What is the change? Pre-Work Permit Approval (WP3) applications can now be submitted through One-Stop Service Centers (OSSC) and processed within one working day.

What does the change mean? The sponsoring company must meet the following requirements in order to file WP3 applications with the OSSC:

  • Company’s headquarters or branch is located in Bangkok;
  • Company is a general business (non-BOI/IEAT/DMF) and has registered and paid a minimum capital of THB 30 million or the company’s total current assets shown on the previous fiscal year-end Financial Statement are at least THB 30 million;
  • The position applied for is manager level or above.


  • Effective date: Aug. 22, 2019.
  • Documents affected: WP3 applications
  • Who is affected: Eligible sponsoring companies

Background: The Pre-Work Permit Approval Letter (WP3) is required for issuance of Non-Immigrant B visas at the Royal Thai Consulate/Embassy in certain countries.

Previously, the OSSC did not accept WP3 applications, and sponsoring companies had to file WP3 applications through the Employment Department, Ministry of Labour (MOL), which took four working days including the submission date to approve. The work permit issuance process also took an additional four working days including the submission date before the foreign employee could obtain the work permit booklet. The OSSC has recently changed its rules, however, and now accepts WP3 applications from eligible sponsoring companies with same-day approval. Obtaining the work permit booklet is also a one-day process.

If the company does not meet the requirements above, it must apply for the WP3 at the MOL. When filing the WP3 at both the MOL and OSSC, the foreign applicant must not be in Thailand from the day of filing the WP3 application until the Employment Department issues the WP3 pre-approval letter.

Analysis & Comments: The change is good news for eligible sponsoring companies as they can now obtain WP3 pre-approval letters within one working day. Employees must still enter Thailand with a Non-Immigrant B visa to finalize the process of work permit issuance within 30 days.

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