List of Prohibited Jobs for westerners in Thailand

no you cant do any work

its like someone in a bar and they wipe down the tables to give wife a hand
or pick up a few glasses = work

be very careful

also you ED visa cannot last forever and you will soon have to make a choice about work
you look you and so cannot make retirement visa

up to  you
you are a foreigner
so eventually the ED visa will pass
you will need to get work

company may supply work permit but it costs them a lot
and needs Thai staff

work is work
no matter how you say
in Thailand thinking is work
in the west we call it consulting

wife kids being Thai does not give you the right to work

if you work you need to get a non B
then WP

all these costs add up

As Blackjack stated, you are working!  It does not matter if you have 10 Thai wives and sons/daughters.  You doing things that would be defined as WORK in any country.  Some compensation is coming into the hands of someone that you are directly connected to correct?  Your "giving hands" or whatever to your wife's work/company is work which needs a WP in almost any country out there. 

You and your wife and form a Thai company where she or other Thai's own 51% and you or other expats own 49% (on paper) and this company can sponsor you for a WP.  This is of course the work you would be declared doing is NOT restricted from the list of jobs that are not allowed in Thailand!

Wow!  How many examples you think an immigration officer is going to listen from you!  You sometimes carry your baby?  Sometimes you clean your apt?  Sometimes you make love to your wife?  Does any money exchange from your baby to you or your wife for YOUR family's benefit?  Then you are not being a nanny worker!  You or your wife receive any compensation from your landlord for cleaning your apt?  Then you are not a housekeeper!  Your wife pay you for having sex?  If not then you are not a sex-worker! 

Does the market where your wife do the shopping for "fresh vegetables, chickens, water, ice cream, nam yen, cha yen, ma muang" pay you or your wife to carry their "fresh vegetables, chickens, water, ice cream, nam yen, cha yen, ma muang" home after two hours at evening time to your apt?  If no then you are not a delivery person!

But you are doing things at assist/work for/with your Thai wife with a Thai son that brings in some compensation that goes into supporting YOU and your wife and child! 

What is so hard to accept Shoel?  Get a work permit for staying in Thailand and working for or with your wife!  I am sure wherever you come from the law is the same!

You are welcome!  It is clear that you want to continue in Thailand and that is very logical since you have a family there.  Do whatever you can to get a legal WP so you can get off of that student visa and come out of the grey zones that some many people hide in.  There USUALLY is always a solution to one's situation if they do their homework!

Perhaps a sentence of 50 words or less setting out what the faring can get a work permit for would be more helpful.  I'll start the sentence ' A foreigner may apply for a work permit in the following  occupations - teacher of conversational English; SCUBA Instructor.........can anyone add further occupations that don't involve the purchase of a business?  You have 32 words left.  If even one-third of that number is used, I will be amazed!!

I'm pretty certain that no foreigner shall be employed as a photographer. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!
Just means I get my permits by teaching English. You can never have too many skills as an expat.

Prohibited occupations The Act sets out a list of occupations that are prohibited to foreigners:
1. Labouring work
2. Work in agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry or fisheries excluding specialized work in each particular branch or farm supervision
3. Bricklaying, carpentry or other construction work
4. Wood carving
5. Driving mechanically propelled vehicles or driving non-mechanically-propelled vehicles, excluding piloting of international aircraft
6. Shop assistant
7. Auctioneer
8. Supervising, auditing or giving service in accountancy excluding occasional internal auditing
9. Cutting or polishing jewelry
10. Haircutting, hairdressing or beauty treatment
11. Cloth weaving by hand
12. Weaving of mats or making products from reeds, rattan, hemp, straw or bamboo
13. Making of rice paper by hand
14. Lacquerware making
15. Making of Thai musical instruments
16. Nielloware making
17. Making of products from gold, silver or gold-copper alloy
18. Bronzeware making
19. Making of Thai dolls
20. Making of mattresses or quilt blankets
21. Alms bowl casting
22. Making of silk products by hand
23. Casting of Buddha images
24. Knife making
25. Making of paper or cloth umbrellas
26. Shoemaking
27. Hat making
28. Brokerage or agency, excluding brokerage or agency in international trade
29. Engineering work in civil engineering concerning design and calculation, organization, research, planning, testing, construction supervision or advice, excluding specialized work
30. Architectural work concerning design, drawing of plans, estimating, construction supervision or advice
31. Garment making
32. Making pottery or ceramics
33. Cigarette making by hand
34. Tour guide or conducting sightseeing tours
35. Street vending
36. Typesetting of Thai characters by hand
37. Drawing and twisting silk-thread by hand
38. Office or secretarial work
39. Legal or litigation services

Moderated by Priscilla 8 years ago
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I work in IT.  Related to stereotypes, someone can be a school teacher, or chef, and after that I'm drawing a blank.


Can a Irish expat work as a lifeguard in a pool or the beach...I'm fully qualified with years of experience


If it's not on the list of restricted jobs why not.  The trick would be finding someone to hire you.  There must be trained Thai lifeguards available to be hired in Thailand, and you don't see that many lifeguards around in general.  But good luck.

no you need to work for a company and 1 foreign work permit = 4 thai workers plus their social payments
you wont make enough to pay the bills

Moderated by Julien 8 years ago
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Moderated by Bhavna 8 years ago
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blackjack2010 wrote:

no you need to work for a company and 1 foreign work permit = 4 thai workers plus their social payments
you wont make enough to pay the bills

I'm curious what this means.  You cost the company an equivalent cost of 4 Thai staff for them to employ you?  I don't think that's the case, but the expense is substantial.  My understanding is that they keep changing the interpretation of who can work in Thailand, so the rules vary a little from year to year.  To some extent employers are always supposed to justify it so each case is treated as an exception, except maybe for teachers--no need for them to keep going through why that makes sense.  I know for sure they just changed the paperwork process this year, and as in the past the application process is unbelievable, even for renewal.

