Can Thai employers cancel a work permit? Who has the right to cancel an expatriate's work permit? What are the ground for cancelling an expatriate's work permit?

Many thanks!!!


A work permit can be cancelled at any time by the employer. They do not have to give a reason, and they should tell you about it when they want to cancel it. If your extension (see below) is affected, they need you to go to have it cancelled at the same time.

There are a few points to be wary of regarding the expat's ability to stay in Thailand:

  1. If the expat is currently in Thailand on a visa entry, they can stay in Thailand for as long as their currently-valid entry stamp says they can stay.
  2. If the expat has been given an extension of stay on the grounds of employment, the situation is different. The extension must be cancelled at the same time as the work permit, and it is no longer valid as soon as the work permit has been cancelled. Once the extension is cancelled, the expat is usually granted a seven-day extension, and must leave within those seven days or arrange to get another extension. If no seven-day extension is granted, the expat must leave immediately.
  3. If the expat did not receive an extension of stay because they already had one (a 'marriage' or 'family' extension - non-immigrant type O is typical), their ability to stay in Thailand is unaffected by the state of the work permit.

The difference between a visa and an extension is that a visa is always issued outside Thailand and gives you the ability to enter Thailand, and an extension is only issued within Thailand.

EDIT: Actually, thinking about this - they need to give you notice as specified in your contract of employment, and if they do not then they are in breach of that contract. The Department of Labour is surprisingly good at getting companies to honour their employment contracts - although in a case like this the most they can probably do is get the company to pay you an extra month's salary. But they usually work very quickly (it won't take many days to get it sorted).

  • If you feel that you were fired unfairly (which is effectively what cancelling the work permit has done), you can go to the Department of Labour and raise a dispute against your (now-former) employer. You might be entitled to severance pay and possibly unemployment pay. Especially if you were terminated with no notice - your contract should stipulate what the terms of termination are, and what the notice period of termination should be, on both sides.
    – Scott Earle
    Jun 7 '19 at 7:19

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