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Working online for overseas organisation

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If someone was working online for an overseas organisation (specifically a British university) with no offices in Thailand, would it be possible to get a non-b and work permit?

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Just dont say anything to anyone, and stay quiet about it. There is no work permit for this kind of work unless your company has a branch here.

Its tollerated.

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I have experience in this. It is tolerated, yes.
But the authorities are slowly closing in.
They are gradually getting wise to the “working online” community. 

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11 minutes ago, SS1 said:

Currently there is no official solution for such, but there are plenty of people on the same boat. Most people just opt for something like the Elite visa, if they can afford it, and stay quiet about their work. 

 

One way to do it 100% legally is if you can find a local company who can employ you, where the organisation agrees for this company to provide the service you are working on to them as a client. 

In general it is currently a grey area and the Labour Department is well-aware of this, as well as the fact that they aren't currently offering any viable options for people like yourself. They tolerate digital nomadism, where one is actually staying in Thailand temporarily and working online for foreign companies while "on holidays". But living here long term whilst working online without a work permit is a grey area, to which the Labour Department cannot give a clear answer to. I asked about this during a seminar with the department, but this question was answered with "we cannot comment at this stage" pretty much. 



 

There is a company that can employ digital nomads and offer work permits but you have to fork over 30% of your income to them.

 

I think the main issue here is not about the legality of it - it's fine and tolerated, it's that some people want to live here while being digital nomads, without the confusion and uncertainty that comes from living on tourist visas.

 

Thailand needs to update it's antiquated immigration laws, which are still based on what they decided in 1979 and apparently never (or hardly) updated since. Why not introduce an all-new immigration act, which takes into account the times we are living in? 1979 was a very different time, most of our home countries had just started opening the flood gates for immigrants and it was rare to find tourists and especially expats here. 41 years is a long time.

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20 minutes ago, SS1 said:

One way to do it 100% legally is if you can find a local company who can employ you, where the organisation agrees for this company to provide the service you are working on to them as a client. 

How often does that happen?

Many years ago I was in a similar situation. I asked the bosses of two Thai companies if I could make a deal with them about a work permit. I knew the owners and they wanted to help me. But after a little research both told me that if would be a lot of headache for them if they employ me. Because, according to them, a Thai company will be scrutinized a lot more if they employ a farang compared to just being a small Thai company with only Thai employees. I would be surprised if that principle changed to the better.

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13 minutes ago, drbeach said:

Once this crisis is over, if they want to be seen as a normal and welcoming business-friendly country, they'll either introduce a 'digital nomad' visa of some sort or retain the status quo.

It seems you think Thai politicians and administration would do some changes because it makes sense.

Who gave you that idea?

Look at the 90 day reports, the visa runs, the go out of the country to get a new business visa routine, and many many more things.

All that could be organized a lot better for everybody involved. And that could have happened many years ago. It didn't! Why not? Because nobody cares. If there is any official in Thailand who thinks about improving things he must hide somewhere, probably in an inactive post.

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1 hour ago, JRG23 said:

I have experience in this. It is tolerated, yes. But the authorities are slowly closing in. They are gradually getting wise to the “working online” community. 

 

Is this 'authorities closing in' based on something or just idle speculation?

 

Seems ridiculous for immigration to care about this. It's money coming into the country.

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55 minutes ago, drbeach said:

There is a company that can employ digital nomads and offer work permits but you have to fork over 30% of your income to them.

 

I think the main issue here is not about the legality of it - it's fine and tolerated, it's that some people want to live here while being digital nomads, without the confusion and uncertainty that comes from living on tourist visas.

 

Thailand needs to update it's antiquated immigration laws, which are still based on what they decided in 1979 and apparently never (or hardly) updated since. Why not introduce an all-new immigration act, which takes into account the times we are living in? 1979 was a very different time, most of our home countries had just started opening the flood gates for immigrants and it was rare to find tourists and especially expats here. 41 years is a long time.

 

Should also note that the term "digital nomad" refers to people who don't stay in one place for long. This kind of temporary stay is very well tolerated, and not an issue for visas if the person is actually a nomad by definition. But a lot of people who call themselves "digital nomads" are in fact expats who have made Thailand their home. So perhaps for these should use a term such as digital expats, remote employees or so. 

A representative of the labour dept. did say that they do tolerate temporary stays whilst working online, but long term stay is problematic and a grey area with no official answer or guidance. 

 

 

46 minutes ago, OneMoreFarang said:

How often does that happen?

Many years ago I was in a similar situation. I asked the bosses of two Thai companies if I could make a deal with them about a work permit. I knew the owners and they wanted to help me. But after a little research both told me that if would be a lot of headache for them if they employ me. Because, according to them, a Thai company will be scrutinized a lot more if they employ a farang compared to just being a small Thai company with only Thai employees. I would be surprised if that principle changed to the better.

This is actually very common in the IT-industry, but less known for professions in other fields (the case for OP, I believe). 

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