At a Glance

  • Effective August 19, 2019, all initial and renewal work permit applications to Thailand, including those filed under the Board of Investment (BOI) the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) and the Petroleum Act, must include a medical certificate.
  • Previously, applications filed under the BOI, IEAT and the Petroleum Act did not require the certificate.
  • This will add an administrative hurdle for applicants under these schemes and could add an extra day to the in-country document-gathering process before a work permit application can be filed.

The situation

Thailand's Employment Department has issued a new regulation that requires a medical certificate for all initial and renewal work permit applications, including those filed under the Board of Investment (BOI), the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) and the Petroleum Act, which previously did not require a medical certificate. The regulation is effective August 19, 2019.

A closer look

Affected applicants must obtain a medical certificate from a licensed medical doctor in Thailand. The certificate must not be older than one month prior to the filing of the work permit application and must confirm that the applicant is free from the following conditions:

  • Leprosy
  • Tuberculosis
  • Drug addiction
  • Alcoholism
  • Elephantiasis
  • Stage 3 syphilis

The Employment Department has provided an optional template document.

Impact for employers

Employers hiring foreign workers under the BOI, IEAT and Petroleum Act schemes will now be subject to an extra administrative hurdle when these workers were previously exempt from completing a medical exam. It usually takes up to three hours on the date of the exam at any Thailand hospital or clinic to issue the certificate.

Impact for foreign nationals

Affected work permit applicants will need to undergo a medical exam, like other work permit applicants in Thailand, and will no longer be exempt from this requirement.


The revocation of this exemption is part of the immigration authorities' efforts to standardize the immigration process and make it more consistent across various immigration categories.

Looking ahead

The government of Thailand is likely to continue to issue other administrative rules to continue to standardize immigration and to improve its tracking of foreign workers. Fragomen will report on further developments.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.