The Alien Occupation Act, adopted in 1973, updated in 1978, and amended almost yearly, requires all foreign nationals working in Thailand to obtain a work permit prior to starting work in Thailand. Note that the definition of work applies to voluntary, unpaid work as well as paid work. Section 8 of the Act stipulates that while a prospective employer may file an application on the foreign national's behalf in advance of commencing work, the work permit will not be issued until the foreign national has entered Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws. The work permit is initially valid only for the period that the foreign national's non-immigrant visa permits them to remain in Thailand.
The work permit is subject to renewal in accordance with the renewed or extended visa. For foreign nationals who are holders of a Residence Permit, the work permit can be renewed annually. The Labour Department will in principle grant an initial duration of one year for the work permit. A work permit must be renewed before its expiry date or it will automatically lapse. Applicants for work permits may not enter the Kingdom as tourists or transients. Work permit applications must be made with proper care and attention to maximize the chances of a permit being granted and to minimize delay.
Siam Firm Inter Law’s team have extensive experience in the application and maintenance process and have an excellent working relationship with the Labour Department, ensuring a very high success rate.