Don’t make these mistakes with your Thai work permit

Don't screw up your work permit in Thailand

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The previous article concentrated more on the general rules regarding work permits in Thailand and eluded to the fact that there are many grey areas that can cause problems for would be applicants, or indeed even those who already holding a Thai work permit.  In this article we will look closer at these anomalies.

One thing that often causes confusion is the Non Immigrant B visa (also known as the Working Visa). The applicant must be in possessions of the correct visa before a work permit application can be made.  The reason that this causes confusion is that you have a visa for work but you are still unable to work as you don’t have a work permit! Non Immigrant visas for Thailand are usually obtained in your home country prior to travel or if you are already in Thailand from places such as Malaysia or Laos.  It is important to note that the initial application cannot be made from within Thailand and needs to be made at a Thai Consulate outside of Thailand.  This visa will usually be for 90 days, enough time for the work permit application to take place.  A small rainforest of paperwork is required including tax receipts and a Letter of Invitation from your prospective employer.  Again be aware that you cannot work until the work permit has actually been granted.

The possession of a Non Immigrant B Visa is not the only way of having a visa that enables you to work legally in Thailand.  Holding a marriage visa also enables you to work on the condition that you have a work permit.  It should go without saying that to hold a marriage visa you must be legally married to a Thai National although cases have occurred where people have forgotten this fact!

In previous article I touched on the fact that of the rules for obtaining a Thai work permit eluded to applicant earning a minimum of THB50,000 per month.  This is obviously a very general rule however, as always in Thailand, there are exceptions.  These include but are not limited to:

  1. Employment such as an investment or management adviser or as an internal auditor
  2. A tour guide who is responsible for bringing foreign tourists to Thailand
  3. If you work for a non-profit organisation or charity on a temporary basis
  4. If you are employed as a contractor on projects for Government agencies or companies
  5. Employment in an industry that predominantly requires the use of local raw materials
  6. Direct employment in the Thai export sector

The main reasons for these exceptions is because the theory is that these are jobs are helping Thailand to develop as a nation.

The rules around the number of foreigners working in a company can also be a grey area.  For instance as previously stated, paid up capital must at least THB2 million per work permit, however if the capital is below this amount and the company has paid corporate income tax of at least THB5 million this rule is waived. If you’re interested to know what happens if you work without the correct Thai work permit, check out this article.

Again the information here is correct at the time of writing but frequent rule changes are common place in Thailand so it is important to speak with an expert on Thai work permits to ensure you’re using the latest information at the time of your application.