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Can I Work In Thailand? | 4 Thai Employees For Every Foreign Worker

Can I Work In Thailand | Thai Work Permits For Foreigners living in Thailand

Can I Work In Thailand | Thai Work Permits For Foreigners living in Thailand

A common question we often hear when people consider to buy Hua Hin homes, “Can I Work In Thailand?”

CAN I WORK IN THAILAND AS A FOREIGNER?: Can foreigners work in Thailand legally, or can foreigners start their own businesses in Thailand?

Can I work in Thailand? The answer is a resounding YES!  That said, officially, if you are not a Thai citizen, you’ll need to  have a valid visa & apply for a work permit either through the company you are hired through, or by starting your own business and employing at least 4 Thai nationals for every foreign worker.  You must also comply with the Alien Employment Act, which has some provisions that may protect certain occupations and are reserved for Thai nationals only.

If you have a job offer with a Thai company or any other foreign company based in Thailand, then you’ll receive a work permit through the company itself.  If you are planning on starting your own company, then you’ll need to personally apply for your own work permit, which is also incredibly easy to do.  Your work permit will need to be renewed each year, but this is a fairly trivial process and doesn’t require too much paper work.

CAN I WORK IN THAILAND IF I DON’T KNOW THE LANGUAGE OR CULTURE?: Learning to work in a different culture with a foreign language can be challenging, but rewarding!

That said, there are many expats living and working throughout Thailand both full-time & part-time.  It’s a great place to gain experience working and operating in a different language and culture, especially one that is so foreign to the West.  There are many advantages to being a westerner with skills acquired from years of working in the West; however, it is important to note that you there can be a “Thai way” of doing things which may conflict with western work ethics and sensibilities.  In order to survive long-term here in the Land Of Smiles, one must learn to be flexible and especially diplomatic when it comes to constructive criticism of your employees.

It’s not common for Thais to view their work or careers in the same way that westerners do.  Generally speaking, Thais do not place the same weight and seriousness in their work as most westerners.  With that said, it is quite easy for westerners to come to Thailand and sometimes out perform their local Thai competitors.  This can be both a benefit to a company looking for higher-quality workers, but can also lead to problems between Thai and other foreign co-workers.

Learning to “save-face” is something all westerners will be confronted with if they expect to keep their jobs long-term.  For more in-depth detail of how to successfully navigate working in Thailand, please read “Culture Shock Thailand

As a westerner, you’ll experience many challenges & just as many rewards.  Some common jobs often seen around Hua Hin include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Online work: SEO specialist’s, software programmers, web developers, etc
  • Financial Advisor 
  • Insurance
  • School teachers (All subjects, not just English)
  • Start your own business (must not breach the protected occupations listed in the Alien Employment Act)
  • Lots of advertised jobs in Bangkok and throughout Thailand (link: https://thailand.classifiedsfree.co/thailand-classifieds/new_0/free-classifieds-thailand, or here: https://th.jobsdb.com/th)
  • Hotel / Restaurant jobs in many high-end resorts and top-end restaurants (usually management positions)
  • Construction (higher entry barrier, as you’ll need to have some financial backing to start)
  • Sports Instructors (Diving & Windsurfing instructors, fitness coaches, yoga, etc
  • Manufacturing (clothing, cosmetics, mattresses, electronics, etc)

CAN I WORK IN THAILAND IF I HAVE THE APPROPRIATE DOCUMENTS?: What requirements must I first meet?

According to Thai Immigration, you must first apply for a non-immigrant visa, which is normally obtained from a Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate prior to your arrival in Thailand.  This visa cannot be a regular 30 day tourist visa.  You must have some form of a non-immigrant visa.  A marriage visa is a valid option, as well as, any permanent residency visa.

Oh yeah, if it’s not completely obvious, you’ll also be subjected to Thai employment taxes if you are an employee.  If you are the business owner, you’ll need to pay retirement taxes for all of your employees as well.

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