Working without a work permit in Thailand

In order to work in Thailand, you need to apply for a work permit. Once the work permit has expired you need to apply for a new work permit or renew your current work permit before it expires. There are penalties for working illegally in Thailand. You may have noted that Thai immigration has led a crackdown in September 2014 with visa runners who are working illegally in Thailand.

Working without a Work Permit in Thailand

If you are married to a Thai you can apply for a Thai marriage visa. You can use this visa to apply for a work permit without having to leave the country again. The Aliens Act of Thailand spells out the penalties in Thailand when working illegally. This is not according to the rules of immigration. These might appear small but they have consequences. Do not think of working without a work permit in Thailand as deportation could be next.


Aliens Act of Thailand

Section 51

If you have been caught working illegally in Thailand you can get a prison sentence. This for up to 5 years or/and a fine ranging from 2,000THB to 100,000THB. This will also affect your visit to Thailand should they also decide to deport you once you have been arrested. It’s best to contact a lawyer if you are caught without a work permit.


Section 52

You get arrested on Section 52 if you are not doing the work your work permit says you can do in Thailand. This is very rare in Thailand unless you are doing work that has been prohibited to foreigners which will get you in trouble. A very good example was a foreigner in the building industry. He was plying his trade as a cabinet maker restoring old property in Thailand. This is a prohibited profession for foreigners and his work permit read as manager.


Section 53

This is common but normally a minor issue where you don’t have your work permit on you when asked for it. The fine for this is 10,000THB but many of these types of matters don’t go very far and can be easily settled by finding and showing the work permit.


Section 54

These are more for businesses that employ illegal workers in Thailand without the proper documents. The maximum fine is 100,000THB. This is not very common either unless the premises are being raided.


There are a number of other sections in the Aliens Act which might be of interest. The fact that you must have your work permit on you at all times. Also that the position must be for something that a Thai person cannot do. Speak to us if you have been arrested and do not consider working without a work permit in Thailand

The information contained in our website is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.