(Information Source: Bangkok Post, by Pitcha Dangprasith, on Wed Mar 06, 2019 06:00 am)
Migrant worker passports comes in many colours. (Bangkok Post file photo)
The cabinet agreed on Tueday to establish a Temporary Myanmar Labour Data Collection Centre in Samut Prakan for the convenience of migrant workers seeking to renew their passports in order to continue working in Thailand.
The idea for the centre, which will renew the passports of two categories of Myanmar workers, was proposed by the Labour Ministry.
So-called "Function A Labourers" have previously been employed in Thailand and hold a passport, a temporary passport (TP) or a certificate of identity (CI).
Function B Labourers have already been granted a work permit and a passport in Thailand under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two countries.
They will be eligible to use the centre if they wish to keep working in the country after their four-year permit expires.
Nathporn Chatusripitak, an adviser to the PM's Office, said the centre also aims to make life easier for Thai employers.
"For example, 140,256 Myanmar labourers under the MOU would have to travel back to their country to renew their passports after the four-year contract ends this year.
Moreover, they would have to wait 30 days before they can return," Mr Nattaporn said.
He said this would affect their income and leave Thai firms short of staff for a month.
"But by using the centre, the workers ... can finish the whole process in Thailand," he added.
Mr Nathporn said the cabinet has approved in principle the Labour Ministry's suggested Smart Visa for migrant workers.
They must meet four requirements to get one, including being highly skilled in a specific field.