How to be able to work on Koh Phangan

28 May 2016

Welcome to Koh Phangan! The paradise and magical island with a reputation for hedonistic activity in the Gulf of Thailand.

Maybe you’re one of those people who have been coming for years now, every year, saving up and working hard so you can spend a few months a year in your perfect location but now you want to base yourself here properly...

First time here? Fallen in love already? Not an uncommon story to our ears...

But what do you need to do if you want to be able to work, make a living and support yourself on Koh Phangan? Let us help…

As an expat living in a foreign country, unless you are from Myanmar or other cooperating countries with Thailand, you are not allowed to just move here and work.

There are certain regulations and visas that you must get to be able to legally work.

The long and short of it is that to work in Koh Phangan / Thailand, you will need a work permit.

You can get your own work permit if you set up your own company here, depending on the size of the company will depend on the amount of work permits, for example; a small company will only get one work permit under that name so this is perfect for people who are self employed but a larger company i.e. a hostel etc may get
multiple work permits. So you will have your own work permit plus others for staff.

As we said there are regulations for this, in particular large companies may have to employ a certain number of Thai staff in comparison to their western staff but this is all very reasonable considering you are setting up a company in a foreign country.

For all of the exact and correct information to date see the Thai Embassy website
Many westerners open bars, hostels, restaurants and fashion shops which helps continue bringing new ideas, concepts and growth to Thailand

If you don’t have the financial backup for your own company or just don’t want to set up a business here then another option is to look for a job which will supply you with a work permit.

Be prepared and research online first before you come, most reputable companies here should legally offer you a work permit, working for accommodation or services in return is officially illegal so be careful if you are tempted by this as it may be YOU who gets into trouble if you’re caught, even volunteer work requires a work permit here in Thailand.

Thai embassy info

These jobs may be harder to find but will be so much more worth it. Look for jobs within schools, teaching and hospitality and catering.

Again, for all the requirements and information we recommend you visit the Thai Embassy website or consult a lawyer here on Koh Phangan.

Good luck for the future!