Prohibited Jobs for Foreigners in Thailand are explained below. Understand how working as a foreigner in Thailand works. If you are going to work in Thailand then then work permit Thailand cost issues arise. Also understand how you need to apply for the correct Thai visa. This as well as a work permit before you start working in Thailand.
You cannot however do any type of working in Thailand. You need to do work that a Thai national cannot do and you are also not allowed to work in ‘protected industries’ where foreigners are prohibited from working in Thailand. Also note the Thai work permit renewal process on here.
The Thai government has broken down the employment process in Thailand into 3 categories. These are listed below so you may understand what a foreigner is not allowed to do in Thailand. Note that they will not issue you with a work permit for any of these professions.
The Alien Business Law (N.E.C. Announcement 281) does not allow work in Category A and B. For Category C you need prior permission to be involved in it. Working in Thailand can be difficult when you consider the prohibited professions in Thailand.
These are the prohibited jobs for foreigners in Thailand. See what jobs can foreigners do in Thailand. See also the main page at Thai work permit on here.
Thailand imposes restrictions on certain occupations for foreigners to protect local employment opportunities and industries. In the field of agriculture, foreigners are generally prohibited from engaging in agricultural work, particularly rice farming.
This restriction is in place to prioritize job opportunities for Thai nationals, as agriculture is considered an essential sector that should be predominantly handled by locals. The government implemented these measures following public outcry in 2009 when a foreign company entered the agricultural sector in Issan, leading to concerns about the potential impact on local employment.
In the service industry, specific occupations are off-limits to foreigners as well. The prohibitions include roles in accounting, animal farming, architecture, advertising, brokerage, auctioning, and even professions like being a barber, hairdresser, or beautician. Additionally, individuals are not permitted to work in the building industry.
These restrictions are in place to safeguard the interests of the local workforce and ensure that employment opportunities in these sectors are primarily accessible to Thai nationals. It’s crucial for foreigners seeking employment in Thailand to be aware of these limitations and to choose professions that align with the regulations set forth by the government. Adhering to these restrictions is not only a legal requirement but also contributes to maintaining the balance in the job market and supporting the growth of local industries.
Working in agriculture in Thailand is not going to be allowed as a Thai national can perform this type of work. Even though the Act states ‘rice farming’ there was a huge outcry in 2009 when a foreign company stepped in and opened an agribusiness in Issan (North Eastern Thailand). It’s not allowed.
These are professions which you are not allowed in as a Thai national can perform this task. There are however consultants such as consulting engineers. The prohibition is mainly to protect the low-end jobs in Thailand from neighboring countries nationals. Consider this when wanting to be working as a foreigner in Thailand. Note also the topic on here labelled getting a work permit in Thailand.
The regulations surrounding employment for foreigners in Thailand extend to various sectors, including agriculture. Foreigners are restricted from engaging in specific activities within the agriculture business to safeguard local opportunities and resources. Here are some key prohibitions in the agriculture sector for foreigners:
Likewise foreigners are not allowed to participate in orchids cultivation, ensuring that this sector remains primarily accessible to Thai nationals.
Note general cultivation activities are also restricted for foreigners, emphasizing the importance of preserving local opportunities in farming and cultivation.
Involvement in animal husbandry, which includes activities such as raising silk worms, is off-limits to foreigners in Thailand.
The timbering industry, involving the harvesting and processing of timber, is a sector where foreigners are not allowed to engage in work.
Likewise foreigners are prohibited from participating in fishing activities in Thailand. This restriction aims to maintain the balance in the fishing industry and protect local livelihoods.
These regulations are in place to uphold the interests of the local workforce and ensure that opportunities in these specific areas are reserved for Thai citizens. If individuals are uncertain about the regulations or have questions regarding permissible activities, it is advisable to seek information from reliable sources or consult with appropriate authorities to ensure compliance with Thai law
Note that there are specific restrictions for foreigners in Thailand. The following list outlines areas where foreign nationals are not allowed to engage in various manufacturing and craftsmanship endeavors:
Foreigners are prohibited from participating in rice milling activities in Thailand. This restriction aims to preserve opportunities for Thai citizens in this crucial industry.
Note that the manufacturing of flour is another sector where foreigners are not allowed to be involved.
Likewise activities related to the production of sugar, alcohol, and non-alcoholic beverages are restricted for foreign involvement.
Foreigners are not allowed to engage in the manufacturing of ice cream in Thailand.
The pharmaceutical manufacturing sector is off-limits for foreigners, ensuring local control in this specialized industry.
