Thai Life


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30th December    Retirement Requirement ...
More proof of income required for visa extension
Pattaya immigration bureau is now requiring that farang applicants for one year visa extensions based on retirement provide an audit trail for the "proof of income" letter provided by foreign embassies as part of the paperwork. In the past, such a letter was acceptable to immigration without backup documentation such as foreign bank statements or tax summaries.

However, applicants must now provide for immigration staff the evidence on which their income claim was based, duly stamped as seen by the appropriate foreign embassy.

The immigration authorities are now asking both for an embassy letter and for the financial evidence on which it is based, said Barry Kenyon of the British embassy who signs the documents for hundreds of British retirees in Pattaya.

Farangs who obtain the retirement visa by keeping at least 800,000 baht in a Thai bank are unaffected as they do not need to provide proof of any foreign based income.

The new move comes on top of a requirement made several weeks ago that a photocopy of the applicant's credit, debit or ATM card may be asked from applicants for visa extensions on the basis of retirement.


18th November    Truely Bollox ...
Work permit required to subscribe to True telephone, TV or internet
True Visions logoI went with my mom today to apply for a new phone, internet line and TV (UBC) service at the TRUE office.

The first thing they said was passport copy please and work permit . I told them that my mom was over 60 years old, is on a retirement visa and has no work permit.

The lady then says that you cannot apply for a telephone line, internet line AND a TV subscription without a work permit.

A long phone call to the main office even confirmed this, the new TRUE/UBC rules are that you need a work permit.


31st August

   Thai National Anthem ...

An illuminating translation From Hello Siam

Music by Professor Phra Jenduriyang, 1932. Lyrics by Colonel Luang Saranuprabhandh, 1939.

A literal translation:

Thailand is the unity of Thai blood and body,
The whole country belongs to the Thai people,
Maintaining thus far for the Thai,
All Thais intend to unite together,
Thais love peace, but do not fear to fight,
They will never let anyone threaten their independence,
They will sacrifice every drop of their blood to contribute to the nation,
Will serve their country with pride and prestige-full of victory.
Chai Yo (Cheers)


11th August

   Sex Drugs and Nanny-State Politics ...

Dry days in Thailand's bars There seems to be some uncertainty as to whether or not the 19 August election day will be a dry day. As always, the Thai government seems to be unable to make up its might until the last minute on such matters. But such actions lend themselves to analysis anyway.

Human beings turn to a variety of outlets for solace, among these are sex and drugs. The nanny-state Thai government seems to feel that it has to control access to these outlets – alcohol in particular -- on a periodic basis. Many Thai holidays are declared dry days. When such holidays are based on the tenets of Buddhism, this makes some sense. But other times the need to control access to alcohol (and sex) is less well-defined. Election days are in that category. The Thai government has a tendency to arbitrarily declare dry days for a variety of reason or perhaps no reason at all. They also tend to wait until the last minute before making such pronouncements. For example, there does not seem to be a published calendar of dry days for the year that bar owners, staff and patrons can use as a planning guide. When the final "dry or not dry" decision is made hours before the deadline, word inevitably fails to reach the intended audience accurately.

The up-coming referendum on the Thai Constitution is a perfect example. Many sources have assumed that as with previous elections, it will be a dry day but that may or may not be true. It all depends…on what the nanny state can't seem to decide.

Let's drop back and examine the basic motivations for such a dry day declaration on election days. Is the nanny state afraid that voters will show up at the polls in an alcoholic stupor? Are they afraid that there will be drunken brawls over who voted which way? How exactly does closing bars preclude any of these? Can't those most susceptible to alcoholic stupor simply lay in a supply of alcohol prior to the dry day? Seemingly the ban is on the sale of alcohol not its consumption!

All eligible Thais are supposed to vote in all elections or suffer certain losses of political rights. Few Thais could tell you precisely what rights they lose by not voting – but that is a question to be asked of the Education Minister -- yet the Thai law does not allow absentee voting by mail. Because of the system by which voters are assigned to a voting point, hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of Thais are effectively disenfranchised but virtue of the fact that they live and work far from their assigned voting point. One stated reason for holidays surrounding election days is to permit voters to travel across country to vote and then return to their place of employment. However well-intended, the government fails to consider that many employers are not so in tune with this nanny state concept. A young female staffer of a Pattaya bar who chooses to travel back to Buriram to vote is likely to find her pay docked or lose her job all together for her failure to be present when the dry day is over and her place of employment reopens.

