The stress of visa and work permit renewal for my Myanmar maid is returning to give me a big headache once again. I think many of you who also have migrant maids feel the same way, because we have to spend several days heading back and forth to the labour and immigration offices, filling in many forms, and waiting in long queues to get things done.
I have been going through this kind of registration red tape for seven years now and things haven’t changed much at all.
Isn’t Thai bureaucracy consistent in its inefficiency?
I don’t understand why people who want to legally hire migrant workers have to face such a bureaucratic maze.
In fact, we should receive incentives, not this kind of inconvenience. I think many employers have become fed up with this time-consuming process, so much so that they no longer want their maids or workers to get legal papers.
For my maid, she had to wait for her current work permit for almost two years. When she finally got it, it was only valid another month. Then the permit expired. Now, she has to renew it for two more years. The process began with her health check-up. Then she went to the Myanmar embassy to renew her passport. Next, I took her to the Immigration Bureau’s Suan Plu office last week to renew her visa.
After spending a half-hour filling in the form and preparing the documents, an immigration police officer told me that my maid and I had to go Bangkok’s Labour Office District 6 first to have the work permit application endorsed before the visa could be renewed at the Immigration Bureau.
When I asked my maid why she did not ask her friends about the right procedures first, she told me that her friends had gone to the Suan Plu office to renew their visa first and then to the district labour office to renew the work permit.