Work Permits and Visas

There are many updates on work permits and visas in response to COVID-19. International and domestic travel are becoming more restricted.

Keywords: Mazars, Thailand, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Work Permit, Visa, International, Domestic, Travel

Updated: 2 April 2020 

The Labour Department and Immigration Office are still open and provide services as normal. Therefore, people are still required to go there to extend work permits and visas. However, the work permit application must now be submitted at the District Labour Office (rather than the Ministry of Labour). There are also limits on the number of daily visitors to those offices, for example, a maximum 50 visitors at the One Stop Service Centre.

As of 2 April 2020, a foreigner that needs to apply for an extension of a tourist or transit visamust go to the immigration office set up at Impact, Muang Thong Thani. Please see the link below for directions:

1. Visas

The government has issued an order to the Permanent Secretary of the Interior, Ministry of Interior, dated 23 March 2020, on approving temporary stay permits. As a result of the borders being closed due to COVID-19, and foreigners thus not being able to return to their home country or leave Thailand, immigration authorities will extend both non-immigrant and tourist visas until 30 June 2020, or on a case-by-case basis.

Under point 2.28 of Immigration Order 327/2557, a foreigner can apply for a visa extension by providing the following:

(i)    Form TM7 for extending the visa with photo (4cm x 6cm);

(ii)   Form STM.2;

(iii)  A copy of his or her passport;

(iv)  1,900 baht official fee; and

(v)   A letter from his or her embassy or consulate requesting that the Royal Thai Police, Immigration Bureau, allow the foreigner to stay in the country longer. The letter must explicitly state that the foreigner is unable to travel due to the COVID-19 outbreak*.

* Normally a foreigner can extend for an additional 30 days. If he/she must stay in Thailand for more, a letter from the embassy must be submitted when requesting the additional 30-day extension.

2. 90-day Reporting

There is an online application but, in our experience, it is rarely reliable:

Therefore, it is advisable that foreigners continue to make a 90-day report in person at the immigration office, or use a representative to submit the notification.

3. Work Permits

There is no change in the regulations. An applicant can apply to renew a work permit 30 days prior to the expiration date of the existing work permit at the Department of Employment of each area. We, therefore, recommend doing it as early as possible.

In Bangkok, the work permit application must now be submitted at the District Labour Office (rather than the Ministry of Labour).

Want to know more?