This leads naturally to another key point. Within Thailand there are two primary consumer groups for alcohol: Thais and all others. The bars in which these two groups engage in alcohol consumption tend to be completely different. What good does it do the nanny state to declare that all foreigners must be deprived of access to alcohol and sex by declaring that all bars they frequent must close during the elections? By definition, foreigners are not participants in Thai elections. If the nanny state feels it imperative to control access to alcohol among its voters, a simple ban on the sale of alcohol to Thais could be imposed, not involving non-Thais in any way. Such a clear declaration would simplify life for bar owners and staff. If your clientele is primarily Thai, you might find it convenient to close on dry days. If your clientele is exclusively farang, no need to close. The sole exception would be religious-based holidays. It would seem reasonable to close all bars and ban the sale of sex and alcohol on such days, but even this could be subject to another debate.


2nd July

   Tap water is clearly green ...

Whereas bottled water is clearly not green From The Nation

Bangkokians could save money and the environment by tapping in to the city's ready supply of tap water

Across in San Francisco, Mayor Gavin Newsom has made a salutary move to wean city and county officials off bottled water. According to San Francisco city-government officials, the ban is part of an effort to combat global warming and save taxpayer money. The mayor cited the enormous environmental impact of making, transporting and disposing of the bottles as the reason behind the ban on bottled water.

According to the Washington-based Earth Policy Institute, global consumption of bottled water was estimated at 154 billion litres in 2004, up 57% from the 98 billion litres consumed five years prior.

Some of the most dramatic increases in bottled-water consumption are taking place in developing countries, including Thailand. In this country, bottled water is being marketed as part of a modern, healthy lifestyle. Most consumers seem oblivious to the fact that bottled water is up to 1,000 times more expensive than tap water, which is now perfectly safe to drink in Bangkok and the vicinity.

The Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA) has been trying to promote tap water as an alternative to bottled water through a public awareness campaign backed by scientific evidence, with limited success. This is despite the fact that Bangkok's water-supplier uses state-of-the-art production processes to supply the city's residents with clean tap water that meets or even exceeds the standard set by the World Health Organisation.

Marketers of bottled water prey mostly on public suspicion that tap water is somehow not quite up to hygienic standards or the fear that traces of naturally-occurring minerals or chlorine found in tap water - even at levels that fall within internationally recognised safety standards - could be harmful to their health.

As a result, the bottled-water industry has grown by leaps and bounds, raking in tens of billion of baht each year, selling overpriced bottled water to rich and poor alike.

Fossil fuels are used in the bottling of water. The most widely used plastic to produce water bottles is polyethylene terephthalate, which is derived from crude oil. Once bottled water is consumed, disposing of the plastic bottles is both costly and environmentally damaging.

A very small fraction of used plastic bottles are recycled, as it is considered economically unfeasible to do so. And manufacturers of bottled water are not required to take any responsibility whatsoever for recycling or disposal costs; they just make an unbelievable amount of money and pocket it.

Indeed, many public venues have long provided tap water through chilled drinking fountains, and most people cannot tell the difference because most of the time it tastes the same as bottled water.

It is worth noting that when you buy bottled water, you are not just consuming water, you are also consuming and paying for all of the chemicals that went into the production of the bottle, which costs more than the water it contains. We are paying for something that we can get at a much lower cost and are causing grievous environmental degradation in the process.

In Thailand, a campaign to encourage people to drink tap water could be phased in with progressively stronger messages telling it like it is - that it is incredibly irresponsible for people who have access to perfectly safe tap water to continue to buy bottled water.


30th May

   Extending Non-Immigrant-B Visas ...


More hoops From Thai Visa
Attributed to Australian Chamber of Commerce

There has been an important change to the supporting documents required to extend Non-Immigrant Visas Category 'B'.

