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Archives for Thailand Work Permit and Visa

Who can apply for Visas and Work Permits at One-Stop Service Center in Thailand?

One-Stop Service Center provides one-stop services for temporary stay in the Kingdom of Thailand to any qualified foreigner in accordance with the Regulations of the Office of the Prime Minister Concerning the Establishment of the Visa and Work Permit Center B.E. 2540, as amended.

Not all foreign applicants can be qualified to use the One-Stop Service Center. The following applicants are eligible to submit an application and may receive services at the Visa and Work Permit Center:

  1. An applicant who is an investor, manager or expert and his/her parents, spouse or children who are his/her dependants and part of the family.
  2. An applicant who entered into Thailand to work at the representative office of a foreign juristic person for any international; trading business or overseas regional office, and his/her parents, spouse or children who are his/her dependants and part of the family.
  3. An applicant who is a manager, expert or professional obtaining special rights under the laws governing petroleum, investment promotion and the Industrial Estate Authority and his/her spouse or children as dependants.
  4. An applicant who entered into the Kingdom of Thailand to perform duties in mass media as authorized by the government and his/her parents, spouse or children as dependants and part of the family.
  5. An applicant who is a researcher and developer in science and technology and his/her parents, spouse or children as dependants and part of the family.
  6. An applicant who is the officer of a foreign bank, international banking facilities of a foreign bank or a representative office of a foreign bank certified from the Bank of Thailand and his/her parents or children as dependants and part of the family.
  7. An applicant who is an expert in information technology and his/her parents, spouse or children as dependants and part of the family.
  8. An applicant who performs duties at a regional operating headquarters and his/her parents, spouse or children as dependants and part of the family.
  9. An applicant who entered into the Kingdom of Thailand due to certain obligations made between the Thai government and a foreign government.
  10. An applicant with requirements as specified by the Minister in the Government Gazette.

It is important to note that an applicant who is a manager or expert must work in a juristic person having a paid-up registered capital or working capital of no less than 30 million Thai Baht in order to receive services at the One-Stop Service Center.

Interested in doing business in Thailand and obtaining Thai work permit & visa, contact MSNA for further assistance.

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Obtaining a Residence Permit in Thailand

If you are a foreigner who wants to get residency in Thailand, you may be eligible to apply for a residence permit with the Immigration Bureau provided that you have the following qualifications:

  1. You must hold a passport that bears a Non-Immigrant Visa and has been permitted to stay in Thailand with one-year visa extensions for the total of at least 3 consecutive years up to the application submission date.
  2. If you are at least 14 years old up to the application submission date, you are subject to criminal records check.
  3. You must reveal your information on income, assets, knowledge, vocational ability and family status in terms of connection with Thai national conditions on national security or others as deem appropriate for the consideration.
  4. You must be able to understand and speak Thai language.

Application for a residence permit is divided into five categories:

  1. For investment
  2. For employment
  3. For humanitarian reasons – in this category, you must have relationship with a Thai citizen or a foreigner who already was granted with a residence permit as follows:

3.1 a legal husband or wife

3.2 a legal father or mother

3.3 a child who is under 20 years of age up to the application submission date and must be single

  1. For expert
  2. For extra circumstances on a case by case basis

The Ministry of Interior will announce the annual quota of foreigners to be granted with residence permit (by yearly quota per nationality) and such announcement will be published in the Government Gazette. You can then submit all documents required for each category, together with your passport until the last working day of the year at Chaengwattana Immigration Division or provincial Immigration offices. All documents must be submitted in person.

Once the application have been accepted, the Immigration officer will grant you a 180-day extension of stay on the date of application submission first and the next extension will be granted for 180 days until the results of the applications come out.

The Immigration officer may require a visit to your home and have a short interview with you together with those who are involved in the application. Within 120 days later, you will get an appointment card to come for a final interview with the Immigration officers. You will have to take the test for speaking, listening for understanding of the Thai language. Most questions are about your family, career, living, donation and your intention to apply for a residence permit.

Your application is also considered based on your income, assets, knowledge, vocational ability and family status in case of relationship with Thai nationals, conditions on national security or others as deemed appropriate for current economic and social condition in order to make certain that such consideration was made thoughtfully, transparently and fairly.

