Foreigners who have no work permit are mostly considered by the Kingdom of Thailand as tourists. By law, they are not allowed to work in any type of company that is within the exclusive jurisdiction of Thailand, regardless of its line of business, or engage in self-employment (like virtual offices). The reason is that resources and income that are being utilized are within the jurisdiction of Thailand. In effect, a foreigner who wishes to work in Thailand must have a valid document known as “Work Permit.”
A work permit is a legal document which serves as a license that allows you to perform an allowed occupation inside the Kingdom. It contains the full name of the foreigner, occupation, name of employer, and activities that may be performed. Its validity term can vary but the most common period totals to 1 year; the term depends on the nature of work and on the documents submitted to the relevant branch of the Ministry of Labor.
Before a work permit is obtained, a foreigner must obtain a Non-Immigrant visa which can be applied through either a) Conversion of a Tourist Visa into Non-Immigrant Visa inside the Kingdom of Thailand or b) Acquirement at a Thai Embassy in another country. These two processes require preparation of paperwork on behalf of the employer, as well as the foreigner’s personal data and identification documents.
The employer and the foreigner must provide documents to the Ministry of Labor before a work permit is granted; this generally takes 7 to 14 days. The choice of a specific Ministry of Labor Office will depend on the registered address of the office of the employer. The documents specified below must be certified accordingly:
Upon receiving the Work Permit, a foreign employee must always carry it at work, especially when at the workplace. An extension of work permit must be done at least a month before it expires. Moreover, it is advisable for foreigners to track possible changes of labor rules regarding work permits.
Juslaws & Consult has a special department which specialises in registration of Work Permits for foreign employees, either through conversion in Thailand or application abroad. Our Visa and Work Permit team will assist you and your company with preparation of the documents required for application for the Work Permit.