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Thailand Work Permit
Do I need a Thai work permit?
Many people often ask the question: is a Thai work permit necessary in Thailand. The answer to this question depends upon the asker. If someone is in Thailand for the purpose of recreation then is obvious answer is: no you do not need a Thai work permit. However, if one wishes to work in Thailand then a Thai work permit is absolutely necessary.
Someone told me I didn’t need a work permit in Thailand
Sometimes employers in Thailand (in an effort to unscrupulously save money) will tell foreign employees that a Thai work permit is not a necessity. This is not true. In fact working without a work permit in Thailand could be grounds for criminal sanction or deportation.
Overview of the Thai Work Permit
Unlike many other countries, in Thailand a visa and a work permit are two different things. Many countries have “work visas” meaning that the visa itself entails the right to work. However, in Thailand, even with a Non-Immigrant Business “B” Visa a person does not have the automatic right to work in the Kingdom. In fact, should one engage in any endeavor that could be deemed “work” by the Thai authorities, then that person could be arrested, fined, and/or deported for working in Thailand without the proper Thai work permit.
Many people will opt to work and live in Thailand without the proper work permit, but it can be a bit of a difficult existence. First, there is the constant fear of being caught working in Thailand without a Thai work permit. If discovered engaging in such activity the penalties could be severe. Royal Thai Immigration has been known to deport those foreigners who work in Thailand illegally. Why go through this kind of angst and frustration when a Thai work permit can be obtained fairly easily?
Another downside to not obtaining a Thai work permit and working in Thailand is the fact that a lack of a work permit can cause a job seeker in Thailand to appear to be a less valuable commodity because they cannot legally work in Thailand. Many employers in Thailand who are seeking foreign labor look to obtain labor with the least amount of difficulty. A smoother transition can be effected by having a work permit already. In Thailand, a prospective employee who has a work permit already will be far more desirable to a Thai employer.
Requirements to get a Thai work permit
The major requirements for obtaining a Thai work permit are:
Thai work permit applicants must be in possession of a Thai Non-Immigrant Business “B” Visa (or a Thai Non-Immigrant other “O” Visa, provided the obtainment of which was based upon marriage to a Thai national).
Thai work permit applicants must have a job offer with a person or company in Thailand hat shall pay a salary that meets the requirements set forth in the Ministry of Labour’s foreign labor regulations.
Thai work permit applicants must be seeking a job that is not restricted to citizens of Thailand under the relevant sections of the Thai foreign business act, the Thailand Ministry of Labor Ministerial Regulations, or any other applicable laws.
Thai work permit applicants must have a clean criminal record both in the Kingdom of Thailand and abroad.
If previously employed a Thai work permit applicant must have paid all applicable Thai taxes for the duration of prior employment and adhered to all relevant regulations during previous employment in Thailand.
This list of requirements for a Thai work permit is not meant to be exhaustive, but for informational purposes only. It is meant to provide an overview of the work permit processes and procedures in Thailand.
Job Description for Thai Work Permit
The Job description is an integral part in the process of obtaining a Thai Work Permit. The presumption amongst Thai officials at the Ministry of Labor in Thailand is that a work permit should not be granted for a foreigner engaged in an occupation that could otherwise be performed just as effectively by a Thai. Therefore, it becomes necessary to draft a job description statement that is carefully worded so as to avoid undue scrutiny on the part of the Thai official reviewing the Thai work permit application. Integrity Legal’s staff is composed of Thai lawyers and legal professionals. They are English and Thai speakers and they can draft a Thai work permit job description that comports to applicable Thai labor regulations while at the same time fully disclosing the manner of work that the foreigner seeking a Thai work permit will actually perform.
Processing Time for a work permit in Thailand
The amount of time it takes for a branch of the Thai Ministry of Labor to process a Thai Work Permit varies depending upon the branch. Only rough estimates can be given as to how long it will take to process a Thai work permit. Currently, it takes approximately 7 business days to process a Thai work permit in Bangkok while it can take as long as 2-3 months to process a work permit through the Royal Thai Ministry of Labor office in Phuket. Currently Thai Board of Investment (BOI) Companies can obtain a work permit in as little as 3 hours by using the One-Stop Processing Center.
Whenever a Thai work permit application is submitted to the Ministry of Labor in Thailand (no matter which branch), a receipt with the date the permit can be picked up is given to the applicant. It is advisable to retain this receipt and submit it when picking up the Thai work permit.
Appearance at the Ministry of Labor in Thailand to pick up a Thai Work Permit
The only point in the Thai Work Permit application process in which it is necessary for the foreign work permit applicant to appear at the Thai Ministry of Labor is to pick up and sign their name in the Thai Work Permit booklet itself. Integrity Legal will send the foreign applicant along with a member of our Thai legal staff to the labor ministry in order to pick up the work permit and make sure the final formalities are completed properly.
Restrictions of the Thai work permit
The Thai work permit is valid for engaging in labor at the company location listed in the Work Permit. Working for another company or in another location other than that stated within the Thai work permit is prohibited. If one’s employment is terminated for any reason, then it is incumbent upon the employee (Thai work permit holder) to turn in their Thai Work Permit to the Ministry of Labor for cancellation.
How Integrity Legal can Help You Get You Thai Work Permit
Dealing with the Ministry of Labor during the work permit application process can be difficult, but it doesn’t need to be. Integrity Legal can help you obtain your Thai work permit quickly and efficiently. We can translate all of the applicable work permit applications from Thai to English as well as deal with the officials working at the Ministry of Labor in Thailand. Let our team of legal professionals assist you with the Thai work permit Today!
Obtaining a work permit can be a difficult process if undertaken without proper legal advice by a firm that has been through the process before. Many people become frustrated when dealing with the Royal Thai Ministry of Labor and have problems because most of the forms are written in Thai. Integrity Legal has a staff composed of Thai and American lawyers as well as other legal professionals that deal with the Thai government on a regular basis. Let Integrity Legal assist you in obtaining your Thai work permit.
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