Can I Change My Tourist Visa into a Work Visa in Thailand?


One of the mysteries of Thailand is how to get a work permit and what type of visa do you need to get one. That’s why I’m constantly being asked by people considering coming to Thailand to work, “Can I change my tourist visa into a work visa in Thailand?” and the answer to that is “Yes. You can. With some requirements of course (after all, this is Thailand).”

If you come to Thailand on a 60-day tourist visa (technically a 90-day tourist visa, as you can extend it for another 30 days at immigration in Thailand), you can get your tourist visa changed into a work visa or non-immigrant B. To be able to do this, there are a couple of things you must have:

a) You must already have a job offer and a company or school who is willing to give you the paperwork to apply for a work permit for you

b) You must have at least 30 days left on your tourist visa as it takes immigration up to that long to process your application. If you don’t have 30 days left, you’ll have to leave Thailand and re-enter on either another tourist visa, or get a non-immigrant B visa (with paperwork from your company or school) while outside the country.

Just remember. When you come to Thailand on a tourist visa and then get a job, make sure your company or school knows how many days are left on your tourist visa, so they know how much time they have to get you a non-immigrant B visa.

After all, having to leave Thailand and then come back in on a second visa really is a pain in the patoot. Make sure you don’t have to.

Photo – Living in Thailand is so relaxing (except for the visas and work permits, that is) – copyright Praziquantel, Creative Commons