Tag Archive: permit

  1. Work Permit Extension under the Emergency Decree on Foreign Employment Management B.E. 2560

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    On the 10th of May 2018, the Department of Employment (DoE) has published a letter to address the scope of the Work Permit under the Emergency Decree on Foreign Employee Management B.E. 2561 (the “Decree 2018”). It especially elucidated the question whether a foreigner who has been granted a Work Permit once is able to work in another type of work, for another employer, at another workplace or work condition in Thailand.

    Section 70 of the Emergency Decree on Foreign Employee Management B.E. 2560 (the “Decree 2017) has been repealed through the Decree 2018 and, therefore, the application form TM.6 has been revoked, neither the employer nor the employee has to register any changes related to the type of work, the employer, workplace or work condition any longer.

    Section 70 of the Decree 2017 had stipulated the interdiction to employ a foreigner who had registered a different type of work, a different employer, workplace or work condition in the Work Permit; the application form TM.6 had been used to amend the Work Permit if changes occurred.

    As a result, a foreign employee can work continually in a different type of work, at a different workplace or under different work conditions. However, this only applies as long as the employment is under the same employer as recorded in the existing Work Permit.

    This means a foreign employee is allowed to work anywhere and is not obliged to submit an application for changing or adding the workplace in the Work Permit as long as the employee works for the same employer.

    A foreigner is not allowed to employ himself and thereby apply for the Work Permit. However, a foreigner may be employed by a registered company in which he himself has director authority.

    It is notable that the DoE has issued a new form of Work Permit book which does not include the section “condition”. This seems to enable the foreigner to work under flexible conditions. A foreigner who holds an old version of the Work Permit is not obligated to notify the DoE from now on regarding the.

    A foreigner who wishes to change or add a type of work is not prohibited from doing so, as long as that work is not excluded by the Official List. The employee can start with a new or additional type of work immediately without notifying the DoE. Employer and Employee must notify the DoE only if the employee has a new or additional employer according to Section 13 of the Decree 2018.

    In summary, if the employee wishes to change or add the type of work, workplace or work condition then the employee is free to do so without notifying the DoE. The employee is allowed to work with the existing Work Permit without amendments.

    Once the employee wants to change the employer or add an employer, both the employee and employer, have to proceed the registration at the DoE. Both have to submit an employment form to the officials within 15 days from the date of commencement, according to Section 64/2 and 13 of the Decree 2018. Otherwise, the employer and employee are liable for a fine of THB 20,000.

  2. Permanent Residence Permit in Thailand

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    Holding a permit for permanent residency in Thailand has many benefits. A person with a permanent resident status can live permanently in Thailand without the need for a periodic stay extension. The permanent residence permit is the first step to become a naturalized citizen of Thailand. It entitles the non-Thai family members of the permanent resident to apply for such status as well.

    A permanent resident of Thailand can become a director of a Thai public company, put the name on various documents (e.g. house registration), buy a condominium without transferring the money from abroad and obtain a work permit without complicated paperwork.

    The application for the permanent residence permit requires patience and persistence since the process might take up to one year. The applications are processed by the Royal Thai Immigration Commission every year during a specific period that varies each year but usually starts in October and ends in December.

    Thailand has an annual quota of 100 persons per country. So only a few persons will be able to obtain the permanent resident status. An applicant must meet the following criteria to become one of the top 100 people on the qualifying list:

    • Holding a Thai non-immigrant visa for at least three years, with three consecutive yearly extensions prior to the submission of the application
    • Holding a non-immigrant visa at the time of submitting the application
    • Meeting one of the following categories:

    – Investment in Thailand (minimum investment 3-10 million Baht)- Work / Business in Thailand

    – Family support or Humanity Reasons in Thailand

    – Experts / academics

    – Others as determined by Thai Immigration

    • Pass an interview (Thai language)

    Note that the documents for the application depend on the specific category and should contain a detailed explanation of the reasons for the permanent residence permit. After approval, a permanent residence blue book and an alien registration book will be issued. The alien registration book is an equivalent of the Thai ID card.

