Guidelines for applying and renewing Thailand Work Permit [Update 2024]

Guideline Thailand Work Permit

Thailand Work Permit is a book of permissions or licenses that allows a foreigner or Non-Thai to work in Thailand legally. The Work Permit is issued by the Ministry of Labor and it must be renewed before it expires every time.

In case you are hired by an entity in Thailand such as a company, foundation, school, government, etc, you must have a Work Permit book to work in Thailand.

So, we provide this guideline for you to understand more about Thailand’s Work Permit and how to apply and obtain it.

Aside from that, we also provide information on how to renew your Work Permit as well.

Hence, let’s get down to the information below and stay safe from the Covid-19 pandemic.

work permit information

Things you should know about Thailand Work Permit.

First of all, you must have Thailand Work Permit in case you are working in Thailand. Working without Work Permit is considered illegal and an offense subject to criminal law with a possible jail term.

We always get inquiries from foreigners who are without Work permits and are arrested by the Immigration Officer. They need to attend court and are subject to a jail term. After that, they have been deported and cannot come back to Thailand again.

You also need a specific type of Visa to apply for a Work Permit like Non-Immigrant B Visa or, O Visa etc.

Foreigners who have Visa on Arrival or Tourist Visa are not allowed to work and apply for permission to work here.

Please highly note that Work Permit is different from the Working Visa (we will explain more in detail again)

You must hire a Thai Staff to follow the ratio of the Ministry of Labor.

You must have an Employer in Thailand or you can set up a company to conduct business and use the company to hire yourself as the director.

We also suggest you read the information to register the company here: Thailand Company Registration.

Thailand Work Permit is not valid for forever, you must renew it before its expiration with the required documents.

Once you have a Work Permit, you need to declare your salary. So, you need to file for your Personal Income Tax every year.

In case you stay in Thailand, but you are working for a company overseas. This does not entitle you to apply for a Work Permit in Thailand (because no Thai entity pays your salary or hire you)

In case you bought a condominium and rent it out, you do not need to apply for a Work Permit. However, you need to file and pay your Personal Income Tax as usual.

You can apply and renew your Work Permit by yourself without a lawyer and/or agent. However, you can hire them for your convenience and avoid mistakes which can cause you a few days to fix.

If you work under a normal company, your Work Permit will be a blue book.

But if you work under a BOI (Board of Investment) Company, your Work Permit will be in a digital application form on your mobile phone.

You need to submit an application where the company is existing or where it is based. Let say if your company is registered in Phuket, you need to obtain it at the Labor Department in Phuket only.

Finally, you need to understand that some work and occupations are reserved for Thai citizens only. So, you cannot work in some areas or industries. You can see the information on the next topic of which careers you are not allowed to work in Thailand.

List of prohibited jobs that you cannot apply for Work Permit in Thailand

You should understand that some jobs or careers are reserved only for Thai citizens and prohibit a foreigner from Working in Thailand. Automatically, you cannot obtain a work permit for such an occupation. Here are the occupations that foreigners who are prohibited to obtain Thailand work permits.

  • Manual work
  • Work in agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry or fishery excluding specialized work in each particular branch or farm supervision
  • Bricklaying, carpentry or other construction works
  • Wood carving
  • Driving mechanically propelled carried or driving non-mechanically-propelled vehicle, excluding international aircraft piloting
  • Shop attendance
  • Auction
  • Supervising, auditing or giving service in accountancy excluding internal auditing on occasions
  • Cutting or polishing jewelry
  • Haircutting, hairdressing or beauty treatment
  • Cloth weaving by hand
  • Weaving of mate or making products from reeds, rattan, hemp, straw or bamboo pellicle
  • Making of Sa paper by hand
  • Lacquer ware making
  • Making of Thai musical instrument
  • Niello ware making
  • Making of products from gold, silver or gold-copper alloy
  • Bronze ware making
  • Making of Thai dolls
  • Making of mattress or quilt blanket
  • Alms bowls casting
  • Making of silk products by hand
  • Casting of Buddha images
  • Knife making
  • Making of paper of cloth umbrella
  • Shoemaking
  • Hat Making
  • Brokerage or agency excluding brokerage or agency in international trade business
  • Engineering work in civil engineering branch concerning designing and calculation, organization, research, planning, testing, construction supervision or advising excluding specialized work
  • Architectural work concerning designing, drawing of plan, estimating, construction directing or advising
  • Garments making
  • Pottery or ceramic ware making
  • Cigarette making by hand
  • Guide or conducting sightseeing tours
  • Street Vending
  • Type setting of Thai characters by hand
  • Drawing and twisting silk-thread by hand
  • Office or secretarial work
  • Legal or lawsuit services
list of prohibited job

Necessary qualification to apply for Work Permit in Thailand.

To make you easily understand the qualification that you are required to meet to qualify for a Work Permit in Thailand, we divided it into a qualification that the Employer(company) must have and the Employee must have.

