Thailand is one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia, and many businesses target the region in their international growth strategy. Before making a move, understand the ins and outs of obtaining a Thailand visa. It’s one of the necessary documents for both employees and employers seeking opportunities in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
ASEAN attracted US$136 billion worth of foreign direct investments (FDI) in 2014, accounting for 11% of global FDI inflows. This year, Southeast Asia as a region should see an average 4.9% GDP growth in 2016, according to the Asian Development Bank.
In December 2015, the ASEAN Community was launched as part of regional integration efforts and is still a work in progress. Its primary goal is to increase foreign trade, build a sustainable economy, and train citizens to build a quality workforce. As a result of the ASEAN Community efforts, Southeast Asia is a hotspot for international businesses.
Who Needs a Thailand Visa?
All foreigners interested in working in Thailand must obtain a Thai work permit and a Thai work visa. Once you establish your legal entity, either through a subsidiary or a service like Foreign Subsidiary as a Service (FSaaS), you need to submit an application on behalf of your candidate.
Obtaining a Thailand Visa
Before getting a work permit, foreign candidates must apply for a non-immigrant “B” visa from a Thai Embassy or Consulate in their home country, i.e., the US.
Documents required for this application include:
- An original and a certified copy of the applicant’s passport.
- An original and a certified copy of certificates of marriage and birth of the applicant’s family members.
- Offer letter from employer.
The visa approval process is relatively quick and usually lasts no longer than one week. It can last longer if the proper documents are not submitted.
A Thailand visa application costs up to $400 and lasts for one year.
Obtaining a Thailand Work Permit
After the candidate receives a Thailand visa, they can apply for a work permit. Employers can speed up the process by applying for a work permit while the foreign employee is still outside Thailand. The country grants the work permit once the foreign worker visits the Labor Office in Thailand in person. Once completed, workers submit their application to the Ministry of Labor.
Documents required for the Thailand work permit application include:
- An application form.
- A passport that shows a non-immigrant “B” visa.
- Evidence of qualifications (the certificate of highest educational degree) and letter of confirmation of employment.
- A medical certificate.
The necessity of work determines the time frame of the work permit in Thailand, but it doesn’t exceed two years. In most cases, it will not exceed the validity period of the non-immigrant “B” visa of the applicant. To learn more about Thai employment law, read this post.
A Global Employer of Record manages the work permit and visa process during global expansion. If you would like to learn about this service and how to get assistance obtaining a Thailand visa, give us a call!