Revisions to Decree ‘Managing the Work of Aliens’

Revisions to Decree ‘Managing the Work of Aliens’

The Thai Cabinet issued a new law concerning work permit requirements and other administrative obligations for foreigners working in Thailand. The Emergency Decree on Managing the Work of Aliens B.E. 2561 (No.2) (Amendment) replaced the Emergency Decree on Managing the Work of Aliens B.E. 2560 (Decree). The Amendment is intended to help facilitate better control over the process of bringing foreign workers into Thailand and to further promote cooperation amongst related sectors. The Amendment broadens the list of exemption activities to include:

  • Organizing or attending a meeting, conference, a lecture, issuing expressions of opinion, or presenting at a meeting, training, workshop, or seminar; performing art and cultural activities; or participating in sports competitions or any activities to be prescribed by the Council of Ministers.
  • Establishing a business or making an investment, or possessing knowledge, ability, or a high level of skill, which will be beneficial to Thailand’s development, as prescribed by the Council of Ministers.
  • Representative of a foreign juristic person licensed to operate business under the foreign business law.

In addition, the key amendments include (1) a revision of “Work” definition. “Work” was originally defined as “the use of labor or knowledge to carry on or to perform, with or without wages or any other benefits'. It is revised to “an engagement of any occupation, with or without employer, but excluding business operation of a licensee under the foreign business law”. (2) Extension period for urgent work; the Decree provides that foreigners who engage in “necessity and urgent work” within a period of 15 days may engage in such work only after notifying the Registrar by the sponsoring company. Should “necessity and urgent work” exceed 15 days, a work permit is required for the individual to continue to provide support. Under the Amendment, where necessity and urgent work cannot be completed within 15 days by the foreigner, the sponsoring company may request an extension for another 15 days before the lapse of the initial 15 days, without a work permit. (3) Repeal the provisions relating to multiple working locations; in the past, foreign individuals are prohibited to engage in any work which is of different category, employer, locality or conditions of works that are not specified under their work permits. Any type of work, employer and location must be registered in the work permit. With the repeal of such provisions, foreign employees are no longer required to register in their work permits all the locations where they work or are required to work for their employers, providing that their employers registered all the locations where they operate with the Department of Business Development and included in the company’s affidavit/registration certificate.

Overall, there are many welcome changes in the Amendment on removing barriers: broadened scope of exemption activities and reduced administrative burdens. The Labor Authority is in the process of issuing a detail guidance in accordance to the Amendment.

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