Qualification for the foreign Employee

  • The foreign applicant must hold a Non-Immigrant Visa Type B or Type O. But not the Retirement Visa Type.
  • The applicant has the knowledge and ability to work in the applied position.
  • The applicant does not have the following diseases: Leprosy, Advanced Pulmonary Tuberculosis, Drug addiction, Chronic alcoholism, Elephantiasis, VDRL. And we have partner nearby our office to issue medical certificate, please refer to this clinic: Apply medical certificate
  • The applicant has not committed the jail term under Immigration Law or Foreign Working Permit Law in the last 1 year prior to the submission of the work permit application.

 Qualification for the Company as Employer

  • The ratio of paid-up capital must be 2 million THB per one foreign applicant. (In case the applicant married with Thai, paid-up capital can be 1 million THB)
  • The ratio of Thai Staff in the Company must be 1 person per one foreign applicant. (Don’t be confuse that 4 Thai staff is required for Non-B Visa)
  • The Company must register VAT.
  • In case the company operates in a business that requires specific licenses, the company must provide proof of such licenses such as restaurant, hotel, tour, etc.

If you confuse about B or O Visa, please read this article for more understanding:

List of documents for applying for a Work Permit in Thailand

Once you checked the qualification as above and you observed that you are eligible, the next is you need to prepare the requirements to follow the list of documents for applying a Work Permit in Thailand as listed below:

  • WP 1 Application Form.
  • Photo size 3×4 cm. for 3 photos (must not longer than 6 months)
  • Copy of Passport or book of Permanent Residence with its original
  • Copy of education certificate
  • Medical Certificate
  • Copy of Company Affidavit (must not longer than 6 months)
  • Copy of VAT Registration call PP.01 and PP.09(if any)
  • Business License in case of the company operates in some business that is required to have one.
  • Copy of Social Security Fund Contribution for last 3 months with its original
  • Copy of Audited Financial Report for last 1 year with its original
  • Copy of VAT Payment report called PP.30 for last 3 months with its original
  • Copy of Thai ID Card of the Company’s director. (In case of the foreign director signing the document, the foreign director must present passport and work permit of such foreign director)

 For the copy of the company’s document, the director must sign and affix the company’s seal. Please be noted that the Thai Government Officer can ask for more detail or requirement if it is deemed necessary.

list of document working permit

Government fee and Timeframe for apply Thailand Work Permit

Yes, It is not free. You need to pay a Government fee when applying for Work Permit, it is charged 100THB on the application time. And, you need to pay the government fee after the application has been approved as the following schedule:

Duration of Permit Fee 
Less than 3 months 750THB
3 – 6 months 1,500THB
6 – 12 months 3,000THB

The timeframe for applying Thailand Work Permit is 3 working days upon the submission of the application.

However, it may be extended due to the situation of COVID-19 or any further situation such as Holidays etc,.

Please note that you must prepare cash in Thai Bath for payment.

Thailand Work Permit Government fee

List of Documents for renewing your Work Permit in Thailand

Once you got approved, your Work Permit will be valid for 3 – 12 months. So, you need to renew it before it expires. Here’s the list of documents that you need to prepare to renew your Work Permit in Thailand:

  • Form WP.5
  • Original of Work Permit with its copy
  • Employment Certificate
  • Passport with valid visa
  • Medical Certificate with completed the checked
  • Document as stated in the condition (See condition in your Work Permit)
  • Copy of Company Affidavit
  • Copy of List of Shareholder
  • Latest year of Financial report
  • VAT payment PP.30 for last 3 months
  • Personal income tax
  • Power of Attorney from company
  • Power of Attorney from Work Permit holder
  • Fee (same as application time, see above)

Work Permit First Application and Renewal Service

We have handled numerous Thailand Work Permit applications both for our clients and our foreign staff.

We are aware of all the required documents and the first thing that we do is to check all the company documents to make sure that we will not encounter any inconveniences during the submission of the first application or during the renewal of the Work Permit.

Our work permit application and renewal service offer more than just preparing the document for the applicant.

We make sure that all necessary additional documents which the Labor Officer will ask are prepared nicely.

We also make sure that the Work Permit is acquired legally so that the foreigner and the company or entity who hired the foreigner will not encounter any problems in the future.

Renewal of Thailand Work Permit may sound easy enough even for a foreigner, but we highly suggest leaving it to the experts like us to handle it to avoid any inconveniences or mistakes which may cause you a few more days than usual or to make certain permanent problems for your company or work permit renewals.

Thailand Work Permit application service


In Conclusion, Thailand Work Permit is one of the most important documents that a foreigner working in Thailand must have in order to work legally here.

He must also make sure that it is connected with the right visa.

A lot take the risk to work without the Work Permit and we always explain to every people who inquire about Work Permit that if you are willing to take a jail term and to pay penalties and be fined with a criminal case, then you can take the risk.

Thailand Work Permit’s requirements are pretty straightforward, it is all listed above and every company that willingly hires a foreigner can prepare the documents if they want to.

Some company tends to overlook the importance of a Work Permit in Thailand and learns the lesson the hard way.

Be smart enough to know the laws of a country.

If you want to live a happy and harmonious life in Thailand, follow the law and follow the rules.

It may look hard but with the right person, it is as easy as choosing what food you will eat for dinner.

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