With effect from Friday, 4 May 07 Thai Immigration requires all applications for the extension of a non-immigrant visas category 'B' (the visa which supports the retention of a Thai work permit) to be supported by the following documentation:

  • A photocopy of the employing company's Affidavit and Shareholders' List certified as a true copy of the original by the Ministry of Commerce.
  • A photocopy of the employing company's most recent Annual Financial Statements certified as a true copy of the original by the auditor who audited it.
  • A photocopy of the employing company's most recent Personal Income Tax Return (PND1) with the Revenue Department's receipt plus a photocopy of the applicant's most recent Annual Personal Income Tax Return (PND91) (if they have one) certified as a true copy of the original by the Revenue Department.
  • A photocopy of the employing company's most recent Social Security Fund monthly return certified as a true copy of the original by the Social Security Fund Office.

Photographic evidence is now required to support the Initial Application to extend a Non-Immigrant Visa Category 'B'.

With effect from Wednesday, 16 May 07, Thai Immigration requires the first application to extend a non-immigrant visa category 'B' to be supported by photographs of every employee in the employing company and each photograph is to be taken showing the employee at their place of work (e.g. sitting at their desk or working at their piece of machinery or sitting behind the steering wheel of the company vehicle, etc.).

Sources have told us that if a company has many Thai employees then the application should be supported by photographs of several of the employees as long as the number exceeds the minimum requirement of four Thai employees to match each foreign employee. However, the reason the photographs are required is to enable an Immigration inspection team to match the photographs against the actual employees and their workplace if they pay a surprise visit.

The Immigration Bureau has warned that it is now a policy of theirs to conduct surprise visits to newly registered companies that employ expatriates who require work permits.

The aim of the inspections by the Thai Immigration Department would appear to be to determine whether the information supplied by companies employing expatriates is correct insofar as:

  • Capitalisation
  • Business activity and nature
  • Location of business
  • Number of Thais employed as a ratio to expatriates
  • Existence of Thai employees

We have been informed that all new companies registered that employ expatriates may be subject to a visit by the Immigration Department. To avoid breaching the legislation with respect to work permits and visas, companies are advised to adhere as a minimum to the following:

  • Fully paid up registered share capital. Baht 2 million per work permit for non-BOI companies
  • Employ FOUR (4) Thais to every expatriate and those Thais must be current employees of the company, be paid a salary and have written contracts to support their employment for non-BOI companies
  • Business operated by the company should comply to the objects in the Articles of Association
  • The place of business should have the appearance of a proper place of business even if it is operated from an expatriate's place of residence.

The Immigration Bureau has also issued a warning to applicants, employing companies and appointed representatives of applicants for extension of non-immigrant visas.

If it is found that the information provided in supporting documentary evidence is not correct then the applicant's visa will be cancelled and they will have to leave Thailand. As well, the principals of the employing company and the agency handling the application (if one is used) will be reported to the police for further action.


11th April   A Memory ...

If you treat a lady right, you have made a friend, but failing that you have made "a memory".

By jj

Have you ever noticed that when a customer enters a bar, the entire staff usually fires a glance in the direction of the door to see if it might be one of "their customers"? These ladies might see literally thousands of customers over the course of their working life. Yet, they quickly file them into those they like and all others. If you treat a lady right, you have made a friend, but failing that you have made "a memory".

Have you ever noticed how a customer can enter a bar and sit as close as possible to the ladies and they ignore him? He is likely "a memory".

Have you ever noticed a customer sitting alone sipping a beer, the dancers in the vicinity have their backs to him and all the others are ignoring him? He is likely "a memory".

These ladies have long memories. They especially remember the non-tipping gropers! These are the guys who practically attack the ladies with hands (and tongues). There is nothing wrong with being playful with the ladies, they usually like it and will respond appropriately. But the rule is that you have to pay to play. Ripping off a lady’s costume (on stage or off), groping wildly at every interesting place and then providing a 20 baht tip (if that), will make you "a memory". These ladies do indeed talk among themselves. Every one of them will soon know your modus operandi. So on your next visit, you can expect the cold shoulder.

