As a provider of visa and work permit management services in Thailand, we are approached all the time by new clients who have grown suspicious of their previous service provider, with inconsistent fees charged for the same services every year.
The reason for this is clear once we inspect the clients paperwork - legally, they do not meet the criteria for their specific visa type or their work permit. They may have employed too few Thai staff, their registered capital may be insufficient to hire another foreigner, their company affidavit may be outdated and list Directors who are no longer with the company... BUT the previous supplier has 'worked' around this problem in a manner that is all too obvious.
Whilst the short term benefit is clear to the client (they have their visa and work permit) - the long term ramifications can be disastrous. Immigration and the Ministry of Labour have very clear requirements and checklists for the application and renewal of visas and work permits in Thailand, and do on occasion undertake checks of visas and work permits that have been granted. Under no circumstances should any individual or business try to obtain a work permit or visa without meeting all the necessary requirements.
If your service provider won't provide a clear list of the requirements, ask for one. It is important that you are confident that your status in Thailand is legal.
Written by Stuart Blott, General Manager, Sutlet Group Co., Ltd.
Sutlet Group manage PB Legal Services, who handle visa and work permit management, company registration and other services in Thailand.