I finally have my work permit! I’m super thrilled, because I was getting a bit anxious. You need both a work permit and a visa extension in order to get paid a salary in Thailand, and I need to get paid really soon in order to pay the security deposit for the apartment I found.
One of the many, many things I like about Agoda is they take care of pretty much everything, so I didn’t actually have to apply for the work permit and visa extension myself. All I had to do was show up at the One-Stop Service Center for Visas and Work Permits once the documents were ready for release. I was able find a site that lists the documents needed for a Thai work permit though. I’m not sure if this list is complete or up to date though, because like I said, my company took care of everything.
The One-Stop Service Center for Visas and Work Permits is where all work permits and visa extensions are processed in Bangkok. They process extensions of temporary stay, notifications of address (which all foreigners need to submit every 90 days), re-entry permits (which is helpful if you want a multiple-entry visa), visa issuing, and changing visa types. According to the Bureau of Immigration website, their phone number is 0-2209 1100 and they are open Mondays to Fridays (except official holidays), 8:30 – 12.00 and 13.00 – 16:30.
Unless your company has someone helping you process your work permit and visa extension, you’ll need to get to the OSSC super early. Around 6 AM is best from what I’ve heard, since that’s when they start handing out queue numbers. If someone is helping you out, then the person processing your work permit will let you know what time to arrive. In my case, I had to be there by 10 AM.
It is very easy to find. The easiest way is to get off at the MRT Sam Yan subway station, as the station is immediately under and has a direct link to the Chamchuri Square Office Tower, which is where the OSSC is located. Below is the map from the BOI website. You can get here by bus or car too, but traffic is generally bad on weekdays.
Once you get to the MRT Sam Yan subway station, you have to look for exit 2 for Chamchuri Square. Once you make your way through the escalators and get inside Chamchuri Square, the first area you enter is the food court. Walk to your right until you find another set of escalators going to the ground floor. You’ll see an exit near the KFC at the top of the escalator, but ignore that and keep walking right. Walk straight and follow the signs above leading to the “Office Tower”, and soon you’ll see elevators heading up to the 18th floor. The 18th floor is where the OSSC is.
I didn’t take my own pictures because I was too focused on getting to my appointment on time, but luckily GregtoDiffer.com has some photos of the OSSC so I’ll borrow those. Below is what the entrance and waiting areas look like. There really isn’t much else to see as the office is quite small.
The first step is getting the work permit, and the second step is getting the visa extension. There are multiple steps in between, but all of these were done by the person who was helping me out, so basically I was just sitting and waiting for most of the time I was there. All in all, I was there for 4 hours (not including the lunch break), but I’ve heard that it normally doesn’t take that long. It only took that long for me because it was my first time getting both, and apparently renewals are much faster. Also it was Chakri Day yesterday, so lots more people were processing papers than usual, and some of the officials were on leave. I didn’t mind though because I was just happy I was finally getting my work permit and visa extension.
I won’t post photos of my work permit (and the photo of the multiple-entry permit isn’t mine either), but the work permit booklet is very pretty. With the gold emblem and lettering on the cover and the Thai writing inside, it’s one of the prettiest government documents I’ve had. I hope to keep it for a very long time.