- Country Name: Kingdom of Thailand
- Capital: Bangkok
- Population: 67,959,000 (2015 estimate)
- Language: Thai
- Time Zone: ICT (UTC +7)
- Dialing Code: +66
- Currency: Thai Baht (THB)
This FAQ has been created as an introductory guide to immigration procedures for Thailand. Since rules and requirements in every country are constantly changing and each case must be assessed on its own merits, for in-depth and up-to-date advice, please contact us.
Please note, we can only advise on matters relating to immigration and are unable support you with employment in a new region. We do however have a network of trusted partners that can support your move, so please visit Our Partners page for further information.
While tourism does play a significant role, as one of world’s largest agricultural exporters, the import/export business offers opportunities to expats.
There are also strong manufacturing, logistics and communications and automotive industries, while the services sector is of considerable importance to the economy and most expats are employed in the service sector, specifically tourism and education.
Although Thai companies prefer to hire locals in professional fields like accounting, engineering and law, multinational corporations do transfer employees with specialist skills.
There are a variety of international companies based in Bangkok specialising in IT and electronics, professional services networks and the oil and gas industry
Non-Immigrant B Visa and Work Permit (Board of Investment)
Non-Immigrant B Visa and Work Permit (Standard)
Non-Immigrant B Visa and Work Permit (non-BOI, Rapid)
Urgent Work Permit
There are four main options for working in Thailand three long-term routes and one route for all short-term business activities and temporary employment.
Among the long-term options, one is for companies registered with the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI), one for companies who do not qualify for fast track processing, and one for Bangkok-based companies or Branch Offices employing managers or experts, Representative or Regional Offices, and companies operating under the Petroleum Act or the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand Act.
Note that accompanying dependents cannot work with dependent immigration status.
Processes and requirements will vary according to the type of work permit being applied for. However, long term work permit applications generally involve a non-immigrant B visa application at the Thai embassy in the applicant’s country of residence, a work permit application and non-Immigrant visa extension application in-country.
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 an assignee is allowed to stay visa-free depends on nationalist 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.
As processes and requirements change frequently and vary according to the nationality of the applicant, the country of application and personal circumstances of the assignee and any family dependants, we recommend that you contact us for up-to-date information
Applicants will be required to submit a variety of personal and corporate documents to support the application, including degree certificate, proof of five years of work experience in a related field and reference letters from current and/or previous employers. Documentary requirements for the company in Thailand are quite onerous.
A medical certificate is required for the principal applicant (not for dependents), for standard applications. This should be factored into timescales.
Requirements will vary slightly according to the nationality of the applicant, the country of application and personal circumstances of the assignee and any family dependants. Some documents will need to be legalised and/or translated for all work permit routes which will add to timescales. Newland Chase can advise and assist on a case by case basis
Processing times will vary according to visa type, nationality and country of application. For long-term work permits, it typically takes 1-2 months to entry to Thailand, and then from 2 days to complete the process in-country for fast-track applications to 1-2 months for standard applications.
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 limited to 90 days. Work permit holders can apply for an extension of the B visa for one year at a time.
For long term work the assignee cannot enter Thailand on a business/tourist visa and switch to a work permit. The non-immigrant B visa must be granted prior to entry.
Holders of a non-immigrant visa for at least three years who are in set categories (including work permit) may be eligible for permanent residency.
There is an annual quota for permanent residency applications in Thailand of a maximum of 100 persons per country and applications must be submitted during a set period of the year.
The Residency Permit itself never expires, unless revoked. To be able to leave the country and return to Thailand, however, requires you to apply for a re-entry permit.
It is important to ensure that the immigration part of the relocation process is started as early as possible and well in advance of your actual assignment date to Thailand.
Applicants for Non-Immigrant B visas at certain Thai consular posts require a government pre-approval of their work permit before their visa can be issued so sufficient lead time should be allowed for this.
Personal documents will need to be legalised and translated if not in English, translations may also need to be certified. Processing times can be lengthy so sufficient lead time should be allowed for this.
Requirements and procedures may change on a frequent basis, so please consult with a Newland Chase Immigration Advisor for current and detailed information