The Royal Thai Police has issued Royal Thai Police’s order No.327/2557 dated 30th June 2014, which took effect on 29th August 2014. Since then, a standing administrative practice has been established, which we would like to summarize in this article:
According to a more recent internal regulation, the immigration officer may allow a cancellation of the visa stamp about 3 weeks before the end of the employment. In that case, the time will be sufficient to apply for a new work permit (for the new employment) and a visa extension before the end of the current employment.
The process will then be as follows:
1.The Immigration Office must be notified and the non-immigrant B visa must be cancelled.
2. Following that, the work permit must be cancelled together with returned the booklet to the Labour Department.
3. Upon receipt of the notification, the Immigration Office will issue a formal permission for the employee to stay in Thailand in accordance with the letter of previous employer. If the notification is submitted to the Immigration Office not longer than 3 weeks before the end of the employment, the Immigration Office will grant such permission to stay in Thailand until the employment ends.
4. During this 3-week period, the employee may apply for a new work permit and extend a non-B visa under the new employment respectively.
Please note that the usual processing time for a new work permit at the Labour Department is taking for 5 working days. The processing time of the new visa extension at the Immigration Office may be as short as 1 day. If there is no any interruption to the visa application, the immigration office will stamp the pending visa on the same day. After that, the foreigner needs to follow up to get one-year visa stamp on the appointment date. Therefore, ample time to complete the process is available.
Otherwise, if this process is not followed, the foreign employee who needs to change his job must apply for a 7-day extension to stay after the current employment ends. This means that Non-B visa is terminated. Then, he must leave the country and apply for an entirely new Non-B visa abroad.
This applies to foreigners who are allowed to stay in the kingdom under 1 year visa extensions. With regards to a 1 year Non-B visa which was issued from a Thai embassy/consulate and if the foreigner has not applied for a visa extension at Immigration Office yet, this does not apply, and the Non-B visa remains valid after the end of the employment until its usual expiration date. Only if the visa previously has been extended by the Immigration Office, the visa will expire immediately in the circumstances mentioned above.
Therefore, we recommend clients who are changing their employment to address the respective changes of visa and work permit in a timely fashion and not later than 4 weeks before the end of their old employment.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.