Privileges for highly skilled foreign manpower


by Panisa Suwanmatajarn and Onnicha Khongthon

Thailand currently focuses on driving the economy through innovation and that the government encourages investment on knowledge-based business. Therefore, the Thai government has increased measures in order to persuade highly skilled foreign manpower to work and provide knowledges in the target industries, called S-Curve e.g. smart electronics, medical hub, agriculture and biotechnology and digital. Thereby, a draft Announcement of Labour Ministry Re: Allowing Foreigner as Highly Skilled Expert, Investor, Senior Executive and Startups Entrepreneur Working in the Kingdom under Special Case (“Draft Announcement”) has been prepared by the Labour Ministry.

The significant provisions in the Draft Announcement areas details below:

  • To revoke the Announcement of Labour Ministry Re: Allowing Foreigners as Highly Skilled Expert, Investor, Senior Executive and Startups Entrepreneur Working in the Kingdom without Complying with the Decree on Managing of Foreign Worker B.E. 2560 (2017) dated 29 January 2017; and
  • To specify benefit of the foreigner and it is dependent holding a visa under such Draft Announcement as follows:
    • To allow the foreigner who is a highly skilled expert, investor, senior executive or startups entrepreneur receiving a Non-Immigrant Visa under a special case and working in the Kingdom without having a work permit subject to the regulation of Foreign Workers Administration.
    • A spouse of such highly skilled expert, investor, senior executive or startups entrepreneur is allowed to stay in Thailand exceeding 1 year. Moreover, their child having the age above 18 years old can also work in the Kingdom throughout the period of being allowed to stay in the Kingdom.

Currently, the Draft Announcement was approved in principle by the Cabinet on 5 March 2019 and being submitted to the Office of Council of State for consideration and revision. Then, such Draft Announcement will be returned to the Cabinet for its final approval and published in the Government Gazette for its enforcement.

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