    The permanent residence permit never expires. Nevertheless, it can be revoked for some reasons. Furthermore, travelling out of Thailand and returning requires a re-entry permit even if holding a permanent residence permit. Finally, after ten consecutive years, a permanent resident can apply for Thai naturalized citizen status.

    The expenses include an application fee (THB 7,600) that is not refundable and will be charged even if the applicant has been rejected. In case of permission, an additional fee of THB 191,400 is payable. If the candidate is married to a Thai citizen, the fee will be reduced to an amount of THB 92,400. After all, the candidate has to report every 90 days to an Immigration Office.

  3. Visa and Work Permit under the BOI Scheme

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    Since 15th June 2016, it is possible for foreigners to obtain a visa (extension of stay) and work permit in Thailand for a period of two years, under the Board of Investment (BOI) or the Industrial Estate Authorized Thailand (IEAT) schemes. In specific cases, a period of even four years may be granted.

    1. Two-year visas and work permits

    Foreigners employed by BOI or IEAT promoted companies may obtain two-year visa and work permits from the One Stop Service Centre, and would not need to deal with the Labour Department or Immigration Office. The process is quicker and can be completed in a single day, after the online registration process has been completed.

    The process of visa and work permit application is as follows:

    1. The company intending to bring in a foreign skilled worker contacts the BOI and IEAT office to issue an invitation letter. This application is carried out online and can take between 1 to 2 weeks.

    2. The invitation letter issued by the BOI or IEAT office should be delivered to the foreigner along with supporting company registration documents, for the foreigner to apply for a non-immigrant business visa (type B only) (90 days) at a Thai Embassy or Consulate abroad.

    3. The company should submit an online request to “open a position” for the foreigner to work under the company, where details of the foreigner’s position, job description, etc. will need to be provided. The consideration process for opening a position takes approximately one week.

    4. Once the position is opened and approved, the application for the foreigner’s work permit and visa extension can be submitted online. This process usually takes between 3-4 business days.

    5. The final step involves the foreigner physically going to collect the work permit booklet from the Employment Office and having his visa extended at the Immigration Bureau, both located at the One Stop Service Centre for Visas and Work Permits. The visa and work permit may be granted for periods of 1 year or 2 years depending on type of business.

    2. Four-year visas and work permits

    Moreover, the BOI announced that certain foreign workers employed by either International Head Quarters (IHQ) or International Trading Centers (ITC) may be granted visa extensions and work permits for up to 4 years (together with their dependents).

    Feel free to contact us if you have any questions: [email protected]

  4. Obtaining a Work Permit in Thailand

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    Work Permit Requirements

    As in any other country in the world, foreigners require a governmental permission prior to working in Thailand. In this article, we will explain the administrative process related to the application for a work permit. Individuals applying for Thai work permits must qualify under the Thai law. The applicant must have the knowledge or skills to perform the work as stated in the description of the position provided in the application for the work permit. Thai law also requires that the foreign national is not insane or mentally sick, nor sick of leprosy, tuberculosis, drug addiction, alcoholism and elephantiasis, and not having been imprisoned for violations of the immigration law or the foreign employment law in the year before applying for a work permit.

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  5. Visa in Thailand

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    The “Land of Smiles” is an attractive destination for both tourists seeking fun and professionals seeking opportunities. However, the Kingdom of Thailand has many regulations concerning travel and residence in the country. Foreign nationals must obtain visas if they wish to enter the Kingdom. Thailand is also a party to many bi-lateral agreements which allow citizens of certain foreign countries to stay for short periods without having to obtain a visa. Thailand also has provisions to allow foreign nationals to apply for work permits to work in the Kingdom.

    1. Entry Visas
    The laws and regulations regarding visa and work permit in Thailand are extensive, and the Immigration Bureau frequently revises its regulations to adjust to new circumstances and policies. It should further be noted that the various Thai embassies and consulates have specific policies which may vary.
    Foreign nationals of the country that made an agreement with the Thai government according to Interior Ministerial Regulation shall be permitted to stay in Thailand according to the period which is mutually agreed between Thailand and the respective other country. Foreign nationals from 42 countries and Hong Kong SAR will be able to enter into the Kingdom of Thailand without a visa and stay in Thailand for 30 days per each visit (“Visa Exemption“). However, the total duration of stay shall not exceed 90 days within a six month period, counting from the date of the first entry.