Activities related to cold storage, timber, gold, silver, and inlaid stone industries are restricted for foreign participation.
Likewise various handicraft activities, including wood carving, lacquer-ware, match making, and cement manufacturing, are areas where foreigners are not permitted to work.
Engaging in the dynamiting of rocks is specifically prohibited for foreigners in Thailand.
The manufacturing of garments and shoes is restricted to preserve opportunities for local workers.
Foreigners are not allowed to participate in printing, newspaper publishing, silk weaving, or silk printing activities.
Manufacture of Finished Products in Silk:
The production of finished products in silk is another area where foreign involvement is not permitted.
Note that these restrictions are in place to safeguard local industries and employment opportunities, emphasizing the importance of preserving certain sectors for Thai nationals. Foreigners interested in engaging in industrial and handicraft activities in Thailand should be aware of these regulations to ensure compliance with the laws.
Likewise in the commercial, service, and land-related sectors, there are specific restrictions for foreigners in Thailand. These limitations are in place to protect local businesses, preserve employment opportunities for Thai nationals, and regulate foreign involvement in certain industries. Here’s a breakdown of the restrictions in these sectors:
Foreigners are not allowed in all retailing and trading activities except those falling under Category C.
Foreign involvement is prohibited in the selling of food and drinks.
Trading in antiques and fine arts is restricted for foreign nationals.
Foreigners are not permitted to engage in tour agency services in Thailand.
Direct involvement in hotels is restricted for foreigners, except in hotel management roles.
Foreigners are not allowed to participate in photography, laundering, dressmaking, and various service jobs.
Foreigners are restricted from involvement in transportation services in Thailand.
Likewise these restrictions are outlined to ensure that certain sectors critical to the local economy are predominantly managed and operated by Thai citizens. Note also that foreigners interested in conducting business or providing services in Thailand should be aware of these regulations to avoid legal complications and adhere to the established guidelines. Seeking professional advice and consulting relevant authorities can help individuals navigate these restrictions and understand the specific nuances associated with each industry.
Note that if you are going to be working in Thailand in this class the you are allowed to do the following (with permission to be granted):
In specific sectors, foreigners are permitted to engage in certain business activities in Thailand. The following outlines the areas where foreign nationals are allowed to participate:
Foreigners are allowed to engage in wholesale trades, excluding those falling under categories A and B.
Foreigners are allowed to participate in the retailing of machinery, equipment, and tools.
Foreign involvement is permitted in the selling of food and beverages, provided that these activities contribute to the promotion of tourism.
Foreigners are allowed to engage in industrial and handicraft activities in Thailand.
Likewise these allowances are specified to promote foreign investment, support economic growth, and contribute positively to the local economy. It’s important for individuals considering business activities in Thailand to review these regulations carefully.
Foreigners are permitted to engage in specific manufacturing activities in Thailand. Here are the areas where foreign nationals are allowed to participate:
Foreigners are allowed to engage in the manufacturing of animal feeds and the extraction of vegetable oil.
Foreign involvement is permitted in the textile manufacturing industry, including dyeing and fabric printing.
Foreigners are allowed to participate in the manufacturing of glassware.
Engaging in the production of plates and bowls is an activity allowed for foreign nationals.
Foreigners are permitted to participate in the manufacturing of stationery and printing paper.
Foreign involvement is allowed in the mining of rock salt and salt production.
Likewise these specific allowances in manufacturing sectors contribute to the diversification of economic activities and encourage foreign investment in Thailand. It’s important for individuals considering engagement in these activities to be aware of the specific guidelines and regulations. This can become confusing so you should always speak to our law firm in Bangkok before you decide to start a business in Thailand.
** You are allowed to sell food and drinks to promote tourism. In other words you can sell food and drinks to foreigners but not locals as the primary market.
*** You are not allowed into salt farming (salt pans) however with permission you may be allowed into salt mining which is more capital cost intensive.
Firstly, don’t work illegally in the country. You can also see the article on working in Thailand without work permit on this website.
The laws in Thailand do change however as shown above certain professions and businesses are prohibited in Thailand. Note that you can’t be a barman in Thailand even though if it is done to promote tourism, you are however allowed to own the business. You can be the manager of such a business but not a worker per se. So now you know what it needed when working as a foreigner in Thailand. See also the implications when it comes to tax for foreigners in Thailand.
Likewise always take legal advice BEFORE you think of starting a business in Thailand or working in Thailand. Working as a foreigner in Thailand can be good.
The information contained in our website is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.