Work Permit Confusions In Thailand
Last year, a new decree was announced regarding work permit for foreign nationals. It was called the Foreigners’ Working Management Emergency Decree Number 2, B.E. 2561. The main goal of the new decree is to simplify and clear confusions with the current practices and regulations followed when acquiring Thai work permit which is geared to all foreigners who are planning to work in the country.
The government is hoping to attract more foreign workers with the new decree but the opposite is happening. What is supposed to be an advantages for a number of foreigners turned out to confuse many because of the changes with the policies and regulations.
The previous decree was called the Foreigners’ Working Management Emergency Decree B.E. 2560. The new decree has an additional phrase to the Section 4 which states “(8) representative of foreign juristic persons obtaining a license to operate business under the Foreign Business Operation Law.”
The understanding with the current decree as explained by the Ministry of Labour’s Employment Department is that individuals who have been granted Foreign Business Operation License under the Foreign Business Act are actually exempted from getting work permit when working in Thailand. these individuals must be part of the listed entities including Branch Office, Company Limited, Representative Office and Regional Office.
As long as the managers or directors fall under these categories, they have the right to work regardless of location in Thailand. It is vital that they must only work within the roles covered by the policy – representative, director of a company limited, manager of a branch and regional office.
The problem now comes when it is time for the foreigner to get their Non-Immigrant “B” visa before coming to Thailand to work. Almost, if not all, embassies of Thailand and Consulates located all over the world mandates that one should have a pre-work permit before they can be given a visa. For those who are exempted as stated by the policy above, they will not be given a pre-work permit since this is no longer needed for them. Not all employees working for embassies and consulates knew about this new rule though which is why getting a Non-Immigrant B visa can cause quite confusing. For all others not covered by the new decree, getting a Thai work permit is still necessary and a must.