Please note that timeline for the consideration process varies each year, depending on the policy of the Immigration Commission and the Ministry of Interior.

Applicable fees:

  1. A non-refundable fee for each application is Baht 7,600 (whether permission is granted or not)
  2. If the application is approved, the fee for the residence permit is Baht 191,400. However, the residence permit fee for spouses and children (under 20 years of age) of the foreigners who already have a residence permit or Thai citizenship is Baht 95,700.

Obtaining a residence permit in Thailand is much easier if you have an English speaking partner to guide you in the process and prepare the application requirements. Contact MSNA for further assistance in obtaining a residence permit in Thailand.

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Thailand Work Permits – who are exempted?

Not all foreigners working in Thailand are required to obtain a work permit. Under Section 4 of Working of Alien Act B.E. 2551 (2008), exemptions from the work permit requirement are granted to foreign individuals performing certain duties and missions as follows:

  1. Members of consular missions
  2. Members of diplomatic corps
  3. Representatives of member countries and officials of the United Nations and its specialized agencies or institutions
  4. Personal servants coming from abroad to work exclusively for persons listed under items 1, 2 or 3
  5. Persons who perform duties on missions in the Kingdom under an agreement between the government of Thailand and a foreign government or international organization
  6. Persons who enter into the Kingdom for the performance of any duty or mission for the benefit of education, culture, arts or sports
  7. Persons who are specially permitted by the Thai Government to enter into and perform any duty or mission in the Kingdom.

Foreigner working in Thailand? Contact ThaiLawyers for your Thai visa and work permit needs.

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Thai government focuses on private hospitals by its medical hub policy

Through its medical hub policy, the Thai government will serve as a facilitator for private hospitals in helping them to improve their medical services to foreign visitors seeking health care in Thailand. Thus, the Thai government ensures that the medical hub policy would not affect the availability of affordable health care for Thai people. The policy involves mainly the operations of private hospitals while government hospitals still focus on medical services for Thai nationals so it should not adversely affect Thai patients and the government would not spend national funds on private hospitals.

The government had recently organized the first workshop for hospitals under the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Education to work together in an integrated manner so that they would optimize the use of existing resources. In the workshop, they discussed the road map to proceed with Thailand’s medical hub policy which also includes the creation of more qualified physicians. More workshops will be held for further discussions on the issue.

Apart from serving as the facilitator, the public sector would help boost the image of the country in terms of medical advances. The medical hub policy would encourage health establishments in Thailand to improve their health services to higher standards. This will enhance the competitiveness of Thailand as a country as well.

In developing Thailand into a regional medical hub, the Thai government will emphasize four areas. In the first area, Thailand will be promoted as a wellness hub with full cycle services. The second area is that the medical service hub will link with spa services and health tourism. The third area aims to turn Thailand into an academic hub for health care. The fourth area aims to develop Thailand into a pharmaceutical and health products center.

Since 2012, the number of medical tourists visiting Thailand is continuously rising. In facilitating their trips to Thailand, the Government has granted visa extension from 30 days to 90 days for nationals of six countries in the Middle East in the initial stage so that they can stay in Thailand for a longer period for medical services. Visa extensions will later be granted to medical tourists from other countries.

More updates on this medical hub policy will be announced later. Visiting Thailand? Obtain a proper type of Thai visa before leaving your country. Contact ThaiLawyers for Thai visa application assistance.

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Prohibited and Restricted Goods in Thailand

Today, we got an interesting question from one of our inquiring clients:

Question: We want to set up a trading company in Thailand. We will import products from overseas but we are not sure if we will be allowed. What are the products that we cannot bring to Thailand and which government agencies should we contact to get the proper permission?


The Thai Customs Department is charged to stop the importation and exportation of prohibited goods in Thailand. It is also designated to intercept the importation and exportation of restricted goods, ensuring that all relevant laws and regulations are followed properly. Moreover, the comprehensive list of prohibited and restricted goods as well as information about the control and in the case of restricted goods to the permission to import/export may be obtained from the Department of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce.

The following information from the Thai Customs generally outlines the prohibited or restricted goods in Thailand. This will give you the idea where you can obtain more information about the control and, in the case of restricted goods, to apply for permission to import/export.

