Foreigners who are seeking to work in Thailand need to apply for a Thai work permit before starting their work. A Thai work permit is essential for all foreigners who are engaging in work by utilizing their energy and knowledge for wages or for other benefits.

The Thai work permit is issued under the provision of the Ministry of Labour. Under Section 8 of the Foreign Business Act, the future employer can apply for the Thai work permit on behalf of the foreigner, however, once the foreigner has entered Thailand in accordance with the Thai immigration laws, the work permit itself can be issued and he himself has to receive the work permit. Moreover, if a foreigner does not have a non-immigrant visa, then he will not be issues with the Thai work permit.

In Thailand, a work permit is generally is granted to an individual with the support of a company for a particular designation or role within that company. According to the regulations of the Thai work permit, the foreigners are not allowed to work outside of that particular designation.

Effectively, this means that if you get a job in a Thai company before moving to Thailand, the company will arrange for the application for a non-immigrant B visa on your behalf. Once you enter Thailand using this non-immigrant B visa, you must apply or obtain your Thai work permit by submitting relevant company documents. Once you receive your work permit, which is valid for the same duration as your visa, you can apply for your visa extension from 90 days to up to one year. Since then, if you become a resident of Thailand, both your Thai work permit and visa can be extended every year before the year elapses.




Every foreign employee must have

  • VAT registration
  • 2M THB in registered capital
  • 4 Thai employees registered in social fund

Miscellaneous Requirements

  • A valid, legit, non-immigrant Visa that is needed to be applied by the individual
  • Proofs of educational qualifications
  • A proper/professional/business-like working environment for all employees based on the ethics and goals of the company.



  • The applicant must provide the following for a proper Thai work permit application, either in English or Thai:
  • A Thai work permit application form containing the job role, a map representing the location of the place of work and a brief explanation as to why the company appoints a foreign employee.

    A valid passport with a signed copy of all pages, and

    a non-immigrant visa for non-permanent residents

    a residence permit and an alien book for permanent residents in Thailand.

    A duly signed copy of the applicant's Curriculum Vitae as a proof of educational qualifications.

    Six passport-size photographs

    A recent (not older than six months) medical certificate from a well-known hospital stating the blood group of the applicant and that his mental and physical health conditions are normal and is not suffering from leprosy, acute tuberculosis, elephantiasis, narcotic addiction or alcoholism.

    A proxy to the person who is applying on behalf of the applicant including a 10 THB duty stamp.

    A license copy if required.

    If the applicant has married a Thai national, the following documents are required when applying for the work permit.

    A copy marriage ceritificate

    Identity card and hosuehold registration of the spouse

    A copy of every page of the passport

  • Furthermore, the application form needs to be completed with certain corporate documents:
  • Commercial Registration Department Certificate that proves that the company is a registered juristic person, director's name(s), the objections and capitals registered.

    Factory license, if any

    VAT Certificate

    Witholding Tax if it's a work permit renewal application

    If the workplace is located in Bangkok, the application must be filed at the Ministry of Labor or else, it should be filed at the province’s Department of Employment or at the province’s city hall.



    • It should be a Thailand-registered company.
    • It should have applied for a TAX ID and VAT registration.
    • It should be able to pay a capital of 2M THB to every foreign employee and 3M THB to every foreign employer.
    • It should have a work permit for four Thai employees.
    • It should not more than ten work permits. BOI companies can be issued with more number of work permits.




    Under the Foreign Business Act, some occupations are exempted from the requirement of a Work Permit

    • Employees who are a member of the diplomatic corps or are engaged in consular missions.
    • Employees who are from the member countries or are officials of the United Nations and its specialized agencies.
    • Employees who perform duties on missions in Thailand under the contract between the Thai government and a foreign government or international organization.
    • Employees who perform duties or accomplish missions for educational, cultural, art and sports benefits.
    • Employees who have been granted with special permission from the Thai government.


    Other Special Treatments under certain circumstances

    Foreigner who temporarily enter Thailand abiding by the immigration laws, to perform an urgent work for not more than 15 days, are exempted from having a work permit for this period of time. They are required to receive a notification in writing which must be duly signed by the foreigner and endorsed by the employer and accepted by the Director-General. If the foreigner is engaged in BOI-promoted project (Investment Promotion Law), he can immediately start working after having applied for the work permit. The work permit application must be filed within 30 days after the consent of the Board of Investment. Upon the receipt of the notification of the approval of this employee from the BOI, the work permit will be issued by the Labor Department within seven days.

    However, about 39 occupations in total cannot be practiced by foreigners. These occupations include shoe and hat making, wood carving, labouring or agricultural work, architectural work, the casting of Buddha images, tour guide of conducting guided tours, legal or litigation services, shop assistant, cutting or polishing jewellery, garment making, street vending, auctioneer, haircutting, beauty treatment and so on.



    Operation Price
    Application 100 THB/form
    The permit itself (also in case of extension):
    a. Up to three months validity
    b. Between three and six months validity
    c. Between six months and one year validity
    d. Renewal for one year or more
    750 THB/book
    1,500 THB/book
    3,100 THB/book
    3,100 THB plus the amount exceeding one year
    Replacement of a permit 500 THB/book
    Change or add job description 1,000 THB/time
    Change or add employer 3,000 THB/time
    Change or add a location or place of work 1,000 THB/time
    Change or add other conditions 150 THB/time
    Suspension of work permit 100 THB/time

    As soon as the Revised Working Act of 2008 is enforced, an additional fee of 10,000 THB will be charged by the labor Department when a company hires a foreign employee who lacks skills or specialization.



    If all the required documents are properly in order, the Labor Department is likely to take only seven days to issue the work permit in Bangkok, and almost two months to issue the work permit in Phuket. Once the work permit is issued, an employee belonging to a non-BOI company can start working On the other hand, an employee of a BOI company can start working immediately while the issuance of the work permit is still pending.



    In case the job role and/or workplace would change, the employer must promptly report these changes within 15 days. If the employment agreement ends after a certain period of time, the foreign employee must return his work permit or will be charged a penalty fee up to 1,000 THB.



    If a foreigner is found working illegally in Thailand without a work permit, he/she will be penalized with three-months imprisonment and/or fined with an amount of 5,000 THB. Foreigners who practice prohibited activities in Thailand, they may be imprisoned for up to five tears and/or fined between 2,000 to 100,000 THB depending upon the severity of the case. Additionally, the employer will also be punished with three-years imprisonment and/or fined with 60,000 THB.