We pride ourselves in providing a seamless onboarding experience for our Thailand EOR clients. Moving across the world is a huge step for anyone, which is why we ensure that each step of the process is anticipated and understood in advance.

In this post, we outline every stage in the Shelter onboarding experience – from sign-up and consultation to obtaining your work permit and beyond.

Applying From Outside Thailand

If you are applying from outside Thailand, the process is slightly different than if you are already in the country. You will need to submit a visa application at the nearest Royal Thai Embassy. Aside from that, we do all the heavy lifting.

Find the Thai Embassy nearest you at ThaiEmbassy.org.

Once you decide to move forward, we will send you an invite to electronically sign a service contract.

Before getting started on your visa paperwork, we require a security deposit of 2,000 USD. If you choose a billing amount that is over 2,000 USD (e.g. 3,000 or 5,500 USD), then the deposit needs to be equal to that amount.

The deposit is held for the duration of the engagement period as a standing reserve in case of late payment.

Here are the documents we need to prepare your visa and work permit applications:

1) Passport scan: Use a scanner or scanner app to copy your passport photo page. Ensure that the pages are flat and your fingers are not visible.

2) Diploma: Again, please use a scanner or scanner app to scan your university diploma. If your highest education is high school or secondary school, a transcript will suffice.

3) Reference Letter(s): Provide one or more reference letters covering at least 5 years of experience. If your degree is IT-related, then only 2 years of experience are required. The letter should include: company logo, proper letterhead with legal address, start and end months, and description of relevant skills and responsibilities. If you own your own company, you can write your own reference letter.

***Dependent Documents: If you have dependents, we also need marriage and/or birth certificates. Please note that at certain embassies (for example, Singapore) the supporting paperwork for dependents needs to be notarized by a legal notary beforehand, in order to be accepted. To cover every base, we recommend making notarized copies of birth and marriage certificate, or even bringing originals with you to your new home.

When your visa documents are ready, we will ship them to you internationally by priority mail. If you are able to apply for your visa online (check here), then we can send them to you digitally.

Please bear in mind that you will need to act as your own liaison with the particular Thai embassy you choose for your business visa application. You want to email the embassy in advance, confirm whether non-residents can apply there (if you are traveling or live abroad), and inquire about any special requirements like legal notarization of particular documents (especially important if you have dependents in tow).

Every embassy is different, and some have special requirements that don't always seem to make sense.

You want to read the Thai embassy website to determine the following:

  • Visa application process: Book an appointment online OR show up during visa application hours
  • Visa application fee
  • Visa processing time
  • Visa application hours
  • Visa collection hours

If you are already in Asia, we did the research for you. Check out this list of the best Thai embassies to use for your visa run.

In general (exceptions notwithstanding), these are the documents that you, as the visa applicant, will need to provide:

  • Passport or travel document with validity of not less than 6 months
  • Completed visa application form (can be found on Thai embassy website)
  • Recent passport-sized photograph (4 x 6 cm) of the applicant taken within the  past 6 months
  • Evidence of adequate finance (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family)

And here are the documents provided by Shelter, as the employer:

  • Letter of approval from regulating authority
  • Business registration and business license
  • List of shareholders
  • Company profile
  • Details of business operation
  • List of foreign workers stating names, nationalities and positions
  • Map indicating location of the company
  • Balance sheet, statement of Income Tax and Business Tax
  • Value-added tax registration

After picking up your passport from the embassy, you are ready enter Thailand.

After entering Thailand, you have your visa, but no work permit – yet. Wait 2 to 3 weeks while we prepare the work permit application and schedule your appointment at Thai Immigration in Bangkok or Chiang Mai.

Once your work permit application is approved, we will let you know the date and time of your appointment at Immigration. The process can be completed in Chiang Mai or Bangkok. You will need to pay several government fees in cash:

  1. Visa extension fee: 1,900 THB per head (including dependents)
  2. Work permit fee: 3,000 THB
  3. Multiple-entry permit fee (optional): 3,800 THB

After getting your work permit, you are fully onboarded!

