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Restricted Jobs for Foreigners

Restricted Jobs for Foreigners

Thailand is in many ways welcoming to foreign labor force working in the Kingdom, however, its government imposes certain rules and restrictions foreigners have to follow. One particular area of restrictions concerns employment opportunities.

Foreigners who intend to work in Thailand are subject to the Alien Employment Act and are thus required to obtain a Work Permit, which prevents them from entering certain occupations.


The following occupations are strictly reserved for Thai nationals only:


  • Labour work except for labour work in fishing boats (under the next category below


  • Agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry or fishery, except work requiring specialised knowledge, farm supervision, or labour work in fishing boats, particularly marine fishery


  • Bricklaying, carpentry, or other construction works


  • Wood carving


  • Driving motor vehicles or vehicles which do not use machinery or mechanical devices, except international aircraft piloting


  • Shop attendance


  • Auction


  • Supervising, auditing, or giving service in accountancy, except occasional internal auditing


  • Cutting or polishing jewellery


  • Haircutting, hairdressing, or beauty treatment


  • Cloth weaving by hand


  • Weaving or making of mats or products from reed, rattan, hemp, straw, or bamboo pellicle


  • Making rice paper by hand


  • Lacquer ware making


  • Making Thai musical instruments


  • Nielloware making


  • Goldsmith, silversmith, or gold-and-copper alloy smith work


  • Stone work


  • Making Thai dolls


  • Making mattresses or quilt blanket


  • Making alms bowls


  • Making silk products by hand


  • Creating Buddha images


  • Knife making


  • Making paper or cloth umbrellas


  • Making shoes


  • Making hats


  • Brokerage or agency except in international trading


  • Professional civil engineering concerning design and calculation, systemization, analysis, planning, testing, construction supervision, or consulting services, excluding work requiring specialized techniques


  • Professional architectural work concerning design, drawing-making, cost estimation, construction direction or consulting services


  • Dressmaking


  • Pottery


  • Cigarette rolling by hand


  • Tour guiding or conducting


  • Hawking of goods


  • Thai typesetting by hand


  • Unwinding and twisting silk by hand


  • Clerical or secretarial work


  • Providing legal services or engaging in legal work (except arbitration works and work relating to the defense of cases at arbitration level, provided the law governing the dispute under consideration by the arbitrators is not Thai law