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More details on the new rules regarding work permits and working in Thailand


webfact

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More details on the new rules regarding work permits and working in Thailand

 

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Earlier this year it was revealed that Thailand had made major changes to the rules regarding work permits and its foreign labour law.

 

The changes, which were introduced on March 27 2018 in the Emergency Decree on Non-Thais’ Working Management (No.2) (2018) (“Decree No. 2”), saw Thailand relax some of its laws regarding work permits, including reducing the penalties for foreigners found working without work permits.

 

For example, foreigners can no longer be sent to jail for working without a work permit.

 

Also scrapped was the rarely enforced requirement that all foreigners who come to Thailand to attend meetings, seminars or sports competitions need a work permit.

 

The changes also meant that foreigners could now work in some occupations that had previously been prohibited to non-Thai nationals.

 

Arguably the most significant change was that the Decree states that a foreigner who has  work permit in Thailand can now work anywhere and for anyone and carry out work not listed in the description on their work permit, providing it is not excluded under the list of occupations prohibited to foreigners.

 

Now documentation released by the British Chamber of Commerce in Thailand taken from its meeting held on Friday 24 August has revealed more information on the changes to the laws regarding foreign workers, the highlights of which can be found below:

 

Definition of “work” under the Working of Aliens Act, B.E. 2551 (2008) is very broad:

• “engaging in work by exerting energy or using knowledge whether or not in consideration of wages or other benefits”

• New definition of “work” under the Emergency Decree B.E. 2561 (2018)

• “engaging in any profession, with or without employer, but excluding operation of business of a licensee under the Foreign Business Law”

 

• Exceptions to work include:

− Participating in conferences and seminars

− Visiting exhibitions or trade fairs

− Visiting business sites or attending business meetings

− Attending special or academic lectures

− Attending lectures or seminars on technical training

− Purchasing activities at trade fairs

 

• No Work Permit required for a Smart Visa holder

 

Changes to Work Permit Laws, Regulations & Enforcement

Emergency Decree on Foreigner’s Working Management No.2 B.E. 2561 (2018)

• Work Permit is not required for:

− Persons who enter Thailand from time to time to hold or to attend a meeting, training, seminar, art or cultural exhibitions, or sports competition

− Persons who enter Thailand to operate business or to make investment or who have knowledge, ability, or high skills, which would be beneficial to the development of the country

− Representatives of a foreign company with a Foreign Business License under the Foreign Business Act

 

• No longer required to submit application for amending Work Permit for:

− Changing of Position

− Changing of scope of work / job description

− Changing of address of the company

Provided that the expat still work with the same employer

 

• Reduce maximum penalty for working without work permit

From: Imprisonment for five years or a fine of THB 2,000 to 100,000 or both

To be: A fine of THB 5,000 to 50,000 and deported from the country

• Reduce penalty for employer

From: THB 400,000 to 800,000 for each foreigner employed without Work Permit

To be: THB 10,000 to 100,000 for each foreigner employed without Work Permit

 

INTERESTING BIT HERE (SOME JOB OPENING FOR SKILLED FARANGS?)

 

Changes to Work Permit Laws, Regulations & Enforcement

Plan to remove 12 occupations from the list of 39 prohibited occupations

 

1. Labour work

2. Masonry, Carpentry, or other construction work

3. Cultivation, animal breeding, forestry and fishery work

4. Supervising, auditing or providing services in accounting

5. Mattress and quilt blanket making

6. Knife making

7. Shoemaking

8. Hat making

9. Civil engineering works

10. Architectural work

11. Dressmaking

12. Pottery or ceramic ware making

 

Remaining 27 prohibited occupations and add 1

1. Wood carving;

2. Driving motor vehicles or non-motorized carriers, except for piloting international aircraft;

3. Shop attendant;

4. Auctioneering;

5. Gem cutting and polishing;

6. Hair cutting, hairdressing and beautician work;

7. Hand weaving;

8. Mat weaving or making of wares from reed, rattan, kenaf, straw or bamboo pulp;

9. Manufacture of manual fibrous paper;

10. Manufacture of lacquerware;

11. Thai musical instrument production;

12. Manufacture of nielloware;

13. Goldsmith, silversmith and precious metal work;

14. Manufacture of bronzeware;

15. Thai doll making;

16. Alms bowl making;

17. Manual silk product making;

18. Buddha image making;

19. Paper and cloth umbrella fabrication;

20. Brokerage or agency work, except in international business;

21. Manual cigarette rolling;

22. Tourist guide or tour organizing agency;

23. Hawking business;

24. Thai character type setting;

25. Manual silk reeling and weaving;

26. Clerical or secretarial work;

 

