In most cases, it is the hiring company’s registered capital that plays a huge role in obtaining a work permit whether it be a Thai company or a foreign company.
For a Thai company, it needs to have at least 2 million Baht of fully-paid up registered capital for them to be able to apply their foreigner-employee with a work permit.
If the company is a foreign entity then it needs at least 3 million Baht to infuse into Thailand “per” foreign employee that it wants to bring in.
Both foreign and Thai business entities may request up to 10 work permits but the same is not the case with the Board of Investment-promoted companies as the BOI has the authority to grant its promoted entity’s request for the issuance of work permits and visas.
For foreign nationals who are in Thailand to work or to do business, however, needs to have the necessary visa and work permit in order to avoid being fined and or imprisoned.
Prior to his application for a work permit, he must be already in possession of a non-immigrant visa, in ideal sense, issued outside of the Thai borders.
Thai Work Permit Basic Application Steps
- 1st Step: The Non-Immigrant Visa
As previously mentioned, the first step on the road for a work permit application is the non-immigrant visa.
The application of a non-immigrant visa must be done within 30 days before the applicant’s intended departure for Thailand from his home country. Various documents including those of the hiring company will be asked from the applicant.
- The applicant must be offered with a job or should start a company of his own to employ himself in Thailand.
- The employer-company must request for the applicant to be given with a non-immigrant visa so it can also request for a work permit for the same applicant later.
- The employer-company must be in good understanding that the applicant will be abiding and respectful to the laws and customs of Thailand.
- 2nd Step: The Thai Work Permit
Even if the company makes the request for a work permit in behalf of the employee, the employee also needs to provide a number of documents to support such application:
- Valid passport and copies of every page (each copy must be signed by the individual)
- Non-immigrant Visa
- Departure Card TM6
- Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume which provides the applicant’s work history in detail
- Photos (3 pcs) which should be 5 x 6 cm in size, full face and in business attire. These photos must be taken within 6 months prior to submission.
- Marriage Certificate if the applicant is married to a Thai national (original and signed photocopies plus the Thai spouse’s ID Card, birth certificates of children and household registration).
Some documents may also be needed, translated to Thai and have these certified by the applicant’s home country’s embassy.
- Educational Degree (signed copy)
- Transcript (signed copy)
- Certificates and or licenses in position of the applicant (signed copy)
Company-issued documents should reflect the company seal and next to the seal are the authorized signatures of company directors and or managing director. Aside from the documents to be identified below, the Thai government may request for official copies of the company registration, list of shareholders, licenses and certificates.
- Commercial Registration Department Certificate – an attestation that the hiring company is a duly-registered juristic person. The certificate must contain the names of the managing director/director, objections and registered capitalization.
- Commercial Registration Department-certified shareholder’s list
- Factory Department, Ministry of Industry-issued factory license (if applicable to the company)
- VAT Certificate (Phor Phor 20)
- Withholding Tax (Phor Ngor Dor 1) if renewing work permit
- 3rd Step: The Tax ID Card
While the application for work permit is ongoing, the hiring company must apply for a Thai taxpayer identification card in behalf of the employee.This card contains the Tax ID Number which is used especially when handling tax-related documents.
- 4th Step: Differentiating Extension Of Stay And Re-entry Permit
- The extension of stay is the date stamped on the individual’s passport when he entered Thailand. This date is the period in which the individual is allowed to stay in the Kingdom.This may be stamped by immigration officer upon arrival at a border checkpoint (airports included) or by the immigration police after an extension of stay request.
- The re-entry permit is only valid up to the extension of stay date stamped on the passport. When the extension of stay expires, the re-entry permit also expires.
- 5th Step: Renewal Of Visa And Work Permit
Renewals are sources of great concern from foreign workers in Thailand but with the assistance of a reputable law firm like Siam Legal, everything can go smoothly and on time.But to remind, an individual must be able to renew his stay in Thailand first before he can actually renew his work permit.
Renewals (extension of stay) can be done inside the borders of the Kingdom but there are cases in which the person up for a renewal has to exit the Thai borders first and apply for a new non-immigrant visa from the Thai Embassy or Consulate abroad.
If the individual really needs to exit Thailand for a new visa then he has also to submit some company documents such as company registration certificates and financial reports and also a copy of his work permit.
If the individual is on a long term extension of stay, he has to report with the immigration police every ninety (90) days. If the person is holding a multiple entry visa then he has to exit Thailand every 90 days renew his extension of stay every after entry.
Thai Work Permit Application’s Approval Factor
The job description is very important when it comes to the approval of the application for a work permit. It must contain the necessary information in detail and should fully describe the type of work in order to prove that such position requires the skill sets that a Thai national does not possess.
Although it seems that it is highly doable for the applicant, having experts of Thai immigration and employment laws draw the job description is a plus as these lawyers know how to fully satisfy the work permit-issuing body.
There are a number of good lawyers or law firms in Thailand that give such service and Siam Legal International is one of those.
What Will Happen When The Application Has Been Submitted?
While the application for a work permit is ongoing, the applicant must be conscious on the expiry date of his non-immigrant visa.
For an applicant to be working in a company with at least 2 million Baht in registered capitalization, the processing time may take seven (7) business days if applied in Bangkok and as much as 2 months when applied in Phuket.
The same is not true with BOI-promoted companies however as processing time for a work permit may only take at least three (3) hours at the One Stop One Service Center in Bangkok.
Is Personal Appearance Needed?
During the application procedure and even on submission, personal appearance may not be required. However when approved, the applicant must appear in person at the Labor Department and he must bring with him his passport. He will then have to sign his new work permit book in front of the department’s staff. The office will then stamp the back of his passport.
What Can The Foreign Worker Do With His Work Permit?
The person granted with a work permit can only work with the same company and at the same location. If ever he has to transfer location but with the same company, he has to apply for another work permit. If he decides to work with another company, he also has to file another application.
In the event that his contract with his employer expires or he has resigned or terminated by the company, the work permit grantee has to surrender the work permit within 10 days to the Labor Department.
The company has no liability or responsibility to return the work permit but it is the holder of such permit.