Prohibited Goods

Prohibited goods are goods for which either the import into or export out of Thailand are prohibited. Any person imports or exports prohibited goods is considered as committing offences and subject to penalties indicated in the relevant national legislation. In addition, such activity is also considered as an offence under Articles 27 and 27 bis of the Customs Act B.E. 2469. It is prohibited by law to bring the following items into our out of Thailand.

  • Narcotics e.g., marijuana, hemp, opium, cocaine, morphine, heroin
  • Goods with Thai national flag
  • Fake Royal Seals/official seals
  • Fake currency, bonds or coins
  • Pirated copyright goods e.g. musical tape, CD, VDO, computer software, etc.
  • Obscene objects/literature/pictures
  • Pornographic materials
  • Counterfeit trademark goods

Restricted Goods

Restricted Goods are goods of which the import and export are restricted by law and therefore require a permit from the related government agencies. Any person imports or exports restricted goods is considered as committing offences and subject to penalties indicated in the relevant national legislation. In addition, such activity is also subjected to the offence under Articles 27 and 27 bis of the Customs Act B.E. 2469.

Although the Thai Customs is charged to stop the trading of prohibited goods and intercept the flow of restricted goods, the Ministry of Commerce in Thailand designates classes of goods that are subject to import controls, which usually take the form of permission and licensing. Although these controls are being liberalized, at present more than 50 classes of goods require import licenses from the Ministry of Commerce. These categories are frequently changed through notifications of the Ministry of Commerce. A license to import any of the restricted items must be obtained from the Ministry of Commerce prior to importation. Application for the license must be accompanied by a supplier’s order, confirmation, invoice, and other pertinent documents.

In addition to the Act imposing the above controls, a number of goods are also subject to import controls under or other relevant agencies. These include:

  • The import of drugs, food and supplementary products requires prior licensing from the Food and Drug Administration, the Ministry of Health.
  • The imports of weapons and ammunition, explosives, fireworks and real and replica firearms requires appropriate license from the Ministry of Interior. Other weapons such as electric shock devices must also be declared. Some of these items may require a permit, before importation.
  • The Cosmetic Act stipulates that for the purpose of protection of public health, any importer of controlled cosmetics must provide the name and location of the office and the place of manufacture or storage of cosmetics, the category or kind of cosmetics to be imported and the major components of the cosmetics.
  • The import or export of antiques or objects of art, whether registered or not, requires permission from the Fine Arts Department.
  • The import of wild fauna, flora, fish and other aquatic fauna requires permission from the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, the Department of Agriculture or the Department of Fishery as the case may be.

The above information serves as a general guideline only and subject to changes without prior notice from the respective government authorities. It does not in any way replace the Thai Customs and related laws or regulations. We highly recommend that you should verify the accuracy, relevance, and completeness of the information with the concerned authorities. Hence, contact ThaiLawyers for company registration, business licenses, work permit & visa application services.

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Visa Expiration Date – what does it mean?

Sometimes, foreigners find it confusing on how to differentiate the visa expiration date from visa validity. Today, we discuss about the meaning of visa expiration date and how is it different from the validity of visa.

Visa expiration date is shown on the visa and it generally means that the visa is valid. Depending on the foreigner’s nationality, visas can be issued for any number of entries, from as little as one entry to as many as multiple or unlimited entries, for the same purpose of travel. When the visa is issued from multiple entries, it can be used from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for the same purpose of traveling.

On the other hand, visa validity is the time period from the visa issuance date to visa expiration date as shown on the visa. For example, if you are a foreigner who travels frequently as a tourist with a multiple entry visa, you do not have to apply for a new visa each time you want to travel to Thailand. The visa validity is the length of time you are permitted to travel to a port-of-entry in Thailand to request permission of the immigration officer to permit you to enter Thailand. However, the visa does not guarantee entry to Thailand. Each time you arrive at the port-of-entry like at Suvarnabhumi airport, an immigration officer decides whether to allow you to enter and how long you can stay. Note that only the immigration officer has the authority to permit you to enter Thailand.

Eventually, the visa expiration date should not be confused with the authorized length of your stay (permit of stay) in Thailand, given to you by the immigration officer at port-of-entry. The visa expiration date has nothing to do with your permit of stay in Thailand for any given visit.

