Information for a job seeker on how to get legal to work and find a job in Thailand. Also information on unemployment for a worker who loses their job, is fired or retrenched. Details on where to go and how to register for unemployment benefits. First off, a work permit is only valid for a specific job with a specific company at a specific location. If the person loses their job, they will lose their work permit and therefore their non-immigrant B visa.
Currently, there are no government-assisted programmes to help find work for foreigners, but Thai citizens can contact any Ministry of Labour office throughout Thailand.
Finding a Job
Finding employment in Thailand can be as easy or as difficult as in any other country. It depends on the employers’ needs and the job seeker’s skills. The more specialised skills, especially in the computer and IT fields, are in higher demand. Location is also a factor. In tourist areas such as Phuket, foreigners will face strong competition in the job market. The best chance of finding work is in Bangkok.
Legal employment is only possible with a work permit that is work specific. There are many jobs for qualified foreign workers although finding sponsorship from a company is not always easy. Teaching is the primary job choice; a TEFL Certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) as well as a Bachelor’s degree is required before a work permit can be obtained for a teaching position.
There are also opportunities in sectors such as banking and finance, computer and IT, sales, entertainment, tourism, writing, administration and in areas using specialised skills.
Note: Foreigners are restricted from certain occupations that are protected under the Foreign Business Act of 1999. If caught working in these jobs or listed professions, the person could face criminal charges and may be imprisoned for up to five years and/or pay a fine of up to THB 100,000.
- For more information form the Department of Business Development: Click here
There are many jobs for foreigners advertised online. However, some adverts are listed as “Thai National Only”; foreigners may not apply for these positions. Following up on all contacts through networking will also improve the chances of securing a job. Many employers of foreigners can speak English and many advertisements are in English.
Websites for job seekers in Thailand
Newspapers & magazines
Applying for a Work Permit
Any foreigner who works in Thailand in any capacity, whether in paid or voluntary work must obtain a work permit from the Department of Employment, Ministry of Labour. The only exception to this is for diplomats and a small number of other categories.
Punishments for those ignoring this law will be some or all of the following; fines, imprisonment and deportation from Thailand. Any employer who does not respect this law may also be imprisoned and/or fined.
A foreigner not yet living in Thailand should contact the Royal Thai Embassy in their country to obtain a recommendation for granting a non-immigrant visa. The employer in Thailand can then file for a work permit allowing the foreigner to work in Thailand legally.
A foreigner who is already in the Kingdom of Thailand must apply for a work permit with their company or school within thirty days from the date of employment. In order to get a work permit it is advisable to ask the employer to apply for the permit or contact a professional who has experience as the application form is in Thai, the procedure is complex and involves gathering a large amount of documentation.
The following government links offer information of specific Thai laws and regulations regarding foreigners and employment in Thailand: