To apply for a work permit in Thailand you should apply for a Non-Immigrant B (business) visa at a Thai embassy or consulate before you come to Thailand. When you arrive in the country you can then apply for a work permit. However if you are in Thailand and don’t have Non-B visa, you can obtain in at the immigration office near you. The Non-Immigrant B visa may be either for a period of three months or a multi-entry visa which allows you to leave and return to Thailand within a twelve-month period. The twelve-month multi-entry visa requires that you leave the country within each ninety-day period. You can return to Thailand using the same visa for the twelve-month period.
If you are going to be working for a company in Thailand, your work permit can be applied for in advance by your employer, and the permit will be issued in Thailand. We advise that you contact a professional with experience in obtaining visas to help you with the application process.
Securing a work permit can be a complicated and tedious ordeal because of the numerous documents you have to submit. Many law offices in cities where there is a high concentration of foreigners should be able to help you with the application.
An employer is not allowed to hire a foreigner who does not have a work permit. Also, the type of work actually done by the foreigner must match the type of work specified on the work permit. (Any violation is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or a fine not exceeding 60,000 baht, or both). The employer must submit a notification to the government within fifteen days of the commencement of termination of the working foreigner, or a change of the location where the work is done.
The work permit expires within one year (or up to two years in some cases) starting from the date of your arrival in Thailand, and it also expires when the Non-Immigrant B Visa expires. You need to renew your work permit before the expiration date.
The work permit has the name of the employer, the activities you may be engaged in, and the location in which the duties may be performed. You have to work for the employer specified in the work permit. You are not allowed to have a work permit for one employer and work for someone else. If there are changes in your duties or you change to a different employer, you have to inform the Labor Department of these changes and they have to be approved.
You must keep the work permit with you or at your workplace during working hours to be ready to present it to an official making an inspection. If the work permit is damaged or lost, you can apply for a replacement within fifteen days from the date it is lost.
If there are any changes to your name, nationality, address, or the name of the workplace, you have to apply for the revision of such information immediately. If you resign or are terminated from your place of employment, the work permit must be returned to the registrar of the Ministry of Labor within seven days from the date of resignation or termination. In addition, you must report to the Immigration Bureau, which will then, usually, cancel the Non-Immigrant B visa and allow you seven days to leave the country. It is therefore wise to arrange to take another job and prepare your work permit changes before resigning from your current employment.
The Non-Immigrant B visa can be extended within Thailand at the Immigration Bureau, but many additional documents have to be submitted by the employer. Once the visa has been extended or renewed, it is then possible to renew the work permit.
It is necessary for your visa to be multi-entry if you plan to travel outside of Thailand. If you have a single-entry visa and you leave the country without a re-entry permit, you will have to apply for a new Non-Immigrant B visa and new work permit.