Technically, there is no such term as ‘Work Visa’ in Thailand, but there is a ‘Non Immigrant B Visa” that will allow foreigners to conduct business or seek employment in Thailand. Initially, most foreigners are allowed to apply for the 30-day non B visa from their home country or from other countries outside of Thailand. Once in Thailand, a work permit must be applied for. The non B visa does not allow foreigners to work legally without the work permit.
Procedures to Obtain Work Permit in Thailand
Without a work permit, foreigners are not allowed to work even if they have other types of visa. The following procedures must be followed in applying for a Thai work permit or visa:
- The foreign worker must obtain a nonimmigrant visa or a resident visa before entering Thailand. This is required in order to apply for a work permit.
- With a non-immigrant B visa, the foreign worker may start to process the work permit. Work permit application processing is done at the office of the Ministry of Labor. The usual processing takes 7 business days, sometimes more.
- The foreign worker applying for a work permit must have an available employer who will provide the documents required for processing. The foreign worker must also have a position or a job that is not prohibited to foreigners.
Documents Needed for a Work Permit
The work permit applicant should submit the following documents:
- Application form (W.P.2)
- Three 5×6 cm. full-faced, bareheaded, black and white or color photographs, taken no more than six months prior to the filing of the application
- A recent medical certificate from a first-class licensed physician in Thailand stating that the applicant is not of unsound mind and not suffering from contagious or infectious diseases, narcotic addiction or habitual alcoholism
- Original passport
- Letter of Employment
- Certificate of Degree and CV or Resume showing application’s educational qualifications and describing in detail the applicant’s past position, duties, performance, and place and length of employment
- Address in Thailand
- If the job applied for requires a license under a particular law (e.g. teacher, physician, press card from the Public Relations Department, etc.), in addition to the Alien Occupation Law, a photocopy of such license shall be attached.
- If the applicant is married to a Thai national, the original and photocopies of marriage certificate, spouse’s identity card, birth certificates of children, household registration, as well as photocopy of every page of the applicant’s passport should be presented
The employer should provide the following:
- Company certificates and objectives
- List of shareholders
- Application for VAT
- Withholding tax of the company
- Financial statement
- Photocopy of the director’s passport and work permit with signature affixed
- Office map
- Letter of employment stating position and salary of applicant
- Employment agreement
Work permit, once approved and granted must be carried by the foreign worker all the time especially at the workplace for presentation in the event of random immigration checks. The foreigner is only allowed to perform the job stated in the work permit and with the specific employer.
The foreign worker needs to pick up his blue work permit book personally at the Ministry of Labor office. Work permit may be issued with validity ranging from 90 days, 6 month or 12 months and this is at the discretion of the Labor officer. It is also possible to have a visa (non-immigrant or resident) that expires on a completely different date to the work permit due to the new immigration regulations.
If you require some help in processing your immigration or work visa in Thailand, just click on this link and someone will be happy to help you out with this.