E-Work Permits for Foreign Employees in Thailand

In pursuit of the efforts of the Government to improve Thailand competitiveness under the so called Thailand 4.0 framework, on 12th April 2017 the Ministry of Labour issued its Regulation on Application for and Issuance of Work Permits and Report of Employment of Foreign Workers No. 2 B.E. 2560 (the “Regulation”) to implement issuance of electronic work permits.  The Regulation entered into force retroactively from 1st April 2016.

Foreigners working in Thailand are required to obtain a work permit.  The work permit traditionally was in the form of a blue book containing details of the employee and the employer (the name of the employer, place of work and the occupation of the employee, etc.).

The new work permit will be in the form of an electronic “smart card” containing the same particulars as those in the blue book plus a bar code and a QR code. There are 2 forms of E-Work Permits, i.e. WP11/1 for non-MCL nationals and WW11/2 for nationals of Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.  The current blue books are still valid until expiration and will be replaced by the E-Work Permits.

The Regulation is, however, silent on the implementation timeline for the electronic filing system for work permit applications.

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