There is also discussion of tax breaks for new businesses set up in the EEC (Eastern Economic Corridor), specifically in Chonburi, Chachoengsao and Rayong and 5 year visas for BOI members

 

3. Declared SEP Zone

• Chonburi – Hemaraj, Eastern Seaboard, Amata, Pinthong, Yamato

• Rayong – Hemaraj, Eastern Seaboard Rayong, CP

• Chachoensao – TFD Industrial Estate

• Smart Park Rayong (EECd)

• WangChan Valley Rayong (EECi)

• U-Tapao Airport (EEC-A)

 

There was no reference to the recent changes covering people “work for themselves” as reported previously.

 
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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News More details on the new rules regarding work permits and working in Thailand
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36 minutes ago, webfact said:

• No longer required to submit application for amending Work Permit for:

− Changing of Position

− Changing of scope of work / job description

− Changing of address of the company

Provided that the expat still work with the same employer

Obviously, you still need to submit an application to amend your Work Permit when you change your residence address.

 

I don't trust any of this, and that is why I haven't commented on these new regs yet.  Who knows how all of this will actually be implemented?  I certainly don't trust the British Chamber of Commerce.  I have been in legal/HR in Thailand for 11 years and have learned not to trust any pronouncements or new regs until I hear from several MOL/BOI officials as to how they are being implemented.

 

The one thing I do trust is that foreigners who come for short stay company business, meetings, training, etc. do not need a work permit, but that only replaces the 15/30 day urgent expert work permit which was automatically approved upon application.

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„Changes to Work Permit Laws, Regulations & Enforcement

Emergency Decree on Foreigner’s Working Management No.2 B.E. 2561 (2018)

• Work Permit is not required for:

...

− Persons who enter Thailand to operate business or to make investment or who have knowledge, ability, or high skills, which would be beneficial to the development of the country“

 

And ... WHO DECIDES THIS? 

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

− Purchasing activities at trade fairs

What about purchasing activities elsewhere ?   Saw immigration hassle a guy trying to buy things from a factory.  That was during the early days of junta mania's farange cleansing, rich guys in poor guys out reign of terror. 

 

Purchasing things needed a visa.  Most boneheaded thing imaginable.  Thailand has at least started to move closer to a more sober train of thought.   I think we all know who instigated this.  It was certainly not the jewelry troll or his delusional boss. 

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

Arguably the most significant change was that the Decree states that a foreigner who has  work permit in Thailand can now work anywhere and for anyone and carry out work not listed in the description on their work permit, providing it is not excluded under the list of occupations prohibited to foreigners. 

I can't believe this, interpretation/translation! Specifically the 'work for anyone' bit. The rest is believable and good news.

 

My guess is 'you can work anywhere in the country, for the same employer and do anything permitted under the list...' will be more likely. Only a guess tho ?

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7 hours ago, webfact said:

Persons who enter Thailand to operate business or to make investment or who have knowledge, ability, or high skills, which would be beneficial to the development of the country

The Kingdom will be flooded with driving instructors.

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...interesting to note: agricultural/horticultural and associated endeavours have never been listed on the prohibited side - not from my memory, anyway.

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12 hours ago, ParadiseLost said:

I can't believe this, interpretation/translation! Specifically the 'work for anyone' bit. The rest is believable and good news.

Taiwan and Hong Kong allow this.  Pretty sure Cambodia and Singapore does too.  Malaysia may as well, so they may just be taking on their good example.

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7 hours ago, BigBadGeordie said:

The Kingdom will be flooded with driving instructors.

Maybe so but they would have few customers as Thai drivers are experts in there own minds anyway. 

