Thailand: digital work permit system launched

The Board of Investment (BOI) in Thailand is launching a new system for online work permits and visas for BOI registered companies. The new Single Window for Visa and Work Permit System will allow foreign national employees to receive digital work permits instead of the hardcopy work permit booklet currently issued.

What is the change?

Effective on January 1, 2018, all BOI companies who use the One Stop Service Center (OSSC) in Bangkok and the Immigration Office and Employment Offices in Chiang Mai and Phuket Provinces must use the Single Window system. The Single Window system will expand nationwide commencing in October 2018.
Under the new Single Window system, applications for work permits, visas or renewals will be made online. Additionally, the system needs less documentation to support an application.  As a result, employees do not need to submit any further documents for the Digital Work Permit process. It was formerly necessary to prepare a work permit application set for the final step of the process.
After consideration and approval by the authorities, who will use the information on the BOI platform, the employee or their representative will receive a confirmation email. They can then book an appointment to complete the final steps of the process. 
Candidates are still required to attend an appointment at the One Stop Service Centre (OSSC) in Bangkok or the Immigration and Employment offices in Chiang Mai and Phuket provinces to obtain their electronic work permit and have the re-entry visa stamped in the passport. An online appointment system will be available to make the process more efficient and reduce waiting times. 
Upon completion of the application process, the employee can register and download their Digital Work Permit from an app available on IOS and Android. Any change in an employee’s work status will automatically be updated and shown on the Digital Work Permit.

Key Considerations

During the transition period, employers should expect the online process to be slower than the old application process. Service interruptions and technical difficulties may arise and cause delays during the early implementation stages. While the online process will be longer for the initial work permit and long-term visa applications, employees can begin work on the date their Candidate Nomination application is approved.
The above information was provided by the BOI 
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Debra Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC.