Work permits and visas for expats in Thailand

An expatriate planning to work in Thailand, regardless of whether or not they will apply for a work permit, should comply with the immigration requirements and obtain the appropriate visa before coming to Thailand. The only exceptions are diplomats. The correct visa needed is a non-immigrant business visa.

Keywords: Mazars, Thailand, Legal, Work permits, Visa, Immigration Act, Social Security Act

15 October 2021

The related laws for visas and work permits in Thailand are as follows:

1.   The Immigration Act, 2522 B.E.

2.   The Alien Workers Act, 2551 B.E.

3.   The Royal Ordinance on Bringing Alien Workers to Work with an Employer in the Kingdom of Thailand, 2559 B.E.

4.   The Revenue Code

5.   The Social Security Act

The Alien Workers Act states that all foreigners working in Thailand must obtain a work permit, regardless of the length of time worked. There are generally no exceptions to this. The authorities stringently enforce this, and penalties are often imposed on both the foreigner and the deemed employer when a violation occurs.

However, if a foreigner enters Thailand in order to stay temporarily to engage in necessary and urgent work for no more than 15 days, the foreigner can enter Thailand with any type of visa, but the company must notify the Department of Employment in writing (Form WP10) regarding the nature of the work (examples include doing administrative work, attending a conference, discussion, seminar, or event, conducting an internal audit, attending a special lecture, doing educational work, and supervising aviation). 

If the foreigner will not earn income from the company and will stay less than 180 days in Thailand, he may not be subject to Thai tax, and monthly social security contributions will not need to be made. However, If no monthly tax return is filed and no monthly social security contributions are made for the foreigner, he will not have the right to apply for an extension of a long-term visa in Thailand.      

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Mazars’ professionals can provide consultations on work permit and visa services for expats, as well as assist with the completion of all related paperwork. Contact us today.