With your new visa, digital work permit, and printed-out copy, you will be able to set up a checking and/or savings account at any major Thai bank with no problems. We recommend visiting a central branch likely to have dealt with foreigners in the past.

On the following 21st of the month after receiving your work permit, we will send your first monthly recurring invoice. From that amount, we deduct a service fee, income tax, and social security; the rest is paid as salary.

On the 1st business day of the month (which sometimes falls on the 2nd or 3rd of the month), you will receive your first salary payment. After 3 months of salary payments, you will receive a Thailand Social Security card and number, which you can use for health check-ups and other government healthcare services. Learn more about the benefits of Thailand Social Security insurance.

 

Applying From Inside Thailand

If you are applying from inside Thailand, the process is a bit more complex. First, we need to obtain pre-approval from Thai Immigration to convert your visa without leaving the country. If in-country visa conversion is not possible, you will need to exit Thailand, apply for your visa from abroad, and then re-enter.

Learn more about the best Thai embassies in Southeast Asia for a visa run.

The first step is to schedule a Discovery Call with one of our sales representatives, to learn more about your situation and address any questions you have.

Depending on your current Thai visa type and remaining validity, we may or may not be able to convert your visa inside the country. You will need to send us a photo of the visa page in your passport, plus any pages containing Thai entry or exit stamps, so we can seek pre-approval through our contacts at Thai Immigration.

If in-country visa conversion is approved, there will be a "visa processing fee" of 25,000 THB or more. This fee is paid in cash directly to Immigration.

If visa conversion is not approved, you will need to exit the country and apply for your visa from abroad (for example, from Malaysia or Laos).

Check out this article to learn about the best Thai embassies for visas runs in 2022.

If approved, and once you decide to move forward, we will send you an invite to electronically sign a service contract.

Before getting started on your visa paperwork, we require a security deposit of 2,000 USD. If you choose a billing amount that is over 2,000 USD (e.g. 3,000 or 5,500 USD), then the deposit needs to be equal to that amount. The deposit is held for the duration of the engagement period as a standing reserve in case of late payment.

Here are the documents we need to prepare your visa and work permit applications:

1) Passport scan: Use a scanner or scanner app to copy your passport photo page. Ensure that the pages are flat and your fingers are not visible.

2) Diploma: Again, please use a scanner or scanner app to scan your university diploma. If your highest education is high school or secondary school, a transcript will suffice.

3) Reference Letter(s): Provide one or more reference letters covering at least 5 years of experience. If your degree is IT-related, then only 2 years of experience are required. The letter should include: proper letterhead, company logo, legal address, start and end months, and description of relevant skills and responsibilities. (If you own your own company, you can write a reference letter for yourself.)

***Dependent Documents: If you have dependents, we also need marriage and/or birth certificates. Please note that the supporting paperwork for dependents may need to be notarized beforehand by the embassy of your home citizenship, in order for Immigration to accept them.

At this point, simply wait 2-3 weeks while we prepare your visa and work permit applications.

Once your work permit application paperwork is prepared, we will let you know the date and time of your appointment at Immigration. You will need to pay a visa fee (1,900 THB), work permit fee (3,000 THB), and finally, the visa processing fee mentioned in step 2 (25,000 THB or more). Multiple-entry permits are optional and cost 3,800 THB.

You can download the digital work permit (D-WP) app beforehand on your phone. We also recommend printing a hard copy.

With your digital work permit and physical copy, you will be able to set up a checking and/or savings account at any major Thai bank. We recommend visiting a central branch, where they are likely to have seen this type of work permit before.

On the following 21st of the month, after receiving your work permit, we will send your first monthly recurring invoice. From that amount, we deduct a service fee, income tax, and social security. The rest is paid as salary.

On the 1st business day of the month (which sometimes falls on the 2nd or 3rd), you will receive your first salary payment. After 3 months of salary payments, you will receive a Thailand Social Security card and number, which you can use for health check-ups and other government healthcare services. Learn more about the benefits of Thailand Social Security insurance.

 

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