Assessing travel and visa obligations in Thailand

When traveling to Thailand, your nationality and the types of activities you will conduct during your trip will determine whether you may travel lawfully as a business visitor or if you require work authorization. Please seek advice from your immigration counsel if you are uncertain about the specific types of activities that constitute business or work.

Traveling for business

What types of activities may I engage in as a business visitor?

As a business visitor to Thailand, you may engage in the activities below. While this list is not exhaustive and other activities could qualify as business, you may:

  • Attend internal board or director’s meetings.
  • Buy products at a trade show.
  • Attend lectures for training or technical seminars.


If I qualify as a business visitor, do I need a visa for Thailand?

In general, foreign nationals seeking to travel to Thailand for business purposes should obtain a Non-Immigrant B Visa from a Thai Consulate or Embassy prior to arrival. While certain nationals may be eligible to enter Thailand on visa-waivered status or with a Visa on Arrival, this should be done with caution and is generally not recommended for business purposes. Please consult your immigration counsel before traveling to ensure compliance.

Working in Thailand

What types of activities require work authorization?

The activities below, whether paid or unpaid, generally constitute work under Thai law. This list is not exhaustive, and many other professional activities are considered work in Thailand, even if conducted for a short duration.

  • Machinery repair or installation
  • Quality inspections of products
  • Launching products or services
  • Consulting


If I am traveling to Thailand for work, what type of work authorization do I need?

The requirements for work authorization depend on your qualifications and on the nature and duration of your work. The most common Thai work permits are:

  • Urgent Work Permit (short-term work authorization)
  • Regular Work Permit (long-term work authorization)
  • 10-Year Long-Term Resident (LTR) Visa and Work Permit (long-term work authorization for certain high-potential foreign nationals, including remote workers for well-established overseas companies)
  • Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Visas and Work Permits (long-term work authorizations for foreign national employees of eligible investor companies)


Is it possible to be exempted from work authorization requirements?

There are no nationalities eligible for work authorization exemptions in Thailand.

What else should I know?

Inevitably, the legal and strategic considerations impacting visa selection, as well as visa waiver and work authorization eligibility, entail the careful consideration of many factors. We recommend that you consult with your immigration counsel before taking any course of action.


Copyright ©2024 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. Government immigration agencies often change their policies and practices without notice; please consult an immigration professional for up-to-date information. This document does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. BAL maintains comprehensive immigration information and processing specifics for our clients.