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Cancellation of a Work Permit in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

This video is simply designed to discuss revocation of Thai work permits. It's kind of misnomer out there that once work permit or a visa for that matter is issued, it's going to perpetually be re-issued or be renewed. That is not the case. In fact, it's been my experience that immigration visas work authorities have become more stringent in their scrutiny of those who are physically present in Thailand in work permit and visas and business visa status.

But that being stated, we’re specifically talking about work permits here. One thing should be noted most of all, those who own a small business here in Thailand who are using that business essentially not only at the vehicle to earn a living but as a vehicle to maintain lawful long-term status, business visa status, work permit status should take note of the fact is Labor Department routinely heavily scrutinized work permit applications on companies that aren't earning any income. There may have been a time in the past where one can sort of set up a company and just sort of do the bare minimum, essentially file a zero income tax you know in a given year and given months and sort of be able to, you know, get by just on the pro forma or just on the sort of privatization documentation submitted to the Labor Department. If that was ever the case and I don't know to what extent that it ever truly was the case really. But if that was ever the case that's coming to an end. It’s no longer a possibility to maintain renewal of a work permit without showing at least some amount of income earned on a company in a given year, the previous year what we're talking about at least and the some taxes paid thereon.

That's the important part. To be clear, in my personal opinion, one of the main criteria for work permit re-issuance is going to be you know, has this person contributed to Thai society in the form of paying taxes on their business? If the business hasn't done anything and to be clear it's in my experience that in most cases Labor Department officers are rather compassionate. I don’t even know what the right word is. They’re understanding as far as you know the notion of a startup company goes, “Look, if we have not made any money in the first nine months but we made some money in the past three months.” You know, these officers understand what their function is which is its labor certification.

We're talking about business here and a new business is not necessarily going to immediately just overnight start blowing gold all over the place. You know, it takes time to get a business moving. It takes time to get income generating. Thai authorities understand this but there is a certain point where you know it's just not going to be tenable any further and you know a re-issuance of a work permit it's simply not going to happen after a certain period of time. There's no way to definitively say it what that period of time is. My personal opinion if one goes longer than about two years without showing some form of income in one’s company you know, I just don't foresee it's going to be real likely that a Labor Department officer is going to go ahead and reissue that work permit.

So it should be noted that a revocation may occur. If a work revocation happens, then presumably the visa is going to be revoked at the same time if one is on a business visa and usually when a Thai work permit is canceled, the person who have held that work permit is going to have seven days to get out of Thailand to depart Thailand and remaining lawful status. The other thing to keep in mind with respect to work permit is the fact that once a work permit is in fact denied, it's going to be very difficult to go back and re-apply for said work permit. One has to show a pretty high level of changed circumstances to go back in and re-apply for that same permit.

So that being said, although I think that the officers are pretty reasonable in their expectations with respect to new companies especially you know already going concerns,  if just one year out of nowhere you go for making a reasonable amount of revenue to just nothing, your biggest problem is not going to be the labor department. It's probably going to be the revenue department under those circumstances.

This video is more for you know new company startups. As I say, they're going to be fairly reasonable with respect to the notion that yes okay, it takes a little time for a company to go ahead and get up and running. But that being said, after its certain fairly reasonable I look at it about 18 months, two years you're not showing any kind of revenue within that company it's going to be very, very unlikely that you're going to be able to see a renewal of a work permit.