Most residents in the Land of Smiles know that a work permit is required for foreigners to work legally in Thailand — the main benefit of a work permit is that it enables you to receive benefits as a worker. Working without a proper permit will result in penalties for non-compliance, such as possible fines, imprisonment, deportation, and in some cases, a ban from re-entering the kingdom. However, during the course of a foreigner’s career, they might lose their work permit in Thailand, damage it, or experience a change in employment status.
What happens when you lose your work permit in Thailand? Are there any viable solutions? Read on to find out.
Renewal of Work Permit, Under Normal Circumstances
Generally, Thai work permits are valid as long as your visa allows you to remain in Thailand, usually for around one year. On that note, work permits must be renewed or extended before they expire. Before the work permit can be renewed, the employee must be sure their visa is extended (the employee and the employer are both responsible for this). The documents that need to be submitted for the renewal of the work permit are identical to the ones that were submitted with the initial application.
What Can You Do When a Work Permit Is Lost or Damaged?
You should know that working in Thailand without a permit is illegal. Thus, if you damage or lose your work permit, it is imperative that you get a new one as soon as possible. Here are the steps you should follow to acquire a new work permit in Thailand:
1. Report It as Lost
Immediately inform your employer and the local police if you discover that your work permit has been lost or damaged. You will need a police report or a copy of the report, as it may be required for issuing a replacement for your work permit.
2. Apply for a Replacement
A work permit holder must apply for a substitute or “temporary” permit within 15 days via a WP.4 form. During this time, your employer will need to prepare the relevant documents and submit an application for a replacement work permit on your behalf to the Department of Employment.
3. Obtain Temporary Documentation
You may need to obtain temporary documentation, such as a letter from the Department of Employment confirming the loss of the work permit and the application for a replacement. This documentation may be necessary for legal purposes, such as re-entry into Thailand or proving your employment status to authorities.
Documents Required for Applying for a Work Permit Substitution