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Thailand Work Permit

Information about Thailand work permit, process and documents needed to apply for one can be found on this page.

A Thai work permit is needed by foreigners who wish to work in Thailand. An expat who works without having a Thai work permit shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of not exceeding 5 years or to a fine from THB 2,000 to 100,000 or to both. An employer who hires a foreigner without a work permit to work for him shall be liable to a fine from THB 10,000 to 100,000 per foreigner. See more types of work permit fines on Thailand Work Permit Rules page.

Qualification of a foreigner who can apply for a Thai work permit and the occupations and
professions that foreigners cannot do, thus cannot apply for Thailand work permit: See details on our Thailand Work Permit Rules.

Thailand Work Permit – How to apply / Process / Documents needed

There are two ways for a foreigner to start the process of getting his Thailand work permit.

A. The foreigner must enter Thailand with a nonimmigrant business visa (or is a permanent resident of Thailand) and has a prospective employing company to sponsor his work permit.

B. An employer may file an application for a Work Permit on behalf of the prospective foreign employee who wishes to work in Thailand before he enters the country.

A. The foreigner must enter Thailand with a nonimmigrant business visa and has a prospective employing company to sponsor his work permit.

The foreigner files an application for a Work Permit to work for that employer at the Office of Foreign Workers Administration. If his work will be in a province other than Bangkok, the application must be filed at the Provincial Office of Employment.

Documents needed to apply for a Thailand work permit

Documents of the foreigner applying for a Thai work permit:

  1. Work Permit Application Form (Form Tor Tor 1)
  2. Three 3×4 cms pictures of the foreigner, taken not more than 6 months ago.
  3. The foreigner’s original passport and its copy of bio data page, latest entry page and non-immigrant “B” visa page. In case of a permanent resident of Thailand, he must submit his Certificate of Permanent Residence and Certificate of Alien, with a copy.
  4. Copies of educational certificates or degrees and work experience certification letters from his former employers. In case the foreigner cannot present these copies, he can use a form provided by the Office of Foreign Workers
    Administration, the Department of Employment to fill out his education and
    work experience details for this purpose.
  5. Recently issued medical certificate showing that the foreigner does not suffer from these prohibited diseases – mental illness, leprosy, tuberculosis, drug addiction, alcoholism and elephantitus.
  6. Power of Attorney to an agent if the foreigner cannot submit the application himself.

Documents of the employing company: (All have to be signed by the
authorized signatories of the company ad affix the company’s stamp.)

  1. A letter from the employing company stating the necessity to hire the foreigner instead of hiring a Thai employee.
  2. Form “Employment Certification” provided by the Office of Foreign Workers
    Administration, the Department of Employment
  3. Copy of Thailand company registration and list of shareholders (showing paid up capital of at least Baht 2,000,000 per work permit) certified by the Department
    of Business Development
    , Ministry of Commerce. In case of a foreign
    business operating in Thailand, submit a copy of Foreign Business Certificate
    or License, with the evidence of bringing foreign money into Thailand (Baht
    3,000,000 per work permit).
  4. Copy of Valued Added Tax registration papers (VAT registration certificates)
  5. List of foreign workers stating names, nationalities, positions and work permit numbers
  6. Map indicating the location of the company
  7. Copy of last year’s audited financial statements
  8. Copy of Last year’s corporate income tax return
  9. Copy of VAT returns of the latest 3 months
  10. Copy of Social Security Submission form of the latest 3 months
  11. In case the employing company’s director who sign the company’s papers is a foreigner, a copy of his work permit must be included.
  12. Possible additional papers specific to the business of the employing company, for example factory license, tourism license, restaurant license, hospital license, school license.

It takes about a week for the work permit to be approved. Then the foreigner has to pick up the work permit book at the Office of Foreign Workers Administration, Department of Employment of the Ministry of Labour and pay some fees.

B. An employer may file an application for a Work Permit on behalf of the
prospective foreign employee who wishes to work in Thailand before he enters the country.

This is usually the case now because most Thai consulates overseas, when considering issuing a non-immigrant business visa for a foreigner, ask the visa applicant for the letter of work permit approval issued by the Office of Foreign Workers Administration, Department of Employment of the Ministry of Labour, and many more papers from the prospective employer. The actual Work Permit will be issued only after the foreigner has entered Thailand with appropriate visa and has presented some more documents to receive his Work Permit at the Office of Foreign Workers Administration.

Documents needed for the employing company to apply for a Thailand work permit on behalf of the foreign employee:

  1. Form “Application for Work Permit Tor Tor 3”.
  2. Most of the other documents from the company are the same as in the case of applying for a work permit when the foreigner has entered Thailand with the non-immigrant “B” visa listed above.
  3. The foreigner’s copy of passport, bio data page only. This is because the foreigner has not entered Thailand with the non-immigrant “B” visa.
  4. Form “Certification of education and work experience of the foreigner” provided by the Office of Foreign Workers Administration, the Department of Employment to fill out the foreigner’s education background and work experience.

When the Office of Foreign Workers Administration has approved the employment (usually in 3 to 7 business days), it will issue a Letter of Work Permit Approval to the employing company, who will then send it together with its company’s papers to the foreigner overseas so as to obtain his non-immigrant “B” visa from a Thai embassy or consulate overseas.

Applying for a non-immigrant “B” visa:

The documents a foreigner who has been granted the Letter of Work Permit approval need to obtain a non-immigrant “B” visa from a Thai embassy or consulate overseas are as follows:

  1. One completed and signed visa application form with application fee (please check with the embassy in the country you are applying for the visa to see the current fee schedule.)
  2. One recent passport-sized photograph (3.5 x 4.5cm)
  3. Passport (valid for no less than 6 months)
  4. A copy and the original of the Letter of Work Permit Approval issued by the Office of Foreign Workers Administration
  5. An employment contract or an invitation letter from the employing company in Thailand (The letter must be typed on the company’s letter head and signed by authorized director(s) of the company.)
  6. Copy of Thailand company registration and list of shareholders certified by the Department of Business Development, Ministry of Commerce not more than 1 month ago. In case of a foreign business operating in Thailand, submit a copy of Foreign Business Certificate or License.
  7. Copy of Valued Added Tax registration papers (VAT registration certificates)
  8. Location map of the company

Note: All copies of company documents must be signed by authorized director(s) and affixed the company’s seal.

Once the foreigner enters Thailand with the non-immigrant “B” visa, he must submit these documents to get his work permit at the Office of Foreign Workers Administration:

  1. Work Permit Application Form (The Office of Foreign Workers Administration calls this form “Work Permit Application Form per Section 8.)
  2. Three 3×4 cms pictures of the foreigner, taken not more than 6 months ago.
  3. The foreigner’s original passport and its copy of bio data page, latest entry page and non-immigrant “B” visa page.
  4. The Letter of Work Permit Approval – the one the employer sent to the foreigner overseas to apply for his visa, the original of which he should bring back in order to apply for his work permit in this step.
  5. Recently issued medical certificate showing that the foreigner does not suffer from these prohibited diseases – mental illness, leprosy, tuberculosis, drug addiction, alcoholism and elephantitus.
  6. Power of Attorney to an agent if the foreigner cannot submit the application himself.

If all the documents are complete, it takes about 3 days for the Thai work permit to be processed. Then the foreigner has to pick up his Thailand work permit book at the Office of Foreign Workers Administration, Department of Employment of the Ministry of Labour and pay some fees.

Thailand work permit is easy to get if you hire MSNA who is highly knowledgeable and has connections to make it a wonderful experience for your doing business in this beautiful country.