    Tourists who wish to enter the Kingdom must apply for a Tourist Visa with the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in their country. A tourist visa is for a maximum duration of 60 days (depending on nationality), for the purpose of tourism only and may be extended for another 30 days (depending on nationality).

    Foreigners who wish to work or conduct business in Thailand should apply for a non-immigrant-B-visa. This visa may be issued by an embassy or consulate abroad. There are different types for this kind of visa, namely a single entry visa with permission to stay for 30 days and a multiple re-entry visa which is issued for one year but permission to stay for only 90 days and the requirement to do so-called “visa runs”. The non-B visa can be issued for foreigners doing business in Thailand or for employment.

     

    Visa Thailand

     

    There are various other types of visa, permitting to stay in Thailand on the basis of marriage, retirement, diplomatic status, etc.

    Obtaining a One Year Visa (Visa Extension)

    The consideration of permission for a foreign national to temporarily stay in Thailand for one year without the need of visa-runs (‘Visa Extension”, issued by the Immigration Office in Thailand) must follow the following rules and documents listed below:

    1. That foreign national must have a Non-Immigrant visa, and
    2. the foreign national must have an income in the amount of 50,000 THB (for citizens of Europe, Australia) or in the amount of 60,000 THB (for Japan, Canada and United States of America) or in the amount of 45,000 THB (for Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR and Malaysia) or in the amount of 35,000 THB (for Asia and South America).
    3. The employer must have a registered capital of not less than Two Million THB, and
    4. The employer must have submitted a balance sheet of the last financial year which has been audited by a certified public accountant in order to show a good financial standing. The total of Shareholders’ Equity in the balance sheet will not be less than One Million Thai Baht, and
    5. The employer must have submitted a profit and loss statement (Statement of Income) that has been audited by a certified public accountant (the year end date must be the same date on the balance sheet and the total revenue in the said Statement of Income must not be less than the total money that the business is required to pay for salary for every foreign national), and
    6. The employer is required to hire a foreign national, and
    7. The employer must have a ratio of employment of one foreign national per four permanent Thai staff.
    Under current Immigration Regulations, if a foreign national stays in Thailand for a period longer than 90 days, he/she must notify the Immigration Division (“90 days reporting”). This regulation applies even after the foreigner has obtained a one-year visa. This 90-day period is calculated from the date the foreigner last checked through Immigration.

     

    Please feel free to contact us if you have any inquiries regarding the above: [email protected] 

    Our next blog article will explain the process of applying for work permits in Thailand, sign up to our newsletter and we’ll send you articles like this every month.

  6. Visa and Work Permit for a Business Trip to Thailand

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    For business trips to or short term employment of foreigners in Thailand, this article summarizes the available options regarding the necessary visa and work permits:

     

    1. Business Visa

    Foreigners who wish to work, conduct business or undertake investment activities in Thailand must apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa at the Royal Thai Embassies or Royal Thai Consulates-General.

    Various categories of the Non-Immigrant Visa are currently provided to meet the needs and qualifications of individual business persons. These include business visa Category “B” and business-approved Visa Category “B-A”:

     

    A) Non-Immigrant-B-visa

    The Non-Immigrant Visa Category “B” (Business Visa) is issued to applicants who wish to enter the Kingdom to work or to conduct business.

    The holder of this type of visa is entitled to stay in Thailand for a maximum period of 90 days.  He or she may apply for an extension of stay at the Office of the Immigration Bureau and may be granted such extension for a period of one year from the date of visa expiration.

     

    B) Non-immigrant-B-A-visa

    This type of visa may be applied for at the Embassies or Consulates abroad, but first of all the approval shall be given by the Office of the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok before the visa is issued to the qualified applicant. The applicant’s associated company in which he or she will invest in or conduct business with may apply for this type of visa on behalf of the applicant at the Office of the Immigration Bureau. Once the application is approved, the Immigration Bureau will advise the concerned Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Consulate-General via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue the visa to the applicant.

