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Thai Work Permits  

You need a work permit if working in Thailand. You must hold a non immigrant 

B visa & be employed in a company in Thailand before you apply.


DIRECTIVE: for extra work permits for foreigners all companies must now show 2m baht per foreigner in the bank. new rules for work permit holders. New companies wishing to have work permits when applying for a work permit for a foreigner has new rules now. When renewing your work permit you must now take your Income Tax certificate for that period on renewal to the Labour Office: called a Pong Nor Dor. All new work permits an existing company wishes to have you now need to show share capital in the bank. You can have a 1m baht Thai company with no work permit. 

All aliens working in Thailand must hold a valid work permit, issued by the Department of Employment of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare pursuant to the Alien Employment Act B.E. 2521 (A.D. 1978). "Work" is broad, covering physical and mental activities, whether or not for wages or other remuneration. Working without a valid work permit even for a day is a criminal offense or for charity or NGO's with no exceptions. The validity period of a work permit is governed by the holder's immigration status, i.e. a work permit usually expires on the last day of the period of stay allowed by immigration officials as shown on the alien's visa. Aliens holding transit and tourist visas are not permitted to work. 
Advice: Apply for a Work Permit so you can work legally in Thailand & now since June 6th you must have a  work permit to open a bank account. Remember you must now be registered for VAT so some law services may not include tax or government fees in their prices.

Exemption: diplomatic staff, consuls, UN, working for Kingdom, if allowed by the government, if coming to enhance education, culture, sport, or arts or any other prescribed by Royal decree.
You must apply for a work permit if coming here to stay & work. Employer can file on workers behalf. Permit is valid only for duration time. You can process your non immigrant visa before you arrive in Thailand but then you need a work permit. The work permit must be renewed on a yearly basis. To obtain a work permit you need: alien residence book; passport with non immigrant visa. Local doctors certificate; Cert of employment, 3 photos, letter of transfer if from one job to another with foreign company. Education certs & any other relevant documents. You can only work on what the permit says & allows you to do. It helps to submit copies of all business tax returns, balance sheets etc. They say an expat earns around 65,000 baht a month unless he receives other benefits like housing etc. Plus if he is the Director. But if you are a director and your Thai partner is the main director then the salary will generally be less. Note every company is different so what they may say is needed by one is always different from another.

Cost for work permit depends on the lawyer but look at between anywhere up to 15,000 baht for processing your work permit. Make sure this includes govt fees & tax ID.  Obtain a letter from the immigration dept. Take passport & 2 photos to the immigration & they will write this letter for you. No charge (although we have been told they are now charging 200 baht-500 baht? for the letter at various Immigration Offices). We can assist you.

Companies with work permit holders must produce their "Phor Nor Daw" income tax certificate to the Labour Office before they will renew it and also show Tor Tor 3 or WP3 form for employees.

1 work permit   = 2,000,000 - 3,000,000 baht share capital

2 work permits = 4,000,001 – 5,000,000 baht share capital

3 work permits = 6,000,001 – 7,000,000 baht share capital

4 work permits = 8,000,001 – 9,000,000 baht share capital

5 work permits = 10,000,001 – 12,000,000 baht share capital


If a foreigner wants a work permit and is married to a Thai then you must have a 2m baht company.                                                        



The first step is to have a non immigrant B visa & to obtain you must go to a Thai Embassy say in Penang. Malaysia etc. They will only issue you with single entry.[ Non immigrant visas ] & we will tell you how to go about all this. You can obtain a non immigrant visa from your home country BUT you must have a letter from a Thai Company willing to employ you on letterhead & company stamp & some places eg. Penang need your company papers. You can now transfer from say an "O" non immigrant visa & use this up until expiry date if you want a new work permit. Once finished then you must apply for a "B" non immigrant visa to keep your work permit alive.

  1. Passport must have a valid Non-Immigrant visa Category "B".
  2. Copy of Educational certificates OR Curriculum Vitae/Resume.
  3. Three (3) photos, 2 * x 3 inch, front view, well dressed, head uncovered, taken not more than 6 months prior to filing of application; from shoulders up.
  4. Certificate from a first class physician stating that applicant is not a person of unsound mind. Costs 150 - 400 Baht at a Thai hospital.
  5. Home address in Thailand & your Office needs to be an Office if a new company. The Labour Office will inspect so you need to have a map of your Office with streets; a work breakdown of all your employees and job situation on a tree type work system for your company. Remember 1 work permit you must employ 4 Thai workers.
  6. Photo of your Office
  7. Must register for VAT. (this is a new requirement)
  8. Your company must be in operation less than 60 days after formation otherwise you need to do the company process again to have your company re-dated before you apply for your work permit. 
  9. As said you now need to be registered for VAT. You also need to declare VAT for 1 year & VAT cert.
  10. Map of Office & Employee work plan.
  11. Letter from Director saying you need a foreigner in your company & job description that a Thai isn't employed instead.
  12. If married to a Thai, marriage papers, ID card & house reg copies.
  13. If using someone else to process then they must fill in the required authorization form and that person must supply copy of ID, house reg.10 baht
  14. Your Office may be inspected for compliance.

