There is a large number of expats working and starting businesses in Thailand. Thailand is a central hub in Southeast Asia and a leading developing economy in the region. Bangkok is the regional headquarters to many multinational corporations. With modern conveniences such as mass transit, high speed internet, and international shopping and dining, foreign expats would have no trouble experiencing a full, comfortable, and modern life in Bangkok.
It is not surprising that the most requested information that our office receives are questions on working and starting a business in Thailand. Foreigners who want to work, start a business, or invest in a business in Thailand need to obtain a Non Immigrant B Visa. The Non Immigrant B Visa is segregated into various types of activities.
A foreigner who wishes to conduct business in Thailand must submit evidence of the applicant’s company and their position in the business. The applicant must document the financial status company and the ability to support the applicant life in Thailand. If the applicant is not the owner of the business, the applicant must submit similar documents from the employer but must also review ministry regulations to ensure that work permits are available for their occupation. Some occupations require licensure or are restricted to Thai nationals. Those on Non Immigrant “B” visas are not allowed to work until they have received a work permit from the ministry of commerce.
A Non-Immigrant “B-A” (Business Approved Visa) is provided to applicants who are associated with companies that will invest or conduct business in Thailand. This type of visa can be applied on behalf of the applicant at the Office of Immigration Bureau. Once the application has been approved, the Immigration Bureau will inform the local Thai Embassy or Consulate.
Investors and experts are granted privileges under the Investment Promotion Act of 1977 to stay in Thailand for a temporary basis for investments and business operations in promoted activities. The Board of Investment of Thailand established a One-Stop Service Center for Visas and Work Permits as part of their investment promotion package. Companies that start business operations in their targeted industries are issued Non Immigrant “IB” visas.
Foreign nationals who are employed as school teachers at levels before the University level can apply for a Teaching Non Immigrant “B” Visa. In order to be granted a teaching license and work permit, the Ministry of Education usually requires a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree and a Teaching English Certificate. The applicant is required to submit the applicant’s educational certificate, criminal clearance, invitation letter from Thai educational institution, and an employment contract from the employing school.
Siam Legal is experienced and skilled in submitting Thai Business Visas and Work Permits applications. Please contact our office if you have questions about the process. We will advise you of your eligibility of obtaining a Non Immigrant “B” Visa in Thailand.
Mr. Robert R. Virasin serves as legal manager of Siam Legal’s Immigration Division. A graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor Degree in Political Science, Mr. Virasin completed his Juris Doctorate at the University of Houston and a Masters of Laws (Business) from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. Mr. Virasin is a member of the State Bar of Texas and is a licensed U.S. attorney with over 15 years of legal experience. Robert is a regular contributor and author of a number of immigration related articles.