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Problems with work permit in Thailand and legal consequences

If you do not have the correct work permit, or perhaps you don’t have any work permit at all you could face some serious consequences here in Thailand.




If you do not have the correct work permit, or perhaps you don’t have any work permit at all you could face some serious consequences here in Thailand.


The Immigration Department are clamping down more and more on those individuals that break the rules relating to work permits and visas.

The penalties start with fines of THB2000 going up to THB100,000.

This can also be accompanied by prison terms of up to 5 years.

Work permits in Thailand are very specific and limit the holder to certain role even within the same company.  Another general rule is that the work permit, unless specifically mentioned, only allows the holder to work in one province.

Restrictions On Your Thai Work Permit

When granted with a work permit, the individual must work only with the said company. If in case he is assigned to another location of the same company, he is required to obtain a new work permit covering such new location. The same is required if and when the individual would work with another company. This is due to the fact that the work permit is issued to the employee for the specific company at the specific location.

If in case he tendered his resignation or has been laid off by the company, he is tasked to surrender his work permit to the Labor Department not more than 10 days.

For instance, if your work permit was issued in Bangkok you would not be permitted to work in Chonburi and vice versa.

When reapplying for the work permit, the authorities’ take a very dim view is taken on applicants who have had the work permit cancelled, so having this reinstated may not be an easy task.

Non-Immigrant Visa “B”  –    (business and work)

1.  Visa Issuance

1.1  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”, business-approved visa Category “B-A” and investment and business visa Category “IB”.

Holder of this type of visa wishing to work in Thailand must be granted a work permit before starting work. 

The visa fee is 2,000 Baht for single-entry with three-month validity and 5,000 Baht for multiple entries with one-year validity.

A foreigner is eligible to apply for a work permit as long as he has a non-immigrant visa or a resident visa, has an available employer who will provide documents for work permit, and the occupation he will perform is not prohibited to foreigners.

The applicant has to submit the following documents:

  • 2 inches photo
  • medical certificate
  • original passport
  • letter of employment
  • certificate of degree
  • address in Thailand

The employer has to provide the following:

  • company certificate and objectives
  • list of shareholders
  • application for VAT
  • withholding tax of the company
  • financial statement
  • photocopy of the director’s passport and work permit with signature affixed
  • office map
  • letter of employment stating position and salary of applicant
  • employment agreement

Once granted, the foreigner has to bring the work permit all the time especially at the work place and during working hours. Please note that the foreigner can only perform the job stated in the work permit and on the specific employer.



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