From Expat to Employee: A Guide to Getting a Work Permit in Thailand

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For expats working in Thailand, in addition to obtaining a Non-Immigrant Visa ”B”, another important document to possess is the Work Permit. This crucial document demonstrates that a expat with a Work Permit is legally permitted to conduct business, carry out operations, or be employed, among other work-related activities within the Kingdom of Thailand. Today, we have gathered various information about the Work Permit in Thailand for your reference

Related Content: Unlocking Thailand’s Business Opportunities with the Non-Immigrant “B” (Non-B) Visa for Expats

Getting to Grips with the Work Permit in Thailand:

A work permit Thailand is an essential document for expats who wish to work in Thailand other than their own homeland. To put it simply, it is a permit that authorizes expats to work. In the process of applying for a work permit, the employer is responsible for the procedure and must receive approval from the Ministry of Labor to employ foreign workers. This includes renewing the permit when it expires. If a foreign worker changes workplaces, the new employer will need to apply for a new work permit on their behalf.

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2023 Update: Steps to Apply for a Work Permit in Thailand

Applying for a work permit in Thailand can be done in two ways:

  1. General Business:

    You can proceed and contact the Department of Employment, Ministry of Labor, or the local employment office of each province where the business is located.

  2. BOI (Board of Investment):

    Apply for a work permit through a system known as Single Window for Visa and Work Permit and the issuance of Digital Work Permit at the ONE STOP SERVICE CENTER FOR VISA AND WORK PERMIT. You can apply in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. Applications can also be submitted online by attaching electronic copies of documents via the online system at http://swe-expert.boi.go.th/.

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Who Can Apply? Qualifications for Expats Seeking a Thai Work Permit:

  • Must have a Non-Immigrant Visa “B”
  • Must have the skills required for the job they are seeking permission for
  • Must not be insane or mentally unstable, must not be suffering from a contagious disease, tuberculosis in the final stage, elephantiasis in the symptomatic stage which is repulsive to society, severe drug addiction, chronic alcoholism, and syphilis in stage 3
  • Must not have been imprisoned for a violation of the immigration law or the law on employment of foreign workers within one year prior to the application date
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What Documents Do You Need to Apply for a Work Permit in Thailand?

    • Document B.T.25 (Please see download link below)
    • Three 3×4 cm photos, taken within the past 6 months (for new applications)
    • Medical certificate (not older than 1 months)
    • Personal history, educational qualifications, and work experience (for new applications)
    • Passport valid for at least 6 months
    • Non-B Visa (45-60 days before expiration) and Work Permit (for renewal)
    • Work permit application notification from the Ministry of Labor
    • Expat’s tax form (Phor.Ngor.Dor.91) (for renewal)
    • Key documents from the hiring company
    • Documents supporting the type of business or employer

Documents for first-time work permit application:

For first-time work permit applications, you will need to download document B.T.25 and apply at the Employment Department.

Renewing a work permit:

The work permit is typically granted for no more than 1 year at a time, and you must apply for renewal 30 days before it expires. During this period, you can continue to work normally until the Registrar announces the result of the application, which usually takes about 3-7 business days. However, if your application is rejected or your appeal is denied, and if your employer allows you to continue working, they may face a penalty of imprisonment not exceeding 3 months, or a fine not exceeding 5,000 baht, or both. Therefore, if you want to continue working, you should not let your work permit expire.

Documents for renewing a work permit:

The documents needed to renew a work permit include downloading document B.T.25 and applying at the Employment Department.

Download BT 25 Document

Getting Ready for a Work Permit Application!

The steps to apply for a work permit start with understanding the basic qualifications of a expat who will apply for a work permit and preparing necessary documents. Then you can submit the application at the Employment Department of the Ministry of Labor in each province. However, you must first obtain a Non-B Visa before applying for a work permit. If you do not want to deal with the hassle and waste time, RLC Outsourcing offers services to apply for a work permit and Non-B Visa to save time and ensure smooth operation of your business.


For expats to work legally in Thailand, apart from a Non-B Visa, it’s essential to have a work permit. Both of these must be used in tandem and regularly renewed. This ensures that expats can work in Thailand in compliance with the law, and it prevents complications for the hiring businesses, which could otherwise negatively impact business operations.

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