Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘B Visa Thailand’

6th December 2019

It is becoming increasingly clear that Thai Immigration officials are becoming ever more concerned with those who are working illegally in Thailand. Therefore, this state of affairs begs the question: how does one obtain and/or maintain work authorization in Thailand?

It should be noted that there are two ways in which one can obtain employment authorization in Thailand. One way is to receive an offer of employment from a Thai company. Generally, if the prospective employee is offered employment while abroad, then a WP3 work pre-authorization letter will need to be obtained and the foreign worker will need to apply for a Thai business visa before traveling to Thailand to have their work permit booklet issued. However, if the foreign worker is not abroad, then that individual may need to travel abroad in order to see to it that a WP3 is issued as the Thai Labor Department will only issue such documentation on foreign workers who are physically residing outside of Thailand. Within Southeast Asia, the WP3 is increasingly necessary as those Royal Thai Embassies and Consulates in the region which issue Thai business visas will only do so for those who have been issued a WP3.

Once in Thailand with a B visa, the prospective employee can seek their work permit booklet. Their employer must formally request such documentation as the employer is the sponsor of the work permit. After the permit is issued it should remain either on the premises of the place of business or if the employee must travel to another location to undertake work-related activity a copy should go along with the employee. It is worth noting that in March of 2018 the Thai Labor Department relaxed Thai work permit rules and therefore it is now possible for foreign work permit holders to engage in work activity away from their sponsoring-business’s premises.

The protocols regarding work permit issuance in the context of a business owner are qualitatively different compared to work permit issuance for someone wishing to be employed at a company in Thailand. One significant difference, especially in the context of an SME or a startup company is the “Catch-22” situation some prospectively self-employed foreigners find themselves in. For example, in order for an entrepreneur to obtain a work permit, they need a business visa, a WP3 is often necessary, and in order to obtain a WP3 a company is necessary. Therefore, Thailand company registration is often the first step toward obtaining a Thai business visa and work permit. Those wishing to setup a Thai company are well advised to seek professional guidance as there are multiple ways to incorporate a Thai business which, depending upon the legal structure, may provide differing benefits.

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21st July 2009

There are certain misunderstood aspects of the Thailand Business Visa that may need to be cleared up in order to properly understand how Thai Immigration views those non-Thai nationals in possession of a Thailand B visa.

First, a Thai business visa should not be inferred to impart the right to work in Thailand. Those holding Thai B Visas (Business), must still obtain a Thai work permit before they will be allowed to enjoy employment rights. Even then, Thai law, which in this respect is similar to United States Immigration law, restricts work authorization to a specified geographic location, namely the official address of the employer. That being said, it may be possible to get a second employer stamped into one’s Thai work permit and thereby allow employment with multiple organizations by officially authorizing such employment.

One very difficult concept for many to grasp is the idea that a visa does not confer the “right” to enter the country. This causes some confusion particularly with regard to United States Immigration. A USA visa simply gives the bearer the right to seek permission to enter the United States of America.

The Kingdom of Thailand views visas and travel documents in a similar light. In fact, it may be possible to be turned away at a port of entry in Thailand even where the prospective entrant has what is otherwise considered to be a valid visa. This issue became of acute concern nearly 5 years ago when operators began springing up throughout Thailand who offered to send one’s passport out of the Kingdom and have it sent back in with a new valid visa issued from an Embassy or Consulate abroad. In this situation, even though the visas were issued legally, the Thailand Immigration authorities at the port of entry began not only turning prospective entrants away, but also nullifying visas issued to someone who was in Thailand when the visa was issued at a diplomatic post abroad.

Another common mistake regarding Thai Business visas involves the definition of “multiple entry.” Specifically, does a one year multiple entry Thai visa imply that the bearer may remain in Thailand uninterrupted without being forced to leave? Put simply: No. A Multiple entry visa holder must leave at least every 90 days in order to remain in legal immigration status in the Kingdom.  That being said, the multiple entry visa is commonly confused with the Thai visa extension. The extension allows the bearer to remain in Thailand for up to one year without being compelled to depart every 90 days.  The downside of the extension is the fact that one needs to obtain a reentry permit in order to leave the country. The multiple entry visa allows the person holding it to leave the Kingdom and return on the same visa so long as it remains valid. Hence the name, “multiple entry.”

For further information, Please see the US-Thai Treaty of Amity as certain Immigration rights are created under this bilateral agreement.

(This is not legal advice. For such advice contact an attorney. No lawyer-client relationship should be assumed to exist between author and reader.)

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