I speak Thai reasonably well. When I sit with a lady in a bar, I treat her as such – a lady not a play toy. If I return to a bar, I am usually welcomed by one or more of the ladies whose company I have enjoyed. Over the course of the evening, these ladies will often volunteer their recollections on a customer or two. I have commented on the solitude of a customer despite the availability of many potential partners. The lady at my side will often provide the reason for the ladies ignoring him. It usually reduces to he plays but fails to pay. A 20 baht tip after a painful or embarrassing grope or a 200 baht tip after a short time will surely make you "a memory".

Sometimes I get an entire story about how that particular customer’s activities (in or out of the bar) were shared among the ladies thereby leading them to generally ignore him. I often wonder what the customer must think about the lack of attention or solicitation for a drink.

Lady DrinksSo a bit of advice for punter:

  1. Treat the ladies with respect. It is surprising how accommodating and responsive they can be when you do so.
  2. If you like what you see, tell her so. All ladies like compliments.
  3. Don’t immediately assume she is up for a grope. She very likely is but moving too fast, too soon is likely to reduce her interest.
  4. If you play, then pay. If she peaks your interest, buy her a drink. If she has been accommodating and responsive, tip her a red note or two. It is amazing how the sight of a red note early in the encounter can loosen up buttons and bows.
  5. If you find yourself getting the cold shoulder, leave. You are "a memory".


8th April

   Civility or Civil War ...


Celebrating Songkran

Thanks to jj

Annually in mid-April, the sun and the earth align such that at high noon the sun is directly over Thailand. This also happens to coincide with the official beginning of the rainy season and the rice planting season. Hence, too, the closing of schools to allow all the children to lend a hand planting the rice. Except today, the children only seem to plant themselves in front of the TV or computer game console.

Culturally, there are a number of traditions associated with Songkran. One of them is a thorough cleaning of the house. Another is paying respect to the elders. Somewhere, between the two of these, the 'throwing of water' became part of the culture. If you are fortunate enough to accompany your Thai significant other to her 'home', you will likely see these events in their original and meaningful manner.

The entire village will gather at the customary place: the square, the village meeting room or temple. The elders of the village will be aligned in descending order of age and the entire village will pass in front of them showing their respect by gently pouring lustral water on their hands. The elders thank them by calling blessings down on those so offering this honor. Immediately following this ceremony, the villagers pour (not throw) water on each other and their Buddha – here too as a gesture of respect. Of course, this is just another excuse to eat so the ladies have arrayed all sorts of goodies for all to enjoy. The men then retire to get drunk, while the ladies clean up.

In the most traditional of places, a similar ceremony is held for the monks. At the very least, the monks are given their morning alms by just about everyone on the village on Songkran.
Thus Songkan is a very respectful, civil day of respect and fun.

Not so in the modern Thai urban centers; here it is has become more like civil war. In a complete reversal of Thai tradition and culture, it has lost all respect for anyone. The gentle Thai-ness of the pouring of lustral waters has given way to PVC cannons that can knock over a small child. Drunkenness will abound. Some of the ladies treat it more like a wet-t-shirt contest than a day of respect. Guys will use it as an opportunity to gape and grope the ladies. Hoses and water cannons are used to inundate innocent by-standers. Water is blasted through the open windows of busses on the street. All respect for people going to work, for their clothes or their possessions is forgotten.

Motorcyclists are the most vulnerable. With or without a helmet, having a few liters of water hit you in the face causes a natural reflex to close one's eyes and swerve. Add the slippery wet streets to the mix and accidents abound. Luckily, most of these are but a minor inconvenience. Yet, the death toll will soar during this same period mostly due to drunken antics.

Once again (see Loy Kratong), modern Thais have found a way to take something gentle and beautiful and turn it into an excuse to maim and kill.

Suggestions for newcomers: Many farangs adopt a typhoon mentality for the week of Songkran. They lay in a supply of food and water (and abundant alcoholic beverages) and hunker down in front of the TV. Should you brave the storm and venture forth, it is highly advisable to place all items like your wallet, passport or any electronics in plastic bags. YOU WILL GET WET!

Although, Thailand is a country the approximate size of a postage stamp, some areas like Pattaya have decided that they can split an astrologic hair and determine that here the sun isn't directly over head until a week after it happens in Bangkok – barely 150 kms away. So the majority of the civil warfare here will not occur until 19-20 APR. To make matters even worse, the entire city will be enveloped in grid lock as water-laden pick-up trucks full of fun-seeking teens will clog the streets. Do NOT plan to drive anywhere. You simply can't move. Luckily, such mayhem subsides with the setting of the sun, so a visit to your favorite source of alcohol and groping is still in play.

