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What exactly happens to farangs who are caught working without permit?

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Working without a work permit is illegal, yes. But exactly what happens, once you are "caught" working without a permit?

Is it straight to the monkey house and get locked up?
Is it just a fine?
Fined and kicked out from Thailand?
Fined, jailed, and then kicked out from Thailand?

Just curious, as I've heard so many different stories.

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Depends on the immigration officer who finds out. They have no interest in enforcing the law.  It's all about the money. So always have it. But since people who have a job don't have money otherw

My son was found working without a work permit 15 years ago. Incarcerated in the immigration jail for 3 days before being able to buy a ticket to return home. Small fine , deportation and black-listed

I believed that it must be the local employer who get the warning, if is a foreign employer 100% fined.   About ten over years ago, I was helping my wife in her shop by just talking to a for

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If you still have the intention to long stay or coming back to Thailand, nevertheless work in Thailand without the work permit as ending out, you maybe get banned for long time. 

<removed> you need the money, unless you know some local company that can help you with the work permit or you can run your own company with the WP.

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It all depends on the officers and their instructions.

I have seen and heard a warning to an employer: We know he works without work permit, next time we will make an arrest. Don't employ him anymore.

Other times: People went straight to jail, went to court, paid the fines and went back to their Thai homes.

Or people went straight to jail, went to court, paid the fines, got arrested again by Immigration for working on tourist visa, back into jail and deported.

And a fine is offered at the crime scene, when paid directly to the officer all is good.

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This what the Working Alien Act of 2008 says. 



Section 51. An alien who engages in work without having the
permit shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of not exceeding five years or to a
fine from two thousand Baht to one hundred thousand Baht or to both.
In the case where the accused under paragraph one wilfully departs the
Kingdom within the period specified by the inquiry official, but not more than thirty
days, the inquiry official may settle the case and causes that alien to depart the


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Working without a work permit is dealt with by the alien labour act. But often other laws are also violated. Something that the police, immigration and the labour office seems to forget. Maybe this post will help to remind them.

For example teaching without a work permit will also mean that the person doesn't have a teaching license. Teaching without a teaching license at schools that by law require a teaching license is a separate offense that carries a jail term of maximum of 1 year and or 20 thousand baht fine. The employer is also liable.

Other professions also require licenses, such as doctors, and have their own separate punishments.


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