We have personally known too many friends and associates facing this problem. Some have even jumped from one Visa Agent to another and each promised to sort it out for you however after numerous attempts, excuses and reasons, your Visa status is still in limbo.
First of all, let us explain how this works from the perspective of the Thai Government and once you truly understand it, you can then tackle each step by it’s own and not be blinded by your agent.
According to Thai Immigration, a Tourist cannot and should not look for work or start a business while holidaying in Thailand. You are being let into Thailand solely for leisure sake.
This is the 1st hurdle many of you face. Why do I need a Non-Immigrant “B” Visa before I can apply for a Work Permit. The above is the reason. You also have to understand that Thai Immigration law has been set in stone before the whole digital nomad, online work / business era has started therefore from their point of view, if you are here solely on a leisure basis, you won’t be able to find work, do work or start a business.
Now that you understand this, the first step to obtain a permission to stay and work or do business in Thailand is to enter the country on a Visa that allows you to start a business or work and that Visa is called Non-Immigrant “B” Visa. In most cases, this Visa class has to be applied while you are outside of Thailand. Once you have your Non-Immigrant “B” Visa (your 1st Non-Immigrant “B” Visa is only valid for 90 days but extendable), you can now look for a job, work or start a business and this is the time when you need to have a Work Permit from the Ministry of Labour.
So Step 2 is to apply for your Work Permit with the Ministry of Labour. For this, they have their own criteria before approving your Work Permit and the common one that you may have heard of is that the company hiring you is only qualified to hire 1 foreigner for every 4 Thai Citizen they hired and to prevent shortcuts, the way the Ministry of Labour determine whether the Company has 4 Thai Citizen in their payroll is by matching it with the Social Security System. They need to see that the company has hired 4 Thai staff who are enrolled into the Social Security System for at least 3 months. to be considered as valid. (of course there are other ways such as BOI company and etc but for the sake of this article as well as to satisfy 80% of the probable readers) we will stick with this setup as the other setup would require a lot more capital and cost.
Once you’ve your Work Permit (which is valid for 1 year) you now need to extend your Non-Immigrant “B” Visa from 90 days (as mentioned earlier) to 1 year. This is your Final Step to be able to live in Thailand legally and peacefully for 1 year.
If you’re looking for someone to assist you with your Visa and Work Permit requirements, do contact UnionSPACE as we now offer this service with a Money Back Guarantee pledge for the cases that we accept.
Hope this helps and good luck.