Update: A Return to Civility

20th April by jj

Like many other ole farts, I chose to hunker down for 'water week', but I did venture as far as my favorite neighborhood bar to watch the festivities on the main soi near my home. I was amazed how civility abounded!

Revelers from 6-60 were lined up enjoying the day. And being quite civil about the process. Water was being arced over the road in the path of vehicles rather than aimed at their faces. Bowls, not buckets and water cannons, were the most common means of dispersing water. I nary saw a PVC cannon all day! Powder was respectfully layered on the old and young alike.

Motorcycles were being flagged down and the occupants dowsed and dusted not drenched. Pick-ups were exchange broadsides as they passed but the disinterested and street vendors were being spared.

A few hours later, those same pick-ups came lumbering back, riding a bit higher with ammunition and energy expended. Unlike Soi 7, nary a boob was flashed -- Oh darn!

All in all, it was more akin to the time-honored Thai day than the recent civil wars.
The revelers, young and old, will sleep well tonight.


31st March

   Renovate Your Ideas ...


Successful Bar Ownership

Thanks to jj

To We've all heard the tale. Every farang seems to believe that, if he could only open a bar, he'd be rich beyond his wildest dreams – to say nothing of having "access" to all those ladies!

There seems to be two primary approaches to "getting rich". The first involves buying an existing bar from the "already rich" owner. No one ever seems to stop and ask why the current owner is selling as opposed to getting richer and richer by staying in the business.
The second route to riches is to seek out an empty building – sometimes on a quiet soi -- and outfit it as a bar. Then sit back and wait for the customers to flow through the door.
But wait, the new owner of the "fabulously successful bar" that he just "stole" from the former owner is seldom content to just hand over money from his bank to that other guy. He almost always immediately hands over even more money from his bank to a contractor who guts out the "successful bar" and rearranges all the furniture and layers on a coat of paint. In the meantime, all the ladies who used to work at the "fabulously successful bar" have to find new employment promising to return "later". So, too, those customers, that had made the former owner so fabulously rich that he sold the bar, stop by to see the sawing and the painting and so move on down the road a few meters to the next open bar to spend their money. There they meet the honey that used to work in the "under new management and renovation" bar.

So the new owner has completely revamped the old place and re-staffed it will a new crew and mamasang and sits back to wait for the old customers who made the former owner rich to flow through the door.

He has depleted his bank account of perhaps millions of baht for the building, key money, renovations, liquor stock and salaries for the ladies. He just knows that "his idea" for how a bar should look and be run is much better than that former owner of this once "fabulously successful bar". All he has to do now is sit back to wait for the customers to flow through the door. Then soon he, too, can sell an even more successful bar to the next chap with a few million baht that he has nothing better to do with than to replenish the bank account of the current happy owner.

Meanwhile, that other chap is sitting in his really quiet bar on that quiet side-soi wondering where all of his friends are – the ones who promised that if he opened a bar they would be there every day to drink his liquor and dally with his ladies.

There is one other approach to riches that seems to be a frequent path taken by an owner. Rather than selling, he decided to renovate his own bar. Sometimes he has the foresight to buy – or buy into – another bar someplace near by so that for the period of the renovation, he has a place to move his girls and maybe some of that old furniture he no longer likes. So he shells out a few hundred thousand baht to make his old bar a better place and then sits back and waits for his old customers to flow back through the door.

What is it in the psyche of both old and new bar owners that makes them recycle their hard-earned profits to a contractor and cabinet maker in an effort to gather in even more profit?

Seems like the only really guys making a profit are the contractors and cabinet makers.


16th March

   The Wai ...


To wai or not to wai...that is the question

Thanks to jj
See also Why Wai To wai or not to wai, that is an aspect of Thai society that often confuses and entraps foreigners. On the surface, Thais use the wai as a greeting much in the way that westerners use the handshake. But, in reality, it is much more complex.

