In Thailand, any activity that makes use of one’s physical strength and knowledge, whether it is paid or not, is considered as “work.” Evidently, when performing work in the said country, a work permit is needed. This situation remains true even in the case of those who are engaged in volunteerism and other related activities.
The basics of Thailand work permit
When applying for a work permit, applicants must remember several important factors. One of these is the need to have a business visa; it is a Non Immigrant B visa. More often, many believed that a work permit can be acquired without the said visa. Also, many assume that such is only issued to those who are establishing businesses in the country. This is a major misconception. A work permit cannot be issued without the business visa. The visa must be applied first before one request for a work permit.
Another important factor that must be considered is that it is the employer that applies for the work permit, not the applicant. Lastly, foreign employees cannot use their work permits for other companies or organizations. In case they are working for different firms, then it also follows that they must possess a different set of working permits.
Work permit exemptions
Not all employees are required to have a work permit. Some of them are not compelled to have this document. These are:
● Members of the diplomatic corps
● Members of consular missions
● Representatives or delegates of the United Nations
● Employees of the United Nations or those who are part of the diplomatic corps a
● Employees who are executing missions that are under the agreement or pact
● Employees performing duties and missions related to arts, education, sports and culture
● Employees involved in “urgent and essential work”
● Employees governed by the Investment Promotion Policy
Fines and penalties await employees who do not have work permits or performing illegal work in Thailand. The same rule applies to those who take their work permits for granted. These sanctions are carefully outlined below:
A fine of THB 1,000 for not bringing or carrying the work permit
● A month of imprisonment or a fine of THB 2,000 or both
● A 3-month imprisonment or a THB 5,000 fine or both for the failure to apply for a permit
● A THB 500 fine for the failure to replace damaged work permits
● A THB 1,000 for not surrendering the work permit 7 days after filing a resignation