    The holder of this category “B-A” visa will be permitted to stay for a period of one year from the date of first entry into the Kingdom.

    However, it should be noted that this type of visa is rather uncommon and the practices are lacking clear and specific rules set forth in the law. The process is therefore rather tedious.

     

    2. Work Permit

    A foreigner shall apply for a work permit as soon as he engages in work by “exerting energy or using knowledge whether or not in consideration of wages or other benefits“. Working in Thailand is subject to the Working of Alien Act (B.E. 2551).

    The work must be eligible and the foreigner must be employed by an eligible employer. It is provided that such eligible employer must be a Thai national, or is legally permitted to conduct business activity in Thailand.

     

    A) Exemptions and Special Cases

    However, the Working of Alien Act stipulates certain exemptions. The following occupations explicitly do not require a Work Permit:

    1. Representatives of member countries and officials of the United Nations and its specialized agencies, as well as their family and personal servants;
    2. Members of the diplomatic corps or consular missions, as well as their family and personal servants;
    3. Persons who perform duties on missions in the Kingdom under an agreement between the government of Thailand and a foreign government or international organization;
    4. Persons who enter the Kingdom for the performance of any duty or mission for the benefit of education, culture, arts, or sports; and
    5. Persons who have received special permission from the Thai government.

    Furthermore, it should be note that attending meetings, seminars, lectures, appearing in court, or even buying things for the purpose of export are not considered as “working”.

     

    B) Temporary Work Permit

    For engaging in necessary and urgent work for a period of not exceeding 15 days from the date of issuance work permit, according to Section 7 of Alien Working Act B.E. 2521 (1978) and Regulation of Department of Employment B.E. 2546 (2003), the foreign worker may apply for a Temporary Work Permit.

    Work related to administration, academic matters and an unlimited period is not considered as “necessary and urgent work”, except in a case where damage may be incurred if the work is not performed in time.

    The temporary work permit does not require the company, as usually, to have a registered capital of at least 2 Million THB and employment of 4 Thai staff per one foreign staff. But the company must prove that it is an urgent and necessary work and needs a foreigner to perform on time, and otherwise there would be damages to the company. This kind of work permit can be allowed once but under no circumstances be renewed.

    One significant advantage of the temporary work permit is the fast process: if the applicant applies for a temporary work permit, the process should take only one working day (if the application is correct and complete), while for a normal WP the process usually takes, at least, five working days to proceed. The Registrar of Labour Department may impose any condition in the work permit to be complied with by the foreigner.

    Before applying for the temporary work permit, the foreign staff must have entered the Kingdom of Thailand with a non-immigrant “B” visa.

     

    C) Work Permit through General Process

    If the period of temporary work permit is too short, another option is to apply for a work permit through the general process. This, however, requires a Thai employer with a registered capital of at least 2 Million THB/one foreigner. The foreigner may apply for a work permit for a minimum period of 3 months.

    A non-immigrant–B-visa is required for this process.

     

    3. Expedited Process under the BOI Scheme

    Furthermore, if the Thai employer is promoted by the Thai Board of Investment (BOI), the BOI may issue a visa and temporary work permit for one month without specific requirements (regarding registered capital or employment of 4 Thai staff).

     

    Feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding the above.

     

  7. Visa / Work Permit for Foreigners with Thai Spouse

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    If a foreign employee is married to a Thai citizen, the foreigner may apply for a non-immigrant-O-visa (dependent visa) in Thailand. For the one-year extension of such visa, issued by the Immigration Office, in particular the following will be required:

     

    • Marriage certificate;
    • Evidence of income of not less than 400K/year, e.g. bank statement;
    • ID card of the spouse; and
    • Physical presence of the spouse.

     

    The foreigner is then entitled to apply for a work permit under privileged conditions from the Department of Employment. For such work permit, in particular the following will be required with regards to the employer:

     

    • Capital of 1 Million THB for this foreigner and
    • 2 Thai staff employed for this foreigner.

