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chris2004

Can Farangs "work" on condo committees without a work permit.

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- I would not take a Juristic Person without a work permit.

Just to clarify terminology, i think some of the posts which are referring to the "Juristic Person" are actually speaking of the "Juristic Person Manager" [JPM] or simply the officially elected "Manager" of the condo.

Note that the JPM must be elected according to Section 49 of the lastest version of the Thai Condo Act. see http://www.addresstalk.com/forums/forums/government--2/topics/thailand-condominium-act-full-version-unofficial-english-translation

Part of Section 49 indicates that any resolution for the appointment or removal of the Manager shall receive votes of not less than one fourth of the joint owners’ total votes [at a General Meeting].

I note also that there can be an Acting JPM in the case where there is no vote yet or there is less than 25% agreement. I also note that i have seen cases where the elected JPM has no salary.

Edited by tropic1000

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My point in my previous post is this. Immigration tell me that it is indeed illegal for a foreigner to hold the position, write checks, supervise Thai staff etc etc. Sitting on a committee and being a Chairman is OK.

Being a Juristic Person and drawing a salary is not OK. Immigration turn a blind eye to it. However, the main point is that if a jealous or angry Thai who are not happy about the situation.... go to immigration and report it, - it is curtains for the foreigner.

So regardless of what the land office allow or agree to, .... it does not matter. Immigration is the ultimate deciding body.

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Do I need a work permit to sit on my condo committee?

I am a Patong condo owner and hold a long-term retirement visa extension. Do I need a work permit to sit on my condo committee?

I can find nothing in the online Condominium Act of 2008 that says it is a prerequisite to sit on such a committee, only that you must be an owner.

Jim Mills, Patong Monday, August 27, 2012 12:19:03 PM

“Whether or not you will need a work permit depends on whether your intended activity actually qualifies as work under the Employment Department's existing definition.

Normally, being on a committee involves attending meetings to make decisions and signing papers. In this case, you would need a work permit.

If you want to apply for a work permit you must be in possession of a non-immigrant "B" visa.

You can not use your retirement visa to apply.

You can visit the Phuket Employment Office at 38/27 Rattanakosin 200 Pi Road during normal office hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm, or call 076-219660 or 076-219661 ext. 13.”
Monday, August 27, 2012 12:19:03 PM

Phuket Employment Office, Work Permit Division chief Jeeraphan Sookhwan.

“Our editorial offices have received numerous queries of this nature over the years.

According to the Phuket Employment Office webpage, the definition of work is: The engagement in work by exerting energy or using knowledge for purpose of obtaining wages or other benefits.

This includes charitable work.

Even in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami disaster, foreign volunteers working in the relief effort were warned to get work permits or risk facing penalties of three years in jail, a 30,000 baht fine, or both.”
Monday, August 27, 2012 12:19:03 PM The Gazette adds.

http://www.phuketgazette.net/issuesanswers/details.asp?id=1329

Edited by NomadJoe

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If you like living in Thailand, you shouldn't expose yourself to this risk.

There will always be somebody happy to grass you up for pissing them off.... even over something trivial.

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From some one who has served as a committee member and juristic

person manager , me, for several years running I can tell you that

The long and the short of it is that you can be elected and act as committee

member of said condo but you can not serve as a juristic person manager,

for that you will need to be a Thai national or have a work permit,

Correct answer +1. I add it s a huge responsibility to be a the juristic person manager.

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how is one going to explain that one? paying 2 million to form your company, hiring 4 thais, paying tax and salaries

to be on a commitee to defend your own right ...

but YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS in this country

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I guess that would also apply to the chairman of a residents association that manages the services etc in a gated village. My friend is being bothered by a real arse'ole of a Brit who keeps telling him what he can and can't do in his own house.....

Maybe he should enquire if he has a work permit.....

I guess you are anti British with that statement.

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A tale of two older condos, one in bangkok(sukhumvit 16) and one in pattaya(naklua 16). The one in Bangkok has a mixture of Thai and foreign committee members and a Thai resident manager. Committee members and condo owners meet and discuss and agree to renovations, common area rules are obeyed and cleanliness is evident throughout the building, all in all a mutually beneficial arrangement. The one in Pattaya is dominated by germans with a temporary manager who happens to be the wife of one of the germans though not a committee member now(she is useful for germans because she is thai and speaks german)and the area around their unit is cluttered and partially blocks access to the fire escape. The annual meetings are raucous, there are suspicions of fraud, the non-german westerners are a minority, the thai owners are disinterested/part-time visitors/units rented out and so its a disaster except for the germans who control the committee but the building is in need of improvements in all aspects. In short, a mixture of local and foreign committee members and a resident manager who is not somehow related or connected to condo owners makes for a more productive outcome.