Documents from the Employer (or your Thai Company if you are owner):

  1. Employment certificate from company stating position; monthly salary.
  2. Job description.
  3. Organization chart giving names and positions of all employees of company. Indicate total number of Thais and Foreign employees in the bottom of the organization chart (Ratio is normally 4 Thais:1 Foreigner with minimum share registration of 2m baht; for 2 foreigners the share registration must be a figure between 3 & 3.5m baht).
  4. Copy of company's list of Shareholders certified by the Commercial Registration Department, Ministry of Commerce.
  5. Registration documents of company form and certified by the Commercial Registration Department, showing business classification, names of partners, Board of Directors, Committee, and Manager. Also acquire the List of Objectives of the Business.
  6. Map of the company location.
  7. Copy of VAT Certificate (Phor.Phor.20) / application for VAT registration (Phor.Phor.01)
  8. Copy of Balance Sheet
  9. Certificate of registration Partnership/Co., Ltd.
  10. Factory license (if Factory)
  11. Evidence of Registered capital (not necessary paid up capital) of minimum 2,000,000 Baht per Work permit in the company.
  12. The work permit can take about 2-3 weeks to process


Once you receive your work permit you are bound to only do what the job role is in your blue book. This can apply to your place of work as well. You must renew in accordance with your B visa. If you are on a multiple visa & say the date of expiry is 20th August you should renew your visa before that date then take your Work permit book to the Labour office on the exact day the work permit expires 20th August--not before & not later as you can will have to do a new work permit. If say you decide to leave Thailand for a few weeks then make sure you take your work permit book back to the Labour Office, explain that you are leaving and they will make a record that you wish to renew your work permit when you return. If you do not then you must apply again for a new work permit. Our lawyer can help you if you have problems. If renewing your entry take your work permit book to the border as immigration may ask to see it. Most times they do not-- but better to be safe. Cost to renew at the moment is 300 baht for 3 months. You need copies of your passport main page & last visa page. You will need to fill out a new form as well. They may update your book immediately or tell you to go back in a couple of days to pickup your book and uplift another renewal form for next time. That's it.3-6 months cost is = 500 baht; 6-12 months = 1000 baht


Once your non immigrant visa finishes one needs to leave the country & obtain another visa. You may want to go on a holiday for awhile as you must leave Thailand. When doing so you hand in your Blue Work permit book to the Labour Office 7 days before, then when you have your passport re-stamped and a new multiple visa is installed, you must renew your Blue Book. ( This could cost under the new laws 5000 baht but is 300 baht at the moment). This is why all foreigners when obtaining a work permit must obtain a VAT certificate NOW and it may be that they want you to then apply for a 1 year Visa instead of multiple non immigrant B visa. Some places eg. Penang only allow 2-3 entries in your passport. This then means you may want to apply for a 1 year Visa in Thailand. In Penang take your work permit book with you but go to the Labour Office before you go and submit a renewal form and tell them. If you are forming a new Company you cannot obtain multiple visa in Penang only single entry as they require your work permit.


Applies to "B" holders. Yes you can apply for a one year visa in Thailand but it is complicated and you need to have VAT cert, audited books & loads of other requirements which means once you have your one year thats it. You not have to leave the country after 3 months but after a year you do the whole thing again. You need 7 Thai workers in your company, pay a salary to yourself & various other requirements. If the sole director is receiving 60,000 baht per month--- you pay tax each month approx 3500 baht on this amount. Its up to Bangkok to say how much you pay yourself & don't leave it till the last month to apply as it can takes 2 months to process. Sometimes you may even be told to lift your share reg up by a further 1m baht. You need a good accountant who can help you file the papers, have the last balance sheet enclosed plus loads of other paperwork to comply with. Best bet is to use a lawyer on all legal matters like this as they know what to do and also tend not to have any barriers put up against them from Immigration. Do not attempt to use your girlfriend to process this application as frustration will certainly set in. The downside with a one year is you may be inspected from time to time to see if your business is complying and that you have the number of employees in your Office and interviewed by immigration. USE A LAWYER TO PROCESS.


How to obtain a non-immigrant "O" visa connected to my wife’s work permit? 
Once back in the country, go to Immigration and wife's work permit: original and copy, and copies of  tax records.
1. Application Form T.M. 7.
2. A copy of passport or substitute document.
3. One 4*6 cm. Photo.
4. Marriage certificate.
5.  fee.
6. Birth certificate (if any). & current medical original certificate ( any Thai clinic/hospital will do for 20-50 baht). If you already have an old cert then take that back & normally the clinic will just fill out without test?
7. If an alien is the supporter, he must submit financial evidence, proof of employment, work permit and tax receipts.


Some folk coming to Thailand to conduct seminars, rock concerts etc require the following to obtain a temporary work permit good for up to 15 days. 

What you need:

1/. You must be a registered company outside Thailand.

2/. Must have company papers and registration papers.

3/. No tax is payable.

4/. A temporary work permit for up to 15 days is issued.

5/. If already living in Thailand & on a non immigrant visa or ordinary visa this is OK.

6/. Apply at your nearest Labour Office for the paperwork application form.

Law services. we now offer you services at very reasonable rates.  Compare OUR PRICES. Remember a cheap price may mean just that, eg. does it include tax, govt fees etc, so check. We offer full ENGLISH translations and step by step procedures in English. 

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