1. Introduction

An alien wishing to work in Thailand must first obtain a Work Permit by submitting an application to the Alien Occupational Control Division of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. An alien applying for a Work Permit must either be permitted to stay temporarily in Thailand (non-immigrant) or have residence in Thailand according to the Immigration Law. The Labour Officers will consider the size and type of the business which is required and is able to employ aliens.

2. Procedures in Obtaining a Work Permit

The applicant or his prospective employer may apply for a Work Permit. However, in the case of an application submitted in advance by the prospective employer, the actual Work Permit will be issued only after the alien has entered Thailand. The application must be submitted together with all the supporting documents to the Alien Occupation Control Division, Department of Skill Development of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.

Regardless of the length of the Work Permit's validity, it will initially only be valid for the period that the alien's non-immigrant Visa allows him to stay in the country under the Immigration Law, and is subject to renewal, provided that the Visa itself is renewed or extended. The Work Permit and Visa are issued by separate government departments and are interdependent. A Work Permit must be renewed before its expiry date, otherwise it will automatically lapse and a new application will have to be made.

3. Annual Extension of a Work Permit

An alien wishing to continue to work in Thailand has to resubmit an application form and evidence of having abided by the conditions stipulated in his Work Permit, to the Alien Occupational Control Division before the Permit's expiry date.

NOTE: The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

If you would like further advice please contact: David Ellis, Johnson Stokes & Master, 16th Floor, Princes Building, 10 Chater Road, Hong Kong; Tel 2843 4226; Fax no. : 2845 9121. Alternatively do a text search "Johnson Stokes and Master" and "Business Monitor".