Thailand, also known as the “Land of Smiles,” gets over 20 million international tourists each year in Bangkok alone. That number doesn’t even count people who are coming to live and work long-term. If your company is planning an international expansion to Thailand, you will need to get work visas for every employee who will be permanently living and working in the country to ensure you stay compliant.
Types of Work Visas in Thailand
All foreigners who want to work in Thailand will need a non-immigrant visa and a work permit. The first step is applying for a non-immigrant Category B visa, which breaks down into further categories of visa depending on your employee’s planned activities. Most of your employees will need a Category B visa, as this version is most common for teachers, lawyers, and anyone working for a multinational corporation.
Keep in mind that Thailand has some professions that are off-limits to foreigners, so ensure your employees are working within avenues that are legal for their status.
Other common visas include:
- Non-immigrant visa IB
- Non-immigrant visa B-A
- Non-immigrant visa O
- Non-immigrant visa M
After securing a visa and a job offer, your employees will need to go to the Ministry of Labor and apply for a work permit. Then, they can extend the term of their visa by one or two years.
In September 2022, Thailand will introduce a new visa scheme offering long-term residence to wealthy global citizens, wealthy pensioners, work-from-Thailand professionals, and highly-skilled professionals. To qualify for the high-skilled professional long-term resident visa, applicants must be professionals or experts in certain target industries, have more than five years experience, and earn an annual income of more than USD 80,000. These requirements are reduced for certain education levels and eliminated if working for the Thai government.
Requirements to Obtain Thailand Work Visas
Thailand has numerous stipulations that must be met by both your company and your employees for a new hire to obtain a work visa. As an employer, you will need:
- At least 2 million baht in capital (or 1 million if the employee is married to a Thai national)
- To register the company
- Four Thai employees for every one non-Thai employee you hire
The only exceptions are if your company is promoted by the Thai Board of Investment (BOI) and if your non-Thai employees meet the BOI’s minimum requirements. However, you must make a clear case on why your company needs to hire foreign employees to be exempt from the above rules.
Employees need to have a job offer as well as their non-immigrant visa and the skills and education for the position they’re applying for. Some roles require applicants to be at least 25 years old and be relatively healthy with no serious diseases or addictions.
The first step to getting a work permit is going to the Ministry of Labor in Bangkok. If your company is BOI-promoted, employees can go to the One-Stop Service Center at Chamchuri Square in Bangkok. You, as the employer, will need to submit certain required documents along with an application, including:
- Company Registration Department Certificate
- List of the company’s shareholders
- Factory license, if applicable
- VAT certificate and filings
- Withholding tax form
- Social security payment filings
- Employment contract
Employees also need to submit certain documents to get a work permit in Thailand. They should show their passport with signed copies of every page, their non-immigrant visa, departure card, university or college degree with transcripts, and any applicable certificates or licenses. Your employees will also need three passport-sized photos taken in the last six months, proof of a marriage certificate if married to a Thai national, and a medical certificate from the last 30 days.
Other Important Considerations
If your employees apply for a B type visa, their family members can apply at the same time. Parents, children under 20, and spouses are all eligible for the B visa under the principle applicant’s sponsorship. However, your employee will need to prove that they can support any family members joining them.
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