Work Permit FAQ

Most frequently asked questions about work permits in Thailand.

Do you need to increase the period of the job to enable foreigners to stay longer in Thailand?

A request for a position extension must be made at least 15 days before the previous permit expires and no later than 90 days after it expires. Depending on the form of operating condition, the approval period can be extended for one or two years after it expires. Depending on the form of operation, the period will be extended by 1 or 2 years from the date submitted in the application. A position duration of at least 15 days is needed when submitting an application through the e-Expert system to ensure that it has adequate time to process through the following steps:

1. A request for form 11.1 will take 5 working days to complete Request Form 11.1 to extend the position’s length.

2. A request for form 11.2 will take three working days to process Request Form 11.2 for extending the length of a foreigner’s stay and any accompanying persons (if there is any).

A person who is writing their note
Image by Unseen Studio, Unsplash

Key Points

  • It is strongly advised that an organisation apply for position renewal before the expiration date.
  • To be able to apply for a work permit in Thailand, tourists who aim to work must have the correct form of visa.
  • For foreigners wishing to work in Thailand, the Thai government classified jobs into categories to decide which are acceptable and which are not.

What is the standard procedure for foreigners wishing to work in Thailand?

To work in Thailand, you must first secure a Thai non-immigrant visa, a prerequisite for obtaining a work permission. Once you have this visa, you can initiate the application process for your work permit. Be prepared with all necessary documents, including personal and employer details.

Upon approval, which might take anywhere between 7 days to 2 months, you will receive a blue-colored book bearing your photo, personal, and work permit details. It’s mandatory to personally appear before the Labour Department personnel with your passport to sign the Thai work permit book and get your passport stamped, signifying the grant of your work permit.

With the work permit in place, you can approach any Thai immigration office to obtain a stay extension based on employment. The fee for this service is 19xx THB paid in cash. In addition to your work permit, the immigration officials may request for a phone number and a Thailand address. Normally, the granted extension would be a year from your date of entry into Thailand and runs congruent with your employment term.

If you plan to travel out of Thailand and return while your work permit is still valid, make sure to secure a Thai re-entry permit to preserve your visa. This permit can be obtained either at a Thai Immigration Office or an International Airport. You’ll incur charges of 1, xxx Baht for a single re-entry or 3,8xx Baht for multiple entries.

Keeping your work permit current requires its renewal at Thailand’s Ministry of Labour. The renewal fee is 1,9xx THB and your employer’s support is necessary. Be sure to have all your initial application documents, duly stamped and signed. Failing to renew your work permit would mean leaving Thailand and re-applying for a new Thai non-immigrant visa.

When should my work permit be renewed?

The validity period of the work authorisation document is typically one or two years. You may apply for a renewal at any time up to four months before your current work permit expires. By looking at the front of the book document, you will quickly determine when your employment authorization document (EAD) will expire.

“In order to renew your work permit in Thailand, you would need to visit the labor department as well as the Thai immigration department.”

In the case of a non-BOI company, how do you apply for a work permit?

To obtain a two-year permit, the investor must present evidence of a remittance or transfer of at least 10 million baht from the Bank of Thailand. Required documents include the application form (Tor. Thor.2), three 5×6 cm photos taken within the last six months, and a photocopy of all passport pages displaying a valid non-immigrant visa, plus an employment letter. The investor must also present proof of at least Baht 2 million in remittances or transfers from the Bank of Thailand, as indicated in the Bank of Thailand Form Tor. Thor.3. For a one-year permit, the investor must show tangible proof of funds amounting to at least Baht 2 million. If applying for a two-year permit, the investor must demonstrate concrete evidence of funds totalling at least Baht 10 million.

The Ministry of Labour is responsible for the issuance of work permits which may be subject to renewal in accordance with the extended visa.

Is it possible to apply for a foreign worker who is urgently required?

For urgent jobs for foreigners, a company must apply Form 6.1 to the e-Expert system within the period of 30 days. The BOI would recommend authorising the urgent job within three hours and foreigners must have Non-B/Non-IB visas.

If foreigners cannot complete their job before the expiration date, the company may not apply for urgent jobs. However, the company can request a temporary stay of up to 6 months for the foreigners by submitting their credentials and employment certificate to the BOI.

How do I cancel my work permit in Thailand?

If for any reason you plan to leave Thailand before your work permit expires, whether it’s due to losing your job, termination of your contract, inability to renew your Thai work permit, or a desire to change jobs, you must actively cancel your Thailand work permit.

Can I change jobs while holding a work permit?

Yes, you can change jobs in Thailand while on a work permit. However, there are specific procedures to follow. You’ll need to notify your current employer and the Ministry of Labour about the job change. Additionally, your new employer will need to apply for a new work permit on your behalf.


What happens if I leave Thailand while my work permit is still valid?

If you plan to leave Thailand and return while your work permit is still valid, you’ll need to obtain a re-entry permit. This allows you to maintain your work permit status and return to Thailand for work purposes. Re-entry permits can be obtained at Thai immigration offices or international airports.

What are the consequences of working in Thailand without a work permit?

Working in Thailand without a valid work permit is illegal and can lead to severe consequences. These may include fines, detention, deportation, and difficulty obtaining a work permit in the future.

Additional tips for obtaining a work permit in Thailand

  • Ensure you have all the required documents and meet the eligibility criteria for your chosen visa category.
  • Seek assistance from a reputable immigration lawyer or visa consultant familiar with Thai regulations.
  • Start the application process well in advance, especially if you have a specific timeframe for starting your job in Thailand.

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