Thailand Work Permit

Living in Thailand is not the same as going on a vacation in Thailand. To be able to adapt to life in Thailand you have to be flexible and adaptable, and also you need really like the culture as well as the people.

Jobs in Thailand need more than the Thailand work permit - they need careful preparation. You have to be willing to take Thailand as it is with all of its difficulties, contradictions and challenges. Issues that in all probability did not even cross your mind, as you began the Thailand job search, will confront you.

You should not take too lightly the impact the Thailand work permit can have on the result of your adventure! Think for example, you can go through the unfamiliar immigration rules and practices, strange job application procedures, unusual job selection trends and weird management culture.

Despite globalization, you have to be aware that national differences reveal themselves not only in different languages, but also in different recruitment practices.

Most visits to Thailand are trouble-free however, you should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including locations frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers like restaurants, hotels, clubs and shopping areas.
You must exercise a high degree of security awareness due to high levels of criminal activity and violence, deteriorating security situation, ongoing political tensions, sporadic demonstrations, and protests in Bangkok and elsewhere in the Thailand.
In recent years, the Thai authorities have carried out many investigations and operations against terrorist networks.
Monitor local news broadcasts and consular messages. Ensure that your travel documents and visas are valid and secured in a safe place. Carry a photocopy of your travel documents rather than the originals.
Maintain a low profile, vary times and routes of travel and exercise caution while driving.
Making local contacts quickly and seeking support from other expatriates will greatly improve your comfort and safety.

Depending on your nationality and the purpose of your journey, you will require a valid work permit ıncluding a working visa. Thai law requires foreigner to earn quite a substantial wage to be qualified to receive a work permit.

Finding employment in Thailand that will pay well can be a challenge particularly for expatriates who would like to reside in Thailand.

For a foreigner, it is still easy to find a job in Bangkok than in other parts of the Thailand. Nevertheless, before you get a job offer your employer must provide evidence that there is no Thai citizen readily available for the vacancy.

Before you send job applications, you should find out first if the companies you are making an application with have permissions to employ foreigners.

Be aware, that there are certain restrictions on foreign workers and employees. For example, based on the Foreign Business Act, foreigners should not work in construction sector, retail and in many other fields of employment.

Consequently, your best opportunities for working in Thailand are qualified positions in the fields described on Thailand Job Search page.


All foreign nationals need a valid passport to enter Thailand. Foreigners without a valid passport will not be allowed entry into Thailand and will also be returned to country of departure.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival and you must have valid return ticket, which is usable within 15 days since the date of entry.

Your passport should have adequate un-used pages in your passport, allowing for any required stamps upon arrival and departure.


It is important to obtain in advance the correct Thai visa that gives you the right to work in Thailand. Foreign job seekers must find an employer willing to apply for the correct work permit and working visa to the immigration authorities on their behalf well in advance of the job’s starting date.

It is very difficult for foreigners to stay in Thailand for work purposes because of very strict immigration and visa requirements. The process is complicated and can be very long.

Work Permits

You must have a work permit to work legally in Thailand. A work permit is a legal document that states your position, current occupation or job description and the Thai company you are working with. It also serves as a license to perform a job or an occupation for which you obtained permission.

You are eligible to apply for a work permit as long as you have a non-immigrant visa or a resident visa, have an employer who will provide documents for work permit and the occupation you will perform is not prohibited to foreigners.

In practice, Thailand only issues work permits to a highly qualified personnel, executives, researchers, trainees and workers in fields where there is a labor shortage in Thailand.

You will find different regulations for EFL teachers applying for a B visa. If you are interested in teaching English in Thailand, contact the nearest Thai Embassy or Consulate for further visa information.

At point of entry to Thailand, if you have a valid visa you will obtain an initial temporary stay permit, usually valid for 90 days.

After that as quickly as possible, you need to apply for a temporary work permit at the Department of Employment.

Then after receiving your temporary work permit, you have a limited time to apply for a long-term visa called the Extension of Stay Permit at the Immigration Bureau.

You can only perform the job stated in the work permit intended for the specified employer

Urgent Work Permit

The urgent work permit for short-term work allows employees to enter Thailand without a visa for a certain number of days before submitting work permit application. Note that the number of days a foreigner is allowed to stay visa-free depends on nationality and varies between 14 and 90 days. The urgent work permit for short-term work is for foreign nationals who wish to work for up to 15 days in Thailand.

Long Term Work Permit

To work in Thailand legally, you will need a Thailand visa and a work permit. Normally, you will need a B visa first in order to obtain the work permit. Prior to applying for a B visa, you should consult the Labour Department to see which jobs you can apply for as a foreigner (many jobs are reserved solely for Thai nationals).

The normal procedure would be to apply for a B visa in your country of residence, with a Letter of Approval from the Thai Labour Department. After arriving in Thailand, you would then apply for your work permit. Your employer can also request the work permit before you arrive.

If you enter Thailand on another visa (i.e. a tourist visa) and then look for a job, you are unlikely to receive a work permit. However, you have more chances if a company, which is legally allowed to employ foreigners, offered you a job. In either case, you will still have to leave the country to apply for a B visa before you can apply for your work permit.

You cannot apply for Thailand work permit on your own. It is up to your future employer to obtain one for you

Documents required

To apply for a work B visa, you will probably need some or all of the following:

  • A fully completed visa application form
  • Passport or travel document valid for at least 18 months
  • One (4 x 6 cm) passport photo, taken within the past six months
  • Evidence of adequate finance
  • Letter of Approval from the Ministry of Labour (to obtain this letter, the prospective employer in Thailand is required to submit Form WP3 at the Office of Foreign Workers Administration)
  • Letter from a company stating the objective of your visit to Thailand

In addition you will be required to submit a variety of personal and corporate documents to support the application, i.e. degree certificate, proof of five years of work experience in a related field, medical certificate, address in Thailand and reference letters from current and/or previous employers.

Processes and requirements change frequently and vary according to your nationality, the country of application, your personal circumstances and your dependents. You will need to legalize and/or translate some documents if they are not in English.

For further information about the Thailand work permit, contact the Thai embassy or consulate where you reside

Spouses and children of a B visa holder will need a non-immigrant O visa.

Work Permit Process Time

Processing times will be different according to visa type, nationality and country of application. For long-term work permits, it typically takes 1-2 months prior to entry to Thailand.  To complete the process in Thailand it will take from 2 days for urgent applications to 1-2 months for standard applications.

Before you start work, make sure that you have a signed employment contract and a B visa that includes a work permit

Work Permit Duration Time

A work permit is usually issued for a maximum period of 2 years and is renewable. The non-immigrant B visa is valid for one year but initial stay is limited to 90 days. You may apply for an extension of the B visa for one year at a time.

Work permit extension

To get a work permit extension, first you must renew the Extension of Stay permit. After that, you can renew the work permit too.

Leaving Thailand

If you wish to leave the country for a period of time, you need to apply for a re-entry permit before returning and going back to work. Leaving the country without one nullifies the work permit and visa.

Before leaving the country once you have quit your job, you need to cancel your Extension of Stay Permit. This would require an employer’s letter that has to be presented to the Immigration Department on your last working day or if your last day is on a weekend or public holiday, on the next business day.

Other Thailand Work Permit Info

To be successful in your Thailand job search and getting job you want, you need prepare Thailand cover letter and Thailand CV which you must email instantly to the prospective employers selected during job search in Thailand.

When you receive an invitation to the Thailand job interview, you may apply for the Thailand visa and Thailand work permit. Then prepare yourself for a job interview and take a look at Thailand dress code because how you dress is the one of the most important attribute in not hired for available jobs.

Check the job interview do & don't, job interview tips and other job search skills pages.

In addition, on the international info, job search, visa, work permit, cover letter, CV & resume, job interview and dress code pages you will find many useful tips for overseas job seekers.

Good luck with your Thailand Work Permit!