For those of us in the West, there are many different reasons that Thailand seems like an ideal place to live and work. The promise of luxury homes at a fifth of the rental cost of those back home, the sunshine, locals that are both friendly and speak good English, delicious food, elephant rides, scuba diving, partying … the list seems endless!
However, high demand by foreigners for work permits under Thai labor laws and for visas that allow working has led to extensive regulations that govern them. Today Thai law consulting experts tell you the 6 most important things to know about Thai laws on visas and work permits.
1. No two visa applications run exactly the same way
It can be counterproductive to assume that your visa application will proceed in a particular way because you have heard of another visa application where something specific happened. Getting Thai law consulting advice and assistance is one of the only sure ways to predict potential problems and assets.
2. The details get lost in translation
Don’t rely on Google Translate to tell you exactly what the visa administrators want … the most important details are in the subtleties and do not necessarily come through.
3. Visas issued by Thai Embassies abroad can be overturned by immigration authorities within Thailand
Overseas Thai Embassy-issued visas don’t necessarily entitle you to enter the country, they simply smooth the way under Thai law. You’ll still need to be polite and helpful with the in-country immigration authorities.
4. You’ll need a means to support yourself once you are in the country
Many visa applications will require you to prove your income or saved funds. Also, many work permit applications that Thai labor law experts help prepare will require you to have a job already organized and a letter from your employer.
5. You’ll need to be vaccinated and healthy
Even if you have the funds to seek medical treatment within Thailand, if you are ‘mentally unstable’, carrying diseases listed in the Ministerial Regulations, have not been vaccinated against smallpox or have refused to have vaccinations administered by the Immigration Doctor, the Thai laws preventing you from entering the country are very clear.
6. Getting overstay fines is not recommended
It is sometimes possible to clear an ‘accidental’ overstay of a visa under Thai law by paying a fine of 500TB per day at the airport, under Thai law. Some people view this as a simple ‘fee for service’, believing that it is okay to overstay as long as you pay for the days. In reality, Thailand legal services urge people to realize that an overstay is a criminal offence. You could be prosecuted, put in detention, deported or blacklisted.