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Work permit rules revised

Valid for 12 months, ready within a week by Penchan Charoensuthipan

Renewable work permits will be issued to foreigners for 12 months under a rule revamp approved by the Labour Ministry. Requests must also be processed within seven days.

Minister Dej Boonlong said the Employment Department brought in the changes after complaints about delays in issuing work permits. Where permits are declined applicants have the right to appeal to the minister via the department chief or registrars within 30 days. Petitions must be sent on in 15 days to the Alien Labour Panel which will send its comments to the minister, who in turn must hand down a final ruling within 30 days.


"We have a duty to ensure convenience, create incomes and jobs and bring new technology to the country," said Mr Dej. "Foreigners can work here on a one-year basis and must have their permits renewed before they expire. They will pay no more than 1,000 Baht in fees a year."

To be eligible, foreigners must do one of the following:

- Serve workplaces with registered capital of at least two million Baht. One foreigner can be hired for every two million baht of capital.

- Serve workplaces which have paid taxes of at least five million Baht in the past three years. One foreigner can be hired for every five million Baht in tax.

- Serve export firms which bring in foreign currency of at least three million Baht per year. One foreigner can be hired for every three million Baht in income, up to a maximum of three foreigners.

- Serve workplaces which employ no more than five foreign workers, where the firm observes a ratio of 50 Thai workers for every one foreigner.

-Pay at least 18,000 Baht in personal income tax in the past year. Foreigners who have not worked here before must produce documents from potential employers confirming they will be paid at least 30,000 Baht if they are single and 45,000 Baht each if they are married.

However, the Employment Department's head is empowered to issue or renew work permits without taking tax payments into account in exceptional categories, where the foreigners must be either:

- International trade representatives, who audit product quality, purchases and market status;

- Advisers in investment, management, technology or internal auditing;

- Tourism workers bringing foreigners to Thailand for tours;

- Working at international financial institutes endorsed by the Bank of Thailand;

- Working on a temporary basis in entertainment, religious, social welfare, cultural and sporting businesses which pay taxes to the state;

-Working with local raw materials;

- Working in areas where there is a shortage of Thai labour;

- Are married to Thai citizens with decent jobs.


Foreigners wanting to take urgent jobs in Thailand must contact the Employment Department for consent.

Bangkok Post, May 31, 2002

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