It seems unlikely anyone could possibly be hired as a foreign lifeguard.  But then again, you never know, maybe there is some unusual circumstance where that makes sense, where language issues are a big driver and expense is not a concern, which is why it seems unlikely to me.  Probably as well to pursue scuba training certification since that work is supposedly not so uncommon.

Hi, I'm a sports massage therapist  & believed that massage would be a protected job I didn't see it on the list?- however presuming it comes under beauty?.
Can anyone clarify this?.
Many thanks.

But you can't work without a work permit that is attached to a thai company with 4 staff.  Plus you need to pay their social benefits each.month and do the books each year

Moderated by kenjee 8 years ago
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My wife sells health and beauty products for Malaysian firm now located in Thailand. It is network marketing.  Do you think this would be prohibited? Don't sell public more by referal and sponsor people into business to build sales team.

I am working for the past 6 years in Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. I teach psychology. Two issues to share. 1.I have a 3-bedroom town house in BKK for rent. Furnished and the rent is 10,000 BT/month. 2. I am looking for an expat to share a small English school center in BKK. Alexander

Hello Alexander,

As far as housing offers are concerned, please drop an advert in the appropriate section of the website : Houses for rent in Bangkok.

All the best,

Hi, I am making jeweler and jeweler design can i work in Thailand about my field?

Hotel management, professional chef and teacher are really the only jobs a foreigner can do, or you can be a football player for a local club if you are good.

Nice post, Thanks for info.

NO...   but you can in I did in Taxco for 15 years. Now I live in Thailand.

If a Thai can do cannot

can i work Freelancer from Thailand?

How?  on tourist visas, which will end eventually.

Can i get school Visa?         has  all your answers.     If you study   thai language or boxing you can get an ed visa.

Immigration is cracking down on ED visa as it has been abused for for many years.

You will probably get 12 months then it will be difficult.
So dont count on living in Thailand on a ED visa

I have a question about work permits in Thailand. I'm a freelance photographer, but am not affiliated with and organization based in Thailand. Do I need a work permit to avoid getting deported? Thanks for the information!

:D any work needs a WP

Yes you do.

in 7 weeks time the new rules for working and visa's will be announced.
Its called in with the good and out with the bad.

The new rules will list penalties for working without a permit and you will be deported and blacklisted from re entry into Thailand.

Also if you have stepped out of line then there is no guarantee that your extension of stay will be renewed each year.

Getting a ED visa is also getting more strict.

Good luck.

why we get Ed Visa we get more Strick?!! whats problem ?

Here is the key to a legal job in Thailand:
If a legal employer wants to employ you and can justify you as having unique skills, and if that legal employer is willing to submit all the paperwork (a big pile), and if the labor dept here accepts that, and if you leave Thailand to get the visa that matches your new work permit and then return ...... then you have a job in Thailand.

Frequently, such jobs are on one year, or less, contracts renewable if employer wants you.  Often a company will hire a foreigner and have Thai workers learn from him the job and then the foreigner is dismissed and a Thai tries to do the job.

Many jobs are six days a week.  Only cushy foreigner jobs are where the foreigner is recruited in his home nation by an international company who pays generously to work in Thailand, but those jobs are gotten in home country, not by walking in here.

i work 7 days a week on call

its more strict because the visa was abused.
people were going to class for a few hours then skipping out to do work
mostly in tourist industries

What Khnom said about legal work through visa seems accurate to me, but there are always exceptions, and there are almost certainly thousands of people living and working here under such exceptions. 

That description failed to mention English teachers, an obvious enough case where lots of people essentially can't be replaced by Thais since the idea is that they are native speakers.  A related case is that of foreign teachers not teaching English but hired to teach a different subject in English, either at the elementary, high school, or university level.  Even Thai government schools hire such foreign teachers.  The catch is that this requires an education degree for lower level teaching and a specialization for university instruction, just as in any other country.

IT work is another typical exception.  It is true some people are working here as technical specialists in expat package positions, and others are brought in and sent back out as described, but others are here for longer duration work.  Other people work either related to a specialized skill, certification, or training (eg. chef, scuba instructor, international trade specialist, etc.) or in positions where native level language skills are really desirable (eg. hotel desk employment).  The only cases where an exception requirement can't be justified is in prohibited jobs, like farmer, or tour guide, a long list that's posted in a thread here, but otherwise companies just need to make a case, pay the fee, and do the paperwork.

How could one find exceptional cases?  It would help a lot to have a skill that's very desirable, essentially something required that can't be covered locally.  Others without that could work into positions through networking, as some do in international relief agencies.  As with employment search anywhere an ideal personal connection could help, a great contact, but that would be all but impossible to establish online from a foreign country, or for that matter here as well.  For a random person without any specialized skills or relevant training thinking "I'd like to move to Thailand" it's all bad news, on the impossible side of difficult to come here and do relatively unskilled work.