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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawThai Elite Visa Status Does Not Confer Work Authorization

Thai Elite Visa Status Does Not Confer Work Authorization

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the Thailand Elite Program and the visas associated therewith.

I got a question rather frequently here in the past few months. It usually comes up about once a week. Basically folks looking into the Elite program and they asked me "Can I work on a Thailand Elite visa?"  and my response is strictly speaking "No, the Thailand Elite Visa is not a work authorized travel document in and of itself."  Now that being stated it will allow for an individual to concurrently maintain a Business Visa and a Work Permit which is different from the inherent nature of the visa itself. For example, it is somewhat similar to the 6-month stamps issued to those who are pending adjudication for their Permanent Residence in Thailand.  The PR Department, they have a large backlog. It takes them some time to adjudicate an application for Permanent Residence and as a result they issue 6-month stamps to those who are basically pending adjudication. Those 6-month stamps can also currently be underpinned by a B Visa or an O Visa or some other Non-immigrant Visa which runs concurrent and at the same time as the status conferred by those stamps. So while an Elite Visa does not preclude one from getting a B Visa and a work permit, it, in and of itself, does not confer work authorization pursuant to the provisions of that Visa status and therefore it can't be used for example as a platform on its own to apply for a work permit. That being stated, one can go ahead and as I stated previously go ahead and apply for a B Visa concurrently and a Work Permit in the usual manner through one's company etc. 

The other thing to keep in mind is with respect to recent changes with respect to the Smart Visa Program, it may be possible to also concurrently maintain a Smart Visa as well as an Elite Visa.  When one falls out of Smart Visa status they simply fall back into their Elite status.  The same thing with B visa and a work permit status, one could in theory fall out of B status and Work Permit status and back into one's Elite status and really for lack of a better term 'no harm, no foul", it just is what it is. 

So while Elite in and of itself does not confer work authorization, one still can get work authorization notwithstanding the fact that they have Elite status here in the Kingdom.