Thailand: Changes Result In Faster Processing Of Work Permit Applications

Last Updated: 18 October 2019
Article by Fragomen  

At a Glance

  • Pre-Work Permit Approval applications for Thailand may now be filed at the One-Stop Service Center (OSSC) instead of the Employment Department, which shortens the processing of such applications from 10 to two business days.
  • Also, the in-country processing of the Work Permit at the OSSC now takes one to two business days instead of the usual three to five business days. Filing the application early in the morning may mean that the Work Permit booklet can be issued in the afternoon of the same day.

The situation

The Employment Department in Thailand has introduced two changes to the Work Permit process that streamline the overall processing time of Work Permit applications at the One-Stop Service Center (OSSC).

A closer look

  • OSSC filing of PWPA applications. Pre-Work Permit Approval (PWPA) applications can now be filed at the OSSC instead of the Employment Department. This means foreign nationals can obtain their PWPA in two business days instead of 10. The foreign applicant still cannot be in Thailand during the processing of this application.
  • Faster Work Permit processing at the OSSC. Work Permit applicants will also see faster in-country processing of their Work Permit applications at the OSSC, which will now take one to two business days instead of the usual three to five business days. Applicants who file their applications early in the morning may be able to obtain their Work Permit booklets in the afternoon of the same day. The Work Permit booklet authorizes the foreign national to work in Thailand.
  • Eligible applicants. Only foreign employees (manager level and above) of companies eligible to file their applications at the OSSC may benefit from these changes. Companies with registered headquarters or branch offices in Bangkok with registered capital or total assets of at least THB 30 million (USD 986,520) are eligible to use the OSSC.

Impact

  • Earlier work authorized status. As a result of these changes, eligible Work Permit applicants may be able to obtain their work authorized status two to three weeks earlier.
  • Tax implications. Employers should plan for the earlier work authorized date since, from an immigration perspective, a Work Permit holder is liable for local taxes and social security contributions from the date of Work Permit issuance. They should also check with their tax and payroll advisors for more specific advice.

Background

The Employment Department has introduced these changes to standardize the Work Permit process, allowing eligible companies to file all their relevant immigration and Work Permit applications at the OSSC rather than separating the process based on application type.

Looking ahead

These changes may encourage companies to increase their investments in Thailand to meet the eligibility requirements for the OSSC and take advantage of the faster processing time. Overall, however, Thailand's immigration system remains largely complex and stringent, with rules that are intended to closely monitor and regulate the presence of foreign nationals in the country. Fragomen will closely monitor the situation and provide updates as needed.

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.

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