Working Illegally in Thailand

Working Illegally in Thailand

From time to time it does make the press when a foreigner or a few of them are caught and arrested in Thailand for working without a work permit. Working illegally has many issues for both the employer and employee in Thailand. We have listed the current penalties for working illegally in Thailand.

Offence Penalty
Working without a work permit

(Section 51)

Imprisonment for 5 years or a fine ranging from 2,000 Baht to 100,000 Baht or both
Having a work permit but engaging in an occupation other than stated in the work permit

(Section 52)

A fine not exceeding 20,000 Baht
Having a work permit but not having it on you when demanded by the police

(Section 53)

A fine not exceeding 10,000 Baht
Employing a foreigner without a work permit

(Section 54)

A fine not exceeding 100,000 Baht per person.


We have listed the Aliens Act of Thailand below in a PDF format which are the rules that govern the employment of foreigners in Thailand. We have noted a few interesting parts of the Act which are normally very common issues. Note that the government work permit fees are also listed on this website.

Section 7 : The work permit must be for a position that a Thai cannot do and that the position which the foreigner holds as seen as valuable in the development of Thailand. It also notes that you have to state your location of employment meaning you can only work at the location your work permit allows you to work.

Section 8: The foreigner must have a place to stay in Thailand temporary and has not arrived in Thailand as a tourist or a transit passenger. This brings up the issue or converting a tourist visa to a normal visa. This sections rules it out and you see why you have to leave Thailand for a proper visa for the work permit.

Section 24: You must have your work permit on you at all times while at work. As noted above there is a fine for not having your work permit on you while at work.

Aliens Act of Thailand

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