What is the change? When applying for work permit preapproval with the Department of Employment (non-Board of Investment applications), employers may be asked to submit copies of the foreign employee’s passport departure page to demonstrate that he or she has exited Thailand before applying for the preapproval. Previously, only the first page of the passport (the photograph page) was required to support the application.

What does the change mean? The passport copies enable the DOE to ensure that the applicant is not in Thailand while the company files the preapproval application.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Pre-work permit approval, or PWPA.
  • Business impact: Employers will need to follow up with foreign employees who have ever entered Thailand before having applied for the PWPA. They should obtain these employees’ departure pages to submit with the PWPA application.
  • Next steps: Foreign employees should plan to provide copies of all passport pages at the outset of the application process. The requirement for dependent family members has not changed.

Analysis & Comments: Employers are reminded that foreign employees who apply for preapproval are prohibited from being in Thailand during the process. Despite this rule, many foreign nationals stay in Thailand while applying for the preapproval and, as a result, must cancel their preapproval for failing to meet the conditions. Officers who discover that a foreign employee was in Thailand when the preapproval letter was issued cannot issue the work permit booklet and must cancel the preapproval letter. The new policy is intended to reduce the number of cancellations and ensure compliance with work permit rules prohibiting employees from starting work before the work permit is issued.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.