When working and or operating a business in Thailand, a Work Permit is always required. A foreign individual must have a valid work permit first before he can start searching, applying for and working on a particular job in the Kingdom.
While he may be able to find work without a work permit but the absence of the said permit can lead him to an arrest, a fine and imprisonment.
So when eyeing to find a job in Thailand, any foreign individual is expected to do the legal way of earning a living in the Kingdom which starts with the appropriate visa and a valid work permit.
Business Entities and the Foreign Employee
If the business entity is classified as a Thai Company, it needs at least 2 million baht of fully-paid up capitalization for them to qualify in filing an application for a work permit for their foreign employee. This amount of fully-paid up capitalization, however, may be reduced to 1 million baht if the said foreign employee is married to a Thai national.
If the business entity is classified as a Foreign Company, then, it must bring in at least 3 million baht per foreign worker that it wants to employ in Thailand.
These aforementioned business entities may only be allowed to have 10 work permits. Yet, if the company is a Board of Investment-promoted company then it will enjoy an exception from the rule.
Which Comes First: Non-immigrant Visa or Work Permit?
A foreign employee cannot apply or be issued with a work permit if he does not have a valid Thai Non-immigrant Visa therefore it is imperative that he must apply for the said visa first, usually in his home country before submitting his application and requirements for a work permit.
Thai Work Permit Process
As mentioned earlier, the road to a successful employment experience in Thailand begins with the appropriate Non-immigrant Visa.
Step 1: Non-immigrant Visa
The application should be done at least within 30 days prior to his trip for Thailand. In order to apply for a non-immigrant visa, the applicant/employee should have legitimate job offer in Thailand or has a real intention to start a business in the Kingdom with him as an employee.
This hiring company must provide the foreign employee with a copy of a request for the concerned government office to grant the individual with a non-immigrant visa to pave the way for a future application by the company to grant the same individual with a work permit.
When hiring a foreign employee, the company must know the background of the said employee and that he should be respectful and abiding with the laws and customs of the Kingdom.
Step 2: Work Permit
In applying for the work permit, both the employee and the employer must submit different documents to support the application.
- Documents from the Employee
- Passport must have page by page copies of his passport and each copy/page must bear his signature.
- Non-immigrant Visa
- Departure Card TM. 6
- Education Degree: signed copy
- Transcript: signed copy
- Certificates and or licenses: signed copy
- Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume with detailed description of the employee’s past work experience
- 5×6 cm photos: 3 copies of photos taken within the last six (6) months prior to submission
- Marriage Certificate: the original and signed photocopies of this document is only required if the employee is legally married with a Thai national.
The applicant must note that the signed copies of his education degree, transcript and certificates (licenses) may need to be certified and notarized by the applicant’s Embassy. There may be applicable fees that he must pay for these services. Furthermore, Thailand utilizes the Thai language therefore these documents must be accurately translated from the foreign language used into Thai.
- Documents from the Employer
- Commercial Registration Department Certificate
- A Commercial Registration Department-certified Shareholders List.
- Factory Department, Ministry of Industry-issued Factory License (if applicable).
- VAT Certificate – Phor Phor 20
- VAT Filing – Phor Phor 30
- Withholding Tax – Phor Ngor Dor 1
- Social Security Payment Filing
The local to foreign workers ratio should be 4:1.
Additionally, documents from item number 1 to item number 4 must bear the company seal on each page, with authentic signatures of authorized company figures such as the managing director and or directors beside the company seal.
Step 3: Tax Identification Card
After the work permit application has been set into motion, the employer must then apply its foreign employee with a taxpayer identification card which contains the tax ID number. This tax ID number is needed especially with tax-related documents.
Step 4: Re-entry Permit vs. Extension of Stay
A Re-entry Permit is needed when the employee with an extension of stay stamped on his passport has to travel outside of Thailand.
On the other hand, an Extension of Stay is the date stamped by the immigration officer on the employee’s passport. This is the “controlling” number on until when the employee is allowed to stay in Thailand. This means to say that the re-entry permit and the work permit is dependent on the extension of stay.
However, the applicant must bear in mind that when traveling outside of Thailand, he must make sure that he already has the re-entry permit otherwise his work permit and extension of stay will be invalidated.
Step 5: Visa and Work Permit Renewal
The applicant’s work permit can only be renewed when his non-immigrant visa has been renewed. Renewal of his non-immigrant visa can be done within Thailand otherwise he must leave Thailand and apply for a new non-immigrant visa at the Thai Embassy or Consulate in his home country or in another country.
If he has to obtain a new non-immigrant visa, he must furnish the Thai Embassy or Consulate with copies of his work permit and a new recommendation letter, financial and tax reports and company registration papers from the employer.