Much like a military salute, the wai is more than a greeting, it is a gesture of respect offered by the lesser to his elder or superior. Every Thai seems to automatically sense and known his place in society versus everyone else around him. Exactly who pro-offers the wai and who answers it is extremely important. This is an aspect of Thailand that few foreigners can ever fully understand. It is generally best for foreigners to refrain from wai-ing at all. However, a pro-offered wai should always be acknowledged. It is perfectly acceptable to answer a wai with a verbal greeting (sawadee, kap), a bob of the head or a gentle wave of the hand. The hand wave is particularly effective in that it says "don't wai me. I'm just an ordinary guy."

Simply by being here foreigners occupy an exalted place in Thai society. Outside of the normal tourist encounters, this may actually be true. After all, you traveled thousands of miles to get here; it is even possible that someone thought enough of you to send you here for a reason. That is enough to grant you an exalted position in the hierarchy of Thai society. But it isn't enough to make you part of Thai society.
Generally speaking, there are very few instances where a foreigner would pro-offer a wai. Inexperienced foreigners tend to wai everyone. This generally brings on more ridicule than respect. For example, an adult never wais a child, even in reply. Nor should a foreigner reply with a wai to service personnel like a hotel doorman, maid, waiter or other workmen. At the same time, all such wais should be acknowledged in some way. A simple smile is often sufficient.

At the same time, every foreigner should be aware of those special situations where he should answer a wai with a wai of his own. For example, the Thais generally show extreme respect to the elderly. Thai society is replete with exchanges that acknowledge the older/younger, greater/lesser, pee/nong status of the meeting pair. These are extremely complex and beyond the scope of this discussion. One situation where a foreigner should answer a wai with a wai is when it is pro-offered by someone clearly older. The older Thai is acknowledging the foreigner's exalted status. He would almost never pro-offer a wai to a younger Thai. In this situation, the foreigner should respond with a wai thereby demonstrating his respect for the age and wisdom of the Thai. When this is performed in a family or social gathering, it will only add to the respect and status attributed to the foreigner. Each foreigner will find that there are special situations in his encounters with Thais that warrant his responding with a wai. But there are not many. For one thing, Thais do not generally expect the foreigner to know when and how to wai.

Indeed, the simple gesture of bringing ones hands together in front of the face to perform the wai is anything but simple. Here again, there are subtleties to this gesture, how fast it is formed, how long it is held, how high on the head the fingertips are placed. Is it accompanied by a bow of the head? Any and all of these have a meaning to the Thais that we farangs will never begin to understand. Yet, to them, they seem to come naturally. There is even a wholly separate and complex etiquette to wai-ing when it involves royalty.

It is best for the foreigner simply to refrain from wai-ing unless he is sure of the appropriateness of the gesture. And even then, just do a fast, simple wai that shows that you understand the concept. Don't bow your head too far, don't hold the wai too long, don't raise your fingers above the tip of your nose. Done at the wrong time all of these could be mis-interpreted by the Thai on the receiving end as mocking him rather than showing respect. K-I-S-S, (keep it simple, stupid) and you'll get along just fine!


9th February

   Gestures ...


Just a Matter of Interpretation

7th February, Thanks to David Long timers in Thailand are often amused watching westerners chatting with Thais. If you think about it, we have all inherited many gestures and use them in everyday conversation. The folks from Italy are world masters.

Thai people use either no gestures at all or they are very different in their use and meaning.

A shrug, raised eyebrows, banging on the table for emphasis, a wink and many other items of western body language must cause amusement, confusion or even be insulting to the Thai people. 99% of Thais cannot wink at all.

A good way do find out is to go through your repertoire and ask if your partner understands each or any. Of course, if the answers are mostly "no" you will not be able to stop using them anyway. And don't raise any fingers - all Thais can read those signs ever since the 70's R+R days and they may even respond by pointing their feet at you!


8th February

   Rent Not Buy ...


Mixed Blessings of being hitched with a Thai

Thanks to David Happens all the time.

The sweet, adorable, friendly and sexy lady you invited into your life and cared for over the months has changed right?

