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Visa and Work Permit Benefits Under the BOI in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we're going to be discussing some of the benefits associated with BOI - that's the Board of Investment here in Thailand. As is noted in some other videos on this channel, the Board of Investment can confirm any types of benefits on to a company in Thailand most notably for a business license which will allow that company to do business notwithstanding the fact that there are restrictions under the provisions of the Foreign Business Act, including certain foreign nationals and foreign companies from doing business in the Kingdom. BOI certification can overcome those restrictions. That's discussed a little more at length in another video.

But in this video, we're going to be discussing the visa and work permit provisions or benefits, I should say, under the BOI. So most companies in Thailand are required to maintain four Thai employees. For every one foreign employee, they're required to have certain registered capital requirements per work permit. These are non BOI certified structures and basically, what you're looking at under the circumstances with BOI is BOI certification can create exemption from some of these specific rules that pertain to other types of businesses with respect to foreigners obtaining work permits and visas in the Kingdom. So the interesting thing with respect to BOI is first of all, it can confer foreign business license (we'll discuss that in another video), it can confer tax exemption status (we'll discuss that in another video) but it doesn't necessarily confer anything specifically.

BOI benefits are conferred on a case-by-case basis and each company that receives BOI certification is going to receive a separate set of tax benefits depending on the type of company and the corporate activity, etcetera. So with respect to visa and immigration benefits most notably, one thing that the BOI certification will allow a company to enjoy, in my opinion and enjoy it very much is going to be one stop that is the visa and work permit center which was created some 15 odd years ago. Prior to that, everybody had to deal with the immigration at say Chaengwattana and work permits dealt with, you know, depending on what problems you're in. But everybody had to deal with labor and immigration separately.

Well one of the things that was created as a result of the one-stop system was it consolidated the activity of both the Labor Department and the Immigration Department. And as a result, the process is simply easier and it's a one-day deal. You literally you just go to one place, you get your work permit and your visa renewed and this is all by den of BOI certification. There are certain other exempt, other types of companies depending on how much the register capital etc is that may be able to enjoy one-stop benefits. But we're talking specifically about BOI in this video so I'm going to stick to that.

The other thing that's interesting about BOI companies is in certain, again narrowly defined circumstances, it may be possible to get a two-year visa to two-year work permit associated with working for a BOI company. This is very different again from sort of normal companies, if you will, as they're only going to confer one year visa, one year work but maybe even not a one year work permit. Sometimes work permits are issued for three or six months depending on the circumstances of the company. But again, this is this is a longer duration of work authorization and the longer duration of visa status so these are significant benefits that should not be overlooked.

But it should be noted that such benefits need to be specifically conferred by BOI. Another thing to think of is a company may need to hire a significant number of foreign nationals and depending on the type of classification or category that the endeavor falls into, it may be possible to exempt the company from the four to one ratio of Thais to foreigners that is generally incumbent upon types of enterprises here in the Kingdom. So it's interesting to point out that a BOI company may have five foreigners working for it and may only have 10 Thais working for it because under the certification and under the benefits that were conferred by BOI certification, they don't need to deal with the four to one ratio issue. And that could be another big benefit because essentially, you're not having to deal with it with a larger number of employees and ergo social security contributions, tax contributions and salaries of nothing else, foreign employees, that may or may not be as needed as the ones that you specifically need for the underlying business activity.

So again, all of these together in the aggregate add up to something that I think is undeniable and that is BOI certification from an immigration and work permit visa standpoint. very much is beneficial especially for foreign nationals who are looking to set up their own operation here in the Kingdom as being able to use one stop possible exemption from the four to one ratio of things to your visas and work permits. These are all significant benefits that those who are dealing, who are operating in other types of companies just simply are not able to enjoy. And regardless of the relative enjoyment between one type of certified company and the company that's not certified leaving that aside, just the general benefit of being able to deal with everything all at once rather than dealing with multiple different Thai bureaucracies that alone is it's definitely not lacking in consideration when one is looking at doing business somewhere. And I will admit under the BOI structure, Thailand does make it significantly easy for foreign nationals who are working here under BOI certified company as one-stop is a pretty, I won't say easy, but it's a very straightforward way of getting one’s status and work authorization renewed.