What are the restrictions do you have to meet to work in Thailand

13 replies
I'm thinking that I would like to travel to Thailand, and be a freelance writer while there.

However, I've heard there are a TON of restrictions placed on foreigners and how they can work there. I'm curious how a person would become a freelance writer in Thailand.

What do you have to do to become one?

Has anyone here traveled to Thailand?
#meet #restrictions #thailand #work
  • Profile picture of the author harvie316
    what type of job, if your working online like I was, I just went on a tourist visa. If you want an actual job in a company, chances will be very slim, unless you want to be a school teacher.

    as a Freelance writer I would just come on a tourist visa really, you wont get a work permit for that job. Yes you can work there as one, I know many people who do

    info on visas here http://afarangabroad.com/types-of-visas-for-thailand
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  • Profile picture of the author bertosio
    Iv lived in Cambodia mostly the last few years and s.e.asai for the last 5 years or so.

    I just get tourist visa's and then extend them normally.

    In Cambodia you can get a business visa at the border or airport which can be extended for 12 months and does not cost much.

    Thailand can be a bit more expensive and difficult to stay there long term because the visa's are harder to get with longer extensions on them.

    My advice! Keep moving!

    Spend a month in each country in s.e.asai and see where you like.


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  • Profile picture of the author Graham Maddison
    You might want to do as Harvie said above, but you can also look around to find a Company who may help with getting a work permit .... visit this site for helpful information and job offers in Thailand Job Offers in Thailand - Thailand Forum

    They also have a section which gives you all the information you need about visas etc.
    Thai visas, residency and work permits - Thailand Forum
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  • Profile picture of the author tritrain
    I love Thailand. Great, friendly people, and beautiful country.

    I'd really like to do as Bartosio suggests, personally. I know that work permits are tough in many countries. However, I know of a number of expats that have opened businesses, usually bars or restaurants in tourist areas, which I would think would require a work permit or more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    I live in Thailand.

    If you come here to do freelance writing or work online you're not going to get a work permit.

    So you'll just have to come here on tourist visa (apply for a triple entry and your local embassy before coming if available to your country) or an education visa (1 year visa with no reason to leave the country if you do just 4hrs of Thai lessons at an approved Thai language school).

    The law is ambiguous and the way it's worded essentially so much as checking a business email whilst in Thailand COULD be counted as 'working' but at the same time the law is in place to stop foreigners from taking jobs from Thai's so working online on your own business doesn't really fall into that category.

    In short most people out here working online are just on tourist visas and stay under the radar. It might technically be illegal but it's unlikely anyone would ever know.

    There are guys out here publicly launching online start ups and all sorts that is well documented online and I've yet to hear of anyone having any problems. Just don't shout if from the rooftop and make yourself any trouble.

    It's very easy to get back to back tourist visa by going to neighbouring countries and border runs and no one questions why you are doing this, it's normal and a good money earner for them.
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    • Profile picture of the author KevinRB
      I have been living in Thailand for 7 years now, been running websites for 6 years....keep your head down and enjoy the best country in the world
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    Been here a while. Most Starbucks here are full of bloggers.

    Just don't come here looking to make money with a blog about living here. Everything in Thailand has been written about and photographed.
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  • Im off to Penang in Malaysia next March. as most have said it's going to be jumping in and out of the country on visa runs. lots do it although from time to time they tighten up a little and reduce the 3 month visa to a 1 month

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  • Profile picture of the author Beatinest
    I'm in Thailand as well. Follow the advice above, stay under the radar. As long as you don't get into trouble (fights, drugs, whatever...) no one has any reason to question your income.
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  • Profile picture of the author HawkPrecision
    What would be the punishment if you were caught doing these visa runs?

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    • Profile picture of the author alasdairsim
      Originally Posted by HawkPrecision View Post

      What would be the punishment if you were caught doing these visa runs?
      There isn't as far as I know. The only thing you can be caught with is overstaying your visa and in my experience a few baht/dollars to the border guard in the way of a 'fine' and they send you on your way.

      Your essentially leaving the country and coming back with a new visa - nothing illegal in that.
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  • Profile picture of the author alasdairsim
    I lived & worked in Vietnam for a year without a business visa. Just hopped on a plane to Bangkok every 3 months and got a Visa On Arrival on the way back. Know quite a few people who do the same in Thailand and get on the same day return bus to the Cambodian border and back for a new tourist visa. There are countless places in Bangkok you can do that.

    It's pretty common. I would say out of all the 'expats' I met in Thailand very few have an actual working visa.
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  • Profile picture of the author djtrillian
    The whole thing about 'working' in a country is a bit of a fuzzy area if the business is based somewhere else.

    A logical claim could be made that if it's your business then it exists wherever you go. But for example right now I work for a UK company as an employee, the company is very much based in the UK and has brick 'n mortar premises. So if I travel somewhere and do my work I am certainly not taking the company with me, so it could be logically argued that regardless of where I am at any given time the 'work' is being done in the UK, I just have very very long arms via the online connection.

    Plus, as others have mentioned, the 'spirit' of these laws is about local jobs being available to legit residents / citizens. I really can't see any reason why Thailand or any other country would care if you run your business online whilst staying there as you're still a net contributor to the economy if your paying rent and supporting local businesses etc.

    IMHO we have way too much regulation, restriction and government meddling in the world :-(
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