The new “e-work permit” system aims to increase the efficiency and security of the foreign work permit process in line with the goals of the Thailand 4.0 initiative.
Phuket Vice Governor Siwaporn Chuasawad said, “The Department of Employment has a new system for processing work permit’s which is called the e-work permit. The new work permit will be issued in the form of a smart card, making it easy to carry and also increasing security by making it harder to falsify work permit documents.”
“Officers can use a smartphone application to scan a QR-code on the card. Making it easier for officers to verify the details and validity of a person’s work permit,” Vice Governor Siwaporn added.
The Department of Employment will issue the e-work permits to foreign workers under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the governments of Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos.
Foreign workers who have an older work permit can continue to use it, but will be issued an e-work permit smart card when they renew or apply for a new work permit.
The Department of Employment is urging all employers and employees to ensure they are aware of the new system and register their details according. For more information please contact the Phuket Employment Office on 076-219660-1 or call the Employment Office Hotline on 1694.
Although the estimate above notes that Phuket is now home to more than 50,000 migrant workers from the three countries, an estimated 200,000 undocumented migrant workers live in Phuket, according to local NGOs.
Such undocumented workers fall into different categories such as stateless, illegal migrant and non-Thais who are in a nationality verification process, the Bangkok Post’s Spectrum magazine reported in February. (See story here.)
That figure has been openly accepted by the officials as conferred by the National Statistics Office after conducting two census surveys.
Further, in the third quarter of 2016, 6.36% of employees in Thailand were migrant workers from three countries; Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.