~Meaw & More~

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Reactive blogger (~and more~)

New victims of Visa and work permits rituals: Migrant workers Registration to an Ordinary Thai Citizen

During the pass ten days, there are people lining up at the MOI migrant workers registration office and at the Ministry of Labour’s outlet for the “last” registration of migrant workers before the government will arrest unregistered one. This time the government want every migrants to undergo  nationality verification.

A friend  told me that it took her mother over ten days to get  Laotian workers in her small restaurant to be registered and declared their willingness to national  verification.

First,  the employer did not even get the previous year’s  registration and work permit cards.

Second, the document was sent in Mid February,  just  couple of weeks  ahead of the deadline, with only one set of documents, some cannot be photocopied. They have to  send someone to queue up the line  for the work permit request form.

Third, the requirement of the documents  is always more complicated that the direction indicated in the letter that the sent to employers.

Forth,  even the government expected that most workers will come to register, the number of registrars have not been increased.

Fifth,  someday  applicants will be rejected, even if it is  their queues (yes, one day will be waste spending on getting the queue ticket) because  the employees’  card s  are   green. All  pink- card  applicants are just told to go home and check tomorrow. All applicants was  not informed that they have to arrive on the right day with right color, and the  process  for every color is similar.

Sixth,  officers who check the document will keep on asking for more documents and copies. The fee for photocopies  are  Thai 1 Baht on working day, 5 on  holidays, for Thail.  “Aliens'”   pay 5-10 Baht/ a page of document s to be photocopied. I  was not informed if the shop is a public or private. They seemed to make a lot of money on Buddhist holiday and weekend.

Seventh,  officers will  send people to phantom office/ desk,  or ask  people to wait on the queue that there were no servicing clerk .  No question asked.

Eighth, it took forever, my friend said for her mother to  have a document checked and approved. We was wondering if her Degrees would not help in preparing all for the documents at all even she was the best  and neat organizers   I have seen with the best clear and easy to read handwriting.

Ninth, it took them  ten days in Bangkok.  The employer, in this case have paid   5,000 ++ THB fees, but the cost  of traveling back and forth for ten days was not calculated.

Tenth, this is exactly the reason that many turned to agents,  who  will charge from 6,000 -12,000  THB per person. This  is also a de-motivation that many migrants don’t want to suffer themselves and many employers also don’t want to suffer the  endless  quest to get a proper paper. One of the migrant workers opted herself out of the process and said  to the employer that she will used other methods and said “i warned you that it is complicated.”

Despite the deadline was extended to the end of March, the registration process must be responsive to the large amount of people. If they cannot meet the deadline  because of the red-tape bureaucratic process, they should review and make the process easier for people, instead of blaming both the employers  and workers altogether.

Yet, at the end, my friends  was able to have receipts  to  certify that  they have  paid the government properly. The real ID cards  will arrive  or will not. No  one can predict how long  it will take as the last year ID s  were still  somewhere in the process.

In conclusion,  we can see that the government will  be benefited from the  registration, they have the money and they should treat both migrants and employers as customers, not beggars.  Please don’t make it hard so that employers will have to slip money under the table or pay extra for an agent.  Some of employers my friends have observed are retirees who hire Laotian as  house maids. They are not  accustomed to painfully prolonged and complicate process.Don’t impose extra unwritten  rules  to deter employers and migrants  from walking  away from the process.

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