Understanding the BOI Visa and Work Permit in Thailand

Understanding the BOI Visa and Work Permit in Thailand

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Board of Investment (BOI) in Thailand plays a crucial role in promoting foreign investment and simplifying business operations in the country. This article provides an overview of the BOI visa and work permit, highlighting the benefits and requirements associated with this special program.

Key Points

  • 100% foreign ownership of the company is possible.
  • Tax benefits include income tax exemptions for a fixed period for certain business activities.
  • Reduced requirements to support work permits for hiring skilled foreign experts.
  • The ability to own land.

Overview of the BOI Visa

Companies promoted by the BOI enjoy certain advantages, including exemptions from specific requirements applicable to other company structures. For instance, BOI-promoted companies are not bound by the same mandatory capital and minimum Thai staff requirements.

Foreign employees working for BOI-promoted companies can obtain their BOI visa and work permits through the One Stop Service Centre, which offers a quicker application and approval process. Unlike non-BOI visas and work permits, which often involve lengthy procedures, the BOI visa and work permit can be obtained within a day.

Read also: Forming a BOI company in Thailand

Understanding the BOI

Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) is a special government agency dedicated to attracting foreign investment. By promoting investment in Thailand, the BOI aims to stimulate economic growth and create favorable conditions for businesses. BOI promotions remove various barriers to doing business in Thailand, including certain restrictions outlined in the Foreign Business Act.

Benefits of a BOI Promotion

Companies qualifying for BOI promotion can enjoy several incentives, such as:

  1. 100% foreign ownership of the company.
  2. Reduced requirements for hiring foreign workers, without any quotas.
  3. Permission to own land.
  4. Tax benefits, including income tax exemptions for a fixed period. It’s important to note that tax incentives depend on specific promotions and may not be available to all companies.

Requirements for Hiring Foreign Employees in a BOI Company: BOI-promoted companies have more flexibility in hiring foreign employees compared to Thai limited companies. The quota of hiring four Thai employees per foreign national does not apply to BOI companies. Foreign employees that BOI companies can hire include skilled workers and experts.

Process for Obtaining a BOI Visa

The following steps are involved in obtaining a BOI visa and work permit:

  1. Opening a new position on the online BOI platform: The BOI-promoted company creates a new position on the online platform that matches the applicant’s qualifications. The position needs to be approved by the BOI, which usually takes around seven days.
  2. Receiving an invitation letter from the BOI and applying for a Non-Immigrant B (Non-B) visa: Once the new position is approved, the company receives an invitation letter from the BOI, which is then submitted as part of the visa application at the Thai Embassy.
  3. Submission of qualifications for approval by the BOI: The applicant’s profile is created on the BOI ‘Single Window system’ platform for the newly opened position. The qualifications are uploaded for approval, which may involve some follow-up queries. On average, this process takes 2 to 3 weeks.
  4. Obtaining the work permit and visa extension: Once the applicant’s profile is approved, they can schedule an appointment at the One Stop Service Center to receive the visa and work permit. The initial visa and work permit are valid for one year, and extensions can be obtained through a streamlined process.

Advantages of a BOI Visa

Having a BOI visa and work permit offers several advantages, including:

  1. Quick and efficient service: The One Stop Service Center provides a convenient and faster process compared to traditional visas and work permits.
  2. Streamlined procedures: The online submission of documents simplifies the application process, and resubmission is possible if any issues arise.
  3. Visa extensions: The BOI provides support and assistance to its promoted companies, facilitating the visa extension process.
  4. Residency benefits: Depending on the specific BOI promotion, employees may have opportunities to apply for long-term residency in Thailand, providing stability and additional benefits.
  5. Airport Fast Track: Management-level employees of BOI companies can enjoy Fast Track services at the airport.
  6. Temporary visa: Companies applying for a BOI promotion can request a temporary visa that remains valid while the BOI reviews the application.

Conclusion

The BOI visa and work permit program in Thailand offers numerous benefits for both companies and foreign employees. By simplifying the application process, reducing requirements, and providing additional support, the BOI aims to attract and retain foreign investments. It’s recommended to consult with immigration experts or relevant authorities to fully understand the specific benefits and conditions applicable to individual situations.

Book a Call with our expert

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During this session, our lawyer will provide insights into key areas, including company structure, outsourced employment services, taxes, accounting, and other general facets of running a business in Thailand. Additionally, we are here to address any other legal queries you might have, ensuring you have a comprehensive understanding of the topic at hand.

Our responses will be pragmatic, breaking down both the legal aspects and local practices in a manner that’s easy to grasp.

Should your questions require additional research, our experts will delve deeper and follow up with further insights via email.

This consultation is offered by legal experts fluent in English, French, or Thai.

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