However, the disparity of that decision (see story here) compared with the need for a work permit for any other income-creating activities by foreigners has thrown the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons in a country where work permits are required by any foreigner even doing free volunteer work.
For decades the concept of whether or not money is received has been irrelevant as the definition of work in Thailand remains “engaging in work by exerting energy or using knowledge whether or not in consideration of wages or other benefits” (see Ministry of Labour website here).
This definition was made plain as even emergency relief volunteers entering the country to help those affected by the tsunami in 2004 were technically required to have work permits in order to simply help for free.
Yet for Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, the work permit has gone the way of the dodo. All the required information in order to work in those countries must be provided to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or equivalent of those nations at the time of applying for an appropriate visa that allows the holder to work in the country.
Thailand requires the same, yet all that same information must be provided to the Department of Employment in order to be issued a work permit.
Worse, the Thai work permit does not provide any extra protection against foreigners working illegally in the country and does not confirm whether or not appropriate income tax is being paid by the foreigner.
To this, The Phuket News this week asks its readers: “Is the Thai work permit necessary?”
Responses available are:
- Yes, the work permit is a valuable form of identification and should be upgraded to a photo ID card.
- Yes, the work permit is a valuable form of identification and should be kept in the booklet form as is.
- No, the work permit not necessary but there is no harm in keeping it.
- No, the work permit is pointless and should be discontinued immediately.
To vote in the poll, click here.
The poll will continue online until August 2.
If you don’t see your preferred response above, feel free to add it in the comments section below.
To see the results of our previous poll, which asked, “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” click here.