How to apply for Thailand work permit

All foreign nationals working in Thailand must have a work permit at all times. A Thai work permit is a blue booklet that authorizes a foreign national to work in Thailand. It specifies information related to your employment, such as the company, job title, office location, and applicable term of employment. The Thai Department of Labor is the government agency responsible for issuing this type of permit.

If the foreign national is currently outside of Thailand, the Thai work permit application process can be divided into two phases.

First Phase: Thailand Nonimmigrant Visa, Category “B”

The foreign national, as a prerequisite to apply for a Thai work permit, must have a category “B” nonimmigrant visa or a Thailand business visa. It can be for a single ticket with a validity of three months or multiple tickets with a validity of one year issued by the Royal Thai Embassy or the Royal Thai Consulate.

The essential documents for the Thailand visa application are as follows:

  • Passport or travel document with at least twelve months validity
  • Thai visa application form
  • Recent passport size photograph
  • Proof of adequate funding of THB 20,000.00 per person and THB 40,000.00 per family
  • Letter of approval from the Ministry of Labor (it is called WP2)
  • Thai company registration paperwork of the hiring company in Thailand (such as Thai business registration, certificate and all financial documents)
  • Copy of previous Thai work permit and foreign income tax (if applicable)

Second Phase: Thai Work Permit

After the Thailand “B” nonimmigrant visa application is approved, the next step is to apply for a Thai work permit at the Overseas Workers Administration Bureau, which is under the Thai Department of Employment, Ministry of Labour.

But first, it must be proven that you met the requirements provided by Thai law. He/she must legally reside or have permission to temporarily stay in Thailand and be physically and mentally healthy. People suffering from tuberculosis, syphilis, leprosy, elephantiasis, drug addiction and alcoholism are strictly prohibited from having a work permit in Thailand.

This permit can only be issued if the applicant will be engaged in an occupation that matches their education and ability. Also, there are 39 occupations reserved for Thais. These occupations are provided for in Royal Decree BE 2522 and their violation is punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of 2,000 to 10,000 THB.

The Thai work permit application must be accompanied by the following requirements:

  • Recent photograph taken within the last six months (best taken in a suit and tie)
  • Certificate duly signed by the Thai employer indicating the need to hire a foreigner
  • Applicant’s education certificate and work experience record.
  • Medical certificate issued within the last six months that reflects that you are free of any of the prohibited diseases
  • Passport and Permanent Residence Certificate and Immigration Certificate
  • Business or venture location map

In most cases, if the application is approved, it will be issued with a maximum validity of one year. The validity period may be shorter if the requested period is not more than one year. The Thai government has introduced a new two-year work permit. It is available to certain Thai companies that meet the financial requirements for business income.