As the Thailand Visa and Immigration rules and governing laws tend to change from time to time, it is better to seek the help of English speaking Thai Visa Experts. For your visa application needs, contact MSNA for further assistance.

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Thailand Board of Investment extended 2 more years permission for 101 promoted companies

The Board of Investment of Thailand has approved a 2 more year permission for 101 promoted companies to employ foreign unskilled labor.

Under the relief measure on foreign unskilled labor employment, the BOI permits 101 promoted companies to continue hiring foreign unskilled laborers until December 31, 2014. However, these 101 companies are required to propose a concrete plan to gradually reduce the number of foreign unskilled workers to BOI within February 28, 2013. During the extended period, they must implement a plan to reduce the number of foreign unskilled workers by 25% every 6 months until no foreign unskilled labor is hired by January 1, 2015. Any of these 101 companies that fail to implement the plan as proposed will have their corporate tax exemption terminated.

Inquire now with MSNA about Thailand BOI promotion and other options in doing business in Thailand.

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Are foreigners allowed to work as journalists in Thailand?

Foreigners can be employed as journalists in Thailand provided that proper visa and work permit will be obtained so they can be allowed to work legally.

Usually, the required documents for the approval of temporary permit of stay within the Kingdom of a foreigner who works as a journalist with government authorization are as follows:

  1. An application for extension of temporary stay (form Tor Mor 7) and two photos (2 inches)
  2. Photocopies of passport and work permit
  3. An acknowledgment letter from the Department of Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  4. A photocopy of press card
  5. Latest personal income tax form (Por Ngor Dor 91) of the foreigner (if he/she has been working in the Kingdom)

For the approval of the work permit of a foreigner who works as a journalist in Thailand, the following documents are required:

  1. An application for work permit (form Tor Thor 2) and three 3×4 cm photos (taken within the past six months)
  2. A photocopy of passport with a valid visa
  3. A letter of employment (form specified by Department of Labor)
  4. A medical certificate stating the applicant is free from prohibited diseases (issued within the past six months)
  5. An acknowledgement letter from the Department of Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  6. A photocopy of press card

As Immigration policies and work permit rules tend to change from time to time, it is advisable to seek legal assistance in obtaining a proper visa and work permit in Thailand. Consult with ThaiLawyers for Thai visa and work permit application.

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Re-Entry Permit queue online

For the convenience of applicants for Re-Entry Permit in Bangkok, the Immigration Division 1 of the Immigration Bureau is now open for queue online booking service on their website. However, this service is exclusively available for Immigration Division 1, the Government Complex branch at Chaengwattana Road only.

In this queue online, the officer will check the information of the re-entry permit applicant in advance. Then the applicant could take the passport for Re-Entry Permit stamp and pay the fee on the booking time and date.

The form TM.8 will be printed out and the applicant’s photo will be taken by the system. This “One Stop Service” will be finished within 5 minutes under the conditions of correct and complete documents.

Consult with MSNA Legal Team for further details on how to queue online and obtaining a re-entry permit before departing Thailand.

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Foreigners Can Apply Visa for Thailand via Online

According to a recent news article that I have read, the Foreign Ministry of Thailand has agreed to allow tourists from some countries to submit their visa applications online.

This proposal by the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) has been considered, as the ministry wants to help soothe the crowds and long lines of tourists wanting a visa on arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport.

Foreign travelers from big countries such as China and India like to do visa on arrival, as they find it inconvenient to arrange back home as the size of their countries make it difficult to travel to the nearest Thai embassy or consulate.

Moreover, people in many emerging countries are required to seek a visa at the embassy or consulate in a third country. For instance, tourists from Algeria are required to go to France to process their Thai visa.

According to TCT, this inconvenience is blocking tourism opportunities for Thailand so online visa application will afford greater convenience to tourists, increase the number of tourists from emerging markets and ease congestion at Suvarnabhumi airport.

The ministry will also work out the details of the online visa application and inform the Tourism and Sports Ministry. It will then coordinate with the immigration police so they can prepare before the high season starts in October.

The TCT is confident that applying online will not affect national security, as the authorities can screen potential visitors from the information submitted.

Further development on the implementation of this proposal will be released by the Tourism Council of Thailand and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For your questions on Thailand visa and work permit, contact ThaiLawyers for assistance.

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