Contrary to a common belief there are no minimum wages applicable to foreign workers. But because there is always a but in Thailand the Immigration Department has developed a minimum wage schedule applicable to foreign workers who benefit of a work permit and wants to apply and obtain a one year B visa extension.
The minimum declared wage schedule is as follows:
|Minimum Income Declared
|Europe and Australia, Canada, Japan, the United States of America (except Russia)||50,000 per month|
|South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong||45,000 per month|
|Asian Countries (except Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam)South America,Eastern Europe,Central America,
|35,000 per month|
|All African Countries (except South Africa), Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam||25,000 per month|
The minimum schedule does not mean that your employer will have to actually pay you those minimum wages, but mean that your employer will have to declare this minimum salary and that you will have to pay social security and personal income tax based on this minimum salary if you want to have any chances to qualify for a one year B visa extension.
Note that I know a few business owners who paid themselves only the minimum salary requested by the law in order to limit their tax liability. This is a very shortsighted and very stupid (excuse my French) move. Why, simply because declaring the minimum salary only will limit what you can do in daily life. For example the credit card company will limit your credit drastically if you only declare the minimum income. Or some credit cards companies may even refuse you as a customer as their minimum salary requirement is higher for foreigners than for Thai. If you declare a to low salary you may not be able to purchase a car in leasing which you could have done otherwise.
But the most important thing is that if you declare a too low salary you may never qualify for a resident permit.
While the Revenue Department has mostly let foreigners alone for the time being it is not impossible that one day they start to audit foreign workers and check the income they actually declare against their way of life. Those who are declaring a salary of 50,000 THB on the one hand while on the other hand renting a 60,000 THB condominium and putting two kids through private school may find themselves in hot waters if this ever happen.
About the Author:
The author Rene-Philippe DUBOUT is a lawyer since 1990 when he was admitted to Geneva bar (Switzerland). He practiced as a litigator there for 10 years until he moved to Thailand in 1999. In 2002 he founded with a group of Thai lawyers Rene Philippe & Partners Ltd a local law firm that specialized in Cross Borders Investments and Real Estate. He has been lecturing in several Thai Universities and a speaker to numerous conferences and seminars. He is the author of a must read book:”How to Purchase Real Estate Offshore Safely: The Case of Thailand”.
© Copyrights 2009 – Rene Philippe Dubout – This article may be reprinted if information about the author, the websites, and the URLs remain intact.
Originally posted 2010-01-16 07:20:22.