What foreigners need to know
about working in Thailand

Every day more and more foreigners fall in love with Thailand during their long holiday here, and sometimes, even during their first visits. Many of which will end up making the decision to move to Thailand for work or even to open their own business. I mean who wouldn’t want to? The good food, warm weather, the culture, the beaches – the list goes on and on. So if you’re looking to relocate to Thailand for work, then here are a few things you will want to know about working in Thailand as a foreigner. 

It is possible for foreigners to work in Thailand, as long as you have  the right type of visa, a work permit and a profession that does not violate the Alien Employment Act. But all of this is information you can easily find on the internet. It’s what they don’t tell you that can really change your experience of working in Thailand. In fact it could even make it more pleasant for you, so let’s have a look at some of the things you must know about working in Thailand as a Foreigner:

5 Things Foreigners Should Know About Working in Thailand

1. All foreigners in Thailand are subject to the Alien Employment Act, which requires that you must have a work permit issued by the Department of Employment, Ministry of Labor. And you must know that there are certain occupations that are forbidden for foreigners to protect these jobs for the local Thai nationals only. A few examples of these occupations include lacquer work, auction sale work, architectural work and tour guiding.

2. Foreigners are allowed to work in the Kingdom under Thai law, however, even volunteer or charity work needs a work permit in Thailand. As far as labor development is concerned, Thai nationals are still given priority. 

3. Understanding the culture and adjusting to it – In Thailand, the local people are raised to be non-confrontational. Respect is one of the utmost cherished values, and Thai people show respect in all aspects of their lives. Thais are never direct or upfront, instead, they soften their tone or manner to avoid conflict or hurting others feelings. It’s important to keep this in mind in Thailand – be kind, be courteous, be polite. Show respect to your Thai co-workers and colleagues, and they will show respect back to you. 

4. Carry your work permit and passport with you at all times, even if it is just a copy. Every now and again, you may get a surprise visit from immigration or police at your workplace, or in a meeting or on a business trip. Proof of being able to legally reside and work in Thailand will be beneficial.  

5. Make sure to fully understand the rules and regulations of your visa and of labour regulations in Thailand. Keeping yourself informed, and knowing your rights as a foreigner working in Thailand, will save you a lot of hassle in the event of an unfortunate situation such as a discrepancy in the workplace. 

Working Visa Types for Foreigners

Foreigners wanting to work in Thailand will need to GET a Non-B visa with a valid work permit. In order to apply for the Non-B visa, here are the documents needed:
  • Copy of valid Work Permit / WP3 letter from Ministry of Labor, Thailand. The company in Thailand is required to submit an application Form for WP3.
  • Letter of invitation or acceptance from the concerned companies/ organizations
  • Letter from applicant’s company indicating the applicant’s position, length of employment, salary, purpose of visit(s) to Thailand and length of stay in Thailand. 
  • Corporate documents of associated partners/ companies in Thailand such as:
    • Business registration
    • Business license
    • List of shareholders
    • And the company profile. 
Working in Thailand and Visa Types for Foreigners
IF YOU’D LIKE To teach at a Thai school or AN international school. HERE are the documents YOU WILL need to GET YOUR Non-B visa:
  • Copy of valid Work Permit / WP3 letter from Ministry of Labor, Thailand. So the company you will work within Thailand will need to submit an application Form for WP3. These applications will need to be submitted to the Office of Foreign Workers Administration, Department of Employment, Ministry of Labor. 
  • An original letter of acceptance from an institute school in Thailand.
  • Evidence of educational qualification such as a copy of diplomas/teaching certification or copies of the transcript. 
  • A copy of school (in Thailand) license or business registration, list of shareholders and school profile.
  • Your Resume
  • An original letter of verification stating that the applicant has no criminal record/ background check. Your verification has to be valid for not more than 3 months and must be issued from a state or Federal Bureau of Investigation only. Online criminal record without authorizer’s signature is unacceptable)
  • If you’re going to teach at international schools, not listed as recognized International Schools, a copy of the letter of approval from the Office of the Private Education Commission will be needed.

Work Permits & Why You Need Them To Work In Thailand

Working In thailand as a foreigner - you need a work permit
What You Can and Can’t Do

If you have a Non-B visa and a work permit, there are specific requirements tied to the legality of your working status. Here are some of the most asked questions we get:


Q: Can I work at several different places with one work permit from a different company?

A: Your work permit is tied to the specific job it was given to you for.


Q: Can I work anywhere in Thailand if I have a work permit for a specific city?

A: No, your work permit is tied to the job it was granted for and the city it is listed in.


Q: During the renewal of my work permit, once it’s expired, can I still work? 

A: You won’t be able to work with an expired work permit until the application process for a new work permit is approved. 


Q: Can I have one work permit with one title and work for a different role?

A: No, your work permit is valid for the role it was issued for.

While there are a lot of things you should know about working in Thailand, these are what our customers often have issues with the most. If you have any questions or need advice, please feel free to drop us a message in the chatbox below. We believe that sometimes it’s nice to have someone you can contact for this type of information.

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