Chiang Mai is renowned for its handicraft industries, producing unique goods that are highly popular with foreigners. An expat moving to the city could build a career in its food and agricultural production, or in one of the emerging industries that are springing up in what became a Creative City in 2010. These include IT, digital content, working design and software.
It’s becoming easier to become a foreign language teacher at one of the international schools, with training available in the universities and colleges, or you could write for one of the English-speaking newspapers. Chiang Mai is highly significant as the largest and most culturally important city in northern Thailand.
You need a permit to work in Chiang Mai, as well as a non-immigrant B Visa. Work permits are issued by the Department of Employment of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare. There are various durations available at different costs, but all must be renewed on a yearly basis. For up to 3 months it’s 750 THB, up to 6 months it’s 1,500 THB, and a one year permit will cost 3000 THB .
To apply, you’ll need your alien residence book, passport with non-immigrant visa, local doctor’s certificate, certificate of employment, three photos, a letter of transfer if moving jobs within a company, education certificates, and anything else that might be relevant. Your job will be written on your permit and you have to stick to this.
If you are a fiscal resident in Chiang Mai, you have to pay income tax on any earnings as well as on a percentage of any income from outside Thailand. You’re a resident if you’ve lived in the city for at least 180 days of a year. You have to pay your taxes by the last day of March, although the tax authorities prefer you to pay early.
Different income tax rates apply to different levels of earnings. Expats who earn less than 150,000 THB a year are exempt. For higher incomes brackets, different percentages apply:
There are various other local taxes to bear in mind, such as airport tax and vehicle and motorcycle tax. The responsible agency for income tax is the Revenue Department of Thailand.