Thailand – Revision to Permissible Activities Not Classified As “Work"

Thailand – Revision to Permissible Activities

The Thai Department of Employment issued an announcement on March 6, 2015, declaring the types of work-related activities that are not classified as “work” under Thailand’s Alien Working Act B.E. 2551 (2008). With immediate effect, various activities, including attending a meeting or seminar, attending an exhibition or trade fair, attending a lecture, etc. will not require application for a work permit. This should help to ease some of the administrative burdens on companies and makes it simpler and more convenient for business travelers to enter Thailand for certain work-related purposes.

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The Thai Department of Employment issued an announcement on March 6, 2015, declaring the types of work-related activities that are not classified as “work” under Thailand’s Alien Working Act B.E. 2551 (2008).1

With immediate effect, the following activities will not require application for a work permit:

  1. Attending a meeting, conference, or seminar;
  2. Attending an exhibition or trade fair;
  3. Taking part in a business meeting or business negotiations;
  4. Attending a special lecture or academic lecture;
  5. Attending lectures as part of training or technical training;
  6. Purchasing goods at a trade fair;
  7. Attending a Board of Directors meeting at one’s own company.

WHY THIS MATTERS

It is important that immigration and global mobility professionals, and employees traveling to Thailand for business, understand that a business traveler or foreign individual who comes to Thailand for such activities – as noted above – no longer requires work authorization.  This should therefore help to ease some of the administrative burdens on companies and makes it simpler and more convenient for business travelers or foreign individuals to enter the country when participating in or undertaking the above-noted activities.  

The revision to the list of permissible activities not requiring a work permit aligns with new government policy aimed to encourage foreign companies to set up a Regional Headquarters (“ROH”) in Thailand. 

KPMG NOTE

Business travelers may come to Thailand using any type of visa (the visa exemption scheme, visa-on-arrival, or a non-immigrant “B” visa) to perform the above-noted activities.  However, it is advisable to strictly limit their activities so they fall into the above list.  A foreigner is still required to apply for a work permit or an urgent work permit if he or she participates in any activities that fall outside the types described above. 

FOOTNOTE

RELATED RESOURCE

For related coverage, see Flash International Executive Alert 2014-082, August 14, 2014

CONTACTS

For further information or assistance, please contact your local GMS or People Services professional, or one of the following professionals with the KPMG International member firm in Thailand:

Lynn Tastan

Tel. +66 2677 2477

 

Tanittha Cha-Um

Tel. +66 2677 2466

 

Wanpratueng Ramgomut

Tel. +66 2677 2565

Flash Alert

Flash Alert reports on developments that affect organizations with global mobility programs.

 
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The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Thailand.

© 2016 KPMG Phoomchai Tax Ltd., a Thailand limited liability company and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

Flash Alert is an Global Mobility Services publication of KPMG LLPs Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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