cases government officials may ask for official copies of registration, shareholder, licenses and certificates to have been issued by their respective agencies within the past ninety days of the application for a Thailand work permit.
There are several different points that the granting of the work permit in Thailand is based on and one of the key points is the job description. It is important to make sure that this is written in such as
It is important to make sure that this is written in such as way to convince the panel that are responsible for granting the work permit that the applicant has the required set of skills as well as the required knowledge for the job and this skills must exceed those of Thai workers.
One of the important clauses regarding employment in Thailand states that employers are only permitted to employ foreign workers if they require skills that Thai people generally do not possess such as fluent reading and writing skills in English as well as other foreign languages and technical skills that are not taught in Thailand. If the board believes that these skills are widely available in Thai staff, the application may be rejected.
In order to increase the chances of the application being approved, the company must word the job description very carefully and if necessary obtain the expert opinion of a business consulting services in Thailand.
It is essential to make sure that your current visa does not expire while you are waiting to receive your Thai Non-Immigrant-B visa.
The system at the Labor Department is connected to the non-immigrant visa that individuals list on their application that they submit along with the working visa paperwork.
It typically takes seven working days in Bangkok to obtain approval of the Thailand work permit for a company that has two million baht, although in other parts of Thailand such as Phuket the time period could be as long as two months.
However, BOI-approved companies are able to take advantage of three hour processing times at the One Stop Service Center. The Labor Department will issue a receipt that will state the return date for receiving the Thai work permit book.
Once your Thai work permit has been approved you will need to collect it from the Labor Department. This must be done in person and applicants must make sure that they take along their passport and sign the Thailand work permit book in the presence of the Labor Department staff.
A staff member from the Labor Department will put a stamp in the back of the passport at the time of receipt as confirmation for your work permit in Thailand.
People who have received a Thai work permit still have certain restrictions that they have to follow, and failure to stick to these restrictions could result in a fine and even deportation if it is discovered by the Labor Department. People who have been granted a Thailand work permit are only permitted to work within the said company.
People who are assigned to another location of the same company are obligated to obtain a new Thai work permit or include the location in the same work permit that will cover them to work in the new location. In case, anyone holds multiple job positions in more than one company, the same details has to be entered in the Work Permit as well.
A change of Work Permit is also required if and when the individual decides to leave their job and work with another company. This specification is due to the fact that the Thai work permit is issued to the employee for the specific company at the specific location only.
People who leave their current place of employment for any reason need to surrender their work permit to the Labor Department within ten days. The company that the individual has been working for is also obliged to inform the Labor Department that the individual is no longer working for them and the work permit will automatically be canceled even if the individual does not show up in person to surrender their Thailand work permit book.
Once the application for a work permit in Thailand has been arranged and prepared, the individual is also required to obtain a Tax Identification Card through their employer. The tax ID card contains details of the individual’s Tax Identification Number, which will be used for any documents that need the tax identification number, which is also known as the TIN.
Even though a Non Immigrant B visa typically lasts for a full year and it is normally associated with Work Permit, it is important to note that the visa, if with a single-entry option, will automatically be canceled as soon as an individual leaves Thailand by plane, train or bus.
This means that the Thailand Non-Immigrant visa will no longer be valid and as soon as individuals come back into Thailand they will be forced to apply for a brand new Non Immigrant Visa so that they can continue working. Many foreign employees have gotten caught out because they went on holiday for a few weeks, not realizing that their Non Immigration visa will be canceled.
In order to avoid this happening, individuals must apply for a re-entry Non-Immigration Visa before leaving Thailand. This will allow them to leave the country and come back in again without affecting the status of their Thailand work permit.
For Re-Entry visas, it must be applied for either at immigration or at the immigration desk at the airport. People who are planning to purchase a re-entry visa from the airport should allow extra time to do this, as queues at the immigration desk can sometimes be rather long.
People who know that they will be traveling in and out of Thailand either for business or pleasure also have the option of applying for a multiple entry Non-Immigrant Visa.
Although this is slightly more expensive than the standard single entry visa, it can save time, trouble and money in the long run. When the individual re-enters Thailand, the official on the immigration desk easily identifies the multiple -entry visa and they receive the correct stamp in their passport.
The visa needs to be renewed before an individual applies for a new Thai work permit to avoid the situation that the visa expires while the work permit is being processed. A new visa can be applied for either within or outside of Thailand, depending on the case and the circumstances that are involved.
If the individual has been granted a multiple entry visa, they will be required to leave Thailand every 90 days and then come back into the country.
This can be done on the very same day if desired, as long as the exit is recorded by the immigration department. If the individual fails to leave the country, their work permit will automatically be canceled and they will have to apply for another one before they can continue working.
Renewing the work permit is generally much easier than applying for a new one and a new Thailand work permit will be issued to individuals who are able to supply a valid contract stating that they have been contracted to work for the same company for at least another year.
All foreigners who stay in Thailand for an extended period of time due to working, studying or marriage are required by law to report their presence in Thailand every 90 days. Failure to do this will cause the individual’s visa to be canceled, as many foreigners have discovered to their peril.
However, leaving the country is counted as fulfilling these obligations provided that the individual has a re-entry work permit, while it is also possible for individuals to ask someone to go to immigration on their behalf to complete the 90 day report.
Government administration Fees for Non-Immigrant B Visa is THB 1900.
Here, one needs to opt for a single or multiple-entry Visa option, depending on their travel plans in a year. There are a different fee for Single entry working visa and Multi entry working visa, The government fee for Single-entry Non-Immigration B Visa is 1000THB and 3800THB for a Multiple entry for the same.
The work permit cost in Thailand depends on the duration of the employee contract. In case of 3 months duration, the government fees would be Bt 850, while for 6 months it would be Bt 1600 and for a year would be THB 3100
Its mandatory to remark that the cost to process a work permit in Thailand belongs to the company and not to the employee.
It is important to understand that the rules and regulations for obtaining working visas/Work permit in Thailand as well as the fees that are involved are constantly changing. Keeping up with all of these changes can be tricky and time-consuming.
Therefore, people who are in starting a business in Thailand and need to provide working visas for their foreign staff should contact a professional business consulting company in Thailand such as Start Up in Thailand.
The company’s legal experts will be able to provide full details on the Thailand working visa application process including how long it takes to obtain the work permit in Thailand and the fees that are involved to make sure that companies remain protected and avoid legal issues that can arise due to incomplete or incorrect applications.
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