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Multicultural Organization: a Case Study of Lg (Life’s Good)

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Foreigner working in Thailand

Foreigners are allowed to work in Thailand, and have to have a valid visa, a work permit and are employed with an occupation that does not violate the Alien Employment Act. If foreigners are intend to work in Thailand, and subject to the Alien Employment Act, which requires to have a work permit to be issued by the Department of Employment, Ministry of Labor, or unless it falls within an exception of the said Act.

1) Work Permit in Thailand

Foreigners are strictly prohibited from working in Thailand without a work permit and violations are subject to fines up to 5,000 Baht, imprisonment of up to three months or both. Furthermore, there are a number of prohibited activities which foreigners are not permitted to perform under Thai law.

STEP 1: Obtaining A NON-IMMIGRANT visa

Requirements for getting A NON-IMMIGRANT visa outside the country:

• The applicant has been offered a job or starts a Thai company to employ himself/herself

• The company requests that the applicant be given a non-immigrant visa so the company may apply for a Thai work permit for him/her

• The company knows the person to be dependable, upstanding, and law abiding and that they will respect the laws and customs of the Kingdom of Thailand.

You should apply for this visa within 30 days before you plan to depart your country. The Consulate or consular officer will ask for copies of the registration documents and financial statements from the company.

STEP 2: Obtaining the Thai work permit.

Employee provided documents:

• Passport - copies of every page. Each copy must be signed by employee.

• Non-Immigrant Visa

• Departure Card TM.6

• Education degree (signed copy) *

• Transcript (signed copy) *

• Certificates or licenses held by applicant (signed copy) *

• CV or Resume – describe in detail the applicant’s past positions, duties, performance, length and place of employment.

• Photos, three (3) in quantities which are 5 x 6 centimetres in size (not passport photos) with full face and taken wearing business attire (no hat and some jurisdictions require suit and tie). This must have been taken within six (6) months before the application for the Thai work permit.

• Marriage Certificate (if married to Thai National). This includes the original and signed photocopies. Also include wife’s Thai ID card, birth certificates of children, and household registration.

* Thai government officials may require these documents to be certified by your country’s embassy (this requires bringing your degree, resume, license or certificate to your embassy to declare it is a true and original document. You are required to pay an authentication fee to your embassy. In addition, they can require you to translate these documents into the Thai language from your foreign language.

Employee provided documents:

• Commercial Registration Department Certificate showing that the organization for which the applicant is going to work has been duly registered as a juristic person, giving the name of the Managing Director and/or Director, and its objections and registered capital.*

• Shareholders List certified by the Commercial Registration Department.*

• Factory License (if required) issued by Factory Department, Ministry of Industry.*

• VAT Certificate - Phor Phor 20*

• Withholding Tax – Phor Ngor Dor 1 (if renewing work permit)*

* Thai government officials require that all documents to have the seal of the company stamped on every page and the true and authorized signature(s) of the Managing Director and/or Directors next to the seal. In addition, government officials have in past requested official copies of registration, shareholder, licenses and certificates to have been issued by their respective agencies within the past 90 days of your application for Thai work permit.

STEP 3: The tax ID card

Thailand revenue department:

Once your Thai work permit has been arranged, the next step is for your company to apply for a Thai taxpayer identification card. This ID card has a tax ID number which you will need to list on tax documents.

STEP 4: Obtaining the re-entry permit:

Extension of stay vs. re-entry permit

Definition: “Visa” is issued outside of Thailand by a Thai Embassy or Consulate in which you request entry into the Kingdom of Thailand. Once allowed to enter the Kingdom, the Immigration Officer will stamp a date in your passport. This is referred to as your “Extension of Stay.”

Definition: “Extension of Stay” is the time period you are allowed to remain in the Kingdom of Thailand. This is typically the date stamp in your passport by the Immigration Officer either after arriving in the Kingdom through a border checkpoint or issuance by the Immigration Police after a request for an extension of stay.

Many people misunderstand the difference between an extension of stay and re-entry permit much to their own disadvantage. Here is the key point: your “extension of stay” stamp is the controlling date. Everything is dependent on this date. Your re-entry permit or Thai work permit is only valid until the date stamped in your passport to leave the country. Any re-entry permit you obtain will expire when your “extension of stay” expires. If you depart the country without a re-entry permit, your “extension of stay” is invalidated as well as your work permit. This is the key distinction so after going through the process of getting a longer period of time for your “extension of stay” and Thai work permit; please ensure you have a re-entry before departing Thailand. Siam Legal can assist you to obtain a single re-entry entry permit (one time use) or multiple re-entry permits (unlimited use).

STEP 5: Renewing your visa and work permit:

Your work permit expires when your extension of stay does

You will need to renew your stay in Thailand before you can renew your Thai work permit. This can be done in Thailand or in some cases you must leave the country. If you cannot obtain your extension inside Thailand, you will have to get a new non- immigrant visa from a Thai Embassy or Consulate abroad as explained above. If you have an unexpired multiple-entry visa, all you have to do is go over the border and then return. If required to go outside Thailand to obtain a new visa, you will need to provide the Embassy or Consulate with copies of your work permit and new recommendation letter from your company, company registration documents, and financial and tax reports. Siam International Legal Group with its global presence can assist you in any country with renewing your visa. Again, all of this must be done prior to your work permit expiration.

Reporting your stay every 90 days

For persons on a long term extension of stay, they are required to report to Immigration Police every 90 days. Persons holding a multiple entry visa will simply depart Thailand and renew their extension of stay after each 90 day entry. Our firm offers professional service with a yearly package to perform the task of the reporting to Immigration each 90 days.

• Fines for working without a work permit

(Updated by: Sunbelt Asia legal advisors June 2011.)

Thai law prohibits employers from allowing aliens to perform any function other than that described in the alien's Work Permit. Employers must report changes in employment, transfers and termination of all aliens in their organization within 15 days of any such action. In cases of dismissal, aliens must return their Work Permit to labor authorities in Bangkok at the Alien Occupation division or, if they are in a provincial area, to the province's Department of Employment. Failure to do so will result in a fine of up to 1,000 baht.

Any alien, who engages in work without a Work Permit, may be punished by a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years or a fine ranging from 2,000 Baht to 100,000 Baht, or both. Any alien who violates the conditions of his work as described in his Permit may be punished by a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months or a fine of up to 20,000 Baht.

Any alien who does not have their Work Permit with them while working, may be punished by a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months or a fine of up to 10,000 Baht.

An employer who permits an alien to work in his organization without a Work Permit or to act in violation of the nature of the work specified in the Permit may be fined from 10,000 baht up to100,000 baht. Permit holders must obtain prior permission to change their occupation and/or place of work. Change of employer location or the residential address of the permit holder must be properly endorsed in the Work Permit by the labor authorities. The Alien Employment Act does not prevent an alien from engaging in work in more than one field or for more than one employer.


Your work permit is your official proof of address and evidence of your status as a worker in Thailand. Any work performed without one is illegal and can carry grave consequences like fines and prison terms. For any work that you do in Thailand, make sure you have a permit that’s in-line with the law.


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