Work permit rules to change again
PHUKET: A heads-up for foreigners married to Thais: you may soon be in demand by companies, when new draft Labor Ministry regulations covering work permits for aliens come into force in October. Although the new regulations have not yet been published, Wirada Yuvaves, Chief of the Criteria System for Alien Work Permit Approval Consideration at the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare in Bangkok, confirmed some of the proposals contained in a draft copy obtained this week by the Gazette. She confirmed, for example, that the rule requiring a company to show paid-up capital of 2 million baht for each work permit will be reinstated, though with a twist – the capital requirement for a foreigner married to a Thai will be half that amount. Alternatively, companies may apply for work permits on the basis of investment brought into Thailand, at 3 million baht a work permit – or 1.5 million baht for aliens married to Thais. In either case, the number of work permits per company will generally not be allowed to exceed 10. K. Wirada also confirmed that the existing qualification allowing a foreigner who has paid 18,000 baht in personal income tax in the past year to receive a work permit, will be scrapped. This is the third time in as many years that work permit regulations have been overhauled. Asked for the reasons behind the latest changes, K. Wirada explained, “The idea is to make it clearer for officers when they are considering granting a work permit.” She added, “The changes are also aimed at making it more difficult for foreigners to work in Thailand unless they are really qualified and are useful for the country and for the Thai people.”
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