Most Thai women are very shrewd in getting themselves and their families into a comfortable situation. Once they have achieved this they tend not to have any further interest in you apart from a nail trim every six months and pak-pak for dinner day in day out. If you reduce their funding or go back to the entertainment centers for relaxation and company you may well face a kitchen cleaver. I have (sometimes) found a way round this by sitting down with them and telling them firmly that you are not happy with the situation.

They will listen, usually understand, and then lapse again after a while.
Basically, you are not important - only needed.

Most of us married/hitched to a Thai will have very mixed blessings.

Rent not buy.


6th January

   Work Permit Law ...


Official Memo From Thai Visa
Posted by On Department of Employment Regulations

Governing the Criteria of Considering Permitting the Work of Foreigners 30th September 2004

In order for the consideration of permitting the work of foreigners under Section 7and Section 8 of the Work of Foreigners Act 1978 to be exactly circumspect according to the spirit of the law, it is expedient to prescribe the criterion of considering permitting the work of foreigners.

By virtue of Section 32 of the State Affairs administration Regulations Act  1991 as amended by the State Affairs Administration Regulations Act (No. 5) 2001, the Director-General of Employment lays down regulations as follows:

Article 1. The regulations are called "The Department of Employment Regulations Governing the criteria of considering Permitting the Work of foreigners 2004".

Article 2. These regulations shall apply form the 8th day of October 2004 onward.

Article 3. The following shall be rescinded:
(1) The Department of employment Regulations Governing the Criteria and the Conditions of Considering Permitting the Work of Foreigners 2002 dated May 22, 2002,
(2) The Department of Employment Regulations governing the Criteria and the Conditions of considering Permitting the Work of Foreigners (No.2) 2002 dated July 11, 2002,
(3) The Department of Employment Regulations Governing the Criteria and the Conditions of Considering Permitting the Work of Foreigners (No.3) 2003 dated February 5, 2003.

Clause 4. For the issuance of the work permit to the foreigners under Section 7 and Section 8, permission shall be considered as may be necessary and appropriate by taking account of:
(1) Security within the kingdom in the political, religious, economic and social aspects,
(2) Protection against foreigners coming to compete for the occupations that Thai nationals have the ability to do and keeping them sufficient in quantify for the demand of the labor market within the kingdom;
(3) The benefit from permitting the foreigners to work in that job position of bringing about the introduction of foreign currency to invest or spend in the country in large amounts, bringing about the employment of a large number of Thai nationals for the position being one requiring skill in modern technology useful to the economic development of the country and with such skill being transferred to Thai nationals.
(4) Skill development that Thai nationals will receive from the transfer by the foreigners who is permitted to work of knowledge and understanding of techniques and details about machines and tools and skill in modern technology to Thai nationals in that work;
(5) The principle of humanity.

Article 5. From the consideration of issuing the work permit under Article 4, permission may be granted according to the following criteria:

(1) For foreigners entering to work in financial institutions under the supervision of the Bank of Thailand or the Ministry of Finance or the government agency which supervises financial institutions, permission shall be granted according to the number prescribed in the certificate having a certificate from Bank of Thailand or the Ministry of Finance or the government agency writ supervise finance in situations.

(2) Foreigners under a certificate issued by the central government, the provincial government, the local government, the state enterprise or the public organization under the public organization law which specifies the name, the position and the work period of that alien.

(3) Foreigners working for an employer whose investment size from the paid up registered capital is not lower than Baht two million, the rate being one alien permitted for every Baht two million, or an employer registered as a juristic person abroad and entering to do business in Thailand whose investment size from the money introduced from abroad is not lower than Baht three million, the rate being one alien permitted for every Baht three million, or a place of business registered as a juristic person abroad and entering to do business in Thailand prior to October 30, 2002 that has no evidence of introducing money from abroad: consideration shall be done from the size of investment from the amount of the balance appearing in 6 retrospective months' bank statement, an amount of Baht three million or more, the rate being one foreigners permitted for every Baht three million, unless the alien has a Thai spouse in a lawfully registered marriage and in open cohabitation, in which case such investment size as prescribed shall be reduced by one half, in which a maximum of ten foreigners may be permitted, save considering permitting as may be appropriate in any of the following cases:

(a) Working for an employer who has paid tax to the government in the past year cycle not less than Baht three million;