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15 hours ago, webfact said:

Plan to remove 12 occupations from the list of 39 prohibited occupations

 

1. Labour work

Nifty!  I can plant rice and pick lamyai!  Whoo Hoo! 
All kidding aside, this is good news and long overdue.  Kudos to whatever ministry decided its time to bring Thai labor law into the 21st century. 

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So according to this latest update the Government should release those Russians still held in prison for sex lectures. Surely they are being held illegally especially as they are still waiting trial in prison after nearly 6 months. Or am I missing something ?

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Interesting....

I am cooking Italian and Mexican specialities on my own restaurant for many years now without any work permit......and my best customers are the local immigration officers.

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8 hours ago, zzaa09 said:

...interesting to note: agricultural/horticultural and associated endeavours have never been listed on the prohibited side - not from my memory, anyway.

Actually they were, on every list I've seen.

 

Quote

 

OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS PROHIBITED FOR FOREIGN WORKERS

 THE LIST APPENDED TO THE ROYAL DECREE IN B.E.2522
 
PRESCRIBING OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS PROHIBITED FOR FOREIGN WORKERS 
1.  Labour work;
2.  Agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, or fishery, except work requiring expertise, specialized work, or farm supervision work;

 

(http://www.mol.go.th/en/content/page/6347)
 

 

Quote

 

However, until the new Ministerial regulation, there is a decree made in 1979 which prohibits Foreigners to work 39 occupations.  Some of these prohibited jobs were modified or deleted. But at the moment, Foreigners (Aliens) are not permitted to work in the following positions: 

  1. Labour work except labour work in fishing boats under the next category below. The said work which is forbidden to aliens shall not apply to aliens who have entered into Thailand under an agreement on hire of labour concluded between the Government of Thailand and other nations, and also aliens whose status has been prescribed as legal immigrant and who possess a residence certificate under the law governing immigration.
  2. Agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry or fishery, except work requiring specialized knowledge, farm supervision, or labour work in fishing boats, particularly marine fishery.

 

 

(http://www.thailawonline.com/en/others/labour-law/forbidden-occupations-for-foreigners-jobs.htmlhttp://www.thailawonline.com/en/others/labour-law/forbidden-occupations-for-foreigners-jobs.html)


 

Quote

 

The Thai government has broken down the employment process in Thailand into 3 categories. These are listed below so you may understand what a foreigner is not allowed to do in Thailand. Note that they will not issue you with a work permit for any of these professions. The Alien Business Law (N.E.C. Announcement 281) does not allow work in Category A and B. For Category C you need prior permission to be involved in it.

Category A:

Agriculture:

  • – You are not allowed in rice farming
  • – You are not allowed in salt farming. ***

Working in agriculture in Thailand is not going to be allowed as a Thai national can perform this type of work. Even though the Act states ‘rice farming’ there was a huge outcry in 2009 when a foreign company stepped in and opened an agribusiness in Issaan (North Eastern Thailand). It’s not allowed.

 

Category B:

Agriculture Business:

  • – You are not allowed in Orchids cultivation
  • – You are not allowed in cultivation
  • – You are not allowed in animal husbandry including silk worm raising
  • – You are not allowed in timbering
  • – You are not allowed in fishing.

 

(https://gam-legalalliance.com/services/immigration/thai-visas/thai-work-permit/prohibited-jobs-for-foreigners-in-thailand/)

 

 

But that was before the recent changes so some of those sites need to update their pages.

 

 

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In the prohibited list are:

20. Brokerage or agency work, except in international business;

22. Tourist guide or tour organizing agency;

 

I've always wondered about all those real estate agencies and tour companies that are run by a foreigner or that have an active foreign director.

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16 hours ago, webfact said:

. Masonry, Carpentry, or other construction work 

This could help Thailand have decently built homes

Not the smear thin stucco cement over crappy brick style

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27 minutes ago, Muzarella said:

Interesting....

I am cooking Italian and Mexican specialities on my own restaurant for many years now without any work permit......and my best customers are the local immigration officers.

Could be about to end then...!

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I suspect that there will be more changes and "clarifications" as some of what has been put out seems a little to "generalized" and open to interpretation.

