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We have put together an article listing the restricted jobs for foreigners in Thailand.
Thailand welcomes foreign labour force working in Thailand; however, the government imposes certain rules and restrictions foreigners must follow. One particular area of restriction concerns employment opportunities in Thailand.
Let’s see what jobs are prohibited to foreigners.
Foreigners working in Thailand
A foreigner in Thailand cannot carry out work in occupations that are restricted or work without a valid work permit.
Employers in Thailand must also not hire foreigners to work for the restricted occupations or foreigners who do not have a work permit.
Restricted job lists in Thailand
Under the Notification stating jobs that are prohibited to foreigners pursuant to section 7 of the Foreigners’ Working Management Emergency Decree B.E. 2561, there are four lists of restricted jobs:
List 1: Strictly prohibited
Occupations that are strictly prohibited for foreigners include:
- Wood carving
- Driving motor vehicles, driving a non-mechanically propelled carrier or driving a domestic mechanically propelled carrier, except for piloting international aircraft or forklift driving
- Cutting or polishing diamond or precious stones
- Haircutting, hairdressing or beauty treatment
- Cloth weaving by hand
- Mat weaving or utensil making from reeds, rattan, hemp, straw, bamboo, bamboo pellicle, grass, chicken feather, coconut leaf stick, fibre, wire or other materials
- Mulberry paper making by hand
- Lacquerware making
- Making Thai musical instruments
- Nielloware making
- Gold ornaments, silverware or pink gold making
- Bronze ware making
- Thai dolls making
- Alms bowl making
- Silk products making by hand
- Buddha images making
- Paper or cloth umbrella making
- Brokerage or agency work, except brokerage or agency working in international trade or investment
- Thai massage
- Cigarette rolling by hand
- Tour guide or sightseeing tour operation
- Manual typesetting of Thai characters
- Silk reeling and twisting by hand
- Clerical or secretarial work
- Legal services or services in legal proceedings, except for the following occupations:
- Performing duties of arbitration
- Providing assistance or representation in the arbitral proceedings in the event that the law applicable to the dispute being considered by the arbitrators is not the Thai law
List 2: Prohibited with exceptions
Prohibited occupations for foreigners with a condition that foreigners are allowed to work under international agreements or obligations to which Thailand is bound under the provisions of laws are:
- Controlling, auditing, performing or providing accounting services, except:
- Occasional internal audit work
- Work under international agreements or obligations to which Thailand is bound, which the Professional Association provides a certificate
- Civil engineering concerning counselling, project planning, design and calculation, construction supervision or manufacturing, inspection, administration work to organise the system, research and test, except those who are registered under the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) and other international agreements
- Professional architectural work concerning project study, design, construction management and supervision, inspection or consulting, except for professional architects under the ASEAN MRA for architectural services and other international agreements
List 3: Exceptions for skilled or semi-skilled workers
Prohibited occupations for foreigners with an exception that foreign workers are allowed to do skilled or semi-skilled work when working for an employer include:
- Agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry or fishery
- Bricklaying, carpentry or construction works
- Mattress or quilt blanket making
- Hat making
- Dress making
- Pottery or ceramic ware making
List 4: Exceptions under treaties
Prohibited occupations which foreign workers are permitted to perform under the condition of having employers and permitted to enter Thailand by Immigration Law under MoUs or agreement between the Thai government and the foreign government are:
- Labour (manual work and simple work which requires physical strength)
- Shop front sellers (selling goods at a wholesale or retail establishment as well as selling goods at stalls or shops located in markets or roadsides)
If you are a foreigner who is seeking to work in Thailand in fields that are open to foreign employment, we recommend contacting Acclime to help you obtain a valid work permit and visa.
Acclime is Asia’s premier tech-enabled professional services firm. We provide formation, accounting, tax, HR and advisory services, focusing on delivering high-quality outsourcing and consulting services to our local and international clients in Thailand and beyond.