     

    There is no requirement for a non-immigrant-B-visa in connection with such work permit, the non-immigrant-O-visa is sufficient. However, if a non-immigrant-B-visa is preferred and applied for, please note that 2 Million THB capital are still required for such visa application.

     

     

  8. Stricter Rules for Work Permit Extensions

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    Regarding the work permit extension, the officer has discretion to extend the work permit for a time period not exceeding two years, depending on the company’s compliance with Section 21 of Foreign Workers Act.

    The officer will consider the financial statements of the employer related to the preceding year as well as VAT payments of the employer. Now, according to a new practice of the Labour Department, if the company has no income or income lower than One Million Thai Baht shown on the latest financial statement or VAT documentation, they will use their own discretion to extend the work permit for only 6 months. This practice is based on any specific law or regulation, rather it is an internal policy from the head of the Labour Department within their authority. The finances of the employer would be reviewed and considered. If the company operates continuously at a loss, the Labour Department questions how the company can do business without any profit and that it not reasonable to do business this way.

    However, the aforementioned policy is not strictly enforced. The Labour Department will be flexible if appropriate reasons are provided to explain why the company operates at a loss or has no any income at this moment. If the reason is acceptable, they will agree to extend the work permit for one year. The matter will be considered on a case by case basis.

  9. Opening a bank account without a work permit at Bangkok Bank

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    On a more practical note, clients often ask us for assistance with opening a personal bank account in Thailand. Such an account offers a lot of benefits, but many foreigners, who are only visiting Thailand for a relatively short period of time, have faced problems with meeting the bank’s requirements. Most banks ask for a business visa and a work permit, even for the setting up a simple savings account. But a few banks are more flexible than that. For example, foreigners can open a savings account at Bangkok Bank, which is one of the major Thai banks, and apply for additional services such as Debit Card, ATM and Internet Banking, by holding tourist visa only and without holding a work permit.

    At Bangkok Bank, currently the documents that you need to provide are

    1. your passport,
    2. one further official identification document, such as a reference letter from your embassy, your home bank or another person acceptable to the bank.
    3. your address in Thailand as well as your regular address in your home country.

    Please feel free to contact us if you require assistance with handling your banking matters in Thailand.

  10. Temporary Work Permit

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    In certain cases, business requires to second foreign staff to Thailand on a short-term or urgent basis. They may then apply for a temporary work permit to perform urgent and necessary duties. The application for this kind of work permit should be finished within a period of 15 days. A work related to administration, academic matters and unlimited period is not considered as “necessary and urgent work”, except in a case where damage may be incurred if the work is not performed in time.

    work-permit

    Please see the following list of required documents for a temporary work permit application:

    1. Completed Form W.P.10 and one photograph (3 x 4 cm.) plus one copy
    2. Letter showing the reason why applicants need to perform urgent and necessary duties such as invitation letter and agenda etc.;
    3. A copy of the passport (the pages showing the photo and entry VISA);
    4. A copy of the company registration of the Thai employer (updated within six months) and a copy of its VAT registration. The Form Phor Por 01 identifying the type of business, which is certified by the authorized director of the employer;
    5. A copy of the employer’s work permit, in case he is a foreigner. If that employer is not working in Thailand or has no work permit, Power of Attorney certified by Notary Public and Thai Embassy is required.
    6. In case of Thai employer, a copy of employer’s l.D. card.
    7. Power of Attorney from the foreign employee (applicant) and the employer with 10 Baht stamp duty affixed and a copy of the attorney’s I.D. card (if applicant and employer are unable to apply in person).

    Regarding the requirement of work permit in urgent case (work permit for 15 days), it is the same to normal work permit, means that the authorized capital has to reach 2 million, and also 4 Thai permanent staffs per 1 foreign employee.

    One significant advantage of the temporary WP is the fast process: if the applicant applies for a temporary work permit, the process should take only 1 working day (if the application is correct and complete), while for a normal WP the process usually takes at least 5 working days to proceed.