Living in Thailand is fabulous. It’s sunny all year round and you’d have 24/7 access to authentic Thai food and beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia. If that’s not living a good life then I don’t know what is. However, there are a few important things that you need to know and duly cover if you’re a working expat in Thailand. This article will enlist all and will give you all the data you need.
Who Is An Expat: Are You One?
Expat stands for expatriate. An expatriate is someone who works and/or lives in a country that is not his or her country of citizenship for a certain period. You are an expat in Thailand if you’re not a Thai citizen and you live and work in any part of Thailand.
Thailand is a beautiful country that has become home to foreign residents. Most of its expat communities are composed of citizens from China, Japan, South Korea, America, and European countries. To date, there are over 4 million registered expats in Thailand. Of them, 112,000 are registered professionals or skilled laborers.
Things To Know If You Want To Be A Working Expat In Thailand
1. Tourist Life Vs Expat Life
You have to be fully aware that there’s a huge difference between being a tourist in Thailand and a working expat in Thailand. You wouldn’t need to submit many documents if you’d simply be vacationing in Thailand. If you’re a tourist, you’d only be allowed to be in Thailand for only 60 days during your initial stay. You can duly file for an extension of 30 days so long as your stay in the country will not exceed 90 days.
For an expat who works in Thailand, such is not the case. For one, you would need a separate work permit if you want to be able to work and make a living in the country. This will be the case regardless if you would build a business or work for a company in the country. A Thai work permit is valid for one year upon its issue. If you’d be working for less than a year, then your work permit will follow the same duration. You need to take note that a work permit is different from a work visa. You would have to get both if you want to work in Thailand. A work visa alone or a work permit alone will not suffice. You have to separately apply for both.
2. Work Visa Requirements
You will need to submit the following to have a work visa:
- Passport – with at least two blank pages and valid for at least six months. It should be valid for at least 18 months if you would be applying for a one-year visa.
- Filled out the Thailand Work Visa application form that is downloadable online.
- Passport-size photos with a white background that are taken within the last six months.
- Proof of financial means – you would need at least 20,000 Thai Baht if you’re traveling solo. If you’re traveling with your family, you will need at least 40,000 Thai Baht.
- Police clearance certificate
- A Letter of Approval from the Thailand Ministry of Labour. This is to be processed by your employer.
- You will be required to submit additional requirements if you would be working as a teacher.
3. Work Visa Application Process
The process will involve the following steps:
- Reach out to the Thai Embassy or Consulate in your country. Download the application form or get a hard copy at their office.
- Complete the necessary documents.
- Submit the documents in person or via post.
- Wait for your application to be processed.
- Once processed, you may collect your passport and visa. Both will be mailed back to you if you apply by mail.
- You need to enter Thailand within the time frame given in your work visa. If not, it will expire and you will need a new work visa.
4. Work Visa Fees
You will need to prepare the following amount if you will apply for a Thailand Work Visa:
- About USD 65 – for a Single-entry Thailand Work Visa
- About USD 164 – for a Multiple-entry Thailand Work Visa
5. Work Permit Particulars
Apart from a Work Visa, you will need a separate work permit to be able to work legally in Thailand. You will need a work permit if you want to apply for the most popular jobs for expats. You need to secure though that the company you would be working with duly complies with the requirements of the Ministry of Labour.
You will only be granted a work permit if you will work for a company that complies with the following requirements of the Ministry of Labour:
- Has at least 50 Thai nationals as employees.
- Has an export business that remits at least 3,000 Thai Baht within the last twelve months
- Has paid income tax in the past three years that amounts to at least 5,000,000 Thai Baht
- Has a capital of at least 2,000,000 Thai Baht
6. Work Permit Requirements
You will need to submit the following if you’d be applying for a Thai Work Permit:
- Thai Work Visa
- Proof of academic degrees
- Certificates of academic degrees
- Work Contract – must state salary, position, and work responsibilities
- Relevant licenses and certificates
- ID Photo with 5 x 6 cm dimensions in three copies
- Health Certificate
- Proof of accommodation in the country
- Marriage Certificate – if you are married to a Thai citizen
7. Work Permit Application Process
Applying for a work permit will involve the following steps:
- You or your employer can choose to process your work permit.
- The application must be submitted to the Ministry of Labour after receiving your Non-Immigrant Work Visa.
- You and your employer must both qualify with the requirements of the Ministry of Labour.
- The application must be submitted within the valid period of your work visa and before you begin your work.
- Upon submission, you will have to wait for seven days for the Ministry of Labour to process your permit.
- Once approved, you need to return to the Ministry of Labour to receive the permit and comply with the needed formalities.
- You should have your work permit with you at all times. You will be fined if an Immigration Officer visits your workplace and you don’t have your work permit with you.
8. Work Permit Fees
You will need to prepare the following amount if you will apply for a work permit:
- 750 Thai Baht – for a Work Permit that is valid for 3 months
- 1,500 Thai Baht – for a Work Permit that is valid within 3 – 6 months
- 3,000 Thai Baht – for a Work Permit that is valid within 6 – 12 months