Once you have been granted any visa (other than a tourist visa) to enter the country, a different set of immigration documentation will be required to maintain your legal status on an ongoing basis, with the processes and procedures differing, based on the visa that has been applied for and approved.
These form an “immigration Thailand continuum”, where the work permit is issued, typically attached to a single-entry visa. Once the holder has established a track record, this may be extended into 1-year, multiple-entry visa, which is then recorded in the work permit, allowing the holder to travel in and out of Thailand without the need for obtaining a re-entry permit each time. Once the holder has a well-established and stable work history that complies with all the necessary tax and immigration procedures, he or she may proceed to apply for Permanent Residency, then on to achieving full Thai Citizenship – if he or she so chooses – at a later date.
Obtaining a Thai work permit allows a foreign national to work legally in Thailand, but there is specific and extensive documentation that needs to be submitted in the Thai language.
An important side note: PLEASE READ
The application for a work permit must be supported by a company, and generally, it is the duty of the employer to support the application for a work permit with company information – firms employing foreigners without a work permit are liable for hefty fines. To get around the obligation of going through the process and incurring responsibility and costs, employers will hire foreigners as “consultants” and make them responsible for obtaining their own work permits, making it the employee’s job to set up his own company in order to provide the necessary documentation! Without a valid work permit you are vulnerable and many employers simply refuse to pay in full or even in part. They know that if caught, the Thai Immigration Department will jail and/or deport you. Without a Thai work permit, you have no legal position with which to fight for your rights and privileges.
STEP 1 :Obtain a Non-Immigrant Visa
STEP 2 :Obtain the Thai Work Permit
THE EMPLOYEE submits the following documents:
- Passport – copies of every page. Each copy must be signed by employee.
- Non-Immigrant Visa
- Departure Card TM.6
- Education degree (signed copy) *
- Transcript (signed copy) *
- Certificates or licenses held by applicant (signed copy) *
- CV or Resume – describe in detail the applicant’s past positions, duties, performance, length and place of employment.
- Photos, three (3) in quantities which are 5 x 6 centimetres in size (not passport photos) with full face and taken wearing business attire (no hat and some jurisdictions require suit and tie). This must have been taken within six (6) months before the application for the Thai work permit.
- Marriage Certificate (if married to Thai National). This includes the original and signed photocopies. Also include wife’s Thai ID card, birth certificates of children, and household registration.
* Thai government officials may require these documents to be certified by your country’s embassy (this requires bringing your degree, resume, license or certificate to your embassy to declare it is a true and original document. You are required to pay an authentication fee to your embassy. In addition, they can require you to translate these documents into the Thai language.
THE EMPLOYER must provide the following documents:
- Commercial Registration Department Certificate showing that the organization for which the applicant is going to work has been duly registered as a juristic person, giving the name of the Managing Director and/or Director, and its objections and registered capital.*
- Shareholders List certified by the Commercial Registration Department.*
- Factory License (if required) issued by Factory Department, Ministry of Industry.*
- VAT Certificate – Phor Phor 20*
- Withholding Tax – Phor Ngor Dor 1 (if renewing work permit)*
* Thai government officials require that all documents to have the seal of the company stamped on every page and the true and authorized signature(s) of the Managing Director and/or Directors next to the seal. In addition, government officials have in past requested official copies of registration, shareholder, licenses and certificates to have been issued by their respective agencies within the past 90 days of your application for Thai work permit.
Once you have been granted your Work Permit, the following steps must be taken:
STEP 3 :Obtain a Tax ID Card
STEP 4 :Obtain a Re-Entry Permit
STEP 5 :Renew Your Visa and Thai Work Permit
MULTIPLE ENTRY PERMIT
A multiple entry visa for Thailand allows the visa holder to enter and leave the Kingdom as often as he or she wishes, and is the best visa for a foreigner working in Thailand to have.
It has distinct advantages over a single-entry visa, where the visa is used upon entry into the country, forcing the holder to apply for a re-entry permit if he or she has to leave. Failure to obtain a re-entry permit means that a new visa must be obtained, and more importantly, if the visa expires, the work permit expires as well, and the whole process must be started all over again.
The application for a multiple entry visa for Thailand required specific documentation to be prepared and submitted to the appropriate authorities. Trust Premier Thai Lawyers to handle this important process for you.
Obtaining a Permanent Resident Visa in Thailand is a highly restricted category, reserved for foreign nationals who have displayed their commitment to the country over time. Permanent Residency is available to only 100 foreigners per nationality per year, with applications typically being accepted in December. The committee initially evaluates applications for about 5 months, and then calls successful applicants for an interview. The whole process can take up to a year and is the first step towards obtaining Thai citizenship. Qualification criteria are:
- A foreign national qualifies to apply for a residence permit if he or she has been permitted to stay in the Kingdom for a total of at least 3 years up until the date of application.
- A foreigner whose purpose of staying in Thailand is for business or employment; investment; experts or academician; or supporting a family who are Thai citizens; being a dependent of a husband or father who is a Thai citizen; being accompanied by a husband, father, or a child who already has a residence permit or; retirement (aged 60 years or older and having a net monthly income no less than 30,000 baht).
- Foreign investors who invest in a private/public company, purchase condominium, or buy government bonds or state enterprise bonds, deposit in one or more Thai banks, and other investments in accordance with the specification of the Thai Immigration Commission for the sum of not less than 10 million baht.
- Foreign Investors who made direct investment (over 10 million baht) or indirect investment (government bonds, State Enterprise bonds, condominium for the amount of 8 million baht for investor, 6 million baht for a spouse and 2 million baht for each unmarried child under the age of 20).
- Foreign Experts who have annual income of not less than US$ 10,000.
- Thai Nationals who have changed their citizenship.
This category has certain distinct advantages:
- Buy a condo without having to transfer money from abroad
- You can become a director of a public company
- You can apply for an extension of stay for non-Thai family members
- Stay in Thailand permanently without a Visa
- Circumvent visa runs, red tape and extended stays
- Obtain a work permit quickly and easily
- Obtain a permanent residence book
- Improve your chances of acquiring mortgage financing
Thai citizenship is occasionally granted to foreigners holding Permanent Resident status who have displayed a long-term commitment to the country and its people.
Foreigners who wish to apply for Thai nationality under the Nationality Act B.E. 2508 (A.D. 1965) a person must be of the age of majority, be of good character, be gainfully employed, have continuously lived in Thailand for not less than FIVE years and have knowledge of the Thai language. It’s an advantage to be married to a Thai citizen and having children born in Thailand or having studied in a local university/college as an undergraduate. The applicant must complete an application form and submit various required documents to the Royal Thai Police’s Criminal Investigation Division. The official fee is Baht 5,000. The processing takes 2 to 3 years. A man or woman wife seeking Thai citizenship based on their spouse’s Thai nationality must submit evidence of the spouse’s nationality, the marriage, and a formal request for Thai citizenship.
If you are holding PR status and are interested in obtaining Thai citizenship, please contact Premier Thai Lawyers for a full review of the process, documentation and costs associated with taking this important step.
Foreigners on extended stays (typically living or working in Thailand) are required to report to the Thailand Immigration Office every 90 days to confirm their presence and their address. Persons holding a multiple entry visa will simply depart Thailand and renew their extension of stay after each 90 day entry. Contact Premier Thai Lawyers to arrange a yearly package to perform the task of the reporting to Thai Immigration each 90 days.