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I and my fellow COC members have been committee members for just over a year. We have just registered the Juristic Person (JP, who happens to be Tha), manager (Thai) and Co-owners Committee (COC) members (all farangs) with the Lands Department (LD) and there have been no problems as far as work permits are concerned.

I believe that everybody in Thailand involved with a condo realises that it is mainly the farangs who run the COCs and that it is necessary without a work permit. The two JPs before our current JP and manager were farangs without problem or comment from the LD. I also checked with my lawyer and he said that there is no problem and that there have been no problems with farangs not having work permits.

You really need to get hold of the Condo Act, 2008 (attached) and read it through. It is very useful in laying out the duties and responsibilities. It also does not say that the farang COC members have to have work permits.

The act is not gonna say whether or not someone needs a work permit. They don't give a shyt. It comes under different legislation entirely.

The act does talk about (a) a juristic person manager & (B) a juristic person. They are not as someone has pointed out 'one and the same'

And unless you are Thai or can read Thai remember that the act will be a translation and a lot can be lost in the translation AND also the Thai language version is the one that the authorities, immigration,

and the average Thai 'Joe blow' refer to as the bible.

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At the end of the day, the only legally correct answer is, yes, by law you do need a work permit.

Thai law is unfortunately very vague, where the definition of work is considered. It literally states that "exerting effort and employing knowledge, whether or not for wages or other benefits" is considered work.

Practically, going by that definition, they could probably throw half the foreigners residing in Thailand in jail if they were so inclined.

Practically, it will be firstly up to the labor department and immigration (as the two authorities entitled to charge/arrest you for infringements on labor and immigration laws), and later on the court, whether there is a case or not and to either proceed or just throw everything out and let you of.

The main deciding factor would likely be whether you infringed against the "purpose" of the part of labor law concerning foreigners, which basically is to protect the Thai labor force from undue and unfair foreign competition.

So every foreigner has to abide by the labor laws, other laws or acts do not specifically have to state that a foreigner would need a work permit for a certain function, but rather the opposite.

It would also not be the responsibility of other departments to check if you abide with labor law or not, it's not their job. So being allowed by the land and house department to be registered as the juristic person without holding a work permit, does not mean that you do not need one!

Going by all of the above, in case of troubles, some official will have to make a decision whether or not to charge and prosecute you. This will be their decision, not the law, as the law states you can be prosecuted.

As Arkady posted above, it would be sort of a hot potato for the officials, as it indeed could be a media nightmare if they are heavy handed.

Immigration and labor will most definitely never take the initiative to go and raid such a meeting and check if any foreigners present hold a work permit!!

On the other hand, you would not need to stretch your imagination very much seeing a judge reason that since 51% of the condo's are (legally obliged to be) Thai owned, that having a few foreigners on the committee as member is plenty opportunity to oversee their investments (of what at best is just under 50% of the building), and that any higher functions should be handled by Thai nationals.

I would stay away from such positions, you are NOT protected by the law, there is nothing there to indicate specifically that you are not required to hold a work permit. It will be rather the "interpretation" of the intent of the labor law which would allow officials not to go any further.

Get on the wrong side of a Thai condo owner who might be well connected could see you in heaps of trouble.

best answer so far, most importantly: "you are NOT protected by the law"

you can get screwed up and there is absolutely nothing you can do. I've been there...

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I guess that would also apply to the chairman of a residents association that manages the services etc in a gated village. My friend is being bothered by a real arse'ole of a Brit who keeps telling him what he can and can't do in his own house.....

Maybe he should enquire if he has a work permit.....

I guess you are anti British with that statement.

Not Anti-British at all

I am guessing he is 100% correct with his statement....by the sounds of it the guy does sound like an Ar*ehole..

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Yes, you need a work permit, as a foreigner, regardless of skin color

Stop referring to yourself as "farang", it´s just stupid.

Ahhh, one of those "farang" is a racist term people. A concept that is also " stupid"

I did not say that. And I think you cannot grasp the big picture of this whole "farang"-calling thing.

And besides, it makes you look ignorant to call yourself such a thing.

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