(B Working for an employer doing a business of exporting goods and introducing foreign currency into the country not less than Baht three million in the past year;

(-C) Working for an employer doing a tour business with not fewer than five thousand introductions of foreigners to visit Thailand in the past year cycle;

(d) Working for an employer who employs not fewer than one hundred Thai nationals;

(4) Foreigners working for an employer whose investment size from the paid up registered capital is not lower than Baht two million or an employer registered as a juristic person abroad and entering to do business in Thailand, whose investment size from the money introduced from abroad is not lower than Baht three million: in any of the following case the limitation regarding the number of foreigners under Article 5 (3) shall not apply:

(a) Foreigners doing a Technology work which Thai nationals are still unable to do or in which Thai nationals are available in number not sufficient for the demand of the domestic labor market, which technology shall be transferred to at least two Thai national within the prescribed period;

(B Foreigners working by applying specialized skill for a work to be accomplished under a definite project;

(-C) Foreigners working in an entertainment, amusement or musical business, the character of whose employment are occasional and definite;

(5) Foreigners working in a foundation, association or any other organization whose objectives are non-profit making and in the interests of the society as a whole: the criterion in Article 5 (3) shall not apply;

(6) Foreigners coming to be attached to the representative office of a foreign justice person in an international trade business, who comes to give advice in various aspects about the goods of the head office distributed to an agent or user, the dissemination of various sorts of information about the goods or services of the head office and the reporting of business movements in Thailand to the attention of the head office: a maximum of two person may be permitted; the alien coming in to look for goods or service purchase sources in Thailand for the head office, check and control the quality and the quantify of the goods that the head office buys or employees to produce in Thailand: a maximum of two persons may be permitted, unless that representative office can find goods or service purchase sources for the head office and the head office has ordered goods or services from producers in Thailand in a value of goods or service ordering in the past year not less than Baht one hundred million;

(7) Foreigners coming in to be attached to the regional office of a juristic person organized under the law of a foreign country and going to do business in another country in order to render services in various aspects, e.g. liaison and supervision of the operation of a subsidiary or affiliated company located in the same region as the head office, counseling or rendering the services of organizing transiting and personnel development, financial management, market control and sales promotion planning, product development, and research and development by coming an income from rendering those services and having no power to receive purchase orders or sale offers or negotiate business-doing with persons or juristic persons in the country of location, by receiving expenses from the head office only: a maximum of five persons may be permitted, unless than regional office has introduced money to spend in Thailand in the past year cycle not less than ten million baht.

Article 6. Regarding considering issuing the work permit under Article 4 to foreigners who apply for permission to work for a natural person employer who is not one having the character under Article 5, permission may be granted according to the following criteria:

(1) Foreigners working for an employer earning an income from business operation in the past year cycle or from the current year: for every Seven hundred thousand baht earned by the employer, one foreign employee may be employed but no more than maximum three foreign employee may be employed.

(2) Foreigners working for an employer who has paid taxes to the government in the past year cycle: one foreign employee may be employed for every fifty thousand baht income tax the employer paid. Maximum foreign employee hired may not exceed 3 persons.

(3) Foreigners working for an employer having Thai employees: one person may be permitted for every four Thai employees, the maximum being three persons.

Article 7. The criterion under paragraph one shall be reduced by one half in the case where the permit applicant alien has a Thai spouse in a lawfully registered marriage and in open cohabitation.

Article 8. Considering permitting otherwise than the cases or criteria herein prescribed shall be the power of the Director-General.

Article 9. Applications that the authorities have receive prior to the effective date hereof shall be treated according to the Department of Employment Regulations Governing the Criteria and the Conditions of Considering Permitting the Work of Foreigners 2002 dated May 22, 2002, the Department of Employment Regulations Governing the Criteria and the Conditions of Considering Permitting the Work of Foreigners (No. 2)  2002 dated July 11, 2002, and the Department of Employment Regulations Governing the Criteria and the Conditions of Considering Permitting the Work of Foreigners (No. 3)  2003 dated February 5, 2003.

Article 10. The Director-General of Employment shall be the person in charge of the functions hereunder.

(Mr. Chuthathawat Intharasuksi)
Director-General of Employment Department

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