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October 15, 2019

Thailand extends visas, work permits of Myanmar workers by 9 months

Workers processing prawns for export at a marine product factory. Photo: Pwint Thitsa

The visas and work permits of Myanmar migrant workers which were scheduled to expire on 31 March, 2020 have been extended by nine more months to 31 December, 2020, according to an announcement from the Labour Office in Bangkok, Thailand.
The two countries had discussed issues concerning Myanmar migrant workers prior to the Thailand and Myanmar Migrant Labour Affairs Experts meeting in Phuket, Thailand, on 13 May. During the negotiations, the Thai authorities agreed to relax some rules.
“We had a good response from the Thailand authorities before the Thailand and Myanmar Migrant Labour Affairs Experts meeting was held. As a result of the negotiations, the Thai authorities have extended the visas and work permits of Myanmar migrant workers, which were to expire on 31 March, 2020. Because of the nine-month extension, the visas and the work permits will now be valid until 31 December, 2020. Moreover, Certificates of Identity, which will expire on 1 November, green book holders, ME Bangkok, issued by the Data Collection Center are all covered under the new arrangement. There are around 600,000 migrant workers in Thailand. So, both countries still need to discuss many things,” said U Moe Gyo, the Chairman of the Joint Action Committee for Burma Affairs (JACBA).
The Thai authorities will announce the details of the new agreement before the visas and work permits expire. About 600,000 migrant workers in Thailand will be covered by the new agreement. Both countries will conduct further discussions at the working group level to find out which process will be smoother.
The Bangkok Labour Office said individual Myanmar migrant workers or social organizations can submit their suggestions on matters pertaining to labour issues by mail or phone.—Pwint Thitsa
(Translated by Hay Mar)

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