Tue 5 Jun 2012
Filed under: News,Regional
A state committee on illegal migrant workers yesterday extended the nationality verification procedure for another six months, from June 14 to December 14. A resolution on this will be submitted to the Cabinet for consideration in two weeks.Employment Department directorgeneral Prawit Khiangpol said the 11th MyanmarThai Conference for Cooperation held recently in Myanmar saw Thai and Myanmar officials discuss workers’ nationality identification. This was because Thailand had some two million workers from Myanmar, including 800,000 who were illegal (not registered) and needed to verify their nationality by June 14.
Myanmar officials said so far nationality verification (NV) centres in Bangkok, Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakan, Surat Thani, Chiang Mai, Ranong and Chiang Rai had proven the nationality of 400,000 migrant workers, leaving 400,000 others waiting to register, so an extension was necessary, he said.
The department would thus ask the government to extend the NV offices for another three months, plus another three months for work permit applications. It would also ask the Interior Ministry to allow these migrants waiting to register to be allowed to remain in Thailand until December, he added.
Prawit said that the committee, chaired by Labour Minister Phadermchai Sasomsap, also resolved to extend the nationality verification procedure until December 14 for some 900,000 other workers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.
Prawit said there would be government to government imports of Myanmar workers into Thailand according to demands from business operators. Thai business operators had requested about 80,00090,000 workers.
He said these workers would travel via Suvarnabhumi Airport and each would have to pay Bt4,500 – Bt1,900 for a work permit, Bt600 for a physical examination, and Bt2,000 for visas.
He said the cost of nationality verification was Bt1,050 per head if employers brought in workers to apply directly, while applications through 60 existing companies would cost Bt2,000 to Bt2,400.
After the earlier meeting with Phadermchai, Myo Thit, the deputy head of mission at the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok, told reporters the NV procedure in Myanmar would cost each worker Bt550 and that the Myanmar government wanted their people to come to Thailand through Memorandum of Understandings, which would cost both sides no more than Bt10,000 per person. He said that if any of the 100 employment companies in Myanmar charged a worker more than that their licence would be revoked and the firm blacklisted.
The Thai Labour Ministry says there are over 1.3 million legal workers from neighbouring countries currently working in Thailand -82 per cent from Myanmar, 9.5 per cent from Cambodia and 8.4 per cent from Laos – while many others have entered illegally to work here.