How to Get a Thai Business Visa and Work Permit through Shelter
Unfortunately in Thailand, getting a visa and work permit can require you to jump through many bureaucratic hoops and deal with an unreasonable amount of paperwork. There are several long-term visa options available to foreigners, yet a constant complaint seems to be the complicated process involved in becoming a legal, contributing member of Thai society.
Luckily, as an employee of Shelter, we have you covered. From start to finish, our staff will guide you through the process and handle the documentation for you.
Here is what you can expect when onboarding with us, summarized in 7 steps.
Unless you were already pre-approved by one of representatives, the first step is to submit a Shelter Application Form (~5 minutes).
We will be looking to see that you meet the five basic requirements:
- Are at least 22 years old
- Have either one of the following:
- (a) an IT-related university degree, plus at least 2 years of relevant work experience
- (b) any type of university/college/school diploma or certificate, plus at least 5 years of relevant work experience
- 2+ years experience in software development, blockchain, design, marketing, or other online, tech/digital-related activity
- Existing client base or business
- Can bill at least 1,500 USD through Shelter
2. Document Collection
The first step will be to gather all of the documents we need in order to approve your job title. The general requirements are twofold: an IT-related university degree and 2 years working in that field. However if your degree is not in an IT-related field or you only have a high school diploma, then you need to have 5 years related work experience.
You will need to gather your university degree and letters or certificates from previous employers. If you have set up a legal entity, you can write a self-reference letter as a director of your company.
Note on translation If your documents are not in English or Thai, then you need to have them translated by a Thailand-based translation company. We can recommend a few services who can do the translation on your behalf.
3. Title Approval
Next, send the documents to Shelter to have your title approved. The process takes around 8-10 days.
4. Receive Business Visa Package
The next step is to get you the visa package you will need to present when applying for your Non-Immigrant type “B” visa. It should take around 2-3 days for us to prepare all the documents you need.
If you’re in Chiang Mai, you can simply pick up all the documents from our office. If not, we can have them delivered to you. For international delivery, please allow up to 2 weeks.
5. Apply for Visa at Thai Embassy
The next step is to visit a Thai embassy or consulate outside of Thailand to submit your application and pick up your visa.
If you’re still in your home country, you should apply at the Thai embassy in your country. If you’re in Thailand already, then you need to exit Thailand and apply at a Thai embassy or consulate in a neighboring country.
We personally recommend going to a Thai consulate or embassy in Malaysia if you fall into this category. At the Penang and Kuala Lumpur Thai Consulates, you can drop off your application and pick up the passport the next day. Malaysia is also convenient because citizens from most western nations receive visa-free entry for up to 90 days.
Shelter will prepare the company documents according to the requirements of the Thai embassy you choose to visit. On your part, you’ll need to fill out the application forms, provide standard passport photos, and make the payment based on the fee charged at the embassy. The visa that you’ll be issued is a Non-Immigrant type “B” visa that will be valid for a single entry of up to 3 months.
6. Enter Thailand
When you arrive in Thailand, your Non-B visa will be activated. As Thailand receives many tourists on visa-exempt entries, you should double-check to make sure that the Immigration staff processed you correctly. Before walking off towards the baggage claim, look to see if your Non-B visa page was stamped as it should be.
As soon as possible after arrival, please scan the Non-B page, arrival stamp, and departure card, and then send these to us so we can start on your work permit application.
7. Obtain Work Permit and Extend Visa
The last step has 2 parts—getting your Thailand work permit and extending your visa. If you’re in Chiang Mai, this step will take around 2 weeks to complete. If you’re in Bangkok it can be done in one day for an extra fee.
When extending the visa to 1-year, you can choose to apply for a re-entry permit at the same time. It is recommended to do this if you plan to travel outside Thailand during the upcoming year because it will save you another trip to Immigration. You can choose between a single re-entry permit or multiple re-entry permit.
The single re-entry permit costs 1000 Thai baht, and the multiple-entry costs 3800 baht.
After this, you will be all set with your Thai work permit and 1-year Non-B visa.
Breakdown of visa extension and work permit fees:
- 3800 THB for multiple re-entry permit (1000 THB for single)*
- 3000 THB for work permit
- 1900 THB for visa extension
*Please note that the re-entry permit is optional
Our visa support doesn’t stop there. Our team will help with your 90 day reporting and are more than happy to answer your questions regarding Thai Business Visa or Work Permit.
Are you ready to start the Shelter application process? Get started here.