 

Like being able to work for anyone, anywhere in the country, regardless of what is on your original Work Permit. Like that won't be abused within minutes of it becoming official.

Of the bit about entering the country to operate a business. What kind of business ? Does a "shop house bar" count as a business ? Back alley Hot Dog stand ? 
From the sounds of it, I could start almost any kind of business and wouldn't require a work permit to run it.

Or, if I get a work permit to do one thing (dive instructor for example) there's nothing stopping me from going anywhere in the country and working for someone else as an English teacher or an electrician or animal breeder (but I still couldn't get a job rolling cigarettes by hand dang it).

I'm sure that most of the changes are aimed towards labour from adjoining countries (Cambodia, Laos and Burma primarily) as a lot of the "labour" and construction type jobs are already being done by them.

I'm sure it won't be long before we are seeing stories of people getting busted by Immigration for violating the "new" rules because different people in different areas will have a different interpretation of what those rules actually are.

 

Then we will see more "amendments" to what foreigners can (or can't) do.

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The only thing that really excited people was the prospect of working in other fields or with a different employer on the same work permit; not so I think.  Otherwise it's chicken feed really. 

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52 minutes ago, generealty said:

So according to this latest update the Government should release those Russians still held in prison for sex lectures. Surely they are being held illegally especially as they are still waiting trial in prison after nearly 6 months. Or am I missing something ?

 

I was thinking the same thing, except -- the law that they would have had to follow would have been that in effect at the time their "training" sessions were held -- not the revised future law/regulations whenever they take effect.

 

Legally, the changes wouldn't necessarily be a get out of jail free card for past illegal conduct -- unless the Thai government simply wanted to let them off the hook. But from what I can see, the current group in charge don't seem to be too appreciative of sex training endeavors in Thailand!  :cheesy:

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17 hours ago, webfact said:

Mattress and quilt blanket making

 

17 hours ago, webfact said:

Dressmaking

Yesss !

I'm in !

17 hours ago, webfact said:

Hair cutting, hairdressing and beautician work;

 

17 hours ago, webfact said:

Manual cigarette rolling;

Damn !

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In thailand you need a work permit to have a brain!

Dam, wish i never went to school because now when i show how dam capable i am i could get in trouble. Isnt that bit of a human rights abuse?

 

i dont see a definitive mention of agriculture anywhere. Allowed now or not?

 

im skeptical but if this is real its a step in the right direction.

 

The exerting of energy phrase is a little tough though. Theres a lot of fat pig sweat fests of farangs just climbing stairs. Best get in shape!

 

 

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2 hours ago, yellowboat said:

Taiwan and Hong Kong allow this.  Pretty sure Cambodia and Singapore does too.  Malaysia may as well, so they may just be taking on their good example.

 

17 hours ago, webfact said:

Arguably the most significant change was that the Decree states that a foreigner who has  work permit in Thailand can now work anywhere and for anyone and carry out work not listed in the description on their work permit, providing it is not excluded under the list of occupations prohibited to foreigners.

 

17 hours ago, webfact said:

• No longer required to submit application for amending Work Permit for:

− Changing of Position

− Changing of scope of work / job description

− Changing of address of the company

Provided that the expat still work with the same employer

I think I'll wait until it is announced by the Thais; the two extracts from the OP above even contradict themselves with one statement saying with a work permit the foreigner can work anywhere, for anyone and the second that work permit details don't need amending as long as the ex-pat works for the same employer.

 

I have big difficulties seeing 'Albert' the Brit coming to Thailand, issued a work permit for 'A' company as an IT Admin and then decides to work for 'B' company as say, a QA/QC Coordinator without having to change, or be issued with another WP. 

 

1. He would be working for a new employer, doing a completely different job, apparently allowed under the first extract above

 

2. He would be employed in a different position, with a new scope of work and by a different employer which contradicts the second extract above

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I'm surprised massage therapist is not on the list of the prohibited jobs for foreigner. I was sure it was dedicated to Thai nationals only and I've never seen any foreigner making massage. Someone knows more? I'm speaking about Thai massage of course. 

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