Cabinet approves huge hike in work permit fees

BANGKOK: A proposal by the Ministry of Labor to raise the price of renewing a work permit has been passed by the Thai Cabinet, bringing massive rises in fees a step closer. The proposal must be ratified by Parliament before the change in legislation comes into effect. This may take up to a year. Should the proposed legislation be accepted by Parliament, the fee will change from the current flat-rate 1,000 baht per renewal to a new salary-linked scale of charges. For low-paid workers, the fee will rise to 1,500 baht. At the top end of the scale, the fee will be a whopping 10,000 baht. Andy Dowden, chairman of the British Business Association of Phuket, condemned the move. “Obviously, if Thailand wishes to encourage foreign investment, then penalizing foreigners who set up businesses here is a negative move. “We would hope that when it comes before Parliament for approval they will take note of the many comments that have appeared in the English-language press.” A spokesman for the British Embassy told the Gazette, “While we recognize that it is for the Thai authorities to determine these matters, we are of course aware of the possible impact on British and other foreign businesses. “As with other aspects of Thai legislation, we are keen to ensure a business environment that is conducive to foreign investment. We believe that protecting the interests of foreign investors is in the long-term interests of both Thailand and its international partners. “We convey this message to the Thai authorities at every opportunity, and will continue to do so. We do not want to see foreign nationals treated in a way that is unreasonable or discriminatory.” Those wishing to contact the Prime Minister’s office to put forward their own views on work visa fees – or any other matter – may go either to the PM’s home page at (Thai only), or email any of the following addresses:

Phuket News
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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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