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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawThe Right to Work in Thailand but Not Reside?

The Right to Work in Thailand but Not Reside?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video describes, we are talking about the right to work in Thailand and not the right to reside. 

To bring up the context of this, it has recently been announced that Thailand Elite holders will be able to obtain work authorization albeit with the proviso that they invest a million US dollars into the Thai economy in some way, shape or form. So while that is not really going to apply to a large subset of prospective expats here in Thailand, I thought I would bring up the fact that Thailand has this kind of mutually exclusive setup with respect to Residents and right to work. So when you have the right to work in Thailand, for example just a standard Work Permit, you don't necessarily have the right to reside. Something that constantly gets euphemistically or maybe I should say colloquially thrown out there is that the Elite Visa is a Residence Visa. It isn't. It is an ongoing Non-Immigrant Visa as we have discussed in many other videos. So yes it is a right to work but it doesn't confer the right to reside in Thailand; the right of abode, the right to indefinite residence here in the Kingdom.

Now on the flip side of that if you do get residence in Thailand through the Permanent Residence process, the standard Permanent Residence process which can be quite a cumbersome endeavour; we assist folks every year with Thai PR and it is not the easiest thing in the world let's put it that way, but one interesting thing is for example in the United States when you obtain Residency or a Green Card you also have the right to work conferred. It is inherent to the Residence. The moment you are considered a Lawful Permanent Resident in the United States you can work as you see fit. Thailand doesn't work that way. The Residency does not in and of itself confer work authorization. You still have to get a Work Permit on top of Residence here in Thailand. So they are viewed as mutually exclusive; they are two different things; they are governed by two very different parts of the Thai Bureaucracy for example. Thai Immigration deals with Residence while the Labour Ministry deals with work authorization for foreign nationals in Thailand. So they are not the same thing and depending on what you are looking at, they may be different for different reasons.