The work permit is mandatory for any foreign national wishing to take up employment in Thailand. It is issued by the Ministry of Labour. It is important to distinguish two types of permits: work permits (work permit) and the business license for foreigners (Alien Business Permit).


An alien can exercise an activity which he has obtained written authorization after entering the territory of the kingdom with the visa required by statute.

Therefore: The duration of the work permit may not exceed the duration of the visa issued by the immigration authorities. The employer must submit the permit application, prior to the start of the activity.

Renewal of work permits must be requested before the expiration of his term, but also before the visa expires. The work permit is normally granted for a period of one year. There can be only to holders of an immigrant visa or nonimmigrant, or persons eligible to apply for the grant of one of these visas.

PROFESSIONS reserved for nationals

Some professions, listed by royal decree, foreigners are prohibited:

– Architect
– Hatter
– Hairdresser and beautician
– Driving of motor vehicles (except aviation)
– Accountant
– Sewing and Weaving
– Brokerage
– Shoemaker
– Drawings on silk
– Manufacturing of Thai musical instruments
– Production of silk handmade
– Manufacture of knives
– Manufacture of paper or cloth umbrellas
– Thai Doll
– Guide
– Masonry, carpentry or other building trades
– Manufacture of cigarettes
– Potter ceramic
– Realization of Buddha
– Woodcarving
– Secretariat
– Upholstery and mattress
– Manual
– Work in agriculture, fishing and forestry
– Work on jewelry
– Work on straw, bamboo or reed
– Auction
– Seller streets
– Seller Store


The list of documents required is set by the Ministry of Labour and displayed in the Official Gazette. The list below shows the most important documents, so it is quite possible that you are asked to complete it. In addition to the application of work permit, the applicant must provide the following:

Residence certificate or residence card (Alien book) for those with an immigrant visa.
Passport with valid non-immigrant visa valid for others.
School diplomas
Medical certificate from a physician practicing in Thailand.
Certificate of work to be completed by the prospective employer on the form provided by the Department of Labor.
Three face photographs not older than 6 months.
Work certificate, issued by the employer for the period if renewed.
If the work permit is requested for a foreigner working for a foreign company which intends to transfer to Thailand in one of its subsidiaries or affiliates, it must also be attached a letter stating the reasons for transfer and the duration of the it.
Presentation of professional requirements justifying the need to hire a person who is not of Thai nationality.
Other relevant documents, particularly double tax returns (Por Ngor Dor 50) of the employer and the accounting records of the last three years of operation.
The plan of the company.
The organization of society.
The assessment criteria for the granting of work permits are:

– Proof that the work of a foreigner could not be done by a Thai
– 4 Thai workers are used to a stranger or a technician for 35 workers
abroad (this criterion tends to soften)
– Social capital is greater than or equal to two million baht a work permit

The permit application may be made by the same person or company that wants to use it. A unique Service Centre (One Stop Service Center) was opened June 30, 1997 to manage all functions of visas and work permits within three hours.

Sanctions imposed both employers and employees. The employer must have in its possession a written permit for each job. The employer who hires someone without a work permit or a license that prohibits that activity is liable to a fine of 600,000 baht and / or a term of three years imprisonment. The foreign national working without a permit or in fraud of his rights under his license, is liable to imprisonment for a maximum of 3 months and / or a fine of up to 5000 baht. An employee may work for several employers, even if the permit does not give him cause that the right to work for a specific employer, but it will have to obtain prior authorization which will be an addition to the license work.


The text above can be used in any official text.
Thai laws are written in Thai and only one official translation may be valid.
Thai laws are constantly changing and the text below for information purposes only.
For more accurate and effective informations, please contact the Thai Authorities.

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