To apply for a work permit, you must have either a non immigrant visa or a residence permit. Ideally, you must also have a non-immigrant visa must be obtained before entering Thailand. A residence permit is usually granted only after you have lived in Thailand for at least 3 consecutive years under a non-immigrant visa. Your employer or potential employer may file an application for advance permission for permission to work before you arrive in Thailand. However, the work permit itself will not be issued until you arrive in Thailand on a valid non-immigrant visa.
If you will not be working in Bangkok, the application is filed at the nearest Provincial (Changwat) Department of Employment Office. All supporting documents usually must be translated into Thai with appropriate certification.
The following documents must be submitted when you apply for a work permit. Note that Thai labor officials make changes in the list of required documents whenever they consider appropriate:
All photocopies of documents must be certified as true copies by the authorized director(s) and affixed with the company seal. If the application is to be filed by another person, a valid Power of Attorney in the prescribed form must be attached with an affixed Baht 10 duty stamp.
On the application form, the job description entry must be completed with a detailed description of the job to be performed, how it is related to other employees, and what materials will be used in the said job. If the job applied for requires a license under a particular law in addition to the Alien Employment Act, a photocopy of such license, e.g., a teacher’s license, physician’s license, press card from the Public Relations Department, certificate of missionary status from the Religious Affairs Department, etc. must also be attached.
If you are married to a Thai national, the marriage certificate must be presented along with your spouse’s identity card, birth certificates of children, household registration certificate, and a photocopy of every page of your passport. If you are applying for a position previously held by another foreigner, a photocopy of your predecessor’s work permit, together with his/her notice of resignation from the company or a letter confirming his/her intended date of departure must be presented.
Thai work permits are valid only as long as your visa allows you to remain in Thailand. That Also, a work permit is good only for the particular job for which it was issued and within the geographic limitations specified in the work permit. Working in a position or at a location other than that specifically approved is grounds for termination of your permit. You may hold more than one position with one or more employers but you must obtain permission for each position and for each employer. Generally, the permission for each position is entered in the original work permit record.
Exceptions to the Alien Employment Act permit foreigners to perform work without a permit if they are deemed necessary and urgent which can be completed within 15 days. However, the Department of Employment must be informed before such work begins.
The following are exempt from work permit requirements:
Working without a valid work permit is a criminal offense. Penalties include imprisonment of not exceeding 5 years or a fine from Baht 2,000 to Baht 100,000, or both. In the case you agree to travel out of Thailand within the period of time prescribed by the interrogating officer, which must not be later than 30 days, the interrogating officer may impose a fine and make arrangements for you to travel out of Thailand. Foreigners who do work reserved solely for Thais will be fined of up to Baht 20,000. A company or employer that hires a foreigner without a valid work permit is subject to a fine from Baht 10,000 to Baht 100,000 for each foreign worker/employee.
Therefore, you must always have a photocopy of his/her work permit available when traveling, and be prepared to show it upon arrival in Thailand.
The One-Stop Service Center was established to make the processing of visas and work permits for qualified foreign investors, experts and correspondents easier. Here, visas and work permits are issued within 3 hours. In general, the processing of visas is handled by the Immigration Bureau, while the processing of work permits is handled by the Department of Employment, which normally take about 10 to 14 working days. The following investors, executives, or experts, including their family members, are qualified to submit applications here: