Updated August 1st, 2010
If you are applying as a teacher then read no further, different regulations apply.
Preparing and Reviewing of Documents
First, check some basics about the commercial company. This is the most important thing! If you are applying to be a teacher or journalist, please don’t read further. For your occupation, different regulations and requirements are followed. For other occupations, please continue…
1. REGISTERED CAPITAL. The minimum amount of registered capital required per work permit in the company is dependent upon the status of the company and the work permit applicant. If your company requires one work permit and the applicant is married with a Thai national, then the required amount of registered capital is 1,000,000 Baht. If your company is registered with BOI (Board of Investment), you can obtain multiple work permits without needing to increase the registered capital, depending upon the agreement reached with BOI. However, it is important to note that BOI companies need to be set up with a minimum of 1,000,000 Baht of registered capital. If your company does not have BOI approval and your foreign employees are not married with Thai nationals then you will require 2,000,000 Baht of registered capital per work permit holder.
2. THAI EMPLOYEES. There are requirements for minimum numbers of Thai employees per work permit; this is dependent upon the status of the company. BOI approved companies usually have a relaxed ratio of Thai employees to foreign work permit holders. However, other companies will require 4 Thai employees for every work permit. It is important to note that there is an exception to this rule. If the company was formed less than one year prior to submitting the work permit application, the officer will accept 2 Thai employees per work permit. However, when coming to renew the work permit, the usual regulations will be enforced and the company will therefore require at least 4 Thai employees per work permit. Whereas, when applying for the extenstion of stay the immigration requires the company to have at least 4 Thai employees listed in Social Security Fund 3 months prior to the application. This is a compulsory requirement from the Immigration.
3. TAX, VAT AND SOCIAL FUND. Your company is paying tax and VAT and has the paper work in order. If your company address is in Bangkok, you will also need to ensure that you have paid the first month’s social fund for your Thai employees, keeping the receipt as evidence of this. In other locations around Thailand, you may be required to show more than one month’s social fund receipts, dependent upon the regulations in your province. This is very important. Companies with “office in the pocket” are not eligible to apply for a work permit for you!
4. Prepare all the paperwork for work permit application. Make three copies of everything that you will need for Immigration listed below.
5. Collect all the required documents for the Non-Immigrant “B” visa application. You will also require 2 passport photos.
6. Make 1 copy of the photo page of the passport and 1 passport color photo.
7. Check that your passport is valid for at least 12 months when processing the extension of stay. Otherwise, you will run the risk of having the extension of stay end on the date of the expiration of the passport.
Obtaining a Non-Immigrant Visa
Your foreign employees will need to obtain a Non-Immigrant visa before they can get the actual work permit. This can sometimes be obtained at Immigration if going through 2 step process from visa exempt entry/tourist visa to Non-B visa to extension of stay based on employment(see below) but most of the time outside of Thailand at a Thai Embassy or Consulate. Please note that work permits can also be applied for if you have a extension of stay based on marriage or a 90 day “O” visa if you show proof of marriage, but cannot be applied for if you hold a 90 day NON-O Retirement Visa or an 90 day Education Visa or extension of stay based on education or extension of stay based on retirement . If the foreigner holds either a 30 day visa exemption stamp or tourist visa entry or a 60 day tourist visa, this can sometimes be converted into a Non-Immigrant entry inside the Kingdom; providing your company and the foreigner have the complete set of documents required by Immigration for extension of stay. To ensure that enough time is allocated to complete this visa conversion process, we recommend having at least 21 days remaining on the foreigner’s permitted entry before processing the Non-Immigrant “B” visa. Please be aware that a change of visa cannot be carried out at One Stop Service and some offices will require it be done in Bangkok. Some cities such as Pattaya refuse to convert a tourist visa or tourist visa exemption stamp to a “B” visaas part of the 2 step process.
It should be note that some Thai Embassy or Consulate would only be able to grant a 90-Days Single Entry Non-Immigrant “B” Visa, while some Thai Embassy or Consulate would be able to grant 1-Year Multiple Entry Non-Immigrant “B” Visa. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to check the eligibility policy of the Thai Embassy/Consulate that you would be traveling to.
Applying for Work Permit
Apply for the work permit at the Labor Department for the province the Company is located in.
Most people get refused because they forgot to include a map in Thai showing the location of the company. Some other people get refused because they were not wearing a necktie in the photo. The photos of the office must also show clearly the Company name and address. Double check the requirements!
The application will take about 10 days from the day of submission to the collection at the Labor Department.
Collection of the Work Permit
You will need to pick up your blue work permit book in person at the Labor Department as you need to sign it. You will be issued with a work permit valid for either 90 days, 6 months or 12 months or even 24 months; this decision is at the discretion of the officer. In line with new regulations, your visa and work permit are no longer tied together. Therefore, you can have a visa entry or extension of stay that expires on a completely different date to the work permit.
NOTE: If on extension of stay be sure that you do not overstay or travel out of the country without a Re-entry Permit, because then extension of stay will be invalid upon your return and work would not be allowed on the visa exempt entry provided on re-entry.
Applying for a One Year Extension of stay at the immigration.
You will need some extra documents, copies of your work permit as well as a set of papers similar to the one you submitted to the Labor Department.
When applying for Extension of Stay, the Immigration expects the applicant to earn a minimum salary based on the nationality of the applicant. Be aware the Labor Department in Bangkok is now enforcing these minimum salaries, in most cases, when you apply for the work permit as well. The minimum salary requirements are listed below.
a. From most countries in European continent, Australasia, Canada, Japan, or United States of American, the minimum salary would be 50,000 Baht per month
b. From South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the minimum salary would be 45,000 Baht per month
c. From most countries in Asian continent, South America, Eastern region of the European, Central America, Mexico, Turkey, Russia and South Africa, the minimum salary would be 35,000 Baht per month
d. From countries in Africa, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam, the minimum salary would be 25,000 Baht per month
NOTE: The above requirements apply to an extension of
stay based on employment. If work permit is issued against extension of stay based on marriage to Thai national, the minimum income requirement is 40,000 baht/month.
It is important to note that if you set up your company shortly before beginning this process, there are certain issues to be aware of when carrying out the extension of stay. In order to be granted the one year extension of stay for the foreigner; the company needs to have already submitted three months of PND 1 which is withholding tax as well as three social fund payment monthly filings for the Thai employees. The company must also have one million Thai Baht in equity. This is the minimum requirement and some officers may even enforce the current regulations which is showing two year audit balance sheets as well. This is why a Thai lawyer can help explain with the current requests in most cases. Just like the ocean changes tides so does the current day to day requirements of said regulations.
Immigration will first extend your NON-B for only 30 days, which is the consideration period. If they do extend, then you are OK for now.
Make sure you make another Re-entry Permit if you plan to travel, as any previous Re-entry Permit that you held is now invalid.
This extension of stay based on business will be valid until 1 year after the day you receive this extension from Immigration.
NOTE: The very same day that you receive your one-year extension, you can apply for a Multiple Re-entry Permit, so you will be able to travel freely in and out of the country without losing your extension of stay. The Government fee for this is 3,800 Baht. Alternatively, if you only plan to travel out of the Thailand once in the foreseeable future, then you can obtain a single re-entry permit; the fee for this is 1,000 Baht.
Visa Run criteria to obtain Visa for Business
- Invitation letter
- 2 x recent photos; 3.5 x 4.5 cm
- Copy of company certificate
- Copy of list of shareholders
- Some embassies/consulates in Asia, apart from the ones in your country of residence, will need you to apply for the work permit first and obtain the WP3 form.
The invitation letter will be written by the company Director and should explain the reason why the applicant will require a business visa. For example, the letter could state that the applicant will be employed by the company and will therefore require a business visa. The company certificate, shareholders list and the invitation letter must all be signed in blue ink by the company Director and stamped with the company seal. Certain Thai Embassies and Consulates have different requirements so it is advisable to check with your chosen Embassy or Consulate prior to making the trip.
Citizens of Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka should ask their employer in Thailand to fill out the “WP3″ form and submit to the Alien Occupational Control Division for approval. The WP3 form may be obtained at the Alien Occupational Control Division, Department of Employment, Ministry of Labour, Mit-Maitree Road, Dindaeng District, Bangkok. Once approved, the Alien Occupational Control Division will issue a certificate and each applicant has to submit the original together with the required documents to the Thai Embassy or Consulate for visa approval.
EXAMPLE OF DOCUMENTS FOR WORK PERMIT
- Form WP2
- 3 x recent photos; 5 x 6 cm
- Letter of employment
- Copy of company registration certificate, including objectives.
- Copy of shareholders list.
- Copy of VAT registration; Phor Phor.01
- Organization chart
- Copy of front page of passport and visa.
- Education certificate and resume of previous employment.
- Health certificate
- Map of place of business.
- Photos of Office inside and outside, with outside showing the company name and address.
EXAMPLE OF DOCUMENTS FOR ONE YEAR EXTENSION
- Copy of applicant’s Passport and Original.
- 1 x recent photos; 4 x 6 cm
- Copy of applicant’s Work Permit and Original
- Original Company affidavit and Shareholder list (updated within the past 6 months) certified by registrar of Ministry of Commerce.
- Copy of the company annual audit, P.N.D 50 and Sor.Bor.Chor 3 of the latest year, certified by Revenue Department or Ministry of commerce.
- Copy of the company’s monthly personal income tax (PND.1) for the 3 previous months (certified by Revenue Department) which shows all employees including names of foreign employees.
- Copy of annual personal income tax (PND.91) of the latest taxable year which must be certified by Revenue Department with an original receipt. (If any)
- Copy of Por. Por. 30 of the 3 previous months which certified
- A map of the company’s office location
- 6-8 photographs of the company showing the building and location of office including its nameplate and number and showing the employees working during office hours.
- Copy of Social Security Fund return of all employees (Sor.Por.Sor.1-10), of the 3 previous months which certified.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR WORK PERMIT RENEWAL (ANNUALLY)
- Application Form (W.P.5)
- Copy of company certificate.
- Income year-end report (Por Ngor Dor.1,50,51 and 90,91 )
- List of foreign workers employed at the company along with identifying work permit numbers
- Form of the Employment Certification or Employment Contract
- Audited accounts
- Letter of power of attorney
- Work permit with a copy
- Passport and one copy of all pages or Certificate of Permanent Residence and Certificate of Alien with a copy
- If the applicant is unable to apply in person then a Power of Attorney with 10 Baht duty stamp affixed and a copy of appointee’s ID card will be required
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