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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawThe One Stop Visa and Work Permit Center in Thailand

The One Stop Visa and Work Permit Center in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we're going to be discussing the so called one-stop service center with respect to immigration and labor authorization here in the Kingdom. What is this we're talking about? Well, years ago I think it's been about 15 years, the government here in Thailand or the government at the time here in Thailand decided that in order to facilitate foreign investment and to facilitate foreign nationals working for startups and things in the Kingdom, they wanted to go ahead and create sort of a fast track to go ahead and get people's immigration and labor authorization generated and to get it promulgated sort of a quicker period of time.

Let's be clear and compare this to smaller operations here in Thailand wanting to come over here and get a business visa, get a work permit, generally like say here in Bangkok. You're going to have to deal with Chaeng Wattana immigration and you're going to have to deal with the Labor Ministry directly. Basically, what one-stop did more than anything and the biggest convenience of one-stop is it consolidates the need or it sorts of facilitates processing insofar as the process is consolidated. So basically, the Labor Ministry stuff and the immigration stuff is all done at the one-stop service center. And those who utilize the one-stop service center are generally going to be able to get it all done in one day whereas with dealing with Chaengwattana immigration and the Ministry of Labor generally speaking, it's going to take a little bit more time. You're going to have to run around from one ministry to the other and from one office to the other to get everything completed.

The other thing is with respect to visa processing, generally in smaller companies cases you're initially going to get a 30-day stamp followed by an 11-month stamp with respect to one's immigration status during that initial 30-day period. The file will be placed under review. In one stop, all of this is consolidated. So basically, your immigration visa stamp, the extension is going to be immediately one year. You don't have to go through this sort of double phase of 30 days in 11 months and also at the same time, you're going to be getting your labor authorization documentation a.k.a. your work permit dealt with at that same time.

So obviously, this is a significantly advantageous process and for those who've ever dealt with Chang Hua and Ministry of Labor and then turned around and dealt with one stop and vice versa, those folks can tell you that it's really almost a totally different procedure. Trying to compare the two things, it's almost like comparing apples and oranges. It's they're very, very dissimilar insofar as the processing time, how the processing protocols actually operate etc. You're just looking at a generally different experience when dealing with these different ways of dealing with one's legal status here in Thailand.

That being said, one-stop service centers can only be utilized by companies of a certain capitalization and a certain size as well. Most of the time foreign investment company so called BOI companies are generally authorized to utilize one-stop services as opposed to smaller entities again which don't necessarily have BOI certification etc. Those types of entities, the folks that are either working for them or own them or are working as a director for one of those entities, they're probably going to have to go ahead and deal with Changwattana immigration directly or with the work permit or with the Labor Department directly as well.

So there are fundamental differences in the process when dealing with one stop as opposed to dealing with sort of the traditional methodology. But notwithstanding the differences, there are also differences in who's qualified to go ahead and use one stop. So not every individual is going to be qualified to go ahead and have their immigration and visa status either initiated or renewed at the one stop service center.