The Department of Employment is seeking to extend the deadline for foreign migrant workers to register for a new work permit until mid-May.
Many workers from Myanmar are still in the process of extending their passports with the authorities and are likely to miss the Feb 13 deadline, a source said yesterday.
If registrations continue at its current pace, less than 15% of more than two million migrant workers from Myanmar who need to renew their work permit would have successfully submitted their applications, he said.
Most of these workers are still waiting to get a new passport from the Myanmar embassy in Thailand, but the queue for one is long, the source said, as those whose passports are close to expiring are also required to get a new one before they can renew their work permit.
Many migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam are facing the same problem. Many are expecting to get their new passports some time between late February and the end of March.
These migrant workers’ passports had expired while they were stuck in Thailand during the Covid-19 pandemic when borders were closed.
While waiting for approval from the government’s committee on migrant worker management, which is chaired by Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin, the DoE has adjusted some of its regulations to make it easier for the workers to reapply.
The department has recently allowed applicants to pay for their work permit application fees at 7-Eleven branches across the country before Feb 13, as well as allowing them to submit the documents required for work permit renewal, including their passports, at a later date, as long as it is within 90 days of applying.
The receipt of their payment for the work permit application will double as a work permit until May 15.