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Mandatory COVID Testing for Thai Work Permits?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing COVID-19 testing. This has been an issue major of consternation amongst the Expat community here in Thailand. There has been a lot of talk about the possibility that foreigners may be required to undergo COVID testing here in Thailand. Now the thing to take away from this video first of all is it is not a foregone conclusion that this is even going to happen. I have done a pretty exhaustive video on COVID-19 and possible mandatory testing for foreigners; I urge you to go check that out on this channel.

The purpose of this video is to discuss it specifically in the context of Work Permits and that seems like it might be something that could occur. Now this is conjecture at this point. I have been working with the Thai legal staff here. They have gone over all of this and they have approved of what I am saying. Long story short, this is for informational purposes only. I am not a Thai Attorney. I am an American Attorney licensed, I am a naturalized Thai citizen but the purpose of this video is to discuss the possibility of COVID-19 testing in the context of Work Permit application here in Thailand. 

Let's start from the known quantity which is they currently already do certain Health testing associated with Work Permits so the notion that they could simply by regulation add COVID-19 to the list of things they test for, that is not outside the realm of possibility. Exactly how they would deal with that remains to be seen. It remains to be seen if they even would add it but I think the thing to take away from this video is it could be added in the future. Now what is the upshot of that? What does it mean to you the viewer, the foreign national who has to deal with a Business Visa and Work Permit in Thailand? The first thing is don't get upset, don't get worried about this. This is probably going to come up only when you need to go deal with your Work Permit renewal or you need to deal with your Business Visa extension or both and under certain contexts it could be both. For example Smart Visas have their own regime, things like the BOI deal with things a little differently but long story short do not fret about this immediately. The way we read the regulations, it doesn't mean every foreigner needs to line up. If they ultimately do say foreign nationals need a COVID test it does not mean everybody needs to line up at a hospital tomorrow and start testing. Instead, where we think this is going to happen is when you need to go and deal with renewal of a Work Permit and/or a Visa I should say. Yes, at that point you may, I stress "may" because we don't see this as a requirement yet although it could be and it also could never be but if it is going to happen, the way I think it is going to happen is when a renewal occurs and it is not just me saying that; again the Thai legal team has looked at this as well. In that event you are going to be dealing with that at the same time you deal with medical certification for things on the list, things like leprosy, tuberculosis, syphilis etc. I think elephantiasis is even still on there.

How this plays out remains to be seen but for those who are getting upset about this, please don't. I have gotten a lot of correspondence from people that are rather upset. They are worried about this and they don't know how to deal with it. It is not yet to the best of our knowledge the law. If it becomes the law I think you are not going to have to deal with it from a practical perspective until you need to deal with renewal of your status here in the Kingdom of Thailand.