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How To Get Your Work Permit Online

Learn about the steps and procedures for applying for work permits and visas through the latest online application for Board of Investment (BOI) companies in Thailand.

What Is Thailand’s BOI Law?

The Board of Investment (BOI) Law was established when the Thai government announced their Industrial Promotion Act in 1954. The Thai government began subsidising and encouraging foreign businesses interested in establishing a presence and operating in the country. Under the BOI regulation, the government promises not to compete with or nationalise international companies. Thailand was the first country in the SEA region to pass such legislation. The Prime Minister’s Office reports to the Office of the BOI, which is a government body. One of its primary functions and responsibilities is to promote investment. Some of the most important laws that apply to anyone who has been promoted are as follows:

1. The promoted person’s work cannot be nationalised, and the government cannot start a new business in competition with the promoted person.

2. The state will not have a monopoly on the sale of identical or similar goods or services to those manufactured and assembled by the promoted individual. The state will not regulate the price of the promoted activity’s products or commodities, and the promoted individual will be allowed to export the promoted activity’s products or commodities.

3. The State shall not permit any government department, government corporation, or state enterprise to import into the Kingdom any products of any kind that are comparable in quality to those manufactured or assembled by the supported individual.

Key Points:

  • The BOI will gradually implement an electronically-service channel that will enable BOI companies to submit work permit and visa applications and renewals for foreign nationals.
  • Instead of the hardcopy work permit booklet that is currently issued, foreign national workers can obtain digital work permits.
  • A foreign employee will need to register and download their Digital Work Permit from the DOE using a smartphone or other electronic device.

How does the new online application works?

Applicants can use the Single Window scheme to apply for work permits, visas, and renewals. After being accepted by the Immigration Bureau (IMM) and the Department of Employment (DOE), who will use the information on the Board of Investment (BOI) website, the applicant will receive a confirmation email and can schedule an appointment to complete the final steps of the process.

Candidates must obtain their electronic work permit and have their visa stamped in their passport at the OSSC or Immigration and Employment offices in Chiang Mai and Phuket provinces. Candidates can save time by being able to schedule an appointment online. Candidates used to have to arrive at the One-Stop Service Center (OSSC) early in the morning to fall in line and wait.

Under the new scheme, applicants for the Digital Work Permit process do not need to request any additional documentation. Previously, the final step of the process required the submission is the work permit application. In the end, only a few pieces of documentation would need to be prepared and submitted for visa applications.

How do I get an online work permit to work for a BOI company?

1. International qualified employees and specialists are invited to apply for vacancies. This move is to remind the BOI of the promoted company’s goal and the need to hire foreign professional staff and experts. The BOI has created an online platform called “Single Window” for the employer to upload required documents as well as provide position details such as position title, the scope of work, qualification for the position and work duration.

2. Prior to entering Thailand, the potential worker or specialist must receive a Non-Immigrant “B” visa from the Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate. This move will allow the employee to enter Thailand and proceed to the next stage of the placement application. A Non-Immigrant “B” Visa must be applied for at one of the Royal Thai Embassies or Consulates-General. To help with the Visa application process, the employer can request an invitation letter from the BOI referencing the approved position.

3. Phase 2 will be the application for foreign qualified workers or experts to be placed in accepted positions, and upon entering Thailand, he will receive a 90-day permit to remain in Thailand. He must then proceed with his application to work and remain in Thailand.

The employer must use the Single Window system to submit the following documents:

– Notification from the organisation stating the company’s goal of bringing in international qualified workers and experts as well as the person’s name, credentials and job position.
– The person’s CV/resume contains their educational history and previous job experiences.
– Certificate of education: diploma/degree certificate
– A letter of recommendation from a former employer stating the previous positions held and the length of time spent there.
– A copy of your passport
– A copy of the letter of approval from the BOI. The employee can then go to the One-Stop Service Center to get his Work Permit and have his Permit of Stay extended for a longer period of time.

Applicants for the Digital Work Permit process do not need to submit any additional documents with this the latest online work permit application.

What is the Board of Investment’s new policy?

Every new cabinet since 1954 has issued new policies to provide more incentives and support for foreign investment in Thailand. The “Seven-Year Investment Promotion Strategy (2015–2021)” is the most current policy. Here are some additional details:

1. Encourage investment that boosts productivity by promoting Research and development, innovation, and value creation in the agricultural, manufacturing and service sectors as well as SMEs, equal competition and reducing social-economic inequality.

2. To support healthy and sustainable development, promote activities that are environmentally friendly, save resources or use renewable energy and promote clusters to build investment concentration in alignment with regional capacity and reinforce value chains.

3. Encourage investment in the border provinces of southern Thailand to help grow the local economy, which will aid efforts to improve regional security. To improve economic connectivity with neighbouring countries and prepare Thailand for membership in the ASEAN Economic Community, promote special economic zones, particularly in border areas both within and outside industrial estates.

A less stringent set of criteria, as well as a more flexible application procedure for work permits, are two advantages that investors will enjoy.

Is there a downside to applying for a work permit online?

During the early stages of implementation, service interruptions and technological issues can occur, causing delays, so employers should expect the online application process to be slower than the old application process. The old method takes a few days to complete, however, applying through the current online system would most likely take longer due to the number of steps in the application process. Despite the fact that initial work permit and long-term visa applications may take longer to process online, foreign workers will be able to begin working the day their candidate nomination application gets approved as the new online system will cut the time it takes to process renewals, amendments, and cancellations.

Some thoughts about the new online work permit application.

The BOI will gradually implement an E-service channel, allowing BOI companies to electronically submit work permit and visa applications and renewals for expatriates. Furthermore, under the new Single Window for Visa and Work Permit System, foreign national workers will receive digital work permits rather than the hardcopy work permit booklets that are currently available.

Foreign national employees of BOI-promoted companies will be able to submit a single online application for their visas and work permits under this new system. The applicant will need to use a smartphone or electronic computer to register and download their Digital Work Permit from the DOE. Any change in an employee’s job status is